Maya and Jon’s Pacific Coast wedding in California was just a dream! They were hitched on the 22nd September 2018 at Chalk Ranch, hosting their day held outside with views of the sea. It was so romantic.
There are so many wonderful moments from their wedding enjoy. The flower Grandmas really made a special start to their ceremony, scattering petals down the aisle. Then there was a very special first look and dining beneath the stars. Of course their wedding style was perfect, blue hues and gorgeous attire all round.
A huge thanks goes to Mallory Miya Photography for sharing these exquisite images. Wow.
In early December, Jon showed my dad the ring and asked for his permission. That day when Rick and Jon were spending time together, I showed up at the end. When I walked in the door, my dad said: ‘Congratulations, it’s beautiful!’ to me (referencing the ring and the proposal that hadn’t happened yet.). Hence, the secret was out! I patiently waited and the holidays came and went with no proposal. Then, on January 1st, Jon and I went on a New Year’s Day hike at Atrastradero preserve in Palo Alto. When we got to a bench half way through the hike, Jon proposed, I cried and we enjoyed the vistas and excitement. 5 hours later I was leaving for a solo trip to Fiji. Hence, we had to speedily tell family AND I had to leave the ring and my new fiance for a week! (Little did I know that Jon had been carrying the ring in his pocket for 2 weeks, waiting for the right moment!)
I always have loved nautical colours and themes so we incorporated lots of greens and blues found in the ocean and coastal landscapes. I kept calling our theme ‘coastal chic.’ Our décor was dictated by the beautiful environment surrounding our venue. We are both California natives so we wanted to incorporate the ocean (especially because our venue was right on the Pacific!), greenery, and nature as much as possible while still keeping it classy/sophisticated (ie. not too rustic).
The Planning Process
Jon’s family is from Texas and the South and he loves BBQ. He was set on having ribs as one of our wedding foods, even though for obvious *messy* reasons they aren’t a typical wedding choice. We ended up picking a total BBQ catering vendor. They ended up being a crowd pleaser and were fall off the bone. Towelettes were served for any mess.
Even though we didn’t do a bridal party, we still wanted to have a processional. No kids were at our wedding but I knew I still wanted to do flower girls. Hence, we did ‘Flower Grandmas.’ My 90-year-old plus grandmothers walked down the aisle, throwing rose petals, accompanied by my sister to help them stay steady on their feet. They were adorable and unexpected in the processional. This was undoubtedly a highlight for our guests. None of them had been to a wedding with flower grandmas before. This also provided a special way to include my grandmothers in the wedding planning process.
Our bar was a unique airstream trailer called ‘Bar Car’. We love to travel and camp so this was a fun touch to incorporate our passions. The beer taps were even straight off of the airstream!
From engagement day to wedding day was 9.5 months, pretty quick to plan a 130-person wedding! Because I had the venue already nailed down, I was able to immediately focus the wedding style around that. I had to be speedy though to make sure the vendors were locked in early as September is the busiest time for weddings in Northern California. Not having a wedding party helped to simplify things across the board.
We had been to a wedding with an incredible DJ/Musician (Golden Bell Music) and so I immediately knew who I wanted for our wedding music. My husband and I love Jazz so we requested a saxophonist/DJ. He played sax with contemporary pop music mixed in and he was a hit. We love Kygo so I wanted to make sure we had enough tropical house music mixed in along with wedding classics and jazz. Our friends loved him so much that they had him play at their wedding 8 months later.
Be sure to use our wedding checklist to organise your day!
The Connet’s (Jon’s parents) own a beautiful property on the coast off Pacific Coast Highway, halfway between Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay. Before we got engaged, we had talked about eloping (somewhere like Hawaii with close family only) but Jon’s parents pre-emptively offered their property as a venue and it’s too stunning to pass up. They host a lot of events (corporate retreats, commercial shoots, etc) at the property but had never hosted a wedding before.
