When planning their dream wedding, Erika Leal and Josh Perez searched for a gorgeous venue in Southern California that would seamlessly complement their vision, allow for an outdoor wedding ceremony and reception that moved indoors for the party, and have each part of the celebration – ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner reception, and post-dinner party – take place in a different location. “The aesthetic of the venue had to add to the overall experience,” shares Erika. 

Thankfully, a gorgeous luxury resort in San Diego accommodated everything they desired and more. When they had a date available on Josh’s birthday, the pair took it as a sign and began planning the details of their special day. “My vision was for it to be timeless – nothing trendy – very classy, minimal, and elegant,” affirms Erika of their stunning design scheme, which featured black, white, and neutral décor as well as all-white florals accented with hints of greenery. 

Loved ones found their seats in front of the property’s luxurious gazebo on either side of a wide, raised aisle strewn with flower petals that led to the impressive ceremony arch embellished with greenery and hundreds of white blooms. Groomsmen donned traditional tuxedos, bridesmaids wore champagne-toned dresses, and the groom was handsome in an alabaster tuxedo jacket for the formal celebration. The bride was gorgeous in a form-fitting gown with an elegant off-the-shoulder neckline and floral embroidery throughout the bodice and skirt. She wore her long tresses in soft curls and carried a bouquet composed primarily of white phalaenopsis orchids. 

Walking down the aisle to meet Josh for the fairy-tale summer vow exchange was one of the couple’s shared most memorable moments of the day. “I’m so glad I walked alone and was able to fully soak in that moment with my eyes locked in on him,” the bride remembers of their romantic wedding ceremony. They shared handwritten vows with one another before being officially prounounced husband and wife in front of all of their loved ones. 

“My vision was for it to be timeless – nothing trendy – very classy, minimal, and elegant.”

Afterwards, guests enjoyed a lively cocktail hour complete with a mariachi band and found their table assignments on black-and-white seating charts on a towering greenery hedge wall above floral boxes filled with lush ivory blooms. 

Upholstered cane-back chairs surrounded round tables covered with neutral linens and decorated with low centerpieces, as well as long tables adorned with towering candelabra situated beneath pergolas for the alfresco dinner service. Place settings highlighted a modern black-rimmed charger plate, a wedding menu personalized with each guest’s name, and black-and-gold flatware to complete the chic tablescape. 

Since the couple wanted the dinner to be separate from the dancing portion of the reception, friends and family made their way into the ballroom for the party after their palates had been satiated with the tasty fare. To cherish the commitment they had made to one another before meeting their guests for the revelry, the newlyweds ate dinner in their room before joining loved ones for plenty of dancing, for which the bride changed into a fun minidress with fashionable gloves. 

As the wedding date fell on Josh’s birthday, guests savored slices of the pair’s six-layer wedding cake decorated with vanilla-hued florals, along with a surprise golf-themed birthday cake that was presented along with “happy birthday” signs and sparklers. It was not only a night to remember for the bride and groom, but also their guests. “We wanted every aspect to reflect us as a couple,” confirms Erika, who urges other couples to make the day their own in order to create the wedding of their dreams.