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This Couple Replaced Their Cake with a Champagne Tower at The Chanler at Cliff Walk

By Shayna Seid | Photography by 

Jaimee Morse

Kara Larmie, senior communications manager at Constellation Brands, and Michael Paladino Jr. met while studying abroad in Italy on the same school program. He went to Trinity College, and she attended the University of Southern California. After seven years together, six of them long-distance through school and after graduation, he proposed on the Fourth of July at Cavallo Point overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge with an oval diamond rose-gold ring.

Since they both grew up in the church, it only felt appropriate to be married in one. “I had always dreamed of celebrating after at a stately home on the ocean, where we would stay with all of our favorite people,” Kara explains. Their party rented out The Chanler at Cliff Walk to make that a reality, and the bride took on most of the planning with help from Infinite Events for month-of coordination, the internet (including Over The Moon), friends’ experiences, her mother, and “of course, wine!”

After not finding exactly what she’d envisioned herself wearing at her wedding, Kara decided to design her own gown with Anomalie. “I imagined a form-fitting, silk crepe gown with a deep, curved V-back fastened with a bow and adorned with long tails that added drama and something unique to my train,” she explains. “I gave it a sweetheart neckline and puff sleeves, and everyone said my dress was ‘very me,’ which was exactly what I was going for.”

To complete her look, Kara added Tania Maras’s Theodore pearl veil and Stuart Weiztman silver stiletto sandals. A handmade, pale blue satin purse was her “something blue,” a vintage bow-shaped diamond ring gifted by her mother was her “something old,” and her mother’s emerald bracelet was her “something borrowed.” 

On the day-of, bridesmaids complemented Kara well in Jenny Yoo gowns in Whisper Blue, and the mother-of-the-bride chose a dress from St. John Collection. They all got ready with Jennie Kay Beauty and Sarah Depault Beauty, and the girls held bouquets from Stoughton Flower Shop. Michael looked handsome in a Brooks Brothers navy tuxedo with a pastel blue bow tie and socks.

At the United Congregational Church, the couple recited and cried through their own vows, and Reverend Joseph Tripp announced that they were the best he’s heard in his 35 years of officiating weddings. “With nearly a decade together, we had a lot of material and genuinely wrote from the heart,” Kara says. Once pronounced as a married couple, the two danced down the aisle to the bride’s favorite song, “All You Need Is Love” and made their way into a 1924 Studebaker from Newport Classic Car Tours.

Cocktail hour on the main lawn overlooked the ocean, and drinks were mixed with cheeky stirrers featuring the couples’ baby pictures. As the sun set, people made their way to the open terrace for dinner with glowing candles and woven pink and blue linens. Instead of cutting a cake, the newlyweds decided to pour their champagne tower, and following dinner, the evening moved to The Veranda for dancing with the 10-piece band, Radiance.  

To better move, Kara changed into a sparkly Marchesa Notte number from her favorite store, Shopbop, and they had their first dance to “Right Down the Line” by Gerry Raferty. The final song of the night was, of course, “Shout,” and during the tune, the couple’s best friend’s husband delivered an epic wedding present—pizza for all. “Time stood still as we promptly devoured every slice and ordered seconds,” the bride says. The night ended with the wedding party and a group of intimate friends soaking up the final moments of the day together in the couples’ suite.