Coastal California and Italian Countryside Meld in Laguna Beach Wedding Day

Real Wedding
Villa Como proved to be the ideal seaside backdrop for Charlotte and John to tie the knot with an all-white wedding design.
Written by
Emily Sweet

Charlotte Hayward and John Powers Jr. wed in early September overlooking the Pacific Ocean at a grandiose private estate in Laguna Beach with a European ambience. The duo initially met at orientation while pursuing their MBAs in Malibu, and John popped the question a few years later on a private beach in Santa Barbara with a showcase of candles, white roses and champagne. Charlotte had always dreamed of a white wedding day set in a unique locale that was reminiscent of the Italian countryside; it was also a goal to pay homage to the California coast with infusions of west coast style. She expanded on the details of the day, "Villa Como is a luxurious Italian-style private estate nestled in the hills of Dana Point with an expansive view of the ocean. We were mesmerized by the extensive garden spaces, elegant fountains, reflection pool, marble sculptures and grand waterfalls. Our entire wedding was fully outdoors – we had a majestic oceanfront backdrop for our ceremony, beautiful poolside views during cocktail hour, dining al fresco reception and we danced under the stars on a glossy white dance floor. Our design focused on timeless elegance – candelabras and floating candles, white florals everywhere, minimal greenery and a touch of glamour. It was pure magic in a truly idyllic setting."

Charlotte wore a breathtaking Galia Lahav gown that melded allure and sophistication with luxurious textures and embellishments, and a cathedral-style veil with floral detailing tied the look together with a dramatic touch. The bridal party was a vision in crisp hues of black and white, which made for an elevated, clean take on traditional formality. Bridesmaids' were a particular delight in minimalistic white satin gowns that offered a lovely contrast in texture to our bride's more opulent style. Flora and décor largely embraced the day's color theme of white, but also integrated pops of gold to add hints of glam. Romance was a motif of the day, and a standout moment for the couple was Charlotte's dramatic walk down the aisle to a live violin rendition of “Can’t Help Falling In Love," where our couple saw each other for the first time after deciding last minute not to do a first look. As another memorable addition to their nuptials, John and Charlotte's puppy Hunter was an adorable "honorary groomsmen" adorned in a floral collar that got to partake in the ceremony. Details at the reception also paid homage to him with the "Huntini" serving as one of the night's signature drinks. The evening was a lovely blend of elevated coastal and charming European style that allowed our couple to perfect every detail, even their wedding cake was designed based off of the texture from Charlotte's gown. A final addition to the day was a tribute to John's time serving as a Marine Captain, toward the end of the night the groom changed into his uniform for heartwarming portraits and cut the wedding cake with his Marine Mameluke sword. 

Our vision for the wedding was to harmonize with the natural surroundings of Villa Como, rather than compete with it. We chose a soft white color palette with minimal touches of gold to give off a glow. The property was covered in enchanting candles, fairytale lights and beautiful blooms.
— Bride Charlotte 

City State:

Laguna Beach, CA


Southern CA







Wedding Planning
Wedding Planning
Private Estate
Signage + Invitations
Signage + Invitations
Signage + Invitations
Signage + Invitations
Bridal Attire
Bridal Accessories
Groom's Attire
Groomsmen's Attire
Groom's Accessories
Bridesmaids' Attire
Hair + Accommodations
Wedding Submission Services