A Formal Affair in Newport Beach, California

Ashley and Lance

Photographed by: Barber PhotographyLocation: Newport Beach, California, United States

Though Ashley Vigoren and Lance Emery were fellow students at USC, that did not seem to be enough common ground for a romance to bloom. In fact, when their mothers initially tried to set the two up, Ashley and Lance wanted nothing to do with one another! Luckily, there was a change of heart after a ski trip and a sweet courtship culminated in a marriage proposal.

During the one-year engagement, Ashley and Lance’s mothers stepped in once again, offering lots of useful advice and encouragement. Now officially “in-laws” the two matchmakers are thrilled at the results of their efforts.

The couple knew that the locations would be the most significant decisions, setting the tone for the whole event. Seeking a sense of history, Ashley and Lance were determined to find sites close to the areas where they grew up, and that offered a view of the ocean. They were successful in finding two picturesque settings: The quaint, charming Corona del Mar Congregational Church for the ceremony, and the stylish Four Seasons Clubhouse at Pelican Hill in Newport Beach for the reception.

Within days of the anniversary of their engagement, Lance and Ashley exchanged vows in front of 265 guests. The bride and groom honored several family traditions during their moving ceremony. For example, they took communion out of a family heirloom chalice, and Ashley’s “something old” was a handkerchief that belonged to Lance’s beloved grandmother.

The formal dinner reception was held at The Four Season’s Clubhouse at Pelican Hill. The posh Clubhouse boasts the best view in Newport Beach, with views of the manicured golf course, the canyons, and the Pacific coastline. The sense of family history continued when the bride and groom used an heirloom cake cutter and server to cut the four-tiered, floral embellished wedding cake. The pair even started a few wedding traditions of their own, including choosing to sit at a “family table” with their parents and siblings in lieu of a sweetheart table or wedding party table. They also discarded the garter and bouquet toss and instead presented the bridal bouquet to the couple that had been married the longest. While the bouquet toss has become somewhat trivialized over the years, Lance and Ashley let it evolve into a meaningful honor for a successful marriage.

Ashley had envisioned a simple and elegant event, with the black tie dress code directing the theme for the evening. Every element from the décor to the bridesmaid dresses reflected the look of formal black tie sophistication. The bride wanted nothing that would distract her guests from having a truly wonderful time, and everything was chosen with that wish in mind. Surrounded by such love, family history and good fortune, Ashley and Lance fittingly chose “What A Wonderful World” for their first dance as husband and wife.

As they embark on their married life together, the newlyweds offer other couples advice on the extremely time-consuming task of planning a wedding: take care of the big decisions first, and then worry about the details. Also, start as soon as possible with the preparations and plans, because as the date approaches, anxiousness and excitement coupled with last-minute unexpected to-do lists can cause added stress. Most importantly, work together as a couple and enjoy the process!

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