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There are some couples that just warm your heart, and that's exactly what you'll feel when you meet Charissa and Chris. They hosted their timeless Summer wedding at Hacienda de las Flores, a unique and historic gem in the East Bay. Their wedding day was vibrant, romantic, and filled to the brim with flower power! This unforgettable day was envisioned by Charissa and Chris, whose love was radiant as the sun peaking on a glorious morning.
Let's rewind for a minute and talk about this love story . . .
Charissa and Chris met on Hinge and immediately hit it off, but immediately faced a major challenge. Charissa, a psychologist, had just been matched into a one-year hospital internship in Southern California, and Chris' entire life was firmly rooted in beautiful NorCal. The distance was a major hurdle for a blooming relationship, but deep down they both know it was worth it. They managed to visit every chance they got, and filled in the gaps with nightly Facetime dates, strengthening their bond and foundation for their future relationship.
After a long year of late-night flights and sleepless nights apart, these two were finally able to begin spending more time together in Northern California. As time went on, their love grew, and a short time later Chris surprised Charissa with tickets to Filoli Gardens for what would be a night to remember. To Charissa's surprise, Chris took a knee, declared his love, and made the most charming proposal. Charissa said yes, OF COURSE, just as their family and friends hopped out from their hideout and joined in the celebration!
Chris and Charissa quickly got down to business planning their wedding. When it came to selecting a location for celebrating the best day of their life, they ultimately chose Hacienda de las Flores in Moraga, CA, as their wedding venue. The close location to San Francisco combined with a "secret garden vibe" was the perfect match for this couple’s gorgeous wedding vision.
The couple hired Andria Volpicell, event designer and owner of Andria Leigh Events, plus the Hacienda de las Flores team to bring their wedding to life. Combined with the help of Charissa's talented mother, and a few other key vendors, the wedding day was destined to be a grand success.
"My Mom did a lot of the planning when I couldn't be present, and so much of the inspiration came from her."
The vision for the wedding was inspired by a romantic Italian-French garden party. Naturally, the floral arrangements were the center of attention (shout out to Laura Plascencia of Laura's Floras). The bridal bouquet consisted of garden roses in fuchsia, pink, and peach shades, with a complementary combination of poppies, cherry Carmel phlox, ranunculus blossoms, foxgloves, and honeysuckle vines. The “broken” floral arch and the aisle styling consisted of lush garden roses, fully open peonies, and foxgloves that created an eye-catching ceremony backdrop.
On a beautiful summer day in Northern California, Chris and Charissa tied the knot surrounded by 160 adoring family and friends surrounded by bright pink flowers and decadent greenery. Charissa’s brother-in-law officiated the breathtaking Pair’s Baha’i ceremony, including prayers, music, and quotes read by close friends and family. As Chris and Charissa repeated the verse, “We all verily abide by the will of God,” it was officially time for the first kiss as husband and wife.
"We designed a romantic Italian-French inspired garden party reception with personal touches that honored the bride and groom's Persian and Irish heritage respectively,"
— Andria, Andria Leigh Events
As guests made their way to the reception area, they walked through the wrought-iron garden gates decorated with matching floral arrangements to create a cohesive design experience. Once guests arrived at the entrance, they found individual glass boxes that contained their names and table in a handwritten scroll.
The courtyard at Hacienda de las Flores was transformed into a European-Style garden, filled with long reception tables covered in ivory linens and floral arrangements that perfectly accented the all-around lush greenery that the venue provides. The site lit up with a canopy full of perfectly arranged ambiance twinkle lights as the sun went down.
We can't forget the dress! The bride wowed everyone with her fitted dress featuring a bodice, off-the-shoulder draped tulle, and pearls sprinkled throughout — all paired with hot pink satin mules. After the ceremony and photos, Charissa changed into a stunning short dress with a large bow, the perfect touch for a night of dancing during the reception. The groom looked handsome with a classic black tuxedo and special cuff links belonging to Charissa’s late grandfather.
"My grandfather played a big role in my upbringing but passed away before Chris could meet him."
The newlyweds hosted the most delicious desserts for their big day. Situated between the stunning Corinthian columns was an assortment of Persian dry fruits. The couple’s wedding cake was composed of tiramisu and strawberry shortcake and decorated with light blue icing and a gold accent.
What a beautiful event! Hacienda de las Flores was a gorgeous location for this romantic wedding and it was even featured by Martha Stewart. The attention to detail from all involved created a luxurious and unique experience for the bride and groom and their wonderful guests.
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