Being avid runners at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Crystal Quiroz and Don Prebola’s paths were bound to cross. Having seen each other a few times on the track, Don was the one to strike up a conversation. “Almost immediately I knew he was the kind of man who had conservative and traditional values,” says Crystal. “He was a lot older, but it didn’t matter because he seemed to have such a youthful spirit. That first conversation was so natural and refreshing.” Crystal also captivated Don: “I could not believe how beautiful she was; her eyes and her smile took my breath away,” he marvels. “I found Crystal cautious, much like myself, and thought, Wow, I finally met someone like me.”
Seven months later, Don was ready to propose. While he admits that some might find this timing a bit odd, “When you finally meet the woman of your dreams and have a connection, you can't hold back,” he explains. “She said 'yes' without hesitation.”
When looking for a venue, Crystal was drawn to the Newport Beach area – a place she had always loved. While an oceanside celebration appealed to the bride, she didn’t want it to be held directly on the sand. The Resort at Pelican Hill provided an ideal location with a beautiful vantage point of the sea. Its luxurious, classic ambience fit Crystal and Don’s personalities. The event’s palette, centered on pastel pink and purple, also reflected the bride’s taste, as they are her favorite colors. In addition to discussing every detail with her groom during the six months of preparation, “my gut told me the wisest decision would be to listen to our wedding planner, Kevin Covey. And I am happy I did,” Crystal affirms.
On a clear spring day, friends and family gathered on an expansive lawn overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Dressed in a black tuxedo with a silver vest and violet tie, Don awaited his beloved in front of the property's Italian-inspired rotunda. Blush sheers danced in the breeze behind cherry blossom trees, and a magnificent floral chandelier accented with cascading crystal strands topped the scene. The bridal party included bridesmaids clad in mismatched amethyst dresses clutching posies of roses, tulips, and peonies in white, pale pink, and lilac shades.
“Watching my beautiful bride-to-be [walking] with her father to the rotunda is etched in my mind,” asserts Don. Crystal was stunning in a strapless wedding gown adorned with delicate beading and wispy floral appliqués. A romantic headpiece, rhinestone hand chain, and bouquet of deep purple vanda orchids, blush cymbidium orchids, and faith roses added finishing flourishes to her look.
Sharing their personal vows was a moving experience for the couple and their loved ones. “I wasn’t sure if I would cry while reading them during the ceremony, but I cried a lot,” recalls Crystal. “It was such a special moment in my life. I could hear others crying, too. To this day it still makes my heart melt.” These tears turned to sounds of joy at the end of the service. “When I could finally kiss the bride, I bent her slightly backward for our first kiss,” recounts the groom. “She smiled, our guests all laughed and clapped; it was great we were finally husband and wife.”
Upon entering the reception space with wood-beamed ceiling and tall arched windows, the eyes of guests were drawn to a chandelier beautifully laden with verdure, and orchids, roses, hydrangeas, and lithianthus in white, purple, and pink hues. Long tables donned lavender sequined tablecloths, which matched their ribbon-laced chairs. Tall branches bearing vanilla flowers and short arrangements were lined atop a mirror runner. Round tables were swathed in rosy linens – surrounded by chairs with shimmering sequined sleeves – and bedecked with one of two floral designs. The first featured a compilation of orchids, roses, hydrangeas, and lithianthus in a tall mercury vase, with cascading crystals. The second consisted of similar floral selections in silver vases and mercury-glass urns.
Don gave a speech to welcome guests – some who had journeyed from different parts of the country. “I wanted to thank everyone who traveled many miles to share our day with us,” explains the groom. “I especially wanted my new family to know how happy I was to have everyone together.” Another memorable speech was that of the maid of honor, also Crystal’s aunt. “She told stories of when I was a little girl and how much Don has changed my life for the better,” says the bride.
After a decadent three-course sit-down dinner, guests enjoyed slices from an incredibly florid cake. Each of its five layers showcased a different motif: a lavender ombré ruffle; a diamond and pearl design; a distressed silver pattern; a pink damask print; and the top one presented the newlyweds' monogram and was crowned with fresh flowers.
To couples planning their weddings, Crystal stresses the importance of hiring a wedding professional to provide guidance in transforming their vision into reality, as well as allowing them to fully enjoy their big days. “It seems easy to plan it on your own, but when it gets down to it, you’ll end up pulling your hair out trying to figure out what to do,” she reasons. “Not to mention the day of your wedding, your planner will be right there for you if you need anything. You can’t beat that!” Don shares some words of wisdom for grooms-to-be: “Women grow up planning their ‘special day,’ so go out of your way to accommodate her wishes – trust me it will be one of the best decisions you can ever make.”