On the night Anne Charlotte Baker and Christopher Peter Sanchez moved into their first apartment together, he got down on one knee. “It was incredibly sweet and private—absolutely perfect,” Anne remembers.
Picking their wedding venue turned out to be a very easy choice. Anne and Chris decided to get married in her parents’ backyard in San Diego because it gave them more control over everything with the ever-changing pandemic restrictions and it was just a really pretty space. “Once my dad gave us the green light to paint over our childhood mini-basketball court, the flow for the wedding became a piece of cake,” Anne says.
For their big day, the couple drew design inspiration from their “love of movies and the aesthetic of Space Race-era Southern California,” Anne explains. “We wanted the wedding to evoke the feeling of an escape down the coast from Hollywood in the 1960s.” To help them plan their October 2, 2021 nuptials, the pair hired Erica Gustlin of Fawn Events. A beautiful invitation suite set the tone for the day, created by Hello Gem Events.
From the beginning, Anne knew that a traditional wedding dress wasn’t for her. “My mom and I visited a couple of lovely bridal shops, but even the ‘alternative’ shops had dresses that were too stuffy or felt too ‘bridal’ for me,” she says. Anne then started looking at evening-wear designers, and while on Over The Moon, she stumbled upon Alexia Maria, which is based in San Diego—the same city the couple lives in. With their team, Anne created a custom look using the skirt and top of two other designs to create her dream dress.
Anne’s other accessories were inspired by Chris’s blue eyes. Because the skirt of her dress was above her ankles, she decided to wear a pair of periwinkle Loeffler Randall heels. And she finished the look off with Lizzie Fortunato earrings and her grandmother’s bracelets.
Anne and Chris then had their first look and read their private vows to each other. “That moment was extremely special,” Anne says. “It also made the formal ceremony much more relaxed and enjoyable for us.”
On the pink-painted basketball court, facing the ocean, the bride walked down the long set of curved stairs to the square arbor by Foxtail Florals to Taylor Swift’s “Invisible String.” The ceremony was officiated by the couple’s friend Lindsay Campbell, and during the service, their other friend Jillian Eshelman read the final scene from When Harry Met Sally. “That was particularly special because Jill and I watched that movie endlessly growing up, and it was one of the first movies Chris and I watched together,” Anne explains. “I could hear a lot of sniffling behind me while she was reading it!”
After being announced as husband and wife, the cocktail hour began on the upper decks of the house around the fire pit with embroidered blankets stitched with “The Sanchezes, established 2021” on them. Anne had told the DJ from Second Song that she wanted a “Nancy Meyers throws a party at The Parker” vibe for after the ceremony. And while enjoying the perfect playlist, guests enjoyed appetizers and Ranch Water served in Topo Chico bottles—a favorite drink of Chris’s—by LA Speakeasy.
For dinner, everyone moved back downstairs to the transformed ceremony space. Farm tables, set with tabletop rentals from Catalog Atelier, framed the peach dance floor, while market lighting from Brilliant Event Lighting was strung overhead and twinkle lights were in the surrounding trees. Harvest Kitchen catered the family-style meal, and the Palm Springs-inspired menus designed by Velvet Fox Designs read “I’ll have what they’re having” at the top—another nod to their love of cinema. The sunset-inspired color palette came to life during golden hour, captured beautifully by the photo and video team, Katie Branch of Tyler Branch Photography and The Authentic Storytellers.
After dinner and cutting their SusieCakes wedding cake, the two had their first dance to “Victim of Love” by Charles Bradley, which was the first song they had ever danced to together. And once the reception wrapped up, the after-party started at the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa with In-N-Out Burger—the perfect end to a California wedding.