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Circle of Love

Anisha Gwynn & Kennard Jones Poway, California January 31, 2009 Photography by Shewanders Photography

Circle of Love

Photo by Shewanders Photography

WHEN PADRES BASEBALL’S HALL OF FAMER and hometown favorite Tony Gwynn gave away his daughter Anisha to ballplayer Kennard Jones, it was no minor affair. The elegant wedding dazzled 350 guests who descended upon Tony and Alicia Gwynn’s estate in Poway on January 31, 2009.

Anisha, a professional singer who has had hits on Billboard R&B/Hip Hop charts, met her future husband Kennard through her brother Anthony, also a San Diego Padres baseball player, who had unknowingly competed against his future brother-in-law, an outfielder for the York Revolutions.

“Kennard is from the East Coast, so Anthony invited Kennard out to San Diego to train and work with my dad. They were roommates,” laughs Anisha, who began dating Kennard a year later. “And now we’re roommates.”

The couple chose the end of January for their nuptials, as it would be baseball’s off-season. Still, Anisha wanted to incorporate into their wedding the sport that brought them together, and she knew she would honor the sport by putting “everything in a circle.” She was determined to marry in a circular tent, and her parents’ home—with its giant circular driveway ideal for such a tent—proved to be the perfect locale.

“It ended up being a unique setup that actually flowed nicely,” Anisha says.

Guests strolled through a long white entryway tunnel into the draped white tent, where a lavish ceremony took place “in the round.” The bride and groom stood on an elevated circular platform underneath a chandelier strung with crystals and 2,000 yellow-stemmed roses. All around the couple were their loved ones, sitting on chameleon chairs of gold with matching golden suede seats. They watched as Anisha and Kennard pledged their vows to each other in front of a draped white table adorned with four glass bottles of sand in white, black, yellow and beige. In a touching ceremony, the couple and their parents each poured the sand together to represent unity in the family.

In addition to the circular theme, the magical wedding was also a study in incorporating unexpected wedding colors—white, yellow and black—in a sophisticated way. “My husband and I came up with that color scheme and later we discovered it was the same colors as my parents’ wedding,” says Anisha, who beguiled onlookers in a Pnina Tornai gown with a round bouquet of yellow roses. Her groom looked dashing in his custom-designed tuxedo.

After the ceremony, guests had cocktails by the pool where votives hung in the trees by the pool and yellow lights splashed across the reception tent.

“As my mom has a line of chicken, serving fried chicken seemed appropriate,” Anisha says. “We also had shrimp and crab cakes since my husband is from the Baltimore area.” Later, when it came time to be seated, guests enjoyed savories such as salmon from the family’s favorite La Jolla caterer, Giuseppe Ciuffa of Giuseppe Restaurants & Fine Catering, along with short ribs in Alicia Gwynn’s exquisite barbecue sauce—which was also bottled and given as a favor to each guest.

The tables were covered with black-and-white linens Anisha had custom designed after discovering the perfect pattern on a wallpaper print. Giant black vases and stunning circular florals of yellow roses punctuated the space while an expansive dance floor and upbeat DJ lured guests to join the wedding celebration.

“I had never seen my mom dance before, and she joined my father and me for our father-daughter dance,” Anisha says of her favorite moment. “That was an awesome sight to see.”

Of course, when Tony Gwynn spoke to toast his daughter and new husband, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

Cake: Edelweiss Bakery. Caterer: Giuseppe Restaurants & Fine Catering. Ceremony and reception location: Private estate, Poway. Coordinator: McFarlane Promotions. Pianist: Isiah Roy. Vocalist: Vivian Cureton. DJ: Kandu Moore, Kandu Entertainment. Flowers: Embellishmint Floral & Event Design Studio. Gown: Pnina Tornai, Kleinfield, Manhattan, NY. Jewelry: Ashley Park Design—Marie Gallos. Hair: Beverly Tolbert. Bridesmaid dresses: Here Comes the Bride. Invitations: Truso. Officiant: Bishop McGrif. Linens: Concepts Event Design. Chairs: Chameleon Chairs LLC. Rentals: Raphael’s Party Rentals. Lighting: Peterson Lighting. Lounge Furniture: Plush Impressions, Inc. Staging: Kleege Industries. Photographers: Suzanne Hansen, Mike Ofeldt and Kaleb Scott, Shewanders Photography. Videographer: Darryl Yee.

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