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Destination I Do
Wednesday, March 4, 2015

A Sentimental San Diego Wedding

Words by Natalie Long
Photos courtesy of Kristina Lee Photography

This Arizonian couple had a fresh, contemporary wedding overlooking the coastline of the serene Pacific Ocean.

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“Holding the most important ceremony of our lives near the ocean, bay and marina offered us a connection to our roots, as well as a beautiful backdrop,” says the couple. “In the non-romantic sense, as a same-sex couple, we had to travel to a state in which our marriage would be legally recognized. But with that reality, we also valued the importance of a location that reflects both of our backgrounds and origins as children.”

“We both believe strongly that our friends are our family, and we are very lucky to have a network of intimate friends who value and believe in our relationship – so anywhere we would hold the wedding, we knew that our close friends would literally drop everything and simply say – where and when and we will be there,” says the couple.

Oscar and Gary struggled with the planning process when they didn’t receive any responses from some San Diego wedding coordinators, so they did the coordinating on their own. “The San Diego market is a very laid-back coastal community, so there is no sense of urgency in the industry,” says the couple. “It made it challenging to get timely responses and confirmations in coordination...”

“Since we did not have a rehearsal dinner, we chose to hold what we called our ‘bachelor cocktail party’ on the evening prior to the wedding,” says the couple. “At the Hilton San Diego Bayfront, we had our entire guest list join us for cocktails and tapas on the private half-circle balcony jutting from the side of the hotel, overlooking the bay.”

The ceremony was intimate and the design aspect was fresh and contemporary as the guests sat beachfront on crystal ghost chairs. “Without family at the ceremony, and avoiding traditions set for opposite sex couples, we wanted to include our closest friends to present the two grooms for marriage,” says the Oscar and Gary.  

“To note the cultural mixing, we asked another couple of Anglo and Latin backgrounds to read a verse in both Spanish and English, representing the diversity of culture in this marriage,” says the couple. “At the conclusion of the ceremony, we loved the tradition in the Jewish culture of breaking the glass, but we wanted to take it to a different level. We wrote on cards several myths and negatives that we wanted to crush and ‘break’ – so our friends read aloud each item and put them into a bag with the glass – which we then broke by foot. The overall impact of the ceremony was one of embrace, love and hope.”

“One of our favorite moments was driving in the classic convertible along Orange Avenue and coming over the crest of the street to the reception at the historic boathouse, to see all of our guests standing and waving to greet the new grooms at the reception. It was exhilarating and emotional all at once.” This destination wedding celebrated the blending of two unique cultures, leaving the couple and guests with a beautiful day they won’t soon forget.

Vendors: Photographer: Kristina Lee Photography, Rehearsal Cocktails: Tracy vanDam Fotografie, Wedding and Reception: Kristina Lee Photography, Ceremony Site: Centennial Park, Reception Site: Bluewater Boathouse, Florist: Flowers By Erin, Grooms’ Clothing Designer: SuitSupply, Wedding Consultant: Angelic Grove, Cake: Extraordinary Desserts, Dessert Table provided by: Sweets Table by Micheline Etkin, Ghost Chair Rentals by: Raphael’s Party Rentals, Parasols and Fans by: Paper Lantern Store and Car Transportation provided by: Haynes Antique Car Chauffeuring.

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