Today’s wedding is full of so many gorgeous details that just had to split it into two parts! And Jamie + Jabdiel have the sweetest love story which I totally encourage you all to read at the end of this first part. It’s a bit long, but so worth it. It really goes to show that you never know where you will find your soulmate. :) But back to their wedding day! Jamie + Jabdiel hired an allstar team for their gorgeous Cali beach wedding. With photos by Braedon Photography, design by Lisa Vorce of Oh, How Charming, florals by RJack Balthazar and a beautiful film by Joel Serrato Films, it is sure to inspire lots of you lovelies who are planning beach weddings. Big congrats to Jamie + Jabdiel and thanks for sharing lots of details into your day!
Being surfers, lovers of the ocean and of the natural world, we knew that we wanted to be married on the beach. We wanted something more organic feeling and free. But what beach would be the perfect beach for what we had envisioned? We wanted a place that had meaning, a place where we were connected and were comfortable, a place that felt like home but at the same time not so much, a place where we could dig our toes into the sand and walk barefoot, and a place where our guests would too feel some sort of connection. But moreover, a place that represented us and what we stand for. We went from beaches in Panama, to beaches in Costa Rica, then in Santa Barbara, and finally it all boiled down to Saint Malo Beach. Saint Malo Beach is a quaint, French Normandy styled, private beach community that’s nestled along northern San Diego’s coastline. It’s a place where my father has had a home since the early 70’s and where I have spent every summer since I was a little girl. The memories that I have from there are endless and many family members and close friends have had wonderful memories from there too. Jabdiel had also spent quite a bit of time down in Saint Malo since he had met me and he always said how special it felt when he was there. Looking back, now that the wedding has passed, Saint Malo gave us all that we were looking for in a venue and more. The greatest feelings that come to us now, are when we return to Saint Malo and pretend to relive the memories of our wedding day.
Looking back on our wedding day so many incredible memories fill my head. Sometimes it feels as if it was all just a dream and that it never really happened, as it all flew by so quickly. But even still I manage to retrieve the most profound and spiritually moving moments that I have ever encountered. I remember so vividly, standing by my fathers side at the edge of the cabana where the brick runs right up into the sand, and looking down at my bare feet that were seconds away from stepping into the sea of tiny grains. Suddenly, I was given the green light to begin my entrance down the aisle, my toes touched the sand and it was like my body had become weightless. I was floating down the aisle towards the man who had captured my heart from miles upon miles away and ready to become his wife. Jabdiel's smile was that of a warm, early morning sunrise that creeps in through every crevice, touching every void and filling it with life. Our eyes met as if it were the first time again and once more the world seemed to stop around us. We both had decided that we wanted to write our own vows because we found something deeper in doing so. And so the time came where we were asked to share our vows and Jabdiel began to speak his words. If I remember clearly, I think by the fourth or fifth word I was already balling my eyes out. The words were so powerful and so pure that nothing could get in their way. That too, was an incredibly memorable moment. Last but not least, I must not forget the out-of-control surprise bridesmaids dance that my friends performed. I would explain but maybe someone can post a link so you all can see what I'm talking about.
Stay tuned for part two with their gorgeous reception + stunning film by Joel Serrato Films! And to help fall in love with this couple a bit more, their love story as told by Jamie:
So its mid summer 2007, and my mother and I had planned a mother daughter bonding trip to Costa Rica. My mom was a bit weary about the whole idea because she knew that it was probably going to be some jam-packed adventure deal that wouldn’t allow her to relax. But I had insisted that we visit this lush, tropical, surfers paradise. I, nor my mother, had ever traveled to Central America so this experience was about to be a bit more than we had expected.
Prior to our departure, I had used Myspace as a way to connect with local Costa Ricans, to ask them for advice on places that we should definitely visit during the trip. After making a handful of new internet friends and getting all of the information I needed, all was set for the Costa Rican adventure. July 9th, 2007 we boarded the flight for Costa Rica. The trip was absolutely amazing. It was more than we had ever thought it would be, and for the both of us, it was truly a bonding experience. From hiking through remote jungle, to muddy ATV excursions through the countryside, to sipping fresh coconut water on pristine beaches, it was incredible. During our time in Costa Rica, I was also able to meet a few of the local Costa Ricans whom I had been communicating with on the internet before I left. It was a unique and rare experience for me, but it also sparked something deep inside of me that I was about to discover. After a week and a half of bliss, the time had come to head back to Los Angeles. With a mind full of memories and a heart to travel, I was sure that I would return again someday.
Upon returning from Costa Rica, I was crazed with the travel bug and for another taste of the spicy latin culture. I spent endless nights browsing through photos of all of the beautiful places I had visited and new friends that I had made. I returned to my Myspace profile where I had contacted those friends, however there was one friend in particular, who I had not been able to meet during my travels in Costa Rica. His name was Miguel. Miguel, from Costa Rica, and happened to be best friends with a young Panamanian guy named Jabdiel Zapata. One late evening, I decided to browse through Miguel’s Myspace profile list of friends. Long and behold, there he was – an unfamiliar face at the time but so sweet to my eyes. I had to send him a message, a simple hello to say the least!! And it was at that moment that my life was about to change forever.
