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Real Wedding: Caroline & Steve

Caroline Zawislak and Steve Lipinsky met in 2008 while out for drinks in Old Town. Steve, a San Diego native, found his “in” when Caroline, newly relocated from New Jersey, was looking at a map and planning a tourist-filled weekend with her friend. He offered to show them around. Steve spontaneously popped the question one morning in November 2011 underneath their backyard pergola in Olivenhain, with his 6-year-old daughter Taeya in attendance. Caroline, now 31 and a registered nurse, wed Steve, 39 and a business owner, in an intimate ceremony at the very same romantic spot of their proposal.  —Rachel Lutack

August 24, 2013

Caroline's dress

Romantic Dress

Caroline’s dress, designed by Manual Mota for Pronovias, was the first gown she tried on while shopping in New York City with her stepmom. She was drawn to its “soft romantic look.” It seemed appropriate for a backyard wedding, and felt a special connection to its name, “Ecuador,” the country where they had spent her stepmother’s birthday a few years prior.

reception area Caroline and Steve

First Look

With so much going on before the ceremony, Caroline loved having a first look. Seeing Steve calmed her nerves and allowed her to be present when she said “I do.”


Lantern Drama

The entire look of the wedding stemmed from the Moroccan-style lanterns. Inspired by a previous trip to Morocco, it was the first thing Caroline purchased. One snag: Due to liability, neither the tent-drapers or party rental people could hang the lanterns, so she had to hire a third company.

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Tent Design

Caroline consulted Pinterest before showing Concepts Event Design the kind of draping she liked. They sketched it and she approved.


Landscaper Love

One year before the wedding, the couple told their landscaper Jose Guizar that they would be marrying in the backyard. “He started coming more frequently to the house,” Caroline says. “When there was two months left, he told his family, ‘You will not be seeing much of me,’ and he came almost every day, pouring his heart into creating such a beautiful place for our wedding.”

head table centerpiece

Flower Power

Sharon Mintz of Organic Elements designed the floral chandelier over the dance floor. The table runners and cascading centerpiece for the sweetheart table were also made of flowers.

Table settings


Photography: True Photography Weddings
Ceremony and Reception: Concepts Event Design
Florals: Organic Elements
Catering: Coast Catering by Barry Layne
DJ: Still Listening Productions
Gown: Pronovias
Shoes: Jimmy Choo
Cake: V.G. Donut & Bakery
Paper Elements: Paper Diamonds
Hair and Makeup: Tiffany Monday
Rentals: Classic Party Rentals 
Coordination: Suzanne Nieto, BB Weddings & Events


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  1. Occasions In Print Wednesday, June 11, 2014 Reply

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