For Kirsten Contino and Jordan Korengold it wasn’t exactly love at first sight. Though Kirsten and Jordan had met several times via a mutual friend, they never really connected. This all changed during one eventful group outing at which Jordan chivalrously stepped in when he noticed a man pestering Kirsten. She and Jordan found they had a lot in common as they chatted and joked the rest of the evening. However, their fate was sealed as the gathering moved to a bar where a cover band was playing 1980s hits. “When Jordan and I heard Journey’s ‘Don’t Stop Believin',’ we both grabbed each other’s hands, ran to the dance floor, and started belting out the lyrics,” she recalls. “That night, our first kiss was to that song, and I think at that moment we both knew we had found our other halves.”

Kirsten was equally swept off her feet when Jordan proposed. A few days before Christmas she walked into their apartment to find it decorated with candles and red rose petals. Standing by the tree, Jordan said he had an early Christmas present for her. Inside the box she discovered an engagement ring ornament with the words, “Will you marry me?” and her maternal grandmother’s heirloom wedding ring. She was so moved she started crying and saw that Jordan was on bended knee. “It was such an amazing night,” she muses.

On Kirsten’s paternal side of the family, it is tradition for the children and grandchildren to host their nuptials at her grandmother’s Laguna Beach home. And the bride had dreamt of getting married there since she was a little girl. In fact, she and her father had long ago scouted the ideal spot on the property for the alfresco celebration.

With expansive views of the Pacific Ocean as a backdrop, the ceremony was held on a verdant bluff framed by palm trees swaying in the sea breeze. Along the aisle, varying bundles of white, pink, and peach flowers, greenery, and succulents were affixed to chairs with lace. The dashing groom donned a light grey three-piece suit accented with a patterned tie and creative boutonniere featuring floral sprigs, dusty miller, and a succulent. His seven groomsmen were similarly dressed, with the exception of sapphire ties.

Kirsten made her entrance to Jasmine Thompson’s cover of “Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran. The bride wore an ethereal gown with an illusion neckline, lace bodice, crystal belt, and tulle skirt. A rhinestone diadem and chapel-length veil adorned her classic coiffure. She completed her look with a pearl necklace and bracelet belonging to her family. The couple exchanged personal vows and, in honor of Jordan’s father’s Jewish faith, the groom broke a glass at the end of the service.

To reflect her culture, Italian components were incorporated in the reception: bistro lights; table numbers written in Italian in calligraphy on postcards from Italy; and farm-to-table dishes served family style, followed by gelato for dessert. Round tables were clad in pearlescent grey tablecloths and topped with arrangements of dahlias, peonies, roses, and hydrangeas in light tones as well as verdure and succulents in a variety of aged metal vessels, gilt mercury glass vases, and rustic wood boxes. Exquisite vintage glassware was paired with with place settings composed of golden chargers, elegant china, and delicately embroidered napkins.

Looking back, Kirsten wouldn’t change anything about their big day. “It was a family affair, there was good food, dancing, and a whole lot of laughs,” she says.