Intimate sunset beach wedding ceremony in La Jolla, California
Melissa met Mari in 2014 when she attended one of Mari’s work out classes in San Clemente, California. After several classes, they started chatting and realized they shared a love for football. Mari is from a small town in Washington called Yakima, so she is a Seahawks fan from birth. Melissa grew up in Orange County and had no ties to any football team until college when she became a Steelers fan. (Although she went to UCSD, the Chargers never won her over).
One day as they were gearing up for pre-season football, Mari asked Melissa to go with her to a Seahawks/Chargers game (even though Melissa despised both teams). Decked out in her Steelers gear, Melissa drove with Mari for a weekend trip to San Diego. It was the first time we ever hung together outside of the gym. It was on this trip that they learned the most about each other and became instant friends.
It wasn’t until 2017 that their friendship blossomed into something more, Over the course of three years, through travel adventures, master’s programs and late-night talks, Melissa and Mari knew they wanted more out of their friendship. Finally, in 2017, Mari decided to share her feelings on a trip to Cancun and they have been together ever since.
According to Melissa, “There have been some major obstacles for us to overcome, mostly because this is both Mari and I’s first same-sex relationship, which was extremely difficult for some people (including family) to accept. But despite these challenges, building a life together has been so easy! And even on our toughest days, what keeps us going is that we love to laugh and we don’t ourselves too seriously. We love to be in the moment and be authentically ourselves! And that is what we are trying to bring to our big day.”
Melissa and Mari decided to host a small thirteen-person wedding in La Jolla, California, at Windandsea beach and a small reception on the rooftop of a private residence just walking distance from the ceremony site.
Their style was “tequila and tacos on china.” They wanted to have a balance of casual and elegant. They wanted the ceremony and first look to feel intimate and romantic, but wanted the after-party to be a party. The marriers did DIY snacks, signs, music, flowers and flatware. Even Melissa’s wedding ring was a family heirloom with lots of love extended from Mari’s late grandmother.
Photographer: Paul Douda Photography
Venue: Windandsea Beach
Dress Store: Davids Bridal
Dress Designer: BHLDN
Makeup Artist: Mobile Beauty Team
Bakery: Churros El Tigre
Caterer: Gringas Tacos and Catering
Specialty Foods: The Martini Agents
Alaina Leary Lavoie
The Wedding Biz Podcast
- Beautifully gothic Texas wedding with creative details
- Fortune Feimster marries Jacquelyn Smith in intimate beach wedding
- How to create an inclusive wedding for hearing-impaired and deaf guests
- Pope Francis endorses civil unions for same-sex couples
- Brian + Brett: Hudson Valley garden wedding with shades of purple
- 5 reasons to hire a gay photographer for your LGBTQ+ wedding
- PFLAG + OREO debut Proud Parent film and rainbow cookies
- Supreme Court justices set stage to end marriage equality
- Love Conquers All wedding giveaway theme revealed: Black is Queen
- Mashaun + Elvis: Georgia wedding with amethyst and aquamarine birthstone colors