After about 2 weeks from sending my message, Jabdiel finally replied. It was a sweet message, short in length that was written in both Spanish and “some” very broken English, since Jabdiel didn’t really know how to speak English. I was set into a whirlwind of delight and my heart raced as I began to communicate back and forth with this exotically charming Panamanian. What was at first only days, turned into weeks and then to months. The two of us were internet inseparable. We spent more time IM-ing and emailing than one could imagine. Then came the telephone calls, where we would stay up into all hours of the night talking and rambling sweet nothings, racking up phone bills well over $2500.
In a flash, 6 months had passed since we had first began to communicate and it became apparent that this was something more. Stuck in a bind between following my heart or not, I decided to take a leap of faith. Regardless of what the world around me was about to think or say I knew that this was something far deeper than I could ever explain to anyone. The only way for me to understand what I was feeling was to make the long voyage to Panama all by myself. So as my 25 birthday was just around the corner (December 28) I realized just what I wanted for my present – a plane ticket to Panama!!! But in 2007, that was a bit more of challenge to ask for. After racking my brain for ways to ask my mother, I pulled myself together and just put it all out on the table. My mothers jaw dropped like she had seen a ghost. All I remember hearing her say is, “Are you crazy!! Jamie your so naive and no I will not buy you a plane ticket to Panama.” Well talk about a blow to the chest!
Regardless of what had just happened, I was eager to take another approach, the whole “I’m turning 25 and its supposed to be a turning point in my life” speech was all I had left. So, once again I laid it on the table and YES this time it worked. Within minutes of the yes, I hit the computer and began my search for my flight which was booked to depart on December 21st. This meant that I would miss my first Christmas/Birthday ever away from the family. Within the blink of an eye, December 21st was here and after packing practically my entire life away for a two week stay, I was boarding my flight to Panama.
Upon arrival into Panama, I was beyond what one would call nervous. Every inch of my body was in full blown chaos. My mind was running at a million miles a minute, filled with questions like, what if he’s not even there to pick me up, what if he’s not who he says he is, what if he not as cute as he is in the pictures, what if……??? With a mind full of questions, I waited at the baggage carousel for my luggage. Round and round went the conveyor belt delivering bags to each of its owners. From what was 80 or so bags turned to 30, then to 15 and then to none. But I was still waiting – no bags. YIKES!! This cant be happening to me! Of all bad things that could happen at such a crucial moment. It turned out that my bags were sent to El Salvador instead of Panama. AHHHH… By this point, I was in full panic mode and practically in tears. Alone, afraid, scared and exhausted from the long day of travel, all I wanted to know was that Jabdiel was waiting for me beyond those frosted glass baggage claim doors.
Without any bags in hand, I proceeded to the electric sliding glass doors which led to the outside world. WOOSHHH!!! The doors opened before me and out I went searching through the crowd of faces for the one that I seemed to know so well. Within seconds, my eyes met the beautifully familiar face that I had travelled miles upon miles to see. The corners of my lips began to rise into a radiant smile and his the same. It was as if the world around us had suddenly stopped in time. We stood, we stared and breathed a breath deeper than we’d ever taken before. We moved closer and closer to one another until our hands finally met. We then released our hands and wrapped our arms around each other in the worlds tightest hug. Touching my face with his hands he said to me, YOUR REAL!! THIS ISN’T A DREAM IS IT? I LOVE YOU! Tears began to fill both of our eyes, as we looked at one another. Little did we know, that at that moment, both of our worlds were about to change FOREVER!!!!
Please excuse me for the unbelievably lengthy story but there seemed to be no way for me to put it into less words. Jabdiel has taught me more about life, love, and appreciating the little things that we take for granted. I love the way he puts his heart and soul into every aspect of life. His determination, passion, and zest for life are intoxicating. His banana pancakes are to die for and his smile melts my heart. He is more than I could have ever dreamt of calling my husband and I feel so very privileged that I am able to call myself his wife.
event production + design: Oh, How Charming by Lisa Vorce // photography: Braedon Photography // videography: Joel Serrato Films // venue: St. Malo Beach in Oceanside, California // rentals: Classic Party Rentals San Diego // bridal attire: Monique Lhullier and Jimmy Choo shoes // bridesmaids attire: Amsale dresses and Glint shoes // groomsmen attire: Perry Ellis linen pants, Debra Torres shirts, Reef sandles // floral design: R. Jack Balthazar // lighting: Lighten Up Inc. // linens: Custom by Oh, How Charming and La Tavola Linen // catering: The Food Matters // specialty décor, drapery, dance floor & stage: Barker Décor Service // hair and makeup: Symmetry Beauty by Nyrie // band: Impulse from West Coast Music // ceremony + cocktail music: Supernova String Quartet // paper: Papel Paper & Press // celebrant: Casey Caston // wedding cake: Sweet & Saucy Shop