Spring Outdoor Ceremony + Ballroom Reception with Cultural Elements

Demi Ambriz and Trevor Mathews

Photographed by: Curtis Dahl PhotographyLocation: Dana Point, California, United States

Demi Ambriz and Trevor Mathews met as teenagers through family members who were friends and soon fell in love. “Thinking back to how we looked at each other was really beyond our years,” describes Trevor, “we knew we had something special from the beginning.” Several years later, after receiving the blessing of Demi’s father, Trevor got down on one knee at a lavish seaside restaurant on Valentine’s Day 2017. “He asked me to marry him in front of everyone!” she remembers. With a wholehearted yes, the happy twosome enjoyed the remainder of the intimate evening alone, later celebrating with friends and family.

The pair began wedding planning and set the date for spring of the following year. “We were open to any location venue, but ultimately fell in love with Monarch Beach Resort,” admits the bride. The upscale property is an award-winning hotel and offers lavish accommodations for guests; perfect for the couple’s loved ones who wished to make their attendance a stay-cation getaway.

Along with the guidance and design expertise from International Event Company, Demi and Trevor developed a color scheme of muted neutral shades. Thousands of roses, gardenias, lilies, tulips, and lotus blossoms were incorporated into the décor. Beginning with the ceremony, lush arrangements of vanilla florals paired with tall displays of blush-hued pampas grass lined the crisp-white aisle. A gazebo had been beautifully bedecked in verdure and florals in crème brûlée, peach, and blush, with more frothy roses and pampas grass at the base. “It was so romantic,” describes the bride of the feeling she experienced from the remarkable structure.

An orchestra played current tunes as the procession began. “We requested songs by Coldplay, Ariana Grande, Beyoncé, Bruno Mars, Post Malone, and Andy Mineo,” shares Demi. Guests stood from their seats as the bride made her way down the aisle wearing a form-fitting gown with feminine appliqués and a long train. As not to compete with the exquisite detail on her dress, she chose an understated veil and wore her long tresses loosely.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, guests were ushered over to an area of the property for a Mexican-themed cocktail hour – as a nod to Demi’s familial roots. It was fun, lively, and a great segue before introducing the space for dinner and dancing. Meanwhile, their wedding planners acted quickly to move and rearrange some of the décor seen earlier in the day to the ballroom.

The evening festivities began with a prayer that led into traditional Native-American bird songs and dance. “The cultural aspects that were implemented within the décor and Serrano and Cahuilla bird songs were very important to me,” says the groom. “It was more than just two families coming together, it was two cultures as well.” Marking another memorable moment, it would be the first time that Demi would dance along with the women of Trevor’s family, per custom.

A sit-down dinner was provided to guests before enjoying pieces of the four-tiered cake, which had been designed to highlight feathers and dream catchers. “Each layer was a different flavor and it was delicious!” confirms the bride.

The music of the evening was impeccable, with live musicians, a DJ, and a surprise performance for the groom arranged by Demi. “My wife can keep a secret… she had my favorite artist, Andy Mineo, not only come out and sing, but had me perform with him – it was amazing and unexpected,” he confides.

Demi and Trevor were grateful to have been blessed with such a magical wedding. Their only wish: to have God put more hours into the night. “The all-around feel of our wedding was a perfect representation of our relationship; it was unique and showed true unity from the décor and food to the music, dancing, and delicious King Taco at the end of the night,” smiles Trevor.