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Real Wedding: Laurie & Simon

Exactly 1,171 days after their first date, Laurie Granger and Simon Nicoud got married. It was a picture-perfect day on Coronado Island, where, in front of 100 guests, Simon promised Laurie she would want for nothing. Laurie responded with a resounding “Wahoo!” and their guests laughed at his sweet but bold promise.

Laurie and Simon met in San Diego, and knew there was something special about each other early on. Their love story proves opposites attract: Canadian software engineer falls in love with an artsy Californian.

Close friend and officiant, John Silva took a unique approach to the ceremony by interviewing Laurie and Simon separately and then shared their answers with the guests. The circle of friends and family found out Laurie dreamed of getting married in the Mormon Temple since it looked like a fairytale castle, while Simon fantasized about the princess at the end of Super Mario Bros. They also learned that Simon had wooed her with his musical talents. On one of their early dates, he serenaded her on the piano with songs by her beloved Backstreet Boys—her first glimpse of Simon’s romantic nature.

True to form, Simon enjoyed planning the proposal. “I just loved surprising her.” He showed up on a Tuesday evening at work and whisked her away to Coronado Island for dinner at the Hotel Del, pretending they were celebrating her half birthday. The two enjoyed wine flights before heading out to the sand. Simon had a blanket waiting with candles and an Extraordinary Desserts chocolate cake, and then he dropped to one knee to propose.

Fast-forward eleven months to a candlelit Candela’s restaurant on Coronado Island, set aglow to celebrate Laurie and Simon tying the knot. Being the Art Director at Exquisite Weddings, Laurie had been planning her own nuptials over the years while designing layouts in the magazine. Her favorite part of the planning process was dress shopping with her mom, sisters, and friends. Ultimately, she decided on a mermaid-style gown by Canadian designer Mikaella. It was the last dress she tried on and she didn’t want to take it off. She knew it was the one. Luckily she can still “shop” for the magazine.

While the men sported tan suits with white shirts, the bridesmaids wore cocktail dresses in shades of teal to match her satin Badgley Mischka heels.

For their first dance, they chose Jason Mraz’s “I’m Yours.” Guests watched while sipping on Candela’s signature sangria and margaritas. Once seated, they enjoyed hearts of palm salad and black bean soup followed by lobster ravioli, sea bass, and tres leches for dessert.  The tables were named after songs picked by the couple, such as “Crazy in Love” and “How Sweet It Is,” and when the song was played, the guests at that table were invited onto the dance floor.
As a late night snack, guests enjoyed mini red velvet cheesecakes topped with Canadian flags in honor of Simon’s family.

Laurie’s favorite moment of the day was walking down the aisle. “I was nervous about being able to say my vows without crying, to the point where I almost canceled that part of the ceremony. But as I walked with my father and saw Simon down the aisle, I had this incredible peaceful feeling. I was able to look our guests in the eye and enjoy the moment. I felt like I was in the right spot, and I knew I could recite them.” Simon agreed, saying he loved watching Laurie glide toward him to a special song he picked called “Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral” from the opera Lohengrin. Simon had performed it at a wedding 10 years ago and loved it because it was so moving, so he had his own band play it for their wedding.

Simon fondly recalls a surprise element neither had planned: Standing on the pier outside the reception, they were greeted by an astounding fireworks show over the Coronado Bridge, which felt like their own private show. They kissed, both agreeing without words that it was a wonderful way to start their new life together.

—Jennifer Rea

Coronado, Photography by True Photography Weddings

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