Destination I Do

Real Life Wedding in Half Moon Bay

Words by Jennifer Stein
Over the Moon in Half Moon Bay
By Erin Marrujo
Brent and Michelle met while doing tsunami relief work in Southern Thailand during college. The two come from completely different beginnings - Brent born and raised in small town Iowa and Michelle from the large city of Phoenix - creating a unique relationship from the start.
Although the two have different backgrounds, their love of travel and the geographic distance between their home towns made a destination wedding an easy choice. Brent and Michelle felt that a traditional wedding wouldn’t have truly represented who they are, and they wanted their union to be memorable and authentic. The next step was simply finding the right destination.
The couple was engaged in the Napa Valley area. They preferred to have their festivities take place somewhere a bit quieter and on the coast, with the possibility of incorporating a dinner cruise. Northern California seemed like the perfect place, and after many hours of online research, the couple discovered Half Moon Bay.
Most of the planning and work for the wedding was done by them with plenty of help from their immediate families. A small guest list of immediate family attended the wedding so that the couple would be free to spend quality time with those closest to them. Both families stayed at Cypress Inn, a bed and breakfast overlooking the

The rehearsal dinner took place on a dinner cruise, complete with wine pairings as a sort of commemoration of the couple’s Napa engagement.


The setting for the ceremony was a small garden just of


f the water called the Hastings House. The couple chose simple, bright flowers that went along with the brilliant colored sashes adorning the women’s dresses as well as the men’s bold colored dress shirts.
The wedding began with a sand ceremony symbolizing their union. They opted for this over the more traditional candle lighting because it would be something they could take home with them as a memory and symbol for many years to come. The couple wrote their own vows, adding to the intimacy of the already very private ceremony.
The reception was held in a private room of a local restaurant, the Pasta Moon. The five-course meal was enjoyed in a small setting, so the bride and groom were able to talk to all of their guests after their ceremony. Following dinner, the couple took a 1938 Rolls-Royce to San Francisco where they spent the rest of the evening.


Overall, the couple’s favorite part about their wedding was the overall intimacy of the day. By keeping their guest list small and everything intimate, they created an experience that was not only meaningful to them but to their guests as well.




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