An Intimate, Family-Focused Beach Wedding in California

Pina and Jules Del Vecchio have mutual friends to thank for their introduction back in 2008. Fast forward almost ten years, and the groom pulled out all the stops with an oh-so-sentimental proposal in Italy, no less, where both Pina and Jules’s grandfather were born and raised. “The country has always been a special place in both of our hearts,” Pina adds of the locale. Jules timed the occasion perfectly, popping the question at La Mirabelle Restaurant in Rome, with a sunset view overlooking the city.

After crossing one meaningful place off the list, the New York-based couple turned to another equally personal spot for their nuptials: their vacation home in Encinitas, California. Not only is the rental in close proximity to Jules’ family, but it also boasts a wedding-worthy terrace overlooking the Pacific Ocean (just wait until you see the dinner setup!). The residence has also become a gathering spot for both of the couples’ children and grandchildren, making it even more of a no-brainer for saying “I do.”

On the big day, the décor seamlessly alluded to the beautiful coastal surroundings with an elegant blend of sea foam blues, grays, and creamy whites. There was also no shortage of sweet, personalized touches (many of them a surprise!) to keep things fresh and close to heart. 

Keep reading to see this intimate California wedding in action, as captured by Ryan Ray and planned by Amorology.

Jules and Pina treated their nearest and dearest to a box of favors, filled with an assortment of specialty items inspired by one of their go-to phrases, the “sweetness of doing nothing.”

Despite a bit of an alterations mishap (which Vera from Say Yes to the Dress helped save!), Pina still had her princess-worthy moment in a strapless Galia Lahav gown. The bride knew it was "the one" when she FaceTimed her daughter and granddaughters while dress shopping—and they immediately started crying!

She accessorized with diamond jewelry from Jules, sequined heels, and a birdcage veil customized with flowers from her first wedding dress in honor of her late husband. 

Jules sported a navy suit and light blue tie, which he gifted his groomsmen to wear for the occasion. Pina also carried a chic lily of the valley flower arrangement, styled by Oak & The Owl. “It ended up looking very similar to Meghan Markle’s bouquet, and that was a month after our wedding!” adds Pina. 

Naturally, the couple incorporated their families into the celebration—Jules’ adorable grandchildren served as the ring bearers and flower girl

For the outdoor terrace ceremony facing the sea, white bentwood chairs lined the aisle, where the couple's 28 guests sat beneath a flower-adorned pergola

Pina’s two daughters gave her away while her son officiated the ceremony. The couple also received a blessing from a priest-turned-close-family-friend. Not only did the bride’s children make the wedding deeply memorable, but two of her seven siblings flew in all the way from Australia. “Having our children, grandchildren, and siblings there to witness, bless, and celebrate our union was priceless,” she says. 

After exchanging vows and soaking up some cherished alone time, the newlyweds continued the festivities with a sea foam blue-infused reception, where romantic string lights and cool fish motifs decorated the space. Jules also put a custom-made sign on display with the pair’s favorite Italian saying: “Dolce far niente,” which translates to “the sweet art of doing nothing" and was also the theme of their favor boxes. As another unexpected treat for the bride, cocktail hour featured a personalized “Pina Colada” beverage. 

Blue velvet seats stored the guests’ favor boxes and complemented each table’s voluminous bundle of delicate florals. Each place setting was complete with a raw wood charger, teal dinner plate, and gold-rimmed glassware. 

Staying true to the California vibe, the couple kicked off dinner with a fresh seafood raw bar. The main course, however, nodded to Pina’s heritage with butternut squash-stuffed homemade pasta and grilled filet mignon with lobster mashed potatoes. 

The bride reminisces on the balloon sendoff as one of the major wedding highlights. Rather than a traditional guest book, Jules and Pina asked friends and family to write down their well-wishes on a notecard, tie them to the string of a white biodegradable balloon, and then release them all together on the balcony. “It was such a touching moment,” Pina adds of the clever idea. 

Instead of a wedding cake, the pair served an assortment of mini desserts, including blue-and- cream macarons, mini cheesecakes, and mini chocolate dishes.

After all was said and done, Pina says fellow couples should avoid worrying about the little things—and to hire a planner, if possible. “Enjoy every second of your special day,” she adds. “Pause for moments to re-center yourself and become present to savor all the memories.”

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