How do two busy professionals find time for love? Over dinner and drinks to discuss business opportunities, naturally. After several "working dinners" together, Alyssa Green and Todd Christensen attended a charity benefit that left all of the guests out in the cold when a fire broke out in the kitchen. "It was such a moment of relief that we were alone together. From that night on, we ditched our corporate suits and jumped into a beautiful relationship," says the couple of their early romance.
A rose-fueled proposal soon followed that blended the intimacy of the moment with a family celebration – a theme that would set the tone for their upcoming nuptials. While the couple was thrilled to say "I do," their busy schedules left little time for wedding planning – both Alyssa and Todd were working full-time, and the bride was going to school at night to earn her MBA. "Luckily I have a very understanding and loving mother who was able to take over the planning," shares Alyssa. "Todd and I both knew that my mom has impeccable style and would create a magical day for us both." However, as easygoing as the couple was about handing over the reigns, the location was very important to them. "We both grew up near two things: a beach and a golf course. We wanted to be able to see both from our venue," says Alyssa.
The couple selected a well-known Tuscan-style resort nestled along one of the most exclusive beaches in Southern California. It provided everything they were looking for, including panoramic Pacific views and an oceanfront golf course. Three days of events led to the wedding itself, so guests were well acquainted when they took their seats for the ceremony directly on the hotel golf course overlooking the ocean. Against the backdrop of the Pacific, Alyssa glided down the aisle in crystal-encrusted sandals and a strapless lace gown with a mermaid silhouette, a tight cluster of snowy orchids in her hands. Bridesmaids were cloaked in shades of the sea, the cerulean palette contrasting beautifully with their lush bouquets of calla lilies in deep purple. An uncle of the bride conducted the service to place an emphasis on the couple’s love of family. “Neither of us is very religious, and we wanted someone special to begin our marriage," notes Alyssa. To the delight of the bride, groom, and their guests, Alyssa's uncle also added a few unique and unexpected vows: Todd promised to walk the couple’s “fuzzy little dog” in the middle of the night, while Alyssa vowed to always allow her husband to bet on sports. “As long as it was not in favor of USC,” clarifies the bride, “because my uncle is a UCLA fan!”
Following the laughter-filled ceremony, guests were treated to an elegant sit-down dinner amid a mix of rich purples and the soft glow of lavender. Blues, greens, and sparkles added to the stunning violet décor. Floral arrangements of varying heights featured hydrangeas, lilies, roses, and orchids in both low rectangular vases covered in rhinestones, and tall clear vases with crystals encircling the bottoms. Tables were draped with pretty purple linens, complemented by silver Chameleon chairs with cushions of purple velvet.
In addition to the location, food was of utmost important to the couple. "We wanted our guests to be wowed and to enjoy every moment," says Alyssa. A choice of tomato-crusted sea bass and soft polenta paired with asparagus or roasted tenderloin of beef with crusted baby potatoes and a cognac-peppercorn demi-glace followed a salad course of butter-leaf lettuce with roasted tomato and crumbled feta. A decadent trio of desserts included crème brûlée, pecan brownies, and raspberry mousse. A square wedding cake with three beautiful layers was enjoyed as a sweet finish to the evening. Each cake layer was outlined in the same pale blue pattern seen in the invitation suite, and decorated with the same varieties of fresh florals in shades of violet and green that topped the reception tables. The contemporary confection was perched atop a glittering rhinestone-studded stand, adding just the right amount of laidback glamour to the night's festivities.
Though the lovely touches were plentiful, the bride's favorite moment was when she floated down the grand staircase to meet her groom before the ceremony. "With only us and the photographers present, it was such a special, emotional moment we will treasure forever. I also loved walking down the aisle and seeing my handsome groom at the end, with the ocean and golf course behind him. The scent of the flowers and the feeling of the sun on my shoulders was incredible." Todd’s favorite memories were summed up in a way that that offers some insight to every groom. "The most special part of the day is celebrating with your close friends and family," he says, "and when your bride says 'I do.'"