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An Organic Garden Party Wedding in San Diego

by Staff

Ever since Micah Weesner met Sarah Casmass during the first night of college on August 14, 2013, he was smitten. Sarah, on the other hand, needed some convincing. During their first semester of freshman year, Micah asked Sarah out four different times. Sarah turned him down again and again. It wasn’t until Thanksgiving break that Sarah realized her feelings might be mutual. By the end of freshman year, they were an item. 

On September 16, 2017, Micah got down on one knee and popped the question. This time, Sarah didn’t reject him. “Altogether, it was the best day of our lives,” Micah reminisces. “Friends and family gathered near and far to celebrate with us, and as Sarah likes to say, ‘Our hearts were so, so full.’” 

Instead of waiting to tie the knot, the duo decided to elope. Just one month after the dreamy proposal, they were pronounced husband and wife. Then, their relationship was put to the test in the spring of 2019 when Micah was diagnosed with leukemia. Now, the groom is in remission, so the couple wanted to host a proper wedding celebration with all of their friends and family. 

At first, the pair was planning on throwing a New York wedding. Then, three months before the big day, their original venue made the decision not to accommodate their nuptials due to the pandemic. So, the couple had to quickly shift gears. 

Because they had just moved to the West Coast, they decided to browse venues in the area. They quickly fell in love with Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa, but it was out of their budget. Once the venue decided to match the couple’s price, they knew it was meant to be. “The all-outdoor, Spanish-inspired, bright, and artistic atmosphere, combined with a modern resort feeling and indoor/outdoor dining made the venue feel like an extension of our home, ourselves, and all we had come to love about Southern California,” Sarah summarizes.

Since the bride worked as a wedding photographer in her post-graduate years, she enjoyed the creative process behind designing her own big day. But, trying to execute her vision while adapting to a global pandemic, a health scare, a cross-country move, a venue change, and multiple postponements was a challenging endeavor. With a talented team of vendors and a strong support system, they pulled out all of the stops. “In the end, we were able to piece together the West Coast wedding of our dreams, thanks to DIY and the incredible vendor team we had assembled,” Sarah notes. 

On September 5, 2021, Sarah and Micah said “I do” a second time—this time surrounded by 130 friends and family at Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa in San Diego. Read on to see the couple’s vision come to life, planned by Type A Society and Lisa Ann Events and photographed by Sean Thomas Photography.

For their special day, the couple planned an organic garden party with a touch of bohemian whimsy. However, the wedding’s focal point was really their relationship. “Our vision and hope was to curate something that truly reflected us—not just in aesthetics, but in spirit too,” Sarah explains. “We saw our wedding as a celebration of all we had been through, and it only seemed fitting to use the wedding as a way for us to say, ‘Thank you.’” 

The couple painted their nuptials in neutral hues with pops of lilac, mauve, gold, yellow, wine, and burgundy. To set the tone of their celebration, Sarah customized deckle-edged invitations, complete with gold foil and a leaf illustration—a nod to their garden-inspired aesthetic.

I knew my dress was the one when my mom was simply quiet and couldn’t find any words besides tears.

Sarah stunned in a custom Italian sheen satin off-the-shoulder A-line gown with a plunging neckline and a low back by Carol Hannah. “I knew my dress was the one when my mom was simply quiet and couldn’t find any words besides tears,” the bride reflects. She accessorized with a cathedral-length veil featuring gold flecks, taupe suede heels by Steve Madden, diamond earrings, and an heirloom ring from her grandmother. 

The bride donned a natural-yet-elevated makeup look with bold eyeshadow inspired by Ariana Grande’s wedding glam. “I definitely didn’t want to commit to a full no-makeup makeup look, but I loved a more natural-toned palette and didn’t want to feel unlike myself,” she shares. 

For her hairstyle, Sarah selected a romantic updo with face-framing tendrils. “Especially without any jewelry, I really wanted the hair and the dress to complement each other and be the focus of my look,” she says.

