While students at the University of Michigan, the two easily fell in love. “We were best friends for an entire semester before realizing we had feelings for each other,” tells Macy Hudson of her college romance with Brandon Deere. Years later while vacationing in Martha’s Vineyard, Brandon proposed on the Fourth of July. “It was so intimate and special,” shares Macy, who says they opted to only reveal the happy news to their immediate family that night and wait to tell friends so they could quietly enjoy the excitement over dinner. 

The pair spent the next year planning the wedding of their dreams alongside a professional wedding planner who, the bride confides, became her lifeline. “I also heavily relied on advice from my best friends and bridesmaids, Stephanie and Rachel, who had both gotten married the year prior,” she says. For final decisions, Macy turned to her mother and mother-in-law. “They have the best taste and understood my vision better than even I did!” she adds. 

Knowing they were asking many of their loved ones to travel to Southern California for the big day, the betrothed wanted to select a venue that offered top-notch accommodations. The stunning grounds of The Lodge at Torrey Pines met all of their needs, plus the property is nestled in the same San Diego area where the groom’s parents were wed. “We loved the sentimentality, not to mention Brandon and I share a love for golf and the ocean, so we were happy to be able to incorporate both of those elements into our guests’ stays.” 

“We wanted to complement the beautiful scenery around us… the glistening ocean, lush golf course, and overarching Torrey pine trees, so we kept the color scheme very simple.”

Wearing a classic bridal gown featuring a sweetheart bodice, the bride made her grand entrance alongside her father down a glossy aisle that led to a circular floral display comprised of fresh vanilla florals. “We wanted to complement the beautiful scenery around us… the glistening ocean, lush golf course, and overarching Torrey pine trees, so we kept the color scheme very simple with crisp white and green florals, [as well as] navy bridesmaids’ dresses and groomsmen suits,” illustrates Macy. “Simple and timeless colors were very important to us.”

The service was made extra special with Macy’s Uncle Mike as the officiant. The couple also opted to perform a “sand ceremony” where the sand from the beaches of Lake Michigan (as a nod to the bride’s home state) and the beaches of California (where the groom hails from) were poured together into a shared vessel to represent their union. At the conclusion, the newlyweds invited attendees to enjoy a cocktail hour while the grassy area was beautifully transformed from ceremony to reception. 

Tables – decorated with various raised vases and smaller bud vases showcasing white roses –were situated closely together to create an intimate dinner followed by a dance party. The evening was filled with love and merriment – from touching speeches and a special familial dance to honor the bride’s late grandfather, to slices of summer-berry wedding cake that the bride admits to eating more of for breakfast the next morning and a flawless live band that maintained the crowd’s energy, the perfect day ended in a perfect night. 

Macy shares the best planning advice she received – and encourages others to do this as well: “Make a priority list of the most important elements of your wedding to least important and let that help lead budgeting conversations.” She adds, “Planning a party for all of your favorite people should be a blast… have fun and enjoy the process!”

This real wedding was originally published in the expanded digital edition of the Winter 2024 issue of Inside Weddings magazine. 

To order a copy of the expanded digital edition of the Winter 2024 issue, visit our library of Inside Weddings back issues available for purchase.