Bride of the Week: Catlin Choate

Love is Swell

Catlin, dressed in Maggie Sottero, and her husband Blake celebrated their union with a romantic reception with a few quirky, personal touches.

Meet Catlin.

Strolls on the beach aren’t often in a job’s description. But if you’re Catlin Rawling, who works in marketing at a Southern California surf wear company, it’s just another day at the office. In fact, Catlin worked alongside her future husband Blake Choate for nearly two years, traveling together for work “to exotic beach locales around the world,” she says, before sparks began to fly at a surf competition in Oahu, Hawaii.

After a moving ceremony in a beautiful gazebo overlooking the mountains, guests gathered for dinner at three long rectangular tables, decorated in black and white stripes with touches of lime green, which seated 30 people each. White candles and tea lights illuminated the party. Tables were adorned with white peonies and roses.

As the pair waited for a huge swell to come in for the contest, “There were a lot of walks on the beach and long lunches,” she recalls. Within six months they were dating. One year later, Blake asked for Catlin’s hand—where else?—at the ocean’s edge in Pebble Beach. “He is the nicest person in the world and we just enjoy one another so much,” beams the bride.

On May 18, 2012, Catlin and Blake surprised their 90 guests by making waves with a wedding far from the sea. They chose the desert, marrying in Palm Springs at the hip, modern hotel, The Viceroy. “Everyone expected us to marry on the beach but we wanted to do something unexpected because that’s the type of couple we are,” says Catlin. “I would describe our wedding as elegant and playful.”

The venue, for example, oozed romance and the bride’s dress by designer Maggie Sottero had a definite glamorous, “Old Hollywood” feel. “It was something you could see on a red carpet.” But other elements, like the couple’s Save-the-Date cards, hinted at the couple’s self-described “fun, goofy and a little off-the wall style.” For that announcement, Catlin and Blake posed for a photo in a Los Angeles jail cell with the declaration, “Life Sentence.”

After a moving ceremony in a beautiful gazebo overlooking the mountains, guests gathered for dinner at three long rectangular tables, decorated in black and white stripes with touches of lime green, which seated 30 people each. White candles and tea lights illuminated the party. Tables were adorned with white peonies and roses.

It was gorgeous. It was modern. It was tasteful. But as planned, Catlin and Blake also added their playful touches as well. So the “guest book” was made from two skateboards they’d painted white so everyone could write their notes on them. A cartoon detailing their courtship served as a wedding program. And a custom-made cake topper took on a personal note: it was a mini-replica of Catlin, their cross-eyed cat Enzo, and Blake, holding a skateboard. “We wanted our personalities to shine through so we did a few things that were personal to us,” explains Catlin.

Even though the nuptials took place nearly 100 miles from the beach, guests always knew how close it was to their hearts, especially when Catlin walked down the aisle—to the Beach Boys’ God Only Knows What I’d Be Without You.

--Erinn Bucklan

 
 
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