Talk About Tropical: Colorful Tiki Bar-Themed Wedding in San Diego

Elevated Tiki Wedding

When the bride sees herself as a unicorn, and the groom is best represented by a whale, you get the narwhal! We’re not bluffing! Many of the day’s colorful accents were influenced by this animal, along with MaiAda + Nick’s love of music and all things colorful.

The décor style? Colorful gothic meets tiki. If you find yourself asking, well what is that? MaiAda is here to share a bit more about the inspiration: We love tiki bars and we wanted a fun theme that went along with our beautiful beach venue, yet incorporated our own “whimsical but a little gothic” style. We were inspired by our favorite date spot, KINDRED, a glam doom metal cocktail bar that has weekly tiki nights.

Let’s head out to Hotel La Jolla for all the fun captured by My Sun and Stars Co!

Elevated Tiki Wedding

MaiAda shares: Unicorns + Whales = Narwhal – This equation was a recurring theme of the night. Nick, the marine biologist is a whale and I’m a unicorn because, well, I was just born that way. Together, we’re an unstoppable narwhal!

The Outfits

Modcloth Wedding Dress

My mom is Bahraini, so I wanted to incorporate an element from that part of my heritage. Instead of a traditional bachelorette party, I had a henna party and had an artist do my bridal henna. It was so special to share something from my mom’s culture with her, and the henna design was so incredibly beautiful!

Also, how darling is her Modcloth gown?!

flower crown

floral ties

Aren’t those floral ties from the guys ADORABLE?! You can snag a similar one from our GWS x Neck and Tie collab here!

Elevated Tiki Wedding

Elevated Tiki Wedding

The thing I did not realize would really impact me, though, was how amazing it was to have all the people we love in one place celebrating with is. Our guests came from all over the country, and my entire Italian family flew in from Rome, so it was truly a once in a lifetime gathering of all of our favorite people.

There were so many moments when I looked around and just felt all of the love and happiness radiating out from everyone around us. It made me realize that the wedding was not just about celebrating Nick and my love, but also about creating a space where we could all share our love and joy for one another.

The Tropical Ceremony Space

tropical ceremony arch

Elevated Tiki Wedding

Our Musical Choices

Processional: I Need My Girl by The National; Such Great Heights by The Postal Service

Recessional: Hands Down by Dashboard Confessional

First Dance: I Really Like You by Carly Rae Jepsen

Elevated Tiki Wedding

Elevated Tiki Wedding

Elevated Tiki Wedding

Our Favorite Memory From The Wedding

It’s hard to choose just one moment from our wedding day as the most memorable. We truly and deeply loved every single moment of our wedding day and had so much fun! Some of the memories that stand out to Nick and I are the little intimate moments that we got to share – like when we got to goof off in front of the camera for our wedding pictures, or when parasailers flew over us as we were saying our vows.

Elevated Tiki Wedding

How perfect are those tropical florals provided by Native Poppy?!

The Reception

Elevated Tiki Wedding

Music is really important to Nick and I and a big part of how we first connected. We both love going to shows together, going record shopping and making mixes. I made signs with lyrics from some of our favorite songs, had vinyl on display from an album that was meaningful to us, and worked with the DJ to make a playlist that would appeal to all our wedding guests yet still represent our eclectic hipster taste.

Who else noticed those Dashboard Confessional lyrics above? :)

Elevated Tiki Wedding

Elevated Tiki Wedding

tiki cocktails

So this is what they mean by gothic tiki!

The Bridal Party

Elevated Tiki Wedding

All about the color + all about the tropics!

Elevated Tiki Wedding

Elevated Tiki Wedding

Nick and I collect pins so we made pins for our guests to wear instead of table cards. I also live in a pin & patch-covered denim jacket… so I put together my bridesmaids’ denim jackets with iron transfers and enamel pins.

tropical bouquet

Our Advice To Those Planning Now

Don’t be afraid to ask for help—put together a wedding team and give them tasks to do! I tend to try to take on too much and would rather do things on my own instead of delegate. But, the reality is, I could never have pulled off all of the personal DIY touches if it wasn’t for all the people who forced me to let them chip in. Your loved ones want to be part of the process for putting together your special day, so let them.

Elevated Tiki Wedding

Fun Fact: the bride and groom even got narwhals tattooed on their ring fingers in lieu of traditional wedding bands!

Cheers to the two of you!

photography: My Sun and Stars Co // venue name: Hotel La Jolla, San Diego, California, USA // planning: Robyn Nicole Events // florals: Native Poppy // wedding dress: Chi Chi London // wedding dress boutique: Modcloth // bridesmaid dresses: Forever 21 // groom's shoes: Clarks // catering: Giuseppe's // cake: Sweet Cheeks // desserts: Sweet Cheeks // music: DJ Staci // cotton candy: Get Fluffed Up