By Way of Chicago: Laura and Phil’s Dream Beach Wedding

MJP-0387An October Wedding:  ceremony along Hwy 1 on the beach and reception at the Seymour Marine Center operated by UCSC.  Romantic, fun, local and cool quirky!



Chicago to barefoot on the beach to fancy dress dining, dessert and dancing all night long!  Laura and Phil set out to have a destination wedding for all their friends and family and what they got was just that AND so much more!  These two love birds will be a record setter for longevity and love in a relationship and like most couples, as much love as they share, they have different ideas of their actual wedding day.   


A love story…..  having lost her Mom and her brother a year of each other, it was important for Laura to celebrate the ceremony of her wedding with a smaller group.  HER vision was: MJP-0190getting some alone time with Dad before the ceremony (they rented a Tesla because they’re rad like that).  They drove up the coast to a small (teeny and adorable) town 20 minutes outside Santa Cruz, enjoying the views and sharing memories and the future she was about to begin.  They arrived at the beach, which is where she ‘needed’ to be on her wedding day!  Looking amazing in her wedding dress and her Dad as well in that suit of his.  Getting out of the car, locals began smiling and congratulating her while she made her way to the sands edge.  Seeing that ocean view took her breath away and in front of this back drop was her very closest family and friends and there…….. was her Phil, with a big smile on his face.  As she paused at the top of the aisle, she said, “OMG, isn’t this so beautiful?!?”  I think she actually SAW each guest there as she walked up the sand aisle.   



The ceremony was filled with personal touches for both of them.  A Balloon release for her Mom and one for her brMJP-0241other, standing next to each other shoulder to shoulder so they could see each guest, handwritten note cards that the guests filled out there and put in a special wooden box Phil made, having a fun and funny friend leading ceremony and the stomping of the kiddish cup – Mazel tov!!!   Their favorite coordinators (smile) poured champagne for all 30 and Laura and Phil stayed with their friends to receive this pouring of love and affection!  The sun decided to come out mid way through ceremony so it made for unbelievable photos!  That only happens with true love.




Moving to Phil’s vision:  he is a graduate of UCSC, yes, home of the banana slug and marine wild life and one of the most beautiful campuses that exist along with some of the smartest folks on Earth!  (okay, there is a little biasm there)  There is a local Marine and Wildlife Center thMJP-0486at overlooks an untouched part of the Monterey Bay.  This is where Phil wanted his wedding day to take place.  So……. as it is about creating a day for TWO visions to merge, this is where the party kicked it up a notch!  Guests arrived not by way of front door but along the coast path that found its way to the outdoor patio where cocktails and appetizers were served.  Laura and Phil arrived and they were ready to party so they took their champagne and made there way along this protected path along the bluff capturing every minute of ocean and …. more ocean.   As they got closer to the Shipwreck Deck (patio) they were announced “Grandly” by a good friend.  Friends cheered and there they were greeted by guests that journeyed out to California to celebrate their wedding day!  ALL vendors were local and gave the guests the best taste of the California Coast!  Some musicians from UCSC played for over an hour before we sat for dining.  





We were very creative with how to seat 80 in the Exhibit Hall.  There we had food stations and while guests were eating, we had some of the best toasts that kept everyone laughing and crying in joy and good memories past and future.   Formal dances moved into the La Feliz “lounge”, which was a conference room completely transformed for a romantic reception.  Laura and Phil aren’t big on wedding “cake” so we had BEER floats using a dark delicious beer over ice cream and all the toppings!  Have a little beer, Have a little ice-cream – no matter how you do it, it’s fun for everyone!




Endless and endless celebrating continued into the evening.  Laura and Phil were able to say goodbye to each guest and after…… the party continued.  Congratulations to a nurse, a small business owner, lovers of life and each other – Cheers to you Laura and Phil!!!  It’s a weekend of fun that we will all remember forever!  Stay warm in Chicago with all the love you shared for your wedding here in California!




A link for more photos coming soon!

Photography by Michael James Photography

Flowers by Karla’s Creations

Music by the UCSC Jazz group

DJ: DJ Sparke

Venue:  Davenport Landing & the UCSC Seymour Marine Center

Planning & Day of Coordination by Weddings by Aimée

Local wedding weekend itinerary by Weddings by Aimée

Lighting & Wooden Benches for ceremony by a local Party Store – professional resource.