After 30 days of intense planning, newlyweds Karina and Mark finally tied the knot — and ended up experiencing one of the memorable evenings of their lives. Sure, there were a couple of glitches along the way (inevitable with any grand event, really), but they were all minor compared to the magical vibe that took place on this highly anticipated day. As Karina says: “The wedding managed to hit the right notes of traditional, timeless elegance yet still have humour and our own personalities infused throughout.”
Here’s a roundup of what worked well, what needed work (the weather conditions!), plus some shocking revelations about the couple we thought we knew so well:
Karina is pregnant! The couple slapped a “Baby On Board” sticker onto Karina’s back for the recessional, figuring that would be the best way to share the happy news with their guests. It was a total hit and we have a feeling this little story will be told in wedding circles for years to come. (They’re expecting this fall)
Mark has a massive “Karina Forever” tattoo sprawled across his chest! Alright, it’s really just a fake tattoo, but the shock value was still there when Mark ripped open his shirt during the wedding speech to reveal it to the crowd (they, of course, didn’t know it rubs off). “I’ve never laughed so hard in all my life,” says Karina.
Praying for sunshine does NOT equal sunshine. “If we could have changed one single thing it would have been the weather,” says Karina. “It was one of those rare, gloomy California days where the sky was overcast and grey, and the ocean was not the wonderful blue with rolling surf that it had been on our numerous trips there in previous years.” Luckily, it didn’t rain and the ceremony still took place outdoors — a major plus for Karina, who admits she got teary-eyed after looking out the window in the morning.
The band rocked. Hiring a five-piece band (Woodie and the Longboards) felt like a splurge, but having a Beach Boys cover band play note-perfect renditions of the couple’s favourite 60s American surf music served as the ideal soundtrack to their nuptials. For a nice personal touch, Mark chose a song to accompany each bridal-party member down the aisle (The Beach Boys’ “Don’t Worry Baby” for himself; The Beatles’ “Here There and Everywhere” for Karina).
Rabbi Barry rocked. You’ll recall that Karina and Mark had a tough time connecting with Rabbi Barry, who would officiate their wedding. In the end, he came through with flying colours, and the couple cannot say enough good things about him. (P.S. They went for the clear chuppah.)
TIP: Always meet with your officiant face-to-face before the big day to ensure a more personal ceremony.
The Internet is our friend… So much of Karina’s wedding research was done online and, as it turns out, she was thrilled with all of her online ‘finds.’ The hair and makeup artist, Katie from Beauty and the Beach, did a terrific job. The cake by Sweet Gems was gorgeous and, incredibly, it was ordered just five days before the actual event (the accompanying cake stand by Raise the Cake was equally as beautiful).
TIP: Splurge on a trial hair and makeup session before your wedding day to determine the exact look you’re hoping to attain.
…But sometimes local vendors are the best. Karina and Mark flew down their own photographer, Douglas Foulds, to capture their event. “He is now a cherished friend and we are so blessed to have had him shoot our wedding and be part of our big day,” she says. They also brought down their own floral designers to work with local wholesalers in another studio. It was a bit of an insane thing to do, admits Karina, but it was well worth it in the end. “The flowers were beyond perfect,” she says. Ditto the linens.
Go with your gut. Karina and Mark ended up with a guest count of 40 — way more than they had anticipated. Sandy at the Surf and Sand Resort felt that they should move the reception to a larger room to accommodate the larger crowd, but Karina felt it lacked charm. As Karina explains: “I had still not decided until the morning of and then, on instinct, I said, ‘I don’t care if it’s tight. Small is good and suits the function. I’m going for intimate.’” The hotel staff thought she was crazy but it was the right decision in the end. “I have a great feel for these things and sometimes, even if the venue [staff] thinks they know best, you’ve got to challenge it.”
Planning a wedding in 30 days is exhausting. Especially a destination wedding. It entailed a lot of hard work, yet Karina and Mark didn’t want to miss out on any of the finer details, nor did they want to surrender control to a local wedding planner. So they busted their butts to make it work (a pregnant Karina slept for just seven hours total in the three nights preceding her wedding!). Was it worth it? “Absolutely!” says Mark, who admits that he’ll never forget the expression of delight on each face as they climbed the stairs to see the breathtaking view of the ocean. Adds Karina: “It was truly the best gift we could have given our families and the finest gift we could have received. Mark’s sister loved every minute of it, and my parents were over the moon.”
TIP: Three months is the right amount of time in which to plan a wedding, according to Karina. “ It remains exciting for the bride and groom and their families, as well as the guests, and prevents that horrible sense of ‘wedding fatigue’ from setting in.”
Keeping it real. At the end of the day, it’s the overall ‘vibe’ that what will make or break a wedding — something that simply cannot be planned in advance. In Karina and Mark’s case, their family and friends made it a night to remember. Guests included comedienne Carla Collins and her husband, Tyrone Power, Jr., and Comic Emo Phillips, who gave a hilarious toast to the bride and groom. Says Karina: “It was a room filled to the brim with love and laughter.”
Photography By: Douglas Foulds Studios
Day 30 - 30 -Day Bride Day 29 -The Date Is Set Day 28 -The Location Day 27 - Brace Yourself For The Unexpected Day 24 – The Photographer Day 23- The InvitationsDay 22 – Dance Lessons Day 21 – Dance Lesson #1 Day 20 – Décor Part 1 Day 17 – The Dress Day 16 – Needs Your Help Day 15 – Sort Of Jewish WeddingDay 14 -Things Change Quickly Day 13 – Off to California Day 8- Their Back Day 6- The Cake Is Ordered Day 2 – The Hairstyle Day 2 – The Music The Wedding Day- Sneak Peak