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Sea of Love: Sail Away With These Fresh Oceanic Takes On Reception Décor

By: 
Lara M. Burnap

California’s Pacific Ocean is a constant muse for wedding design. From harborside happenings with nautical touches to barefoot celebrations in the sand to bohemian fêtes atop rugged sea cliffs, these inspired event designs breathe new life into a well-loved trend.

Cool Tides
by Shannon Leahy Events

Gray marine layers and rocky coastlines set the tone for this beach design by San Francisco’s Shannon Leahy Events. “The laid-back elegance and muted tones of the Northern California coastline have always been such an inspiration for me,” explains Leahy. “We wanted the design to blend effortlessly with the environment and create a soft, subdued tone that was sophisticated and approachable.” As a nod to the shimmering shells found on the beach, Leahy opted for a tranquil tabletop design with white abalone place settings and softly hued flora in subtle sunset shades. The invitation suite evokes the sea with silvery-gray shades and textural details, such as a delicate wave pattern embossed onto the paper and salt crystals embedded in the wax seal. A textured cake pays homage to the ripples of ocean currents and sand.

Planning and Design: Shannon Leahy Events Photography: Larissa Cleveland Photography Dinner chairs/ceremony benches: Theoni Collection Cake: Jasmine Rae Cakes Invitations: Elsa Madeline Design Floral design: Flower Wild  Location: Laguna Beach  Tabletop rentals, hurricane lamps, votive candles: The Ark Table linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Table rental: Classic Party Rentals 

Coastal Boho
by Leilani Weddings

Orange County’s Leilani Weddings took inspiration from the Aventura Ocean Club in Dana Point to create this fresh and airy design with a touch of bohemian charm. A coastal palette of blue sets the scene with silk runners and navy goblets, which mingle with sea-evoking details, such as the textured place mats, pampas grass flourishes and white linen napkins cinched with rope. Unable to find the perfect details elsewhere, designer Annie Rodriguez hand-painted the plates, white champagne flutes and table numbers.  

Planning and design: Leilani Weddings Cake and Desserts: Simply Sweet Cakery Dessert display: Forrest and DJ, Midnight Confetti, Cherished Rentals Floral Design: Florally Ever After Furniture and lounge: Collective Rentals Linens: Wildflower Linen Photography: Christine Skari Photography Pipe and drape: OC Pipe and Drape Signage: Jen Simpson Design Tableware: Cherished Rentals, Ikea Vintage Decor: Sweet Salvage Vintage Rentals

Rugged Waters
by Amber Events

Drawing inspiration from a photo featured in a 1974 issue of Vogue Paris of a model in a green velvet bikini and cape, Debby Boh of Amber Events took the moody shot and translated it to a wedding design set on the shores of Laguna Beach. Boh opted for a deep emerald velvet runner and green feathered place mats to serve as the foundation of the design. She then introduced elegant gold accents, such as the collection of candlesticks in various sizes, and gold-rimmed glass goblets, chargers and flatware, while subtly weaving in marine details, such as the coral napkin rings and golden clamshell filled with berries. Vibrant pink florals add a spark of color to the setting, while the simple yet stunning watercolored cake, with berries on top and surrounded by moss, instills a moody element.

Planning and design: Amber Events Photography: Nicole Colwell Photography  Cake: Chantel and Bella Calligraphy: P and H Chalk Floral design: Blue Ladder Botany Linens: Daniel’s Custom Tailoring Rentals: Out of the Dust Rentals

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