These High School Sweethearts Got Exactly What they Wanted

These High School Sweethearts Got Exactly What they Wanted

Taryn Williford
Oct 19, 2016

Bride & Groom: Tina & Levi
Wedding Date: May 30, 2015
Venue: Casino San Clemente in San Clemente, CA
Number of guests: About 120

You've got to love a couple with a vision. Levi and Tina are high school sweethearts who—after dating for eight years and deciding to tie the knot—knew exactly what they wanted for their wedding day: A romantic garden dinner party with long tables, close friends and great food.

The vibe of the whole day was intimate, and the couple shared the spotlight with all of the cherished friends and family who supported them throughout their relationship. My favorite detail, in fact, has to do with Levi's grandparents, who were celebrating their 60th anniversary the week of Levi and Tina's wedding:

"My grandpa had told me that back in the '50s it wasn't yet customary to have a first dance, and it wasn't very common to stray from tradition back then either," Levi shared. "Then he showed me a song that they would have danced to if they had the chance. So Tina and I arranged to surprise them during the reception with a special moment on the dance floor, where they could have their first dance to their special song."

Charming, right? Just wait until you witness the rest of this amazing and beautiful day. Perpixel Photo shared these stunning images with us, and Levi and Tina were kind enough to share more about their wedding day with Apartment Therapy.

(Image credit: Perpixel Photo)

How did you meet?

We met freshman year of high school and became part of a close-knit group of friends. After four years of movie nights, pool days, bonfires and beach trips, we had grown into best friends. After high school we quickly realized that our wonderful friendship was actually the seed of a blossoming romance. As time went on, we were inseparable—dating for eight years while earning our college degrees and starting our careers. And today we enjoy being man and wife, together exploring life, love, and everything the world has to offer!

How would you describe your wedding style?

We really loved the idea of a romantic, backyard dinner atmosphere. Our vision was an intimate garden setting with lots of surrounding greenery and natural looking florals. We love the feeling of sitting at a long table with all of your close friends, chatting over a cocktail and some really good food. So we made that our focus and went from there.

What was totally "you" about your wedding?

We are huge foodies at heart, so the dinner menu and drinks were very personal to us, and we couldn't have been happier with how they turned out! Since we wanted a casual dinner party atmosphere, we offered a variety of different food stations and signature cocktails that you could catch us drinking on any given weekend.

Biggest challenge:

Sticking to a budget! It's very tempting to want more and more things as you're planning a wedding, and trying to achieve all that without spending too much money is a constant struggle throughout the process. We really had to work together to figure out what to keep and what to let go. It really helped to pick one or two things that we really cared about so that we wouldn't waste too much of our budget on everything else.

(Image credit: Perpixel Photo)

Proudest DIY:

All of the stationery—save the dates, invitations, and menus—were designed and homemade by us. We also made all of the chalkboard signs, the escort window, the card box, and wooden signs ourselves. Levi hand-painted the calligraphy on all the signs and stationery!

Most worthwhile splurge:

We wanted our big day to be the most beautiful garden dinner party we've ever had. So we made it a priority to find an amazing florist. We were lucky to find a very talented and creative one in Theresa (Petals and Pop) whose unique style and personality matched our vision to a tee. Not only were the flowers our favorite wedding detail, but we also gained an awesome friend as well.

What we skipped or did without:

We're a little camera shy. So we did without a videographer to take a bit of the pressure of performing off of our shoulders and also to cut down on cost. Instead we took the time to build a great relationship with our photographer, James, so that he could really have a feel for when to capture our most genuine moments.

Favorite detail:

We were absolutely in love with our florals! Theresa and her incredible team crafted the perfect, natural looking backdrop to our ceremony and completely transformed the ballroom for our reception with long draping greenery over our head table.

Favorite memory of the day:

If we had to name one moment, it might be after the ceremony when we walked over to the patio to join our guests for cocktail hour. It was such an awesome feeling standing on the steps and seeing all of our friends and family hanging out in the sun, enjoying some appetizers and drinks, and listening to music. We stood there for a second to soak it all in, and then walked out there to join in on the fun.

What our guests said:

We were very happy to hear from many of our guests that our wedding was the most beautiful one they had attended!

Your best advice for anyone planning a wedding:

Our advice would be to really slow down and enjoy your wedding dinner. Take a breath, relax, enjoy your food and just soak it all in. Having a great meal surrounded by close friends and family is something that should never be rushed.

Thank you, Tina & Levi!

(Image credit: Perpixel Photo)


  • Photographer: Perpixel Photo
  • Event Planner: A Good Affair Wedding & Event Production (Anna Nguyen)
  • Event Venue: The Casino San Clemente
  • Caterer: Jay's Catering
  • Floral Designer: Petals and Pop Shop
  • Equipment Rentals: Signature Party Rentals
  • Chandeliers: California DJ's
  • DJ & Lighting: DJZ Productions
  • Hair Stylist and Makeup Artist: Beauty By Angelina
  • Bride's Dress: Isla by Enzoani
  • Dress Boutique: Blush Bridal Couture
  • Bride's Shoes: Alice and Olivia
  • Bridesmaids' shoes: Call It Spring
  • Morning robes: Forever 21
  • Groom's Attire: Top Man
  • Groom's shoes: Cole Haan
  • Groomsmen's suits: Dang Jimmy Suits/Suits by Charles
  • Bowtie and ties:

Submitted via Two Bright Lights

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