For the duration of their four-year relationship, Kaitlyn McCarron and Stephen Satzberg leaped over every hurdle that life presented them with – a year of dating long distance between California and New York, a cross-country move, and finally, a prolonged period of cohabitation in the “Big Apple.” “After successfully moving in and living together […] I knew Kate was the right girl for me. I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her,” confesses Stephen. He was sure to pay close attention to his sweetheart’s ring size and stylistic preferences when the pair wandered into a jewelry store one day. Upon acquiring the perfect diamond and a blessing from Kaitlyn’s mother and grandmother, the nervous young man popped the question during a stroll along the beach in Malibu on the Fourth of July. “Stephen totally surprised me,” Kaitlyn recalls. “He also set up a barbeque at his parents’ house for later that day. His entire family was there as well as some of my relatives who flew in from New York!”
During their 14-month engagement, Kaitlyn and Stephen encountered some significant challenges on the road to their dream wedding. The couple lived on the East Coast, but elected to host an oceanside wedding in sunny California. “I knew it was going to be a big task, but the amount of work that goes into one day is just insane,” laughs the bride. After making many of the big decisions herself – with help from the groom regarding the venue, food selection, and entertainment – Kaitlyn decided to hire a wedding planner just three short months before tying the knot. “I realized I needed the support of a wedding planner to handle all of those last-minute details and it was the best money I spent,” she confirms.
On their big day, the bride and groom wanted to have a quiet moment together before all of the fervor, so they decided to have a "first look" prior to their event. “I am so glad we got to spend time with each other before everything began,” Kaitlyn fondly remembers. “It was also nice to get our wedding pictures taken before the ceremony so that we could spend time with our family and friends at the cocktail hour and not miss out on a single moment of our day.” This intimate moment set a tender tone for the alfresco service, which featured a color scheme of bright pinks and greens selected to stand out against the backdrop of the Pacific Ocean. A wooden chuppah embraced by hundreds of bright blooms and flourishing verdure stood tall at the end of an ivory aisle runner flanked by scattered rose petals on either side.
Bridesmaids made their way through the space in long blush ensembles that perfectly matched the soft hues of the décor. The timeless melody of “Canon in D” played in the background by a trio of violinists and guests rose to their feet to welcome the bride. Kaitlyn stunned in a delicate sheath gown that included a sheer back with intricate lace detailing and descending buttons. She clutched a cascading bouquet of light fuchsia and cream garden roses as she walked towards her beloved.
When it came to the pontifical elements of their nuptials, the bride and groom chose to blend their respective faiths in order to personalize the ceremony. “Coming from two different religious backgrounds, we wanted to incorporate traditions from both,” shares the bride. “I’m Catholic, so we included traditional wedding vows, and for Stephen, who is Jewish, we included the breaking of the glass.”
Following the pair’s first kiss as a married couple, attendees continued the celebration indoors for the ballroom reception. “We wanted the look and feel of our wedding to be classic and romantic,” describes Kaitlyn. To achieve this motif, the open entryway featured a table displaying escort cards amongst lush moss and small ferns. A portion of a tree trunk with the newlyweds’ initials and wedding date carved into the bark sat behind the place cards, acting as a vase for an abundant cluster of pastel posies. Revelers found their seats at small, round tables that embodied an antique elegance. “We used beautiful pink linens and gold-rimmed glass chargers to match the chiavari chairs,” the bride explains. “Additionally, we decided to [bedeck half of our tables] with tall gold candelabra and half with a lower gold pedestal arrangement surrounded by candles. The candelabrums used a variety of garden roses, hydrangeas, and jasmine vine for a whimsical design.”
The happy couple ensured that their 150 guests had an enticing assortment of culinary options to choose from. Along with their formal dinner menu, Kaitlyn and Stephen provided different food stations that would satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. “We had sushi freshly made during the cocktail hour, which was a [favorite of loved ones],” muses the groom. “The mini donut station that was set up toward the end of the night was also very unique. Guests were able to watch [the treats] being made and select their toppings to take home and enjoy.” There was no shortage of sweets throughout the evening: the bride and groom cut into a four-tier vanilla bean Funfetti cake complete with buttercream frosting after mealtime, and had their favors – handpainted macarons – placed at every table.
The excitement of the night fed into the lively movement on the dance floor. “We had a killer band,” says Stephen of the entertainment. “They were playing all kinds of mainstream music from our favorite artists, as well as the classics for the older crowd. Afterwards, everyone told us it was the best wedding band they had ever heard.” Looking back, both husband and wife feel overjoyed with the way everything came together. For future brides, Kaitlyn recommends hiring a videographer to capture all of the memories in the making. “There are so many moments you forget about or miss,” she says. “I love my wedding video and I would regret if I did not have it to relive the best day of our lives.”