Go Inside Philadelphia Eagles Tight End Zach Ertz & Soccer Star Julie Johnston's Wedding
Julie Johnston and Zach Ertz met in 2012 while attending a Stanford Cardinals baseball game. (Julie was studying at Santa Clara University at the time, while Zach was studying at Stanford.) The setting was fitting for the athletic pair, who both went on to pursue careers in professional sports. "He took me back to that stadium in February 2016 to ask me to marry him," Julie says of the proposal. Naturally, she said "yes."
While planning her wedding to the Philadelphia Eagles tight end, Julie (who plays for the United States Soccer Federation and National Women's Soccer League) was keen on throwing a celebration to remember. With the help of the couple's team of experts (including planner Kelsey Events), her vision was achieved. On the beautiful spring day of March 26, 2017, Julie and Zach wed in Santa Barbara, California, at the Ritz-Carlton Bacara. The two tied the knot in front of a number of attendees, including members of their athletic teams, and, of course, their other friends and family members. Following the seaside ceremony (the venue sits on the Pacific Ocean), everyone headed to the reception tent, where they were met with a mix of classic and personalized details. "It was the perfect spot for our families and Zach always wanted a beach wedding," the bride says. "And Bacara is beautiful!"
Before their nuptials, Julie and Zach hosted a laid-back welcome party on the beach. Post-wedding, they celebrated into the night with an after-party featuring a DJ, pizza, and some of the couple's favorite candies. Not long after their big day was complete, the couple jetted off to Hawaii for their honeymoon. The bride also turned in her "Johnston" soccer uniforms for ones displaying her new last name, "Ertz."
Ertz stepped out in J. Hilburn menswear. He coordinated with his groomsmen, including fellow Philadelphia Eagle Trey Burton (second left).
The couple's flower girl and ring bearer didn't put on typical attire. Instead, they donned kid-sized versions of the athletes' sports jerseys.
Lanterns and white petals lined Julie and Zach's aisle. A flower-adorned ceremony structure stood above the altar, and the space was also decorated with arrangements including hydrangea, roses, and eucalyptus.
The wedding's neutral color palette continued into the reception, which was held under a tent. White and green were incorporated into everything from the linens to the natural accents. To set the décor apart, unique light fixtures were adorned with foliage and strung above the seating area. "Being able to celebrate with all friends and family was the most memorable part of the day for me," Julie says.
The Place Settings
TPD Design House created Julie and Zach's stationery, including their simple menus, which sat on see-through plates. White buds spruced up the place settings.
The Wedding Cake
Lush flowers covered the bride and groom's white wedding cake, which boasted five towering tiers.
The sports references didn't end with the kids' jerseys. Celebrants sipped from creative cappuccinos with soccer balls, footballs, and the couple's names artfully displayed in the froth.
Fun for All
Like all good parties, everyone danced the night away. Overhead, a custom canopy of Edison bulbs (a love of Julie's), blooms, and greenery glowed. That detail was Julie's favorite of the night. "The installation was so beautiful and special. Everyone loved it!" she says.
Following the festivities, the newlyweds exited to a bubble send-off.
Photography, BrittRene Photography
Location, Ritz-Carlton Bacara
Event Planning, Kelsey Events
Flowers, Flowers by Cina
Videography, Jake Becker
Officiant, Kyle Hoerner
Stationery, TPD Design House
Music, VIPs Entertainment
Bride's gown, Katie May
Hair and makeup, Flawless Faces Beauty
Groom's attire, J. Hilburn
Lighting, Bella Vista Design
Photo booth, 805 Party Pix