Romantic Winter Wedding in Huntington Beach, California

Amy and Matthew

Photographed by: Karen French PhotographyLocation: Huntington Beach, California, United States

The growing trend of online dating has yet another success story with the nuptials of Amy Amada and Matthew Sitzman. Having met on the popular website Jdate.com, the two arranged to meet just for drinks. An hour into the date, feeling a strong connection, Matthew hoped to extend their first date and asked if Amy was hungry. The date extended into dinner and romance blossomed over time. On the anniversary of their first date, Matthew proposed marriage to Amy.

Living in Orange County, the couple wanted a wedding site close to home and along the beach. They also sought a place where they could have both the ceremony and reception and where guests could enjoy the surroundings without the trouble of having to drive. The Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa offered all these amenities and many more.

In a unique move that got many kudos from guests, the black-tie affair began with a “pre-cocktail hour” before the ceremony, in which family and friends were able to sign guest book cards, chat with others, enjoy refreshing cocktails and delicious hors d’oeuvres prior to the traditional Jewish wedding. The ceremony was kept simple, with the focus being directed on the couple’s original chuppah. The canopy was oval-shaped and decorated with a stunning display of flowers around the top, complimented by flowers in the middle of the four poles which held up sheer drapery.

Matthew and Amy wanted a personalized sensibility to the festivities, which was carried out in part by the logo that they designed themselves. The invitations, table number cards, guest book cards, ceremony programs, chocolate miniatures, and itineraries given to guests were all emblazoned with this custom insignia, for a one-of-a-kind feel. Their idea for the guest book was especially touching: In place of a single guest book, the bride and groom purchased a photo album and had individualized cards imprinted with their logo and asked guests to sign the cards and offer well-wishes. These were then put into a box and later arranged in the keepsake album, which Matthew’s mother hand-decorated.

At the ceremony, sleek shades of blacks, silvers, and whites predominated, with sage adding a colorful accent. Keeping with the theme of simplicity and elegance, the centerpieces consisted of long-stem calla lilies cut short into square glass bowls with bear grass inside for a colorful contrast. Added to this were green hydrangeas, lending a subtle and earthy look to the centerpieces. For wedding favors, the couple enlisted the help of the mother of one of their friends, who designs her own favors, and the help of Amy’s uncle. A diamond dealer who often travels to Belgium, Amy’s uncle purchased Belgian chocolates for the wedding while on a business trip. The heavenly chocolates were wrapped in white wrapping paper and tied with a sage green ribbon, on which was printed Amy and Matthew’s names and their wedding date. The chocolates were then placed into miniature boxes shaped like a slice of cake. Lace was then affixed on the side of each box, imitating cake icing, and a three-tiered cake platter was built to hold the favors. Flowers were placed on top and a sign was set nearby, reading “Please take a slice.” All agreed the favors were charming, creative, and lovely.

The wedding cake was comprised of four layers. A delicious chocolate cake with a mandarin orange cream filling, it had white frosting, with beads of frosting along the bottom of each layer. Included in the beads of frosting was a string of pearls that lined the bottom of each tier. Randomly placed flowers provided further flourish to the decadent creation. Guests were also treated to a coffee bar the couple thoughtfully arranged for, allowing guests to enjoy cappuccinos and lattes after their sumptuous seated dinner, which included caprese salad, filet mignon, and melon sorbet.

While the phrase “Enjoy every minute of it” is well-heeded wedding day advice, Amy and Matthew wisely point out the importance of lavishing equal attention and energy to the honeymoon as well. Amy shares, “After all, the honeymoon really marks the beginning of your new life together.” The newlyweds followed their own advice with a relaxing and luxurious honeymoon in Bora Bora and Moorea, Tahiti.

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