Nikki + Justin by Foolishly Rushing In

We kept the colour palette neutral because the entire hotel is painted pink!

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love…

From Groom: Growing up I was always a bit of a mix between a nerd and an athlete. I’ve been into computers and technology my whole life, but at the same time I’m very competitive and really enjoy being outdoors. Today I’m a computer programmer that loves playing video games with friends, the NBA and road trips with my wife and dog.

From Bride: I am an attorney, which takes up a lot of my time! When I’m not doing that, I love to spend time outdoors, in the sunshine, and with friends and family. I also enjoy creative things (fashion, interior design, music and the occasional DIY project) and getting in some movement (I will try any fitness class)!

How/where/when did you meet – and what were your first impressions?

We met on the swim team at the University of Southern California when Justin was a senior and Nikki was a freshman. It wasn’t quite love at first sight, but it wasn’t long to love either. Nikki was immediately drawn to Justin’s humor and vibrant personality. Meanwhile Justin was a little skeptical that a freshman could be so smart and cute, but soon we were talking everyday and haven’t stopped since 🙂

When did you first realise that this was someone you’d like to spend the rest of your life with?

From Groom: Early on in our relationship Nikki went to Australia to study abroad for a semester. We had only been dating for a couple months and transitioning to a long distance so early in the relationship was really hard. Being in completely different time zones and thousands of miles apart put a different perspective on everything and when Nikki got back from Australia I knew I never wanted to be apart again.

From Bride: When I was in law school, we took a weekend trip to Yosemite and went on (what was supposed to be) an 8 mile hike. We started before sunrise and reached the peak earlier than expected, so we decided to extend our route. The hike ended up being about 25 miles (which was much longer than we thought) and we didn’t finish until the sun was down. This hike was truly a journey but Justin was so supportive and somehow had me laughing and smiling the whole way through.

Was there a proposal? Tell us a little about it…

We live in San Francisco with our golden doodle, Baxter, and we take him everywhere. Justin had promised Nikki that Baxter would be at the proposal, but had developed a plan to throw Nikki off a bit. With the help of her brother, Justin set up a decoy plan where Nikki believed she was going wine tasting in Napa with her brother and friends and that the wineries were not dog friendly. So we asked Nikki’s best friend to watch Baxter for the day, but she was really just taking Baxter to meet up with Nikki’s family who had flown up to surprise her. We decided to meet up with our “friends” at our neighborhood coffee shop before heading to Napa, which requires us to walk though our favorite park that has an amazing view of the Golden Gate Bridge. On the walk over, Justin popped the question and then Nikki’s family, best friend, and our dog all ran out to surprise her!

Tell us about the vision you had for the mood or style of your wedding.

We really wanted our wedding to be a reflection of us and were so inspired by our venue, the La Valencia Hotel. When we first visited, we felt like we were transported back in time to somewhere in Europe and loved the idea of getting married at a historic hotel. Justin had grown up in San Diego and while he had driven past the hotel many times, he had never stepped until we visited for a tour. We were instantly drawn to the Spanish style architecture and touch of Old Hollywood that has made the hotel so iconic. Nikki has always been drawn to organic and natural design elements, but also wanted our wedding design to be thoughtful, sophisticated, and timeless. The La Valencia was the perfect backdrop and we wanted to lean in to some of the stunning qualities of the venue – we kept the color palette more neutral with moments of olive green, because the entire hotel is painted pink! We also loved the dramatic black and white marble tile floors in the reception space and decided to anchor the reception design with black + neutral colored chairs and a black fluted DJ booth. Since we are both swimmers who grew up in Southern California – getting married by the water felt right and we were intentional about not doing too much to the altar space so everyone could take in the gorgeous ocean views. We are so thankful for our incredible wedding planner, Laura at Moon Velvet Studios, for making our vision come to life!

What was one element you were happy to splurge on?

Photography!! The entire wedding day is so overwhelming it becomes difficult to truly remember everything, so photos were extremely important to us. Also even if you have the best memory you simply cannot be everywhere at once and good photographers will make sure to capture things you may have missed.

Tell us about your main outfits, what was unique, is there a story?

The Groom: Because the La Valencia has an Old Hollywood feel, we wanted to keep some of that and decided to go with a classic Black tux! We also got a custom tuxedo harness for our dog Baxter.

The Bride: I went to 3 dress shops with my mom, sister and two bridesmaids. I was so torn because I loved trying on all of the dresses and loved dresses with very different styles. I ended up choosing a minimal, strapless gown from Sarah Seven that had varying sizes of pearls sewn all over the dress (for a little fun!)

CEREMONY & RECEPTION La Valencia Hotel — La Jolla, CA, @lavalenciahotel FLORIST Brit Floral, @britfloral PHOTOGRAPHER Foolishly Rushing In, @foolishlyrushingin OFFICIANT Theodore Singley, @tingley7 PLANNER Laura Garcia – Moon Velvet Studio, @moonvelvetstudio HAIR & MAKEUP Natalie Payne, @natpaynemua BRIDAL DRESS & SHOP Sarah Seven, @sarahseven PARTY DRESS Retrofete, @retrofete BRIDESMAID DRESS V. Chapman, @vchampanstudio; Lulus, @lulus, Show Me Your Mumu, @showmeyourmumu TUX Suit Supply, @suitsupply GROOMSMEN TUX The Black Tux, @theblacktux GROOM’S ACCESSORIES The Black Tux, @theblacktux VEIL Sarah Seven, @sarahseven EARRINGS Nadri, @nadrijewelry RINGS Yadav Jewelry, @yadavjewelry SHOES Jimmy Choo, @jimmychoo CAKE Susie Cakes, @susiecakesbakery BRIDAL & GROOM GETTING READY HQ La Valencia Hotel, @lavalenciahotel INVITATIONS & DAY OF PAPER Camellia & Co, @camelliaandco ENTERTAINMENT Reception – Dart Collective, @dartcollective