A Glamorous, Whimsical Wedding in Stinson Beach, California
Claire and Evan
It was love at first sight when Evan Hanlon met Claire Pritchett at a party, and it was a party a year and a half later when they said their I dos on New Year’s Eve. To celebrate, the Manhattan-based duo flew west to Stinson Beach, California, a sleepy beach town the bride and her family frequented growing up in the Bay Area, and that Claire and her groom visited about a year before the big day. They tied the knot and rung in 2013 with an epic wedding that was simultaneously bohemian, glam, and minimal.
Invitations were blind embossed and letterpressed in a minimal way—with only key information printed, like the wedding website. The design was by pal Kristen Malan, and the production by Full Circle Press.
With the help of Bridal Reflections in New York City, Claire worked with Steven Yearick to recreate an old dress design that was out of production. Adding sleeves was one of the key adjustments for the bride’s winter wedding dress, which was a champagne hue and covered in intricate beading. To round out her ensemble, she wore a veil her mother made the night before the big day, a French vintage wax flower crown dating back to the 1920s, and BCBG earrings. The necklace of fresh tuberose and pink roses made by Anna Campbell of the Flora Cultural Society bridged the gap from the glam gown to the natural beach scene.
The couple took a few portraits on the historic Highway 1 overlooking the beach before the ceremony began.
On Dad's Arm
Claire held a bouquet of wild calla lilies as her father escorted her down the aisle. The ceremony took place just after sunset in a non-denominational chapel at the Stinson Beach Community Center.
Lit mostly by candlelight, the service incorporated the groom's Jewish roots and the bride’s Mormon faith so the traditions really ran the gamut. Both sets of parents did readings, a friend sang "Auld Lang Syne," and Evan broke a glass.
Girls in White
Each bridesmaid wore a different white lace dress—some custom, some vintage, and some off the rack—and fresh wildflower crowns.
Small, simple white orchid centerpieces anchored round tables.
Since it was New Year's Eve, the couple wanted to get the party started right away. They made sure each guest had a gold party hat of some sort—from Roman head wreaths to glittery top hats.
Isaac Nichols, the artist behind the menus at Brooklyn restaurant Isa, made a collage for Claire and Evan's dinner menus, which kept in the spirit of Stinson Beach. A card with the words to The Doxology (a prayer Claire’s family sing over Christmas dinner) was placed at each setting too. "It was especially sweet to see all our friends and family holding hands and singing before dinner began," Claire recalls.
The 180 guests dined on tapas, bread shaped like olive branches that was served with various dipping sauces, paella (perfect for winter at the beach), and an all-white cookie and candy plate that included Turkish delight, powdered mini donuts, and white macarons.
Bold and Beautiful
Instead of major table arrangements, Claire (who is a set designer at Stefan Beckman Studio) focused on larger focal points around the room, like a lily garland on the fireplace mantle and these orchids and lilies that framed the window behind the DJ.
A Shapely Guest Book
Anna Campbell created a guest book with cutouts of two diamonds converging in the middle.
A Vintage Cake
Wanting to include a few somewhat comical wedding trends of yesteryear, Claire commissioned an oversized cake from Branching Out Cakes. The colors were kept pale to keep it sophisticated and the dual flavored confection (hazelnut cake with apricot filling and vanilla bean cake with raspberry filling) was made using local ingredients.
A Festive Craft
The crown jewel was a cake topper crafted by friend and bridesmaid (and wedding planner) Elizabeth Lowe Clayton. The vintage piece was found on eBay and was modified to include a gold hat for the groom and fireworks behind the couple.
A Spirited Song Selection
The newlyweds danced to Dick Haymes' 1947 version of "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve?"
Guests of all ages got in to the spirit of ringing in a new year.
Fun and Games
White tissue confetti and hand-held confetti cannons added to the gaiety of the night.
All Lit Up
Just before midnight, everyone walked down to the beach to ring in the New Year. Candles and flashlights were handed out to help guide the way.
A Sparkling Soiree
Just as the clock struck twelve, revelers received large sparklers to celebrate.
Out With A Bang
The night (and year) concluded with an amazing fireworks display—a surprise from the bride's uncles.
Event Planning: Lowe House Events
Catering: Ann Walker Catering
Flowers: Flora Cultural Society
Stationery: Full Circle Press
Calligraphy: Myrtle & Lloyd
Cake: Branching Out Cakes
Hair: Leslie Culbertson
Makeup: Rachel Loosli