Planning a big wedding can seem overwhelming. Besides coordinating the elements and paying attention to all the details, a large-scale event runs the risk of feeling impersonal. Ann Carey and Don Luis Camacho sidestepped this potential problem by adhering to an overall design scheme and by making sure that every choice they made reflected their personalities and their individual style.

The couple met during the third week of their first year as students in the graduate law program at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. Don’t ask Ann for details of their first meeting; she claims she doesn’t remember it! Don certainly does, for he says he knew then and there that he and Ann would be married one day. He made sure this prediction would come to fruition when, for her 29th birthday, he gave her a most thrilling birthday present – a marriage proposal.

Anticipating that nearly 300 guests would be invited to celebrate their wedding day with them, Ann and Don’s choices of location were limited to venues that could accommodate parties of this size. The lovely St. Monica Church, just seven close blocks from the Pacific Ocean, with its pale stone walls and Mediterranean red roof, would serve their ceremony needs. The recently renovated Park Plaza hotel in Los Angeles was chosen to host their reception. Built in 1925 and a former Elks Lodge, the Park Plaza is a designated historical landmark and a fine alternate destination for any couple who dream of getting married in a Florentine castle.

Considering the size of her event, Ann hired a wedding consultant but found herself turning to her mother, her future husband, and her future mother-in-law for their assistance with planning advice and decision-making. Family was happy to help: Don’s mother attended the menu tasting to assist the couple with major decisions, and she and even some of Don’s cousins and aunts helped on the wedding day itself with time-consuming details.

The decision was made to use a pink and brown color scheme. Every last detail was coordinated to be harmonious with these tones. Floral arrangements were primarily pink, including roses, hydrangeas, ranunculas, pepper berries, and peonies, with table arrangements sitting in low, square vases offset by short and tall pink votives. A self-described “girly girl,” Ann incorporated lots of ribbon into the floral designs and even used them to accent the place cards. The ribbon on her bridal bouquet was vintage French silk with brown polka dots. Guest favors were bags of pink and brown M&Ms tied with brown ribbon with pink polka dots. The spectacular nine-layer wedding cake was frosted in pale pink with chocolate brown accents.

Other details insured that that everyone in attendance saw Ann and Don’s spirit shining through. The priest’s homily was personalized, and family and friends were invited to participate in the ceremony. Music played in the church that was chosen for its significance to Ann and Don and their life together. All of the calligraphy for the event was done by the mother of the bride. The delectable menu, featuring filet mignon, ginger and soy-marinated seabass, and wasabi mashed potatoes, could have been nothing less; Don is a restaurant owner, and he and Ann are admittedly culinary connoisseurs.

Perhaps the most symbolic personal detail of the day was the “C” monogram that decorated the wedding cake. While Ann and Don made sure that a few hundred people enjoyed their wedding celebration, in the end all of the excitement of the day came down to the union of just two.