Allie Ridge and Joe Ctvrtlik met for the very first time when they were just 13 years old. They reconnected in high school and quickly became best friends. “As time went on, our friendship grew and we fell in love,” smiles Allie. “It’s so special to have grown from best friends in high school to life partners forever.” While on vacation in Park City, Utah – their favorite place – Joe planned a memorable spring proposal, secretly arranging for both of their families to surprise his bride-to-be after she said “yes.” 

Though Allie and Joe currently reside in Dallas, Texas, they chose to exchange vows in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, not far from where they grew up in Newport Beach. “We wanted the wedding to be driving distance from our hometown, but still feel like a getaway destination,” explains the bride. “We loved having our wedding take place overlooking the ocean as we both grew up spending all our free time at the beach.” 

Allie and her beloved worked alongside Tessa Brand of Tessa Lyn Events to plan their dream day with 230 friends and family in attendance. “It was an incredible weekend of celebrations as we were able to spend time with our family and friends over the course of three days,” adds the bride of the multi-day festivities that took place on the same property. An intimate rehearsal dinner kicked off the celebrations on Thursday and before a welcome party for all guests on Friday night, groomsmen enjoyed a golf tournament while bridesmaids had a relaxing pool day. “The wedding felt very ‘us,’” Allie smiles. 

“We focused our wedding aesthetic around three words: timeless, classic, and elegant.”

Following a “first look,” the bride walked down the aisle on the arm of her father to meet her groom, who she confirms was very involved in the planning of the ceremony to make it unique to their love story. As they wanted to incorporate God and their faith into the big day, a Christian ceremony was held beneath a striking floral arch and personalized details including photos from their parents’ weddings were displayed. “This is one of our favorite touches we added to the ceremony as a way to honor our parents and thank them for being a positive influence and example of a forever-loving marriage,” says the bride. 

“We focused our wedding aesthetic around three words: timeless, classic, and elegant,” shares Allie of their vision for an elegant, coastal California vibe. Friends and family found their table assignments on an acrylic seating chart decorated with greenery. To keep everything classic, all-white flowers interspersed with verdure and tall taper candles helped to create an intimate setting. A custom acrylic structure was placed on the head table, suspending beautiful white florals, verdure, and displaying small vessels with individual roses on various tiers. 

To personalize the libations of the evening, specialty cocktails were either served with custom “C” monogrammed ice cubes or from a martini luge in honor of their new shared last name – a surprise from Allie’s parents. “The ‘Ours’ drink was a martini – as dirty martinis and espresso martinis are our favorite cocktails – so it was extra special that the ice luge honored that… We also had espresso martinis brought out late-night during dancing to keep the energy up!” notes the bride of the fun detail. 

The couple wouldn’t change a single thing about their wedding. “We were fortunate to be blessed with a perfect-weather weekend in May – sunny and 75 degrees, which allowed us to soak in the beauty of being on the coast in Southern California,” smiles Allie. The bride’s best advice for other couples? “Enjoy the planning process and know that your day will be special no matter what since you get to marry your person!” she adds.