While walking along El Matador State Beach in Malibu, California, Dakota Geddes-Buehre surprised Emily Guthorn with a romantic proposal. “Dakota had hired a photographer to capture the whole event, and I had no idea!” smiles Emily. Following the memorable moment, the pair celebrated their engagement with a romantic, five-course dinner at a nearby oceanfront restaurant.

When it came time to start planning the nuptials, Emily worked with Dakota, her parents, and their wedding planner Robin Ballard, to organize the entire celebration in just six months. As they both reside in Southern California, choosing to exchange vows in the bride’s hometown of Huntington Beach was a perfect choice.

Though couples face the choice of having a “first look” or seeing each other for the first time at the ceremony, Emily’s most memorable part of the day was during the pair’s pre-ceremony moment. She was gorgeous in a V-neck gown with an elegant horsehair-trim skirt, while her groom donned a cobalt blue suit. The bride wore her hair in a low bun with a soft curl framing her face, as did bridesmaids, who were beautiful in floor-length baby blue gowns with mismatched necklines.

Since the nuptials took place by the ocean, Emily and Dakota chose to stick with a color palette focused mainly on blues, with some ivory, blush, and greenery accents. As 120 guests took their seats on the manicured lawn, they faced the ocean view as well as a stunning circular ceremony structure designed by Flowers by Cina. The unique arrangement showcased ample greenery, as well as florals in shades of blush and ivory. Petals in similar shades lined the grassy aisle as the bride made her way to the groom, and palm trees swayed as Emily and Dakota exchanged vows.

Following the ceremony, friends and family enjoyed a delectable cocktail hour filled with tasty bites including a fruit-and-cheese plate, oysters, and a seafood station. “We love food!” affirms the bride. They then filed into the ballroom filled with elegant, classic décor in shades of azure. A mix of high and low centerpieces comprised of white and blush blooms adorned tabletops, which were strewn with soft blue and alabaster linens by Luxe Linen. Colored goblets in tones of indigo added an extra-special touch, as did ambient candlelight at each table. Every guest’s place setting was topped with a velvety napkin in steel blue, as well as a personalized floral-print menu card detailing the salad, wines, entrée, dessert, and late-night snack that would be enjoyed that evening.

With the best view in the house, the bride and groom witnessed the joy of all their loved ones from a stunning sweetheart table facing the dance floor, arranged in front of a wall of drapery decorated with their names laser-cut in gold. Verdure climbed up the creamy backdrop, and lush hydrangeas and roses were placed on the table and at the base, which flowed naturally into the dance floor. A beautiful ombré wedding cake that faded from white to light blue at the base was displayed next to the newlyweds on a candlelit table.

Though the bride admits there are of course some minor things she would change about her wedding day, she was ultimately overjoyed with how the celebration turned out. “Go with your gut and don’t overthink things,” the bride advises other couples planning their nuptials. She also encourages newlyweds to take the time to eat during the reception. “I keep hearing that our food was delicious! I wish I would have eaten more of it,” she smiles.