Real Wedding: Cara and Craig

Cara and Craig’s August wedding was held at one of the most jaw-dropping venues I’ve ever seen.  The weather was perfect, the bride and groom were beautiful and the decor was perfectly chosen.  So much so that you might not be sure if you are looking at a magazine spread or an actual real wedding.   Here’s a bit more about their beautiful day in Cara’s words.

Cara and Craig, August 8, 2009, Palos Verdes Beach Club, Palos Verdes Estates, California

How they met
In January 2007:  Craig and I were introduced through mutual friends at a party in Las Vegas where we both live.  We knew about each other before the “set-up” but hadn’t met yet. After talking for a while, Craig asked for my number and then left the party to go play poker!  BUT he called the next day to ask me to dinner, and we’ve been together ever since.

Real Wedding Cara and Craig

How he proposed
In October 2008:  After dinner at our favorite restaurant, Craig drove us out to Lake Las Vegas where he said we were meeting friends of his for drinks after dinner. We arrived to the Ritz Carlton only to discover that Craig had booked a gorgeous suite overlooking the lake. As we entered the room, the balcony doors were open, and outside a bottle of champagne was on ice, directly next to the most beautiful bouquet of long stem red roses I have ever seen. Before I knew it he was on one knee with a gorgeous ring he designed for me in his hand and asked me to marry him! I screamed and said “yes” on the spot!

The ceremony
Both ceremony and reception took place at the Palos Verdes Beach Club, a private swim club located directly on the beach in the Palos Verdes peninsula and only a few minutes away from Cara’s parents’ home.  As guests arrived, they were treated to Sofia Mini Blanc de Blancs, and mini Power C Vitamin Water.  Guests seated in gold chiavari chairs facing a chuppah draped in white chiffon and garnished with blush colored roses and peonies; the Pacific Ocean lay as a backdrop.  The aisle was lined with tall glass hurricane candles and light pink rose petals.  The ceremony included Christian and Jewish traditions to honor both family religions.

Real Wedding Cara and Craig

Real Wedding: Cara and Craig

The reception
Dinner was served as the sun was setting, a spectacular back-drop for any outdoor event.  Our caterer brought in a huge grill and served up bbq tri-tip, chicken, and salmon, also including so many side dishes for our guests to enjoy such as sweet mashed potatoes, grilled asparagus and spicy peanut slaw.  Champagne was flowing all night long. The wedding cake was round tiered for 3 different flavors of cake (chocolate, red velvet and lemon) with butter cream frosting and finished with white chocolate ganache, it was simply decadent. The reception started with toasts and at the end of dinner, guests were asked to get the party started on the dance floor with “Hava Nagla” – which set the tone for a night of non-stop dancing under the stars.

Real Wedding Cara and Craig

Cara’s favorite detail
The gold chiavari chairs I rented for the ceremony and reception were by far my most favorite detail. Chairs were the one thing I insisted on “splurging” on – they had to be comfortable and beautiful and I wanted them to be my accent/statement piece for the wedding, which they most definitely were, since there were over 200 guests.  Gold brought out the best colors in my pink floral centerpieces, accented with ivory satin lamour table cloths and crushed gold napkins.

Real Wedding Cara and Craig

Advice for other brides
Keep your bridal party small – even if you have 20 “best friends,” everything leading up to your wedding day becomes so involved, that you really only need people around you that are drama free, willing to lend an ear (or a hand) and support you every step of the way.  I only asked 3 friends, my sister and Craig’s sister as bridesmaids, and it was the best decision I could have ever made.  We picked out dresses for them from Neiman Marcus by Marc Bouwer, and they were all so happy to be in a dress that they looked amazing in at my wedding!

Real Wedding Cara and Craig

Photography: Gabriel. Ryan. Photography.  (See their blog).
Cara’s Wedding Dress: Jim Hjelm JH8864