Sweet + Simple Beach Wedding with Wood Detailing in California

Brittney and David

Photographed by: John Schnack PhotographyLocation: Oceanside, California, United States

Longtime friendships that grow into something more are stories that inspire the romantic in all of us: Brittney Austin and David Ingraham met as sophomores at Denison University in 2009. “Dave’s room was across from our dorm’s laundry room and we saw each other one day when I was doing laundry – I popped my head into his room to say ‘hi,’” explains Brittney. After spending time together as close friends, the pair made their relationship official at the end of their senior year. Five years later, David popped the question on a seemingly gloomy day in Rhode Island while the couple vacationed at the Ingraham family home. “It was predicted to be a rainy weekend and I told Dave we should just skip our visit and stay in the city. He pushed us to go, saying he’d always wanted to capture a picture of the lighthouse in the overcast weather,” says the bride. “We arrived on Saturday morning and bundled up to take one of our favorite walks to Sandy’s Point where he proposed in the rain. We never got the picture of the lighthouse!”

Over a year later, the couple prepared to exchange vows in sunny California. “The wedding weekend was held [near the ocean] where the homes are all French Normandy and the [ceremony] setting was the little beach with the waves crashing in the background,” divulges Brittney. The bride donned a simple and chic sheath gown that featured a modified halter neckline. “It was one of the first dresses I tried on and although I still went to appointments at three other salons, I knew immediately it was the one,” she notes about her ensemble. Before saying “I do,” Brittney went to meet her handsome husband-to-be for their "first look." David sported a blue suit, which included a stylish striped tie. 

Attendees gathered on the beach for the ceremony, finding spots on rustic seats that faced the vast Pacific Ocean and a wooden pagoda bedecked with ample verdure and scattered blooms in shades of white. Bridesmaids traversed the space in short lace frocks with scalloped trim while carrying simple clusters of green and white florals, followed closely by the bride, who was escorted by her father and stepfather. “Although all the guests and participants were barefoot, the men were in coats and ties and the ladies were chic,” Brittney affirms of revelers’ attire. Once the duo met at the altar, they went through the process of becoming officially joined as husband and wife. “My sister-in-law’s father married us and it was just a warm, friendly atmosphere, with the ocean breeze moving through us,” smiles the bride.

After the ceremony, friends and family retired further inland to the reception space created on a tennis court that had been transformed into a simple seaside dream. Sheer white fabric lined the area and acted as walls, shielding the celebration from anyone outside of it. A black-and-white dance floor rested below an elevated stage, which was accented by a wall of greenery as the backdrop. Long tables displayed striped runners in blue and white, while circular tables featured off-white linens from Luxe Linen. Each tablescape showcased idyllic low arrangements with similar blooms to the bride and bridesmaids’ bouquets, as well as gold table numbers, wicker details, and candles of varying heights. Place settings included simple menus with blue-and-white elements that were presented with sprigs of rosemary.

Guests enjoyed delicious fare while dancing the night away with the newlyweds. Brittney and David also wanted to cater to those with a sweet tooth and provided a three-tier confection – half of which was made up of a lemon flavor with buttercream frosting and the other half of which featured coconut and coconut cream frosting. All 110 attendees enjoyed the simplicity and elegance of the affair. “We wanted to keep it very small and intimate with just our families and close friends,” shares the bride.