Michelle & Adam’s Estancia La Jolla Wedding is nothing short of beauty and elegance in a wedding day. With such a stunning color palette of creams, pinks and soft greens paired alongside full beautiful blooms and timeless details their day was so dreamy!
Serene Events and Design-“Featuring lush florals, graceful linen signage and an extraordinary cake, Michelle and Adam got married on a cool winter day in San Diego, CA. This intimate day was celebrated with their closest friends and family. As a romantic string trio filled the air, the couple swooned over each other. This hacienda hotel was the perfect backdrop to a fairy tale day.”
How did you two meet? What were your first impressions of one another? Michelle winked at me. That one single wink led to us. The evening of our first date arrived and Michelle was so nervous she showed up 10 minutes early. But that didn’t compare to the nerves that I was feeling. I arrived 35 minutes early. I still remember the very first time I saw her, across the street from a window seat of the restaurant and the way everything felt overwhelmingly different as time seemed to slow.
The walk to the restaurant was a blur, but everything came into focus, when Adam greeted me with a warm smile. Our dinner was served with amazing conversations, laughs, and stolen moments. I remember placing my hand on his several times, because I couldn’t place what I was feeling. Perhaps, I felt I must have known him in another past time. We connected over the simplest things that added up to the same dreams.
She was absolutely amazing, completely different than anyone I had ever met, and somehow all I had ever hoped to find. Time passed and before I knew it, the bartenders declared it was last call. We were the only two at the restaurant. We did not want the night to end, so we decided to find a Jazz speakeasy. We shared a glass and danced.
Fast forward, we took on the world, one step at a time, running miles together, a suitcase full of Christmas ornaments, and a hashtag of memories, we found a life worth photographing – together.
Tell us a funny story relating to your wedding day or relationship! A couple months before the big day, we decided to sign up for a few dance classes to work on our first dance as Husband and Wife. We went in not knowing what song we would pick, never taking a single dance class, and just wanting to have some fun with dancing. After the months of practicing on off hours, we finally get to the big day and the big entrance. The music starts and all the practice couldn’t prevent me from elbowing Michelle right on her tiara. I almost knocked it off her head in the middle of the 3rd or 4th spin. Michelle handled it perfectly, with grace and a smile. No one was the wiser and we kept on beat. But man, just goes to show, no matter how much you practice, something can always go wrong. I’m just lucky I have my beautiful wife to make me look good.
Describe a hurdle you had to overcome in your relationship or during your wedding planning. The major hurdle that we, and so many other couples experienced during wedding planning was the ever-changing restrictions and safety concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. We had originally planned for a Fall wedding with 100-150 guests in 2020, but the global situations made that scenario an impossibility. We went back and forth on possible locations, traveled all over, adjusted guest counts, and wondered how we could keep our loved ones safe while still celebrating our big day.
The start of 2021 was truly the most difficult time for us. We lost Michelle’s father at the beginning of 2021 so our focus immediately shifted towards family. It led us to plan a more intimate wedding with our closest family. Looking back on our wedding, we are happy to have a smaller and more intimate gathering. It allowed us to slow things down and truly cherish every moment with those we love.
Any special ways you incorporated your family or family history into your wedding day? We come from wonderfully different cultures that shared so many values and were raised in loving families. Adam is Chamoru, born and raised on Guam, and spent the last 16 years in San Diego. Michelle is Cambodian, was born in California and raised in New Jersey, with her parents surviving their harrowing journey from Cambodia to give their family a better future. We lost Michelle’s dad in 2021. Adam wore one of his watches and Michelle attached a charm with his photo to her bouquet. We will always keep our family close to our hearts and hope to honor and remember them well.
What part of your wedding day was/is most important to you? The most important part of the day, besides saying “I DO” and marrying my best friend, was our ‘First Look’. The ups and downs of years of planning a wedding through a global pandemic, the last minute hiccups, and the nerves that come with the hopes and excitement of the big day had been leading to this day, to a single moment. I remember sitting with my dad in our ready room thinking about Michelle and how her morning was going, how she might be feeling, and how lucky I was to not have to worry about a tenth of the things that a bride has to handle. I was worried about how she was doing, all of the plans coming together, and everything that lay ahead of us. Then came time for the ‘First Look’ and one of our photographers mentioned, “You’ll feel calm and ready and then get hit by all of the emotions.” She could not have been more right. I could hear both Michelle’s footsteps as she approached from behind me and my heart beating through my ears. Then she tapped me on my shoulder and i turned to see my gorgeous bride and that wonderful smile that I fell in love with almost 8 years ago. We were finally able to talk, hold each other’s hands, and embrace. The nerves we both felt, the worries, the concerns, and everything just evaporated because we were finally back together.
What was your favorite part about planning your wedding? We had a lot of fun putting together our wedding favors and designing the invitations, save-the-dates, signs, and the little details. The coolest part was taking the time to order wax seal stamps and practicing over and over to get the perfectly formed wax seal on our invitations. However, the best part of it was traveling all over to find a venue and getting to enjoy the food and cakes at tastings. The views, the menus, and learning about the wedding planning process all while imagining where the string trio would play and where we would say our “I Do’s”. That brought a whole new sense of adventure to our trips.
If you had one piece of advice for other couples, what would it be?
When the world around you starts pulling you in a million different directions, slow things down and focus in on the priorities that bring you happiness. Hopefully, the priority that comes into focus is your significant other. If it is, then make sure to treat each other with the care and attention that can only bring both of you happiness. Then after you’ve recharged and found a common and stable ground, take on the other million things, together. It should help make life a little more fun and keep you grounded with the most important person at your center as you drive forward through it all.
What is the most honest thing you can say about love? Michelle has said it best when asked, what marriage means to her? “Marriage is two people in love. Choosing each other every single day. Marriage has many different faces and is solely dependent on the people in the marriage. In other words, Marriage is created by us and we are able to create a strong and loving marriage as long as we want and choose to. Marriage isn’t something that is a given or just happens. It requires constant effort, attention, care, and love. We need to continue to nurture it.” I feel this describes love. It is something felt, something that two people are inspired to, and is a powerful driving force that gives meaning to life. Love is also something that is chosen every single day. It also requires patience, understanding, nurturing, care, and requires 2 people to make that conscious choice with every little decision, every single day to choose love in each other.
Photographer: Pauline Conway Photography
Venue: Estancia La Jolla
Stylist / Planner / Designer: Serene Events and Design
Floral Designer: Wild and Behold
Cake Designer: LILA Cake Shop
Makeup Artist: Mobile Beauty Team
Hair Stylist: Mobile Beauty Team
Stationery: TSE Calligraphy
Officiant: Ceremonies By Bethel
Entertainment: Caprice Strings
DJ: Dancing DJ Productions
Videographer: Blue Tiger Films