When you work in the wedding industry, planning your own wedding can be a daunting task. As bride Abby says, “Having photographed hundreds of weddings for my job, I can safely say, being on the other side is a completely different experience.” But with a team of trusted vendors, she was able to breathe easy. And the day was as lovely as it was thoughtful…
“I’m a huge fan of fountains and architectural details, and the Plaza De Las Palmas courtyard at Mission Inn embodied everything we wanted, with beautiful mosaic reliefs of the Virgin Mary quietly showcased on each of the four walls of the cloister. The courtyard was on the smaller side with a simple fountain in the center. We draped the archways behind the altar with baby pink, ivory, gold, and champagne sheers. Olive leaves and Italian ruscus lined the aisle, gardenias and roses floated on all three tiers of the fountain, and all you could hear was the trickling water. Our guests enjoyed tray-passed prosecco while mingling before taking their seat before the ceremony. It was all about family, friends, and enjoying the experience.”
Your ceremony in three words. Intimate, meaningful, “us”.
Who officiated your ceremony? My wedding industry colleague and friend Reverend Glynn Ferguson of Sensational Ceremonies officiated our ceremony. He did a wonderful job and kept things simple and to the point.
What was your ceremony music? The music was a mixture of contemporary and traditional, but all instrumental to keep it cohesive.
Pre-Ceremony: “Ave Maria” / “The Cello Song” by The Piano Guys / “Begin Again” by Taylor Swift (instrumental version) // Seating of the Mothers / Bridal Party Processional: “A Thousand Years” (instrumental version by The Piano Guys) // Bridal Processional: “Canon in D” by Pachelbel // Recessional: “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” by Stevie Wonder
Did you include any traditions in your ceremony? We wanted to keep the ceremony all about the joining of two families and it was really important that we involve Danny’s two sons. We chose a unity candle to symbolize our new family. Each one of us lit an individual candle and together lit a large pillar candle. It was a way for the boys to participate in the ceremony, and what boy doesn’t love playing with fire? We also had the reverend read the “Irish Wedding Blessing,” which was read at each of my siblings’ weddings, too.
What were your vows like? I wrote mine the morning of the wedding and Danny literally went off the cuff with nothing written. It was one of the most beautiful and thoughtful moments we shared.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? Walking down the aisle toward Danny and seeing the biggest smile across his face. I also loved the few minutes I shared with my father before entering the ceremony. I was so calm. We were just cracking jokes and laughing. Truly a moment I’ll never forget.
Did you include any other special details in your ceremony? I wanted to honor both sets of my grandparents who have passed away. I tied a few charms with their wedding photos into my bouquet.
“The reception was held on a vast green lawn outdoors overlooking a lake. Market lights were strung over the large U-shaped table giving it the perfect al fresco atmosphere. Twinkle lights were strung throughout the large bushes bordering the outside of the table. A large grand fountain which is flanked by towering palms is the centerpiece of the courtyard. At night, large glass hurricane vases with candles illuminated the architecture of the fountain. And to top it all off, the moon was full with a pink lunar eclipse to boot!”
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? We were inspired by our shared Italian heritage, and chose this location to give our wedding a Tuscan look.
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? My favorite moment of the reception was being introduced and seeing all of our guests cheering us on.
What was your wedding menu? While we wanted it to be traditional Italian style food, we didn’t want to serve very heavy pastas, so our wedding menu was light Italian fare with antipasti, grilled chicken, braciole, and roasted asparagus.
What type of cake did you serve? Three tiers: chocolate cake with strawberry preserve filling, chocolate coconut cake, and then my favorite, lemon, for the top.
What was your first dance song? John Legend’s “All of Me”. It was perfect.
Please tell us about any other special details or moments from your reception. We wanted to include Danny’s two boys in all parts of the wedding. They sat next to us at the head table and we had a special dance together to Michael Jackson’s “I Want You Back” (we’re huge fans of the movie Guardians of the Galaxy).