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La Jolla Real Wedding


January 12, 2022
Words by Lauren Ertl
Photos courtesy of Carmen Santorelli Photography

Megan and Nicholas’s decision to tie the knot by the Pacific in La Jolla, CA (just outside of San Diego) was simple. They loved the location for its gorgeous weather year-round and for the opportunity to wed at La Valencia Hotel, also known as “The Pink Lady” for its warm color that gets enhanced by the sunset light. And while selecting the destination was no biggie, like many COVID-era weddings, most other aspects of their planning process were anything but.

Read more about the couple’s love story and destination wedding experience below!

Q: How did you meet?
A: The first time we really hung out together was at a work-group hike. After the hike, we all decided to get lunch and Nick likes to point out that, at this point, I asked for HIS number so that he wouldn’t get lost on the way to the restaurant. And that was that, we had our first date the following week.

Q: Why did you choose to do a destination wedding?
Like many couples this past 1.5 years, the pandemic really derailed our original wedding plans. The biggest impact was to our guest list in which we went from about 85 guests to 20. Because of this, we chose to do a destination wedding so that we could splurge on a nice location.

Q: How/why did you choose the location/destination? Did you run into any issues specific to this destination and how did you resolve them?
A: We specifically chose San Diego because the weather is always nice there and we really needed some guaranteed constant during COVID. We didn’t have any issues related to the location itself but because we had a destination/pandemic wedding, we chose to attempt to Zoom the ceremony for our friends and family back home. Unfortunately, we got several complaints after the fact that the quality of the Zoom call was poor but there was nothing that could be done and we had agreed beforehand to not worry about the Zoom aspect of the ceremony.

Q: What helped you the most in the planning process?
A: Our wedding planner, Kim Sisti, was our rock through the whole process. She created the entire vision and did all the work to execute it.

Q: Did you include any do-it-yourself projects in your wedding/reception?
A: Nope, we were never ones to have imagined this perfect day. In fact, we hired a wedding planner specifically because we had very few ideas (we are both engineers and do better with math and numbers than flowers and color palettes). It felt like the hardest part of the whole process was trying to communicate to Kim what we wanted because we didn’t know.

Q: How do you think your wedding would have been different had you not held it away from home?
A: I think we would have been a little more relaxed and not worried as much that we forgot something. But I think the fact that it was away from home made it more special because we didn’t go back to our typical habits as quickly and we could really continue to enjoy the start of our marriage.

Q: Overall, do you have any special advice you would like to share with our readers to help prepare them for their day?
A: We know it’s cliché, but we encourage you to not sweat the small stuff. Thinking back, I’m sure there were little things here and there that weren’t perfect or didn’t go as planned but we don’t remember any of those things. We just enjoyed the day and let things fall where they did and it all worked out.

Vendors: Photographer: Carmen Santorelli Photography; Event/Floral Designer: Sisti & Co.; Event Venue: La Valencia Hotel; Makeup Artist: The Hair and Makeup Box; Equipment Rentals: Bright Event Rentals; Linens and Coverings: La Tavola; Musicians: Shea Givens; Paper Props: Ngo IdeasCake: Michele Coulon Dessertier; Gown Designer: Martina LianaMen’s Clothing Designer: IndochinoBridesmaids Dresses: Birdy GreyBridal Boutique: The White Flower

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