Destiny surely smiled on Jennifer Davis and Ryan Bittle two decades ago. Brought together by respective grandparents who have been longtime family friends, the newlyweds first met twenty-four years ago. Testifying to the unique friendship shared by the two families over the years, Jennifer’s mother was a bridesmaid at the wedding of Ryan’s mother. Family members were, in fact, very involved in the planning process, and the bride and her mother were able to spend lots of quality time together. Their collective efforts clearly manifested themselves in the warmth they created for this very special day.

The glistening shoreline and pounding waves of the Pacific Ocean, accented by a glorious sunset, provided a stunning backdrop for Jennifer and Ryan’s ceremony and reception. Performed by Charles E. Ensley, Jr., the wedding ceremony took place at the Bay Shore Congregational Church in Long Beach, followed by a reception at the Hyatt Regency Resort & Spa in Huntington Beach. The bride and groom wanted a warm and elegant atmosphere for their celebration, which the wedding’s champagne color scheme captured beautifully. These champagne tones were perfectly complemented by the bridesmaids’ dresses and the creamy colors of the setting’s many candles and candlelight. Against this background were the soft pinks and resplendent hues of Sahara roses.

The colors contrasted nicely with the bride’s bouquet, which bore a special arrangement of black magic red roses with banded stems and rows of pearls cascading down satin ribbon. The tables were graced with exquisite, unique floral centerpieces, featuring glass cylinders filled with water and curly willow and encircled by low votive candles tossed with champagne colored rose petals.

Jennifer and Ryan’s guests were particularly captivated by the reception’s artistic ice carvings. Etched like a wedding cake and bearing the bride and groom’s initials, the four-layer ice sculpture was loaded with fresh shrimp and served as a martini luge, from which guests were served perfectly chilled vodka. The carvings added a fun conversational aspect to the reception, as well as representing the couple’s personal style. Just as distinctive was the sumptuous dinner which included filet mignon and sautéed chicken breast and fresh raspberry sorbet served in martini-shaped glasses.

Among the day’s most memorable moments came when Jennifer’s parents presented her with a gift her mother had waited twenty-fours years to give to her daughter. The mother-of-the-bride gave Jennifer the ring she wore as a baby, a ring she quickly put on her pinky finger and has worn since. Music held personal sentiments as well. For their first dance, Jennifer and Ryan chose “When You Kiss Me” by Shania Twain, while father and daughter danced to Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide.” Ryan’s sister-in-law added a wonderful touch by singing a number of songs for the newlyweds.

Having held a truly outstanding wedding, Jennifer advises brides to enjoy themselves while planning their wedding and not to become too stressed out by it all. This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, she reminds brides, and each moment should be made special. She especially recommends hiring an experienced wedding coordinator, who can attend to the details and ask the necessary questions.

Following the wedding, the newlyweds honeymooned in Kauai and Maui, where they were able to continue taking in the stunning sunsets and shimmering shorelines of the Pacific Ocean.