Ocean-View Ceremony + Timeless Winter Ballroom Reception in California

Ashley Kabel and Bryce Menzies

Photographed by: Chard PhotoLocation: Dana Point, California, United States

When Red Bull athlete, Bryce Menzies, crossed the finish line for first place, he had no idea that the love of his life would be standing right by his side. Working as a promotional model for Rockstar Energy Drink, Ashley Kabel shares it wasn’t until two years after meeting Bryce in the racing industry that they reconnected and started dating. “We were inseparable ever since,” shares Ashley. 

On a trip with their closest friends to Nicaragua, it was to Ashley’s great surprise that Bryce had planned something special for their first night. Stumbling upon a heart-shaped display of roses as they walked along the beach, Bryce had insisted on getting in for a picture. Thinking the grand display belonged to someone else, Ashley refused in an effort to not ruin the arrangement, until Bryce convinced her to step inside. “By the time I was able to give someone my phone to take a picture, my best friend was crying and I knew something was up,” admits Ashley. “I turned around and Bryce got down on one knee and asked the big question. I instantly said yes!” 

While planning their perfect day alongside Pure Lavish Events, the couple knew it was important to find a team of professionals to work with that fit their personality and vision for a beach wedding at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel. “Being out of state, I really looked forward to every meeting I had throughout planning my wedding,” explains Ashley, who resides in Las Vegas, Nevada. “It never felt like meetings, but more like I was meeting up with friends to discuss the best day of my life.” 

Having always loved clean and timeless colors, such as whites, blushes, and nudes, Ashley knew that was the color palette she desired for the celebration. “I didn’t want to look back and be like, Why did I choose that bold color?” reveals the bride. With the color scheme in mind, Flowers by Cina further brought their vision to life with florals in the timeless and elegant essence the pair desired. “The day of the wedding took my breath away,” exclaims Ashley. “Talk about a dream!” Alternating high and low arrangements lush with ivory florals and clear and silver accents set a romantic tone for the alfresco ceremony space, which wowed 200 friends and family members who joined to watch the beautiful couple say “I do.” 

The same aesthetics from earlier in the day were carried over to the evening festivities. The indoor reception space was lush with vanilla-toned blooms with subtle hints of blush, and accented with clear and silver accents, as well as crisp white linens by Luxe Linen. Guests were in awe of the beautiful flower wall displayed behind the newlyweds’ sweetheart table. “Although we had a large number of people, we still wanted it to be intimate, which is why we opted for a smaller room,” admits the bride of their venue choice. “We didn't want people to branch off into different directions; we wanted everyone close together.” 

After dinner and dessert was enjoyed, guests were surprised with a late-night bite to honor one of their favorite treats. “It was a dream come true… I karaoke’d, we had Taco Bell as our late-night snack, and we danced the night away,” notes the bride. When reflecting on her most memorable moments, Ashley didn't know where to begin. Whether it was seeing Bryce’s custom tuxedo displaying their engagement photos printed on the inside, singing with the people she loved most, or shaking the sand off her dress mid-reception, she admits she would love to do it all over again. For couples planning their own nuptials, she advises: “Don’t Stress! Have fun with it. This is once-in-a-lifetime thing… Enjoy the process and know that whatever happens, happens.”