Your Outfits & Accessories
My two good friends got their wedding dresses at Kinsley James in Walnut Creek (and I had accompanied them both there for fittings, dress selection). Hence, I knew immediately once engaged, that that would be my first stop. On the day I went with my sister and mother, a designer I had never heard of, Angel Rivera, was there doing a trunk show. I explained the bohemian, lacy, mermaid dress look I was going for and they mixed in 2 Angel Rivera dresses to my line up. When I tried them on, Angel himself helped style them on me and explained his vision when he created the dress. I ended up selecting one of those dresses that I tried on the very first day I looked. It was named ‘Exquisite’ and I love that I have photos of Angel himself adjusting the train while I marvelled at his creation on me for the first time. After I bought the dress, I saw on Angel Rivera’s Instagram that they posted sketches of dresses. I asked if they had a sketch of my dress, The Exquisite. They sent me a copy that was signed with a sweet note by Angel himself thanking me for choosing this dress for my special day. I ended up framing it and it’s a perfect reminder of the special ties to the designer.
Jon’s wore a Hugo Boss tuxedo and as a wedding gift, I gave him a Rolex Submariner watch.
I opted for a classic braided low updo and natural makeup, which was beautifully done by Kat of bfab!
Processional: Can’t Help Falling in Love with You – Sax
Bride’s Processional: Here comes the Sun – Beatles
Recessional: Just the Two of Us – Grover Washington feature Bill Withers
Grand Entrance: Nothing but the Best – Frank Sinatra
Cake Cutting: Van Morrison – Into The Mystic
First Dance: Ray LaMontagne, You are the Best Thing
Father-Daughter Dance: James Taylor – How Sweet it is to be Loved by You
Mother-Son Dance: Wildflowers – Tom Petty
First Open Dance Song: D.A.N.C.E – Justice
Last Dance Song: Never Let You Go by Kygo feat. John Newman
Mallory Miya is Maya’s childhood friend and soccer buddy growing up. It was a no-brainer having her on as our wedding photographer!
Dayna of Bella Florals was our florist who brought to life our coastal chic vision with cheerful coral, ivory, and greenery arrangements.
We had a delicious 3-tier cake made by SusieCakes, vanilla and coconut flavours!
The Details & Décor
The name cards were calligraphy on sea glass by Sabrina Verkamp on Etsy, and napkin rings were nautical rope (to stick to the coastal theme).
Tanzania, Africa. We did an incredible 1 week safari (3 parks with Abercrombie & Kent) and then went to Zanzibar for a 1 week stay at the Baraza Resort Zanzibar.
- Father of the groom, who is 6’6”, doing ‘the worm’ dance move on the dance-floor.
- Flipping the cocktail/appetizer hour to before the ceremony (due to the delayed arrival of the bus from San Francisco). Guests loved this!
- Bride getting stung by wasps under her dress during family photos – the ‘bees knees’ and having her friends ice them thereafter.
Advice For Other Couples
Don’t take the day (or timeline) too, too seriously. If things don’t go exactly as planned (like our cocktail hour flip due to traffic), treat it like an unexpected surprise.
Don’t drink like you would at someone else’s wedding. I intentionally only had a couple of drinks spread across the entire day and that meant I remembered everything in vivid detail and didn’t have a hangover the next day when we left for our mini moon.
Hire a videographer. I initially thought I only wanted a photographer but one of my friends told me her biggest wedding regret was not having a videographer document the day. I’m thrilled I took this advice because the day went by SO fast that it’s really fun to watch the footage and see all of the guests enjoying themselves and the behind the scenes moments that you were not a part of.
If your wedding is going to be slightly remote (or hard to reach with taxi, ride share), definitely organize round trip transportation for your guests. We had so many friends tell us that this made such a difference and they appreciated they didn’t have to arrange it themselves.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Mallory Miya Photography
X Doc the Shot
Halo Halo Productions
Two Perfect Events
Bright Event Rentals
How very special!
I cannot thank Maya and Jon enough for sharing their utterly gorgeous Pacific Coast wedding day with us.