Not even the travails of war could keep destiny from shining upon Julie Twitchell and James Chalupsky. A lieutenant in the United States Navy, the groom was to be deployed to the Persian Gulf on the USS Boxer in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. With no exact date set for his return, Jim’s military duty placed obvious constraints on the wedding plans. But such challenges only made Julie and Jim’s wedding more special. Despite the logistical difficulties, a perfect setting and a perfect day in November were found for the wedding, and Jim’s distance in the Persian Gulf during the planning stages was overcome thanks to the technology of e-mail.

With its beautiful views of Newport Beach, the Clubhouse at Pelican Hill was aglow in sophisticated colors, a lovely setting for what Julie and Jim envisioned as an intimate, elegant affair with close friends and family. The bride wore a stunning, custom-designed gown, thanks in part to Julie’s maid of honor and friend of fifteen years, Shawna, who happens to own a bridal salon and even designed the bridal jewelry. Adding a sentimental touch, Julie carried with her two handkerchiefs, both made from her mother’s wedding gown and the lace of her veil.

The florist perfectly illustrated Julie’s ideas for creating a unique setting. Stargazers, the bride’s favorite flower, filled the scene. The groomsmen, who wore custom bow ties with a tropical print, boasted boutonnieres made of calla lilies and stephanotis, and the readers were graced with orchids. The bride carried a captivating bouquet made of white tulips, stephanotis, and lilies of the valley. Simple yet glamorous were the adjectives that immediately came to minds of the wedding guests.

The music and readings offered during the ceremony lent a very moving, personal touch to the celebration. The ceremony featured a playing of the US Navy hum, and a reading was dedicated to members of the armed forces past, present, and future. The reception, also held at the Clubhouse at Pelican Hill, exuded a classic and sophisticated air. Each table was a different color, with the wedding party’s table a sleek white. The centerpieces were designed to coordinate with the vibrant colors of the clubhouse and boasted five dozen tulips, arranged delicately in a glass vase set on the table.

Guests enjoyed a four-course plated dinner that included mushroom bisque, exotic greens with a dill dressing, filet with a cabernet sauce, halibut with a citrus Chardonnay sauce, and fresh vegetables. The wedding cake was a unique dark chocolate ganache cake baked by the chef at the Four Seasons. Outlining the cake was dark chocolate with white lilies hand-placed by the florist. All agreed the cake was a one-of-a-kind creation, simultaneously gorgeous and delicious. A martini bar, carved out of ice into the shape of a palm tree, provided visually stunning liquid libation for the festivities.

It was fitting that the couple chose as their first dance “La Vie Dasante,” by Jimmy Buffet. Both are Jimmy Buffet fans with a dear love for the sea, and Jim is particularly fond of wearing tropical shirts by Reyn Spooner. The bride and groom extended their joyous beach times by honeymooning in Costa Rica, where tropics meet the sea. The locale was ideal for framing an experience that refused to be deterred by the tribulations of war.