Lavish Fairy-Tale Ballroom Wedding in San Diego, California

Dominique and Christian

Photographed by: Dennis Mock PhotographyLocation: San Diego, California, United States

When Dominique Battaglia and Christian Griffin initially met at a local nightspot, it was, well, uneventful. “We thought nothing of it until our first date,” explains Christian. Then, everything changed. “We had a connection that each of us had never experienced before.” Although neither Dominique nor Christian was looking for a relationship, one had clearly found them, and trusting that God knew best, together, they took a leap of faith.

Trust played yet another critical role when Dominique, assuming they were headed to a surprise outing she had planned for him, allowed Christian to blindfold her for a little surprise of his own. Christian drove for what seemed like a lifetime to La Jolla Cove, where a romantic picnic was revealed. After sipping champagne, they went for a walk on the beach, and just as the sun was setting, he got down on one knee and asked Dominique to be his wife. “Of course, I said ‘yes’,” recalls the bride. “I knew from the first date that Christian was the man I was going to marry and the person who would bless my life by walking with me as my husband.”

With the help of their supportive families, especially the bride’s sister, Jennifer, the couple began planning. With a very large guest list (350 people ultimately attended), finding a location that could accommodate their party in elegant style was a challenge. Finally, by looking inward for inspiration, they discovered the perfect spot: the Manchester Grand Hyatt. The Top of the Hyatt was a place Dominique and Christian frequented to share appetizers and take in the view, and downstairs in the hotel’s richly-appointed ballroom, their regal wedding found its court.

An unexpected color palette of copper, pearl and fuchsia set the stage for their fairy-tale. Velvet scroll invitations delivered in copper boxes gave guests an idea of what they could expect on the big day. Not wanting to disappoint, Dominique chose to have her gown custom-made by Reem Acra. The creation, signed by the designer herself, was a duchess satin ball gown covered in copper embroidery and beading. Its crowning detail was an elaborate, cathedral-length train monogrammed with the couple’s initials. Dominique’s tiara and coordinating mother-of-pearl purse were also made to order, and by attaching the purse to her bouquet, Dominique was able to carry her late grandmother’s wedding ring with her down the aisle.

The flower arrangements throughout the affair were exceptional interpretations of winter romance. The cream-toned feathers, roses and jewels that created the bride’s luxurious bouquet took on a whimsical quality when used in shades of bright pink and burgundy for the bold candelabra centerpieces. A multi-course dinner served at tables draped in floor-length gold satin concluded with a coffee and pastry station honoring the bride’s Italian heritage. A groom’s cake, the darker match to the couple’s white wedding cake, was filled with luscious German chocolate.

Rounding out the impressive atmosphere was the band that literally brought the crowd to its feet. What made it particularly special was that the band leader, Wayne Foster, also sang at Dominique’s parents’ wedding 30 years earlier. With a first dance that brought tears to their eyes, Dominique and Christian enjoyed their dream evening together; best of all, the newlyweds were surrounded by everyone they love. “Christian and I could never thank our parents enough for all they have done to make our day as special and timeless as it was. The entire event was extraordinary. It was the most fun we have ever had,” recalls Dominique.

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