Tanguy ("Nick") and I were friends for years before falling in love. We moved from NYC to Southern California together in 2014 to pursue new professional opportunities and in our first year living in California, we had no shortage of visitors come out to see us. We had a couple of "tours" we would take friends and family on when introducing them to the area, and the itinerary usually included a Duffy Boat ride around Newport Harbor and/or a drink at the beautiful Montage property in Laguna Beach. There was usually a meal at Javier's involved as well. On my birthday in late 2014, Tanguy proposed on a Duffy Boat in Newport Harbor.
With Tanguy being from Belgium and New York, and my being from Oklahoma, and our friends and family scattered throughout the U.S. (and Europe), it wasn't clear where we should get married. We settled on where we were starting our life together and where we already had enjoyed so many fond memories with our loved ones. The wedding weekend itinerary essentially followed the tour we had constructed for our out of town guests and included all of our favorite spots and activities. For our reception, we landed on the Montage in Laguna Beach for its impeccable service and breathtaking views overlooking the cliffs.
Since Southern California has so much to offer in terms of beautiful weather and countless activities, we wanted everyone to enjoy the area we had quickly fallen in love with. For our wedding and reception, the vibe we channeled was one of sophistication yet California cool. In planning our wedding, Tanguy and I agreed on most all of the major details including having a smaller wedding and being married in a church, but each had certain deal breakers as well, and it was funny to learn what those were for each of us. For me, I wanted a seated dinner and for the food to be delicious. Anyone who knows me knows that I love the experience of dining, especially with great company. Tanguy, on the other hand, channeled his energy into the band and music lineup and, after a lot of coaxing, convinced me that our first dance should be choreographed. We danced to a mash-up of Elvis Presley and Queen and it was so much fun! Hearing our family and friends singing along to the music and cheering for us is a memory we'll never forget.
We followed tradition on most details, but also made some adjustments to make the day more personal. For one, I wanted each of my four parents (two by birth, two by marriage) to play a special role in the wedding. We also wanted to pay tribute to Tanguy's late father and honor his Belgian heritage. Sabreing a bottle of champagne is both a long-held tradition in Europe and a party trick Tanguy's father loved to perform when he entertained friends. Lastly, our beloved French Bulldog, Beatrice, made a surprise appearance at the reception. Despite being a typically aloof bulldog, she is actually smiling in our wedding photos!
Words cannot describe the feeling of being surrounded by your family and closest friends and feeling their support at such a monumental moment. It's a feeling of love that is both humbling and uplifting, and one that we will cherish forever.
Wedding Planner: Lisa Gorjestani | Church: St. Mary's Episcopal Church | Reception Venue: Montage Laguna Beach | Catering: Montage Laguna Beach | Florals: Mark's Garden | Hair: Trina Duarte | Makeup: Stephanie Barnes | Paper Goods: Papel Paper & Press | Bride's Gown: Monique Lhuillier | Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Groom's Attire: Canali | Lighting: Images | Linens: La Tavola | Rentals: Signature Party Rentals | Ceremony & Reception Music: Clover String Quartet | Party Band: Play