Groom Wears Charro Suit at Traditional Laguna Beach Wedding

Marcella and Dennis

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

It was the end of a long workday for Marcella de Anda, and while she was unwinding with her friends over a couple of drinks, Dennis Meade’s workday had just begun. Dennis was playing in a band at the restaurant that evening, and Marcella couldn’t help but notice how cute he was. As his set continued, it became increasingly clear that Dennis, completely entranced by Marcella’s eyes, was singing to an audience of one.

Once Marcella and Dennis planned to get married, formal arrangements were made for both families to meet in California. Dennis’ parents flew in from Arizona to have dinner with Marcella’s family, and out of respect for the Mexican traditions of their heritage, Dennis asked Marcella’s parents for their daughter’s hand in marriage. Having both families present to witness the acceptance, as well as celebrate their bright future, made it all that much more special for Marcella and Dennis.

While very elegant and beautiful, Laguna Beach’s hotel ballrooms were not where the couple envisioned holding their reception. The modern departure Seven-Degrees provided them with its clean, dramatic and contemporary space was exactly the feel they wanted their guests to experience. The first indication that their wedding was going to be set apart from all the rest came in the form of their avant-garde invitations. Surprising each guest in the mail was a 7” x 7” silver wooden box addressed on silver metallic wrapping. Inside was Marcella and Dennis’ invitation, etched in solid clear plexiglass offset by an aluminum RSVP card and map. Marcella admits that the extra postage to deliver their one-of-a-kind designs was well worth the statement they made about the kind of wedding people could expect.

And several months later, as Dennis, dressed in a traditional Charro suit worn by mariachi, waited for his beautiful bride to reach him at the end of the aisle, the only statement he and Marcella cared to make was one of deep commitment. Making it difficult to find a dry eye in the church, Dennis performed a Latin version of “Ave Maria” while Marcella offered flowers to the Virgin Mary on the altar.

Marcella and Dennis were successful in achieving a serene and fresh environment for their celebration at Seven-Degrees by using a Zen palette of white on green. Tables were draped in patina colored linens and surrounded by silver fabric chairs. Their clean, modern centerpieces were tall, cylindrical glass vases brimming with all white flowers – gardenias, orchids, calla lilies – accented by green cymbidium orchids and romantic candle light. Some of the water filled vases had a branch of green orchids suspended inside while others were topped with apple green hanging amyranthus to create a bountiful, yet tailored look.

Some of Marcella and Dennis’ most touching moments were the result of loving, personal gestures made throughout the evening. Marcella’s brother, Jaime, gave an emotional and humorous toast that moved the couple with its overwhelming message of support while Dennis, also an accomplished violinist, performed during the reception, as a grounding contrast to the energetic and colorful performances by the band and professional dancers to engage the crowd.

After choices of filet mignon and Lincod fish were offered for dinner, each guest was served their own miniature replica of the couple’s square-tiered wedding cake. Each cake, large and small, was filled with strawberries and decorated in white on white designs underneath a cascading bouquet of fresh calla lilies and orchids.

Marcella and Dennis gave their guests custom made parcels of stationary reminiscent of their unusual invitations to thank them for sharing in their momentous day. The love, serenity and heartfelt song that structured their wedding harkened back to the initial night they locked eyes across a crowded club. A night that included the first of many serenades Marcella would receive from Dennis, a man who certainly has more to sing about now than ever before.

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