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An Elegant Rose Gold Wedding at Rancho Valencia in Rancho Santa Fe, California

Patricia Chong (30 and a fashion publicist) and Christopher Kolar’s (30 and a project manager) wedding was all about creating unique experiences for t

Patricia Chong (30 and a fashion publicist) and Christopher Kolar’s (30 and a project manager) wedding was all about creating unique experiences for their families and friends and pulling off a day that captured the energy of love. “While it might sound crazy to focus on everyone else on a day dedicated to the two of us, we knew that we would enjoy the day most if everyone else was having a great time,” says Patricia. “It was also important for us to keep everything authentic to who we are.”

Rancho Valencia in Rancho Santa Fe, California offered an elegant, yet relaxed setting for the day to unfold, with seemingly endless rooms and event spaces, both indoors and out, that allowed Patricia and Christopher to make each and every moment feel unique. “We fell in love with Rancho Valencia due to its relaxed, intimate nature and it is a tennis resort, which a sport that we bonded over and played together as friends,” says Patricia.

The day started with an outdoor ceremony, in which Patricia and Christopher exchanged heartfelt vows they’d written themselves under a stately pergola draped in a lush garland of eucalyptus. “We also honored our parents by giving each of them bows and hugs,” says Patricia.

The reception felt like a whimsical rose gold dream with the Terrace Ballroom and Patio dressed to the nines with rose gold trimmings, vintage-inspired dinnerware, lush centerpieces overflowing with full ivory and pink blooms and brightly lit candles in glass candlesticks. Miniature bottles of rose gold champagne doubled as escort cards and guided guests to their seats, while Patricia’s favorite Diptyque candles filled the venue with a beautiful scent. “We created multiple unique areas that guests could experience with us. We love dancing, so we wanted to craft a high energy and fun experience on the dance floor,” says Patricia. “Whereas the Terrace, right outside the reception room, was quiet and the cool June night lent itself to intimate conversations with guests.” A corridor illuminated with candles led guests to the wine cellar where they could strike a pose at the couple’s photo booth and treat themselves to a cool, sweet treat at the ice cream bar.

A tip for the taking from Patricia and Christopher: “The wedding is as much about your guests as it is about you as a couple. Like most things in life it's about finding the right balance and harmony between two things. So, make sure you think about the flow of the night and guest experience as much as you do about your dress and flowers. The more they enjoy it, the more you will too!”

Urbanic Paper Boutique worked with Patricia and Christopher to design a formal invitation suite with a playful twist. The couple's tennis racket motif featured on both the invitation itself and the response card, a nod to the day they met.
Patricia let florist Michelle Jacob take full control of all of the florals, requesting only that the flowers complement the venue and that anemones be included in the centerpieces and bouquets. However, the drought in California made finding anemones a difficult task. “Somehow my florist managed to find a vendor who was getting them imported,” says Patricia. “A week before our wedding we were told the anemones were destroyed at customs. I was devastated, since they’re my favorite flower, but two days before the wedding my wonderful florist was able to source the flowers! Anemones were limited, but we were able to incorporate them into all the bouquets, boutonnieres and a few centerpieces.”
Patricia was focused on finding an off-the-shoulder A-line gown with a flowy chiffon skirt at the start of her wedding dress search, but the gown she ultimately said “I do” in could not have been more different. While trying on dresses one afternoon, she spotted a blush ball gown with dramatic textural tulle and a strapless peplum bodice and at the urging of her friend took the plunge and tried it on. “Once I did, I quickly signed off on it. The blush tone is what really appealed to me and I was able to get two dresses out of it,” says Patricia. “For the late night dancing I was able to rip off the tulle skirt and use the peplum portion as a party dress.
Patricia and Christopher ditched tradition and had fun with their escort cards, decorating mini Moet Rose champagne bottles with wooden hearts bearing a tennis racket motif. The bottles were displayed alongside a rose gold sign that read, “Time top pop champagne and drop it to the beat, but first find your seat.”
Patricia and Christopher met one summer at a 4th of July party where they bonded over tennis and hit it off, so when it came time to plan their wedding, a few tennis-inspired details were a must. Rose gold rackets, stationery with tennis motifs and even Rancho Valencia itself, a tennis resort, served as a nod to the sport and the couple’s playful beginnings.
Decorated with an intricate gold design, the dinnerware tied into the evening's rose gold theme, will taking the tablescapes to glam new heights. Each plate was adorned with olive leaves for a touch of rustic flair.
Two textured and romantic arrangements of dahlias, hydrangeas, stock and wildflowers greeted guests as they arrived to the ceremony and set the tone for the chic, romantic decor to come.
To bring the Rancho Valencia courtyard to life for the ceremony, Michelle Jacob lined the aisles with ivory rose petals and arrangements of white hydrangeas, delphiniums and textured greenery.
To tie into the wedding's rose gold theme, gold script table numbers set against mint polka dot backdrop were framed in rose gold frames.
For the centerpieces, the couple's florist Michelle Jacob created textured, yet refined arrangements of scabiosas, hydrangeas, dahlias, stock flowers and Veronicas in shades of ivory and white, with pops of bright pink and peach.
Patricia and Christopher provided guests with customized versions of wedding Mad Libs during cocktail hour. At the end of the game, guests were asked to provide their best newlywed advice to the couple.
Patricia and Christopher’s wedding cake by Heythere, Cupcake! was a confectionary dream. A cascade of anemones, lisianthuses, ranunculuses and greenery decorated the center tier, while the bottom layer was adorned with sparkling rose gold glitter.
Authenticity was a driving force behind many of decisions Patricia and Christopher made throughout the planning process and the ceremony was no different. “Chris and I both read out personal vows, which was something I always thought I would be too shy to do,” says Patricia. “I’m glad he convinced me because it definitely personalized the wedding.”
Pale pink uplighting, gilded trimmings, decorative dinnerware and flickering candles in Patricia’s favorite scent made the Terrace Ballroom at Rancho Valencia feel like a rose gold dream. Vines and ivy were draped across wrought iron chandeliers for an element of whimsy and lush bundles of hydrangeas and dahlias brought an air of freshness and life to the elegant space.
Creating different experiences for guests throughout the evening was an important detail for Patricia and Christopher. “We created multiple unique areas that guests could experience with us. We love dancing, so we wanted to craft a high energy and fun experience on the dance floor,” says Patricia. “Whereas the Terrace, right outside the reception room, was quiet and the cool June night lent itself to intimate conversations with guests.”