An Enchanted French Garden Wedding in Coronado, California

Candy Neher (30 and an executive assistant) and Sam Facchini (55 and the co-owner of Metro Pizza) met at work—Candy was Sam’s executive assistant. “Typical 'Mad Men' story,” she says. Over the years, their friendship slowly evolved into something more. They realized they shared a love of travel, food and Europe and didn’t let their age difference get in the way. “I’m an old soul and he’s a kid at heart,” Candy says. “We like to think we keep each other young.” Candy and Sam got engaged during a trip to France (on the Pont des Arts ("love lock” bridge) in Paris and let their time in the city of love serve as inspiration for their wedding. “Parisians have such a zest for life, love and great food—everything Sam and I embody,” Candy says. Their venue, the oldest mansion in Coronado, California, had an old-world charm reminiscent of an English estate on "Downton Abbey," one of their favorite shows, which was set in one of their favorite travel destinations. They decided on an enchanted French garden theme, brought to life with the help of wedding planners, through a palette of deep red, baby blue, blush and cream florals.
After a barefoot beach ceremony, Candy and Sam's 75 guests were transported to the mansion on a British double-decker bus, then greeted with vintage skeleton keys (a nod to their engagement). The evening included custom Bellinis, a seafood mac-and-cheese bar, an ice cream booth, eclairs and dinner al fresco with dancing under twinkle lights and stars. Every guest received a parting gift of champagne, complete with a personalized note. “We think our wedding was the perfect blend of the two of us,” Candy says. “A little whimsical, a lot of fun, over-the-top romantic and filled with great food.” And while everyone loves a beautiful wedding, that shouldn’t be the main focus of the day. “It’s more important to have a beautiful marriage,” Candy says. —Chrissy Sorenson