Paige Gruner and Joel Marsin first met over drinks with a mutual friend – each of them having no idea that they would meet the love of their life. After hitting it off that night, the couple began a romantic courtship, falling more and more in love with one another each day. Following a few dates, Joel even told his friends that he knew Paige was The One. On a trip to Catalina Island a few years later, the couple took a golf cart around the island and hiked up to the top of a hill overlooking the ocean. As Paige was admiring the view, Joel got down on one knee and asked her to be his wife; she joyfully accepted.
Since the bride grew up in Northern California, the couple knew they wanted to find a venue that was close to her family. Paige desired an outdoor feel with a “mystical, yet organic, setting,” so they chose a gorgeous estate on top of a hill overlooking the city and the bay. The ceremony was situated at the edge of a cliff with stunning views of Berkeley, San Francisco Bay, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Alcatraz Island. Worried that the day would be overcast, the couple was delighted once the sun began peeking out from behind the clouds as guests found their seats on the lawn. Preceding the bride down the aisle, the groom and his groomsmen looked dapper in navy blue suits with white floral boutonnieres accented by greenery. Bridesmaids were uniform in blush dresses and carried nosegays that complemented the bride’s bouquet, which appeared freshly picked from the garden.
Paige, who was escorted down the aisle by her father, was glowing in a three-quarter-sleeve lace gown featuring illusion details; her hair was styled in elegant, soft curls. “Seeing Paige walk down the stairs for the first time [was incredible]. She was absolutely gorgeous and I couldn’t wait to marry her,” remembers Joel. In a ceremony led by the bride’s uncle, Paige and Joel recited their own handwritten vows. After their first kiss as man and wife, the couple passed by rows of cheering family and friends before Joel stopped in the middle of the aisle to kiss his beloved once again. “It was the most amazing feeling, and I felt so loved in that moment and so happy to call him my husband,” Paige remembers.
Following a sunset cocktail hour, guests found their seats at round tables covered in blush linens and decorated with groupings of mason jars filled with verdure and white peonies. A long, head table was adorned with similar arrangements atop a gold sequin runner and fresh, leafy branches. Table numbers were enveloped with gold glitter, and small candle votives flickered throughout the evening. “Everything was handpicked by us,” shares the bride, who – with her groom – did her best to make the celebration reflective of their personalities. To the enjoyment of their friends and family, Paige and Joel even danced to “John” by Lil Wayne and Rick Ross up the brick steps to the alfresco reception area.
Attendees feasted on an organic buffet consisting of tricolor beet salad with goat cheese, fire-roasted Mendocino chicken, grass-fed beef tri-tip, freshly grilled farmer’s market vegetables, and three-cheese tortellini. Following dinner, guests made their way onto the dance floor beneath twinkling lights following the sentimental father-daughter dance and a surprise “flash mob”-style performance by the bride’s grandmother and bridesmaids to “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars. The couple’s signature cocktail, coffee bar, and sweet treats, including cake pops and macarons, kept the revelry alive.
The evening was truly a representation of the couple’s devout love for one another celebrated by their closest friends and family. “We will remember the day for the rest of our lives,” shares Paige. She stresses to other brides who are planning their own weddings: “Don’t focus too much on little details, the only thing that matters is that at the end of it all you are marrying the person who will be by your side the rest of your life, not what shape plates you are using or if the [flatware] is gold or silver... that stuff doesn’t [really] matter!”