Classic Celebration in Laguna Beach, California

April and Tom

Photographed by: Bleu Cotton PhotographyLocation: Laguna Beach, California, United States

On June 30th, 2002, while hiking in Laguna Beach in El Moro Canyon, Tom Jones took a few moments to take in the ocean view before proposing to his long-time girlfriend, April Bickerton. One year later, Tom would present his new bride with a homemade gift – an abstract map of the proposal location, with a jewel marking the exact spot where he had popped the question. Like several of the couple’s wedding mementos, the map is now cherished as both a reminder, and as a piece of art.

Tom, an architect by trade, was adamant about not having their wedding in a ballroom. He wanted his and April’s special day to take place in an architecturally stimulating and interesting setting, thus, the ceremony and reception were held at the Seven Degrees Art Gallery in Laguna Beach, California. To set the tone for this modern, designoriented ceremony, April felt the invitations were crucial, and chose an inventive five-by-five-inch plexiglass card – another contribution to the artistic mementos of their event.

Immediately before the ceremony, guests were thrilled to meet the artists showcased at the gallery, giving out-of-town guests the opportunity to experience the Laguna Beach art community. The ceremony was held on the tranquil rooftop garden, featuring several terraces ascending into the hills with bamboo accents and a soothing stream. Bridesmaids and groomsmen popped with color amid the natural tones of the garden, wearing bright orange, purple, and lime green bouquets and boutonnieres. The vision was complete when April and Tom exchanged vows at the altar, strategically placed in front of the sculpture fountain.

The two-hundred-twenty-five guests were served dinner inside the gallery on colorful orange, purple and green linens, centerpieced with alternating color flower arrangements so that no two tables looked exactly alike. Dinner was introduced with a field green salad with pears, and a phyllo dough “purse” stuffed with brie cheese. Each guest was served both a Macadamia nut crusted halibut and filet, with sweet onion mashed potatoes and asparagus.

April and Tom’s loved ones took home memories of an event inspired by love, art, design, and the unique culture of Laguna Beach. Having a tangible theme, of architectural design, provided the couple with clear direction in every aspect of the planning, and they advise other couples to keep a theme in mind as well. It helps streamline the planning and gives guests a visual treat as well.

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