The Tolpas will be the first to tell you that they met “the ‘old-fashioned’ way… on match.com,” laughs the happy couple. As Christina loves sweets, and has her own candy business, A Sweet Addition, John knew one way to her heart was through chocolate. On their second date, he brought her a box of Chuao chocolate in a pretty jewelry-style box. A year later, he hid a diamond ring in that same candy box, and popped the question at a seaside park in Solana Beach.
Ceremony & Reception
Park Hyatt Aviara, as the couple wanted a resort-style wedding to dazzle all of their East Coast guests.
Not One but Two Dresses
Christina’s first gown was a silk Rivini “Brides Against Breast Cancer” charity dress where all proceeds go to help cancer patients. Later at the reception, she changed into a more comfortable ivory layered gown so she could dance the night away and eat all that delicious candy.
Triangle of Love
John really loved the intimate ceremony, “We purposely angled the chairs so all 75 guests felt part of an ensemble and connected to us. The altar was so beautiful and the sun and blue sky appeared right before we exchanged our vows.”
A giant lollipop made out of yellow and pink mums used as a directional and photo booth prop.
Christina left a wrapped box of socks for her husband-to-be on the morning of the wedding in case he got “cold feet.” Clearly he did not.
Candy is Dandy
Christina infused a “sweet-treat” theme throughout the wedding to conjure up playful childlike emotions and excitement. In addition to the Wonka-esque candy and dessert stations, the bride and groom used green and gold colored sugar for their sand ceremony.
The centerpieces popped with colorful rock candy crystals, and the ring bearers wore Dum Dum lollipop boutonnières. The flower girls tossed French candies instead of rose petals as they walked down the aisle.
“Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo‘ole spoke to the bride’s Hawaiian roots.
Bride’s Favorite Detail
“The cake blew me away. I wanted it to flow with the wedding theme but not have candy all over it, so Aviara’s pastry chef crushed rock candy around the center of the cake to
make it sparkle.”
Late Night Surprise for Guests
An after-party in the hotel’s posh game room with billiard table, shuffleboard, more delish food, and an open bar.
Get Their Style
- Event designer & coordinator: Bliss Events
- Photography & photo booth: Vaughngo Photography
- Ceremony, reception, catering & cake: Park Hyatt Aviara
- Florist & canopy: Organic Elements
- Paper elements: Brightly Designed
- Ceremony gown: Rivini, Brides Against Breast Cancer
- Reception gown: BCBG
- Makeup: Melissa Rae & Company
- Hair: Bri Vaughn, Salon Ink
- Jewelry & hairpiece: Justine M Couture at The White Flower
- Shoes: Badgley Mischka
- Groom’s attire: A Better Deal Tuxedo
- Officiant, DJ, & lighting: Tim Altbaum Productions
- Linens & rentals: Concepts Event Design
- Candy station: A Sweet Addition