I have known my friend Danielle since we were 18 years old, when we met at the beginning of our Freshman year at USC. We lived in the same dorm, joined the same sorority, and moved a few blocks from each other after graduation. A couple years ago, Danielle reconnected with Jared, someone she’d known since they were both students at the same elementary school and the rest, as they say, is history. Mike and I just attended their destination wedding weekend in San Diego and it was pretty epic.

This was the first weekend away Mike and I have had since we saw Britney Spears last year, so we were really looking forward to our 48 kid-free hours. The wedding hotel was the historic Hotel Del Coronado, a gorgeous hotel that I had always wanted to stay at.

hotel del coronado

It was gorgeously decorated for the holidays, and also a total madhouse full of people taking in the sights. After checking into our room, we quickly got ready for the welcome reception. My dress was from Rent The Runway and I loooved it (my necklace is from Stitch Fix). So comfortable and flattering.

at the welcome party

The next day, after a leisurely kid-free morning with Mike, I had my hair blown out and my makeup done. When I got back to my room I pulled back one side and added a few gold-beaded hair combs that I’d worn to my own wedding. The makeup was pretty dramatic for a daytime ceremony, but just right for a nighttime reception:

hair and makeup done

The ceremony was held at The Immaculata, a gorgeous Catholic Church on the campus of USD.

The Immaculata

Outside of the church, I met up with some friends I hadn’t seen in far too long:

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Kim (on the right) and I both got our dresses from Rent The Runway.

The ceremony was beautiful, and at the end, they were introduced for the first time as Mr. and Mrs.

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Back at the Hotel Del Coronado after the ceremony, I cozied up with Mike during the cocktail reception as the sun set through the oncoming rain clouds:

with Mike

Sunset at the Del

As soon as the cocktail hour ended, the sky opened up and it began to pour. Luckily, the rest of the evening was inside the Del’s ballroom, which looked absolutely spectacular:

head table

wedding cake

candy station

Danielle is an amazing dancer, so none of us were surprised when she and her new husband performed a choreographed first dance. Her dress was perfect for twirling:

first dance

There were tons of amazing touches, like the sparkly name card and table cloth:

my place setting

We all especially loved the gelato station (Danielle’s family is Italian) that was named after her dad:

Frankie Joe's Gelato

wedding gelato

Danielle was a Song Girl at USC, so it was fitting that a ten-piece USC band played a set at the reception:

USC Band

The bride was, unsurprisingly, very excited:

dancing to the USC band

And okay, maybe some of the rest of us were excited, too:

USC Band

As someone who loves all the little details that go into events, even I know that the most important detail at a wedding is sharing the day with those you love. Danielle and Jared were surrounded by so much love that I’m surprised they weren’t floating three feet off the ground. I felt so lucky to be a part of such a fun, loving, bananas wedding, and I’m so happy that Danielle and Jared have started their life together. I can’t wait to see what the future brings them, and I am also very excited for my children to attend their children’s birthday parties ;).

Danielle and Heather
I love you, Danielle (thanks for always making me feel tall)!