There are so many special details in this Long Beach wedding, captured by A&C Photography, I don’t really know where to start. Firstly, we’re captivated by it’s unique location – on board the legendary Queen Mary ship – once upon a time the grandest ocean liner in the world. Then, we love the bride’s sophisticated vintage style and her decision to mirror Jackie Kennedy’s retro bouquet design. Lastly, you can’t go wrong with an elegant red and white palette, which not only was fitting for a marine’s wedding day, but also the festival Christmas season. Ready to step on board? Bon Voyage!
Bride Andrea shares:
Even though our wedding was 5 days before Christmas, Preston and I wanted to take advantage of Southern California’s mild weather and get married outdoors. With Preston in his Marine Corps dress blues, we thought a deck ceremony aboard the Queen Mary would be perfect. The reception was held in one of their banquet rooms, which we chose because of its more intimate size for our 80 person wedding (and Preston really liked the retro fireplace the room had). The dark reds and wood in the room were beautiful, reflected the season, and had a neat retro look. We didn’t even have to decorate it much.
Color Palette & Flowers
We went with red and champagne for the color palette to match the reception room and the holiday season, which was reflected in the bridesmaids’ and flower girl dresses (which we picked out at Alfred Angelo, on sale). The bridesmaids bouquets were mostly white except for the coffee beans for a little splash of red. My florist also did an amazing interpretation of Jackie Kennedy’s wedding bouquet for mine with gardenias and white roses. It had a retro feel without being too costume-y.
The wedding favors were Christmas ornaments I made out of seashells I hand painted different shades of ivory, gold and champagne. I thought the ornaments were a nice way to thank guests for traveling to see us during the holiday season (I covered our Christmas tree with the left overs – I was very proud of my DIY detail).
We also wanted to do a Unity Candle, but since the ceremony was outdoors we were afraid the candle would blow out – awkward! Since we met in a science class in college, we thought it would be quirky and fun to do a “Unity Chemlight” that would have the same feel but wouldn’t go out with the ocean breeze. We each held a small vase of clear liquid during the ceremony. When we poured the two liquids together into a tall thin vase, they reacted and lit up to a glowing blue light that shined brightly throughout the ceremony and reception.
My favorite detail, though, was the cake topper. The cake was red velvet with butter cream icing, and I had the groom in the topper customized to show Preston’s Marine Corps dress blues complete with his regulation hair cut, rank, and current medals he had at that time. He’s gotten more medals since then so it’s a great snapshot of where we were at the time of the wedding, aside from Adam and Claudia’s amazing photographs. Those two really are a great team. We are so happy with the way they captured our special day.
My biggest challenge was trying to plan the wedding around Preston’s ever-changing deployment schedule. The Queen Mary staff was very understanding and allowed me to have in our contract that we could change the date of the wedding if needed due to military deployment orders. Thankfully, we didn’t have to reschedule but I did do the majority of the planning on my own while he was away for training.
My favorite part of the wedding was Preston’s speech during the reception. He acknowledged that he had no idea how much work went into planning a wedding and that I did an amazing job handling (as he put it) “a logistics nightmare with flowers.” It was from the heart, classic Preston (which is blunt and sometimes crude), and special.
♥ ♥ ♥