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Real Wedding: Alexandra & John

San Diego native Alexandra Cahill, 40, first chatted online with John McPeak, 41, in 2011. A few months later, her friend Rachel was getting married in Rye, New York, and John offered to fly from Houston to be her wedding date. A little more than a year later, John met Alexandra’s parents in San Diego during Christmastime. He got down on one knee in their living room and proposed in front of her parents. Approximately a year after the proposal, they married in front of 80 friends and family.

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Say Yes to the Dresses

Alexandra was conflicted when she fell in love with two different gowns. For the ceremony, she decided to wear a Jenny Packham dress (with sleeves and two sashes added), and a shorter Marchesa dress for the reception. Alexandra was able to dance in the tulle gown that John now refers to as her “happy dress.”

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I Do’s at The Del

The couple chose to say their vows at the iconic Hotel del Coronado, a place Alexandra knew from her childhood. However, she adds delightfully, it “was much more beautiful than I had remembered it.”


Modern Music

The couple walked down the aisle to the Downton Abbey theme song, and had their first dance to Ellie Goulding’s cover of “Your Song.”

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Knot-ical Details

Every reception table was named after an old world explorer like Captain James Cook or Ferdinand Magellan. Attached to a knot, the cards included the explorer’s name, area he explored, and an illustration of his face.


Beautiful Bouquet

Alexandra loved her bouquet of roses, jasmine, and ranunculus so much so that she keeps a framed picture of it on her nightstand.

Studying Dance

John and Alexandra went to a dance studio to learn the foxtrot for their first dance. “It was our first collaboration as a married couple,” the bride says. “We were so relieved we didn’t screw it up.” For the father-daughter dance, she chose Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good.” Says the bride, “It was the perfect song for that evening.”

Getting Air

When Alexandra tossed her bouquet, it got caught on a high chandelier. Thankfully, planner Keli Christenson had brought an extra bouquet.



Coordination: Keli Christenson, Monarch Weddings
Photography: True Photography Weddings
Florals: Splendid Sentiments
DJ: Jonny at Mobile Music Plus
Cake: Flour Power
Paper Elements: Brightly Designed
Hair: Noriko Podue-Kerns
Makeup: Loli Romo
Rentals: APR Fine Linens; La Tavola Fine Linen Rental
Favors: La Reine des Macarons

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