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By AnnaMaria Stephens | Photo: Carmen Santorelli Photography | June 24, 2016
Although they found each other at a La Jolla brewery called Rock Bottom, for the past seven years Amber Rutherford and Jason Powers’ relationship has been steadily building up.
The couple, who married last August at the lavish Rancho Valencia resort, shares an ambitious approach to life and love. After dating for six months, they moved in together, and when Amber, now a recruiter for Facebook, moved to the Bay Area for career opportunities, Jason, a tech entrepreneur, followed soon after.
Even his proposal in 2013 outside San Francisco’s Palace of the Fine Arts was an appropriately grand gesture. “After five years, I decided I wanted to make a big deal out of it,” says Jason, who invited Amber’s family and close friends to ambush her in the romantic setting, where a chair with her name on it awaited. Jason serenaded his soon-to-be fiancee with Tim McGraw’s “My Best Friend” and slipped a pear-shaped yellow diamond on her finger. “I had a Pinterest page devoted to engagement rings,” says Amber. “The point was not to be subtle after so many years.”
The couple, who recently moved back to San Diego, tapped local wedding planner Amorology for the summer event. Amber longed for an English-style indoor-outdoor garden ceremony, a challenging fit for Rancho Valencia’s Spanish-colonial architecture and landscaping. “But Amorology meshed everything together to make my dream come true,” she says.
Amber and Jason chose a neutral palette, from the ethereal dresses worn by the eight bridesmaids to elegant rustic decor. Amorology included Downton Abbey-worthy accents throughout the event, including a wedding arch entwined with tea roses and greenery and delicate lace parasols handed out to guests.
Personal details abounded throughout, such as the intricate moon-themed wedding invitations—a nod to a story the bride’s mother, the president of St. Jude Medical Group, told to her as a child, making up new details each night at bedtime. To celebrate Jason’s mother’s New Orleans roots, a tiny plastic baby was hidden in the wedding cake. But the sweetest touches were imagined by the bride for her groom. For the cocktail hour, Amber asked for a bespoke bar featuring beer taps serving suds from Rock Bottom Brewery. And as a late-night surprise, guests were treated to gelato from Bottega Italiana. The cherry on top? They served themselves with antique ice cream scoops that doubled as table place cards and wedding favors.
“Everything was so amazing,” says Jason, who danced with his new bride to “The First Day of My Life,” a ballad by singer-songwriter Bright Eyes. “We put a lot of effort into making sure everyone felt special.”
Venue & Catering Rancho Valencia
Wedding Planner Amorology
On-site Coordinator Erica MacMitchell, Rancho Valencia
Wedding Dress Mira Zwillinger
Bride’s Hair & Makeup 10.11. Makeup
Bride’s Shoes Jimmy Choo
Groom’s Tuxedo Generation Tux
Entertainment Trent Hancock; Matt Phipps
Florist Nancy Teasley, Oak & the Owl
Linens Found Vintage Rentals; The Hostess Haven
Paper Lovely Paper Things