Sydney and Luke’s modern Versailles style wedding took place in an unlikely setting – and we love it all the more for it! An urban rooftop surrounded by high rises was transformed into a gilded garden oasis with lucite chairs and velvet emerald accents in the ribbon + bridesmaid dresses especially. Tularosa Flowers brought forth fresh blooms in bold jewel tones, which carried on from the grand entrance to the grand reception in the California hotel’s ballroom that evening. Love Always Planning set a scene that simply took our breath away. Gilded laser cut botanical chargers, foil-pressed menus and towering red, pink and gold centerpieces in refined glass urns were just a few of the visual delights at each table. Carrie McGuire‘s images from the day are a real treasure, and we’re so excited to share them with you below!
From the Event Designer & Florist, Tularosa Flowers: Can you have a Gilded French Glamourous holiday wedding without going to Europe? The answer is Yes!!! After Luke and Sydney returned from a multi-city European engagement trip in 2019, they went looking for a venue which embodied all the charm and elegance of Europe that they wanted for their wedding.
They found the Westgate Hotel in downtown San Diego and knew immediately it was their dream venue. The Westgate is unlike any other venue in San Diego, it has a cosmopolitan feeling of being in one of the grand hotels of Paris or New York City.
Sydney and Luke met one night while out with friends at a concert in San Diego. It was love at first sight… for Luke. For Sydney, who was on vacation from Phoenix, it was a beautiful yet fleeting encounter that had only a small chance of blossoming into something more. Yet, blossom into something more it did. Over the next year, the two did the most Millennial thing ever (kept in touch through social media), before Luke finally flew out to Phoenix. Their date that weekend was so special that it convinced Sydney that love is a risk worth taking. She moved out to San Diego the next month, and what was once love at first sight, turned into love forever.
Planning and designing their wedding was as whirlwind as their love story. Sometimes a really exciting design emerges when you have limited time and can’t overthink things. When wedding planner Ryan Mackenzie of Love Always Planning reached out to Tularosa Flowers for Sydney and Luke’s wedding there was only 1 month left to go before the wedding date.
Sydney and Luke are such a gracious and elegant couple that Ryan and I knew we wanted to create something truly magical and out of the box for their wedding. Working in close collaboration on all the details from staging, and escort card display to menu and linens Dawn and Ryan created a design for the wedding that has all the glamour and romance of Paris right in the heart of downtown San Diego.
Every detail of the day was captured exquisitely by Carrie McGuire Photography. Shooting both film and digital Carrie captured that love between Sydney and Luke that defied state lines.
Inspired by the gilding and gold ornamentation in the Versailles Ballroom at the Westgate Tularosa Flowers envisioned a wedding brimming with flowers and gold accents. All of the fresh greenery used to create the florals were gilded, creating a warm glowing background for blush, camel and toffee garden roses, burgundy peonies,unripe dates, hyacinth bean pods, mauve tulips, lilies, snapdragons and lisianthus.
Against the gorgeous emerald green gowns of the bridesmaids from Calvin Klein the bridesmaids bouquets added a warm glow, to give the cozy warm feeling the bride requested. Sydney was stunningly beautiful in her timeless strapless ball gown of faille from David’s Bridal, complete with pockets! Something every bride wants.
Sydney wore her great great grandmother’s 110 year old natural pearl earrings that have been passed down through her family and worn by every bride, as her something borrowed. To show off her heirloom jewels she kept the rest of her look minimal and elegant with a whimsical and romantic updo by Kat Black Hair and beautiful make-up by Kristen Davis Make-Up. Bejeweled flats by Badgley Mischka completed her elegant look.
Groom Luke was insanely dashing in a black tux by Joseph Abboud with Malachite green bow tie and patent leather Tuxedo loafers by Calvin Klein. Both bride and groom’s rings were from Brilliant Earth known for their beautiful conflict free diamonds.
For the ceremony we wanted to create a design that brought the feeling of a flower garden to the roof of the Westgate, to soften the urban environment of the rooftop terrace surrounded by high rises. A flower walkway of growing blooms framing a plush white carpet was the perfect antidote to the cement and glass of the neighboring buildings. Clear Lucite Napoleon chairs from APR boutique rentals embodied the blending of classic design with fresh modern elements that characterized all of the wedding design and kept the ceremony feeling light and airy. Elevating the couple on a low stage Tularosa Flowers created a flower circle that appeared to grow out of the stage creating a romantic sacred space to embrace the couple as they exchanged vows.
Beautiful Sydney walked down the aisle accompanied by the sound of harp music which continued into the cocktail hour. Cocktails were enjoyed on the other side of the Westgate’s rooftop fountain before guests meandered to the Versailles Ballroom for dinner.
The guests were greeted on the Versailles floor with an escort card installation of floating Lucite table charts by Woodland Custom Designs against an emerald green velvet backdrop. Dawn and Ryan designed the seating chart display to be repurposed as a background for a custom neon sign created for the couple by their friends. Once guests had gone in to dinner the seating chart was replaced by the neon sign and served as an additional photo backdrop for friends and family to enjoy.
The ballroom fully embraced the Versailles Ballroom decor and French styling. Elegant white linens were decorated with modern pleated glass candle holders and crystal vases brimming with gold metallic foliage and blush, gold and deep berry florals. Place settings continued the modern touches with laser cut gold floral filigree chargers, clean lined napkin folds with gold foliage accents and menus from Minted echoing the gilded floral filigree of the chargers and bordered in emerald, blush and ivory, color coded to reflect each guest’s diner selection.
The Westgate’s iconic marble and gold sculptural fireplace was the perfect backdrop for the 4 tiered marbled wedding cake with edible 24 carat gold leaf created by Jenny Wenny Cakes, adorned with french Macarons of course!
The sweetheart table was surrounded by flowers to complete the feeling of a gilded wildflower garden. Guests danced the night away with nonstop music from Complete Events San Diego and all of the wedding festivities were captured by Joshua Failla Media. While a European wedding might still be out of reach for a while, there are wonderful alternatives Stateside that capture all of the romance and glamour of a Continental wedding with no passports needed.
If you’ve made it here, we have a feeling you appreciate the finer things. Continue your wander down the rabbit hole of French inspired wedding ideas here next. After all, Marie Antoinette is as good of a connection to Versailles as any!
Photography: Carrie McGuire
Videography: Joshua Failla Media
Planner: Love Always Planning
Event + Floral Design: Tularosa Flowers
Venue: The Westgate Hotel
Chair + Linen Rentals: APR Boutique Event Rentals
Hair: Kat Black Hair
Make- Up: Kristine Davis
Cake: Jenny Wenny Cakes
Bridal Gown: David’s Bridal
Shoes: Badgley Mischka Bride
Staging: Platinum Event Rentals
Calligraphy: Woodland Custom Design
DJ: Complete Events San Diego
Officiant: The Socal Wedding Officiant