After Micah suited up in a charcoal gray number from The Black Tux and topped it off with a green floral tie, the couple shared a sweet first look to ease their pre-wedding nerves and savor a few moments together. “I loved being able to hear his voice in my head as I walked down the aisle with sweet words we had just exchanged, and he enjoyed being able to privately emote his reactions to seeing me for the first time alone,” Sarah recounts.

Sarah’s bridesmaids sported Show Me Your Mumu dresses in shades of taupe, champagne, and gray. “The subtle variation in neutrals and finishes made them come together in such a tonal and interesting way that was unique to them, but also on theme with our color palette,” Sarah remarks.

Micah’s squad coordinated in light gray numbers from The Black Tux, leather suspenders with brass buckles, leather shoes, and champagne ties from Show Me Your Mumu.

Sarah held an earthy assortment of white blooms, such as roses, dahlias, cosmos, ranunculus, and sweet peas, with hints of greenery and dried grasses, all wrapped in a silk ribbon. “It felt so fitting for the setting at Estancia La Jolla and seasonally appropriate for being the end of the summer and on the cusp of a SoCal autumn,” the bride explains.

A DIY welcome sign that the bride and groom built themselves greeted guests at the ceremony site. Each plane captured the duo’s love story. They hung paper cranes from a gold frame as a nod to their engagement, and they included their family motto—a quote from their favorite Bible passage.

“As an all-outdoor wedding at an open-air Spanish-style resort in La Jolla, we wanted the feel to have a very European garden party allure with a nod to the coast,” Sarah says of her ceremony design. She made sure to incorporate lots of blooms to bring her vision to life. Floral arrangements flanked the aisle, and the duo swapped vows in front of a deconstructed floral arch.

Sarah’s dad walked her down the aisle while “I Will Always Be Yours” by Ben Rector played.

During the ceremony, the bride and groom shared heartfelt vows that they pulled from their elopement. But this time, they got to share their promises in public. A handful of resort guests actually heard Sarah and Micah rehearsing their vows the day before, so they decided to show up for the real deal. “They shared how our vows brought them to tears and that they had never heard such beautiful and powerful vows,” Sarah recounts. The couple concluded the special event with a unity plant ceremony.

After Sarah and Micah said “I do” once again, they recessed to “Rollercoaster” by the Jonas Brothers while their guests showered them with flower petals.

Guests sipped on signature mocktails, garnished with dried fruit and lavender cocktail picks that the couple sourced themselves. The flavor? Hers was a lavender lemonade, and his was a spinoff of Panera Bread’s “Passion Papaya Iced Green Tea.”

Everyone dined outdoors at banquet tables beneath bistro lights. Floral centerpieces were scattered across the tabletops, complete with acrylic table numbers that Sarah calligraphed. Each place was set with gold chargers, gold flatware, knotted beige napkins, and a fresh bud.

Guests found their seats on a lucite sign suspended from brass pipe arches and marked with an arrangement of dried and fresh flowers. Sarah created the floral illustrations and calligraphy herself.

After making their grand entrance, Sarah and Micah shared their first dance to “I Get to Love You” by Ruelle.

“We may be biased, but my sister’s maid and matron of honor speeches and Micah’s best man’s speech could be published,” Sarah exclaims. “They are so well-spoken and charming to listen to, told hysterical stories, and shared some of the deepest and kindest words to both Micah and me that we will never forget.”

During the reception, Sarah and Micah snuck away to take portraits on the beach while basking in the joy of getting to celebrate their marriage again.

The couple cut into a single-tier confection, which they had painted with buttercream flowers and gold flecks and topped with the words “Friggin’ Finally.” Sarah and Micah fed each other the pistachio cake with a rose-flavored buttercream, which made a candid photo op.

After dancing the night away, surrounded by their support system, Sarah and Micah couldn’t have imagined a better way to mark their marriage one more time. “It was truly the best night of our lives and represented victory and new beginnings in so many ways,” Sarah says.

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