Charlise Castro remembers how much George Springer made her laugh on their first date and how comfortable they both felt with one another. “I’m not sure if it was because we both had similar athletic backgrounds or if it was his humor that won me over. Either way, I felt like a lucky girl. He still mentions that I took his breath away,” she confides. “She had a great personality and the ability to connect as if we had hung out for years,” he reflects. George eventually proposed to Charlise amongst family and friends during a sunset walk on the beach in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. “He got down on one knee and I practically attacked him, jumping into his arms,” she laughs.

Due to the groom’s role as an outfielder for the Houston Astros, Charlise and George’s schedules were fairly hectic, leaving only a short time frame in the winter to wed. “Since we are both from the chilly northeast, we decided that we wanted to have a destination wedding,” says Charlise of their decision to enjoy a weeklong vacation prior to the celebration with their nearest and dearest.

Loved ones joined the couple at an opulent resort located in the sunny seaside community of Newport Coast in Orange County. The ceremony began at sunset, where guest chairs were arranged in front of the Italian rotunda that sits on the property, perfectly placed to provide picturesque views of the ocean. Thousands of fragrant ivory florals bedecked the area, in addition to towering configurations of greenery spelling out “C & G.” The aisle was richly covered in petals and timeless flower arrangements; even the rotunda was heavily dressed in vanilla blossoms.

The bride and groom spent a lot of time determining their playlist for the ceremony, carefully considering which songs would go over well with the crowd. “George is a big kid at heart, so he wanted something awesome for his entrance,” Charlise tells. George ultimately surprised onlookers when he started the processional to the intro music for Game of Thrones. “All of our guests were cracking up as he walked past them,” Charlise shares. “It was amazing to hear the string quartet play the tune from one of our favorite shows… everyone thought it was great!” The groom’s custom ensemble was equally memorable. Inside his tuxedo jacket – made from authentic Royal cloth – were photos of he and Charlise throughout their courtship, making the coat a unique keepsake.

Following the bridal party, who wore chic off-the-shoulder black dresses, the bride made her grand entrance. She wore a fitted gown with a lace overlay and complementing cathedral veil and held a lush bouquet of garden roses, tulips, peonies, and ranunculuses.

For the reception, the newlyweds were in awe when viewing the ballroom for the first time. In fact, it was one of George’s favorite moments, aside from watching his bride walk down the aisle. “When I saw it, I understood why she was acting a little crazy for a year,” he admits of seeing the elaborate display. “She did a great job planning.”

The space was transformed into a regal soirée, using a color scheme of crisp white, gold, and black. “We gave our planning team [at Mindy Weiss Party Consultants] minimal direction,” the bride explains. “It turned out great… very classic, timeless, and elegant.” Even their florist exceeded the couple’s expectations. “At the mockup, I told her that I wanted everything bigger, and boy oh boy, did she deliver. They were gigantic and gorgeous!” Charlise describes of the varying statement centerpieces. A grand floral “chandelier” was situated between a pair of glossy black light fixtures; all three were suspended over the custom dance floor, which boasted the couple’s monogram motif first introduced to attendees in a luxe invitation suite.

Guests were seated at either long mirrored tables or circular models cloaked in patterned tablecloths and gilt chairs with ebony cushions. Each table setting highlighted a clear charger plate rimmed in a midnight tone, a silky napkin, and a framed laser-cut menu. Black and crystal glassware paired with gold-plated flatware completed the look.

Another eye-catching element was the wedding cake – in classic vanilla, chocolate, and red velvet – frosted in a simple white buttercream design, made extravagant with overflowing adornments of fresh flowers. The groom’s Funfetti® confection paid homage to the Astros’ recent 2017 World Series win, where he was awarded Most Valuable Player.

The newly minted Mr. and Mrs. danced and mingled with guests until night became morning. “Having everything mapped out and organized really helped us to enjoy the process,” acknowledges Charlise, who definitely recommends hiring a planner. “I know we can look back 20 years from now and still be proud of our wedding day.”