Neftali & Hector-A Serra Plaza Wedding

Hector & Neftali were one of those couples that when they told me their story, I couldn’t help but want to coordinate their wedding.  Hector was injured in an unfortunate incident in his mid 20’s and is currently in a wheel chair.  He and Neftali met after his injury at the church the two of them were going to.  They fell in love and decided to get married!  With their families ranging in location from LA to San Diego, they chose Serra Plaza in San Juan Capistrano for their wedding location.  The loved the California mission architecture, the option for an indoor ceremony, and the outdoor setting for the reception.

A lot of my brides want an outdoor ceremony and an indoor reception but Neftali was the opposite.  She envisioned a warm, chapel like setting for the ceremony and an outdoor tented reception.  For decor, she wanted lots of candles and soft white draping, with mixtures of white, pink, and ivory flowers.  The ceremony we created was so beautiful!  And a great little bonus about Serra Plaza is that they have movable pews available to be used for ceremony seating.  It was exactly what Neftali had envisioned!


To help with the budget, the two floral arrangements flanking the altar area in the ceremony were transferred to the reception as centerpieces.  I tend to prefer not to transfer items from the ceremony to the cocktail hour because guests usually proceed straight to cocktails and would notice a couple of worker bees moving items there.  But it’s generally easy to move items from the ceremony to the seated dinner portion of a wedding since, if guests are in a separate cocktail hour area, it can usually be done inconspicuously.  I have had aisle and alter decor act as centerpieces on guest tables, decorate a sweetheart or cake table, or be a large arrangement in a foyer or on an escort card table.

Below, the groom and his posse of groomsmen pose for photos as well as some beautiful pictures of the bride and groom!


I loved the reception!  We created a draped tent-style wedding without an actual tent.  This is a great way to enclose a space but still keep it airy, well-lit, and outdoors in feel.  This style can also be used to create shade or just to soften a look.  We hung chandeliers down the center of the tent which added a romantic and girly feel!  We chose fruitwood chivari chairs because we felt they went well with the California mission architecture and balanced the muted palate.  Hector and Neftali wanted to create a special area for the two of them during the reception that would be easily accessible with Hector’s wheelchair.  See the throne-like set-up below!  Very cool!


When the sun set, the lights at Serra Plaza transformed the area magically!  Such beautiful location and such an amazing couple!


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