A Timeless, Coastal Chic Wedding
Updated: Aug 23
When Alexis and Nathan got engaged on New Year’s Eve of 2019, like many of us, they had no idea what the coming year would have in store. The couple set a summer wedding date just several months later in order to accommodate their demanding work and study schedules, knowing that a precise and organized plan would be key to celebrating their big day. The arrangement of the event was truly a family affair and reflected their southern California roots, as well as the bride’s penchant for blue and white and Chinoiserie décor. The result was a timeless and elegant celebration with rustic touches, exemplified by flawless attention to detail that belied their condensed planning timeline — as well as a few unforeseen challenges.
Letterworth Design was honored to be asked to design the couple's Save the Date announcement mere days after their engagement. We were provided with general direction consisting of a color palette and a request to incorporate coastal elements such as seashells and set out to create a card that not only captured the couple's style but set the tone for the overall concept of their event, as well as the formal wedding invitation to follow. We combined rustic florals such as eucalyptus and blue thistle with traditional roses in our watercolor artwork and used a contemporary color palette of indigo and dusty blues with silvery greens. The incorporation of roses was also a nod to the modern rose embroidery that adorned the bride’s bespoke lace gown and veil. As a coastal reference, we chose the scallop shell, symbolizing each individual's journey as part of the human condition. A pair of shells signified the joining of two journeys and the couple’s commitment to walk on a common path together in marriage. When designing the full wedding invitation suite, we expanded on these elements to create a cohesive stationery collection.
As the weeks passed quickly and the details of Alexis and Nathan's wedding continued to fall into place, the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic presented a number of unexpected hurdles. The institution of local and state public health regulations prompted a last-minute change of venue as well as modifications to the floral plan and event setup to accommodate social distancing. Ingenuity and creativity spurred by necessity gave rise to clever solutions that the couple and their families approached with the same sensibility and graciousness that shaped their initial plan.
The bride’s parents’ beautiful home served as both ceremony and reception venue and was transformed into a sophisticated floral paradise, rivaled only by the property’s stunning canyon and ocean views, the day’s perfect weather, and the radiant joy of the happy couple. Floral arrangements incorporating white and ivory roses, blue delphiniums, hydrangeas, forget-me-nots, and eucalyptus artfully adorned willow arches and arbors as well as the reception tables. Crystal chandeliers suspended above the yard provided literal and figurative high drama when juxtaposed against soft blue linen-covered tables and tortoiseshell bamboo chairs. The wedding ceremony was officiated by the bride’s brother as a small gathering of family and friends donning fabric masks looked on, while other guests viewed remotely via a live video stream.
As an alternative to a traditional guest book, well wishes were scribed on small wooden hearts and slipped into a custom made shadow box frame. A selection of photos from the couple’s “timeline” was displayed on rustic clip frames along the length of the gift table.
The table settings were a combination of refined and rustic elegance and incorporated an eclectic mix of vintage and new blue and white china pieces as well as ginger jars from the mother of the bride's personal collection. Luxury linen napkins in a blue and white damask pattern and marble chargers completed the look.
Table numbers were displayed on handcrafted wooden easels, and place cards featured scallop shell and floral artwork with guests’ names printed in a modern script using deep blue ink.
Small pieces of vintage coral, symbolizing happiness and good fortune, were presented to guests as a keepsake of the event and also served as a coastal-inspired element at each place setting.
Guests were treated to delectable culinary fare including a tiered cake that also incorporated coastal details and a touch of blue and white.
It was a true privilege to contribute to Alexis and Nathan's wedding this summer. As 2020 draws nearer to its close and we all continue to navigate toward a “new normal,” we are reminded that in the current sea of change and unpredictability, there are certain things that do remain as constant anchors: the unconditional love of family; cherished memories of the past; the joy to be found in even the smallest things today; and hope for what lies ahead tomorrow. This couple's wedding day embodied these sentiments on many levels, and we at Letterworth Design wish them continued happiness in this next chapter of their lives together.
Thank you to Frank Salas Photography for masterfully capturing our stationery design work and granting permission to share the images that appear in this post.