As Annie Davis — a first-time elementary school teacher — began to arrange her new classroom at Twin Oaks Elementary School, she welcomed Curtis, her high school sweetheart and boyfriend of nearly eight years, when he walked in with lunch. She was caught off guard, however, when he closed the door behind him.
Annie told him he didn't have to close the door, and then she offered him a seat at a child-size table. Before she could slide into her own seat, however, Curtis was on his knee, vowing his love for her and expressing the importance of family. That day, Annie became the last, and youngest, of four siblings to wear a brand-new engagement ring.
The laid-back couple from Leucadia began planning their August nuptials while enjoying their usual pleasures: eating out, family time and, for Curtis, surfing. They shared a love of the outdoors, so an ocean-view wedding was a given. When it came time to book a venue, the couple looked at only two spots: Seagrove Park for the ceremony and L'Auberge Del Mar for the reception. Annie let her mom, whom she credits with great taste, handle many of the details.
"I was pretty laid back about the whole wedding," Annie says. "It was more about just having friends and family together, and marrying Curtis."
Florist Annette Gomez helped the couple to select flowers and foliage based on their color scheme — a beautiful contrast of navy blue and apple green. Annie carried calla lilies, cattleya orchids and scented geranium. The talented floral designer incorporated wheat grass, moss, Bells of Ireland and other earthy plants and flora into the decor. A bamboo structure served as their arch.
On the day of the event, the bridesmaids, clad in terrycloth "getting ready" dresses, made trips to Starbucks and eventually changed into knee-length navy blue Priscilla of Boston dresses. Annie donned a timeless gown from the Vineyard Collection.
"I knew I wasn't going to want any beading or diamonds or ruffles," the bride says. "It was simple and elegant, and it didn't take too long for me to find it."
Annie's father escorted her down the aisle to a live acoustic version of Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours," performed by local guitarist and singer Michael Tiernan, who coordinated the music for the whole event. Curtis was unable to fight back tears as Annie approached the altar.
"The anticipation while waiting to see her was the biggest thing for me," Curtis says. "I got pretty teared up. It made it feel really real and just kind of all came into perspective."
Family was an integral theme. The husband of Curtis' cousin performed the ceremony, incorporating letters the couple exchanged eight years prior. Brothers and sisters carried the couple's nieces and nephews — who weren't yet old enough to walk — down the aisle. In total, 180 people gathered in support of the high school sweethearts.
At the reception, each table held a 5-by-7-inch framed photo of a sign from a meaningful location — including the Pannikin in Encinitas, where Annie and Curtis like to begin their morning routines, and Las Olas in Cardiff, where they shared their first date.
Guests were served sea bass and filet mignon, followed by a unique take on dessert. Not particularly fond of cake or tradition, the two opted for an ice cream bar, featuring chocolate and vanilla in martini glasses.
Guests piled their creations with candy and other toppings after the couple fed their own sundae to one another. "Our wedding was like a high school reunion," Annie says. "It was so much fun because we knew every single person. [Nearly everyone] was from Encinitas."
Caterer and Ice Cream Bar: L'Auberge Del Mar. Ceremony location: Seagrove Park, Del Mar. Reception location: L'Auberge Del Mar. Coordinator: EverAfter Events, Jamie Renfro. Decor/Furniture: Lounge Appeal. Music: Still Listening Productions, Michael Tierna. Flowers: Flowers Annette Gomez. Gown: Vineyard from The White Dress, Corona Del Mar. Hair: Michelle, Detours Salon. Makeup: Cori Ward, Vanity. Groom and groomsmen Attire: Men's Wearhouse. Bridesmaid dresses: Melissa Sweet. Invitations: Danielle Leopold. Officiant: Tom Airey. Photographer: Jennifer Dery Photography.