Starting off as friends in elementary school and growing up together through high school, Rachel Lucosky and Sebastian Joseph-Day didn’t quite imagine they’d be walking down the aisle someday. “For example,” Rachel shares, “our junior year of high school we hung out with mutual friends one night, and I ended up cuddling up next to Sebastian but he froze and didn’t know what to do. We remained friends, and nothing came of that night.” But maybe it was fate taking its natural course. “Looking back, if we started dating after that night, who knows if we would be here today,” Rachel smiles.
Once they officially began dating, it only took Sebastian about five months to know that he wanted to propose. Sebastian asked Rachel’s parents for their blessing before securing the perfect diamond engagement ring and arranging for a grand proposal over Rachel’s birthday weekend. Unfortunately, Sebastian’s plan to fly in their families from their home state of Pennsylvania to their new home in California didn’t go as orchestrated due to the pandemic.
Instead, Sebastian created a ruse of a photo shoot in Malibu. As the photographer took images of the pair, they were posed back to back. When Rachel turned around, Sebastian was on one knee. “I screamed and said, ‘Are you serious!’ Then of course I said yes!” she confides of the exhilarating moment.
A year passed and Sebastian surprised his beloved with another birthday treat – a private helicopter ride touring Los Angeles – because he wasn’t able to propose in jaw-dropping fashion as he had originally planned. His bride loved the redo: “I was in complete shock and fell in love with my soon-to-be husband all over again.”
Planning so soon after the pandemic when strict protocols were still in place was challenging, so thankfully the bride and groom worked as a team, along with their esteemed wedding planner, to coordinate the big day of their dreams. “Sebastian was just as involved as I was, and I loved every second of it. He has great style and taste.”
The first decision they had to settle on? East coast or west coast. “At the time, we weren’t sure where we’d be living due to Sebastian being a free agent. Ultimately, we decided to have our wedding in California because if it was going to be our last summer in California, we wanted to go out with a bang!” explains Rachel. “However, Sebastian ended up signing a new NFL contract with the Los Angeles Chargers, and we got to stay in California to start our new chapter.”
Rachel and Sebastian chose a gorgeous vineyard surrounded by a historic villa in Santa Ynez as their wedding venue. Sebastian describes the scene as feeling like they were in Europe. The ambience of the vast trees and overall natural beauty was exactly the type of setting they had envisioned to complement their neutral color scheme.
“There is not a single thing we would do differently. We loved every second.”
Opting to seat guests in clear ghost chairs facing a grand tree in the vineyard, the ivory aisle was lined with pretty, bright-white florals and greenery. Since the couple is religious and didn’t marry in a church, they made sure to incorporate many spiritual aspects, such as their favorite Bible readings and prayers. “When Sebastian read his vows, in that moment, no one else existed but us and God,” Rachel describes of one of her favorite moments. “It was beautiful.”
Though the couple desired an alfresco wedding, they wanted to make the reception a bit more unique and opted to build a wooden structure to provide an “indoors” surrounded by organic beauty. Guests found their table assignments at all-white round tables with cushioned vanilla chairs by way of tall mirrors with names written in calligraphy.
Each place setting showcased clear, bullion-rimmed charger plates, gilt flatware, and sparkling crystal glasses with gold accents. Short floral centerpieces of cream-hued roses, lilies, and ranunculus blossoms bedecked tablescapes, along with warm candlelight. Champagne-colored silk napkins and custom menus completed the timeless look.
After a sit-down dinner, the couple performed their first dance as husband and wife, followed by the groom and his mother dancing to a compas song, which is a modern style of méringue dance music in Haiti. The rest of the night was a party with a DJ and live band playing for hours.
Sebastian had carefully curated the playlist for the festivities and his choices had everyone on their feet. It was the perfect ending to a perfect day. Rachel confirms, “There is not a single thing we would do differently. We loved every second.”
This real wedding was originally published in the Summer 2023 issue of Inside Weddings magazine.