Garden-Inspired Backyard Wedding in San Diego, California

Rebecca and Jim

Photographed by: Boyd Harris PhotographsLocation: San Diego, California, United States

The wedding of Rebecca Hoehn and Jim Anderson, Jr. was a four-day extravaganza of hospitality. The bride and groom were married at the home of Rebecca’s parents, chosen because they considered it to be more beautiful than any hotel or reception site, and also for the personal and unique atmosphere that an at-home wedding does best.

With nearly half of the 200-plus wedding guests coming in from out of town, Jim and Rebecca planned a multitude of activities and thoughtful touches to entertain them with. To make it as easy as possible for their out-of-town guests to get around the unfamiliar area and to go out at night without drinking and driving, Rebecca and Jim rented shuttle buses for the whole weekend. The festivities began on Thursday with a Mexican fiesta to welcome everyone, and ended with a brunch on Sunday as the weekend was winding down. In between, there was a day of golf tournaments at nearby Torrey Pines for the men, a spa day for the women, a bridesmaids’ luncheon, the rehearsal dinner at Torrey Pines Lodge, and the wedding itself. With the help of the shuttles, guests could use their free time to explore the San Diego area and enjoy the perfect Southern California weather.

The wedding favors also had comfort and convenience in mind for the travelers. The hotel rooms were stocked with “wedding weekend” custom beach bags for each guest. Each bag was filled with sunscreen, water, snacks, the weekend’s itinerary, restaurant and sightseeing recommendations, and beach towels embroidered with the couple’s names and the wedding date.

When guests arrived at the family home for the ceremony on Saturday, they found the ambience of an evening spent in a romantic garden, created with lush garlands and arrangements containing French roses, garden roses, pink hydrangeas, cymbidium, chartreuse and pink orchids, and pineapples. The garden was bathed in warm candlelight, provided by huge hurricanes filled with flickering candles placed all around the pool and also by chartreuse-colored candles that rested in vine-wrapped wrought iron chandeliers and were hung over the dinner tables. The color pink accented every detail, from the flowers themselves to the champagne, wedding cake, napkins and bridesmaids’ dresses.

Rebecca and Jim were married in a traditional Christian ceremony that began just after six o’clock p.m. A formal reception followed, and was held in a completely separate area of the Hoehn property for a change of scenery and an element of surprise. The seated dinner included a first course of shitake stack with ratatouille, drizzled with Alba truffle vinaigrette and topped with crisp leeks and a second course of lavender honey glazed salmon and pork tenderloin with spicy Korean barbecue glaze, cauliflower puree and young vegetables with ginger. The creative cuisine was accompanied by an espresso and cappuccino bar with various cookies and liquors, and a full bar that featured three different kinds of martini luges with the couple’s initials emblazoned on the ice. The meal was topped off by the five-tiered wedding cake, which was covered in light pink icing with white squiggle designs. Two of the layers were nouveau chocolate and three of the layers were traditional vanilla with buttercream icing, and both flavors were served with raspberry coulis sauce and garnished with handmade chocolate starfish.

The reception continued until well past midnight, and then the group met again for Sunday brunch before concluding the weekend of partying. With so many opportunities for fun, relaxation and socializing, Rebecca and Jim’s loved ones received the best gift of all: world-class hospitality, time spent with the bride and groom, and an experience they will never forget.

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