It was truly love at first sight for Omolola ("Lola") Dada and Charles Julius when they first laid eyes on each other in graduate school. "It was the first day of class and I remember him walking in," recounts Lola. "I could not take my eyes off of him." Many study dates followed, culminating in a romance, and after asking Lola's entire immediate family for their blessings, Charles proposed. "It truly was one of the happiest days of my life," effuses the bride. The seaside location where Charles popped the question was a seamless choice for the couple's nuptials. Not only was it the setting for one of the pair's first dates, it was also Lola's favorite hotel as a child. "My parents took me there for brunch on a few of my birthdays and I always loved the ambiance and the views," she recalls. "As I got older, I would say the hotel was the place I wanted to be married, and my dream came true."
The couple selected a dreamy color palette of pink, purple, and white to complement the natural Southern California setting. Preceding the bride down the aisle, bridesmaids clad in floor-skimming blush gowns carried bouquets of pink flowers, their tresses tied back in timeless chignons. Gorgeous pomanders of roses dangled from curvy white stands along the aisle as Lola drifted down the rose-strewn walkway wearing a stunning flower-embellished gown. She clutched a bouquet of baby pink roses in her hands. A heavenly platform and arch crafted of endless white roses framed the bride and groom as they said their vows in front of their loved ones. Guests enjoyed the breathtaking "I dos" from white chairs set in a semi-circular fashion overlooking the Pacific – and delighted in an unplanned surprise as well. As the pastor spoke of love, a flock of birds flew in a perfectly straight line directly over the bride and groom's snowy arch. When guests later inquired if the spectacular moment had been planned, the couple replied honestly, "No, it must have been God sent." Another ceremony highlight: the blending of the sands, in which the bride and groom poured two different colors into a single vessel to symbolize their joining together. Billowing blooms and magical moments continued to wow throughout the reception, even stunning the groom himself. "The overwhelming feeling the lighting and flowers created was unbelievable and truly unique," he says.
Guests were guided to their seats with the help of seating cards perched atop tables festooned with countless pink roses. Clear, simple vases of varying heights housed candles that provided a romantic glow. A towering tree of pink and red roses mixed merrily with languid purple branches. A mix of round and square tables has been chosen to add character while still accommodating the couple's 500 guests. The rounds featured sky-reaching vases filled with arrangements of pink, purple, and white blooms from which crystals were draped alongside scarlet orchids. Groupings of smaller, lower arrangements featuring tight clusters of roses and camellias encircled the bases of the towering centerpieces. Square tables were topped with four tall stands that provided support for flowers to stretch. Lower arrangements surrounded these stands, a fanciful feast for the eyes. Clear plates edged with gleaming silver studs were each topped with a menu and a single purple calla lily. Lavender lighting cast a dreamlike glow overall. "It was truly remarkable," recalls the bride.
Guests feasted on a sit-down dinner that included a first course of wild mushroom lasagna, followed by a salad of frisée, endive, oak leaf, and Lola Rosa lettuce. The main course provided sea bass filet and petit filet mignon. For dessert, a wedding cake of five simple-but-elegant square white layers was topped with a hot pink camellia. Surrounding the confection was a table paved entirely with pink and purple blooms, a sea of roses and three camellias surrounding the base of the cake. "We really wanted a cake that would wow our guests," says the couple. Mission accomplished. The stunning floral theme continued onto the stage that hosted the musical entertainment. Fashioned to resemble a garden, the platform featured various blooms while giant lavender roses were projected onto the wall behind the band. Oversized white roses, as well as the couple's initials, were projected onto the dance floor. While the beauty of the event was undeniably extraordinary, what really made the day special was celebrating with friends and family. "Having so many loved ones from all over the world being in the same place to celebrate the most important day of our lives with us stands out the most," notes the groom. Concurs the bride, "I love having friends and family come together and have fun. Seeing others having a great time truly makes me happy."