Greece Inspired wedding in Temecula, California, celebrates couple’s love with laughter, gorgeous florals, and shades of blue décor.
Tim & Shari tied the knot at the beautiful picturesque Avensole Winery in the hills of Temecula California. Sharing a love for Greece, they strived to bring the romance and ambiance of the Mediterranean to their wedding with Magenta and Blue tones inspired by the bougainvillea flower and the Grecian ocean.
Surrounded by family and friends, their wedding was full of love and laughter. It even featured a certified Flower Man who preceded Shari down the aisle! Other highlights include a towering blue wedding cake decorated with adorable bride-and-groom wedding toppers and stunning Floral decor by our very own Muna Coterie florist, Theresa Eoff, of Figure Eight Events.
More details on their love story and beautiful Greece inspired wedding below!
- Couple: Tim Hawkins & Shari (Mills) Hawkins
- Occupations: Tim is an Associate Creative Director (advertising) and Shari is an Associate Director of Digital Media (advertising).
- Wedding date: October 1, 2021
- Wedding location: Avensole Winery – Temecula, California
- Gifts for your bridesmaids and groomsmen: Bridesmaids/Best Women received custom handmade glass bead necklaces (made by the bride’s mother-in-law), matching crystal earrings, customized legging & sweatshirt sets, and personalized duffle bags. Groomsmen/Men of Honor were gifted silver Benyar watches and custom embroidered socks
- Gifts for one another: Shari gave Tim an engraved wooden watch. Tim gave her a second wedding band to complete a 3-piece set.
- Ceremony entrance songs: Bridal party – Can’t Help Falling In Love (Brooklyn Duo); “Flower Bro” – Suit & Tie (Justin Timberlake w/ Jay-Z); Bride’s entrance – You Are The Reason (Calum Scott & Leona Lewis).
- First dance song: Wonderful Tonight (Eric Clapton)
How they met…
Tim and I met on OK Cupid in 2016. Tim had viewed my page a few times, so I took it upon myself to initiate the conversation and said “Hi”! He claims he knew I was different from other women on the site because I actually took the time to answer all of his questions in depth.
After a few days of back and forth messages, he sent me a note saying, “before we go too far down the rabbit hole, I just thought I should let you know a few things that may/may not be deal-breakers for you: 1. I don’t really like sports (I noted that I’m a big college and pro-football fan in my profile – Go Buckeyes and Giants!) and 2. I’m allergic to animals (I had a photo with me and my beloved Akita/Husky dog, Maggie).” I took a deep breath and said, “it’s not the end of the world. Let’s just see what happens…”.
A few days later…
After a few more days of talking, Tim sent me another note saying that he didn’t want to make me feel as though he was Catfishing me because his photos were a little dated, so he had a friend do a whole photoshoot for him just to post some new photos for me. He caveated that if I liked what I saw, feel free to give him a call (he finally gave me his number) and take things offline.
Late the next day, I texted him to say that I didn’t really notice a difference in the photos, so I’d love to continue chatting. From that day on, we spent hours and hours on the phone, either calling or texting. I still had a few reservations because I had made it a point to avoid dating anyone in the same field as me, just because my experience with other men (on a professional level) in advertising, was not my cup of tea. But I remembered something that my cousin told me a few months before when I wanted some dating advice: “don’t block your blessings. You can find the perfect guy for you, but if you leave too many rules and stipulations in place, you’ll never let him into your heart.” So I let go of my inhibitions and agreed to a 1st date – which turned into a 2nd a week later!
When she knew she found “the one”…
I knew Tim was “the one” on our 3rd “date” when I told him that I couldn’t meet up because I was going to my best friend’s house to help her and her husband move. Tim insisted on stopping by to bring coffee for everyone. I agreed, but told him he couldn’t come inside because my friend was 8 1/2 months pregnant and there were 4 huge dogs in the house with a ton of dust and I was worried about his allergies.
He ignored me, walked inside, introduced himself to my friends, and proceeded to help pack with everyone for 5 hours!!!! He was such a trooper and wanted to get to know me and my friends any way he could and that meant the world to me! About 2 weeks later, we became an official couple on July 4th.
Wedding style & shopping experience…
I wanted to feel like a princess on my wedding day without having to compete with a lot of fussiness. I also wanted a timeless look that we could look back on photos and not feel dated. So, I was pretty settled on an A-line silhouette with a subtle sparkle and simple lines.
After narrowing down designers I liked, I reached out on social media to Hayley Paige directly – on a whim – to ask about some of her designs and modifications that could be made. She actually personally responded with some recommendations and ideas! That sealed the deal for me. And after trying on dozens of gowns, I fell in love with The Jardin gown from Hayley Paige.
The entire dress is covered in sugar beading in rose embroidery, giving a shimmer if the light catches it just right. To really make my bridal outfit unique to my personal style, I had a seamstress (Olivia Vaatete) add pockets (which, about 90% of dresses in my wardrobe have). I also took a pair of Converse sneakers and personally covered them in Swarovski crystals and custom blue satin laces. The goal was to feel as comfortable, yet glamorous as possible on our wedding day, and I absolutely did!
Their proposal story…
Tim and I were planning a dream vacation to Greece with a group of friends when the pandemic hit in 2020. And while we held out hope that we could still fly out, the Greek borders closed, and our trip was canceled. I (Shari) was growing more miserable with each passing day of the pandemic and with my birthday approaching, Tim told me that a close friend of ours had just recently purchased a very expensive camera and wanted to treat us to a photo shoot where we could dress up and then have a beach-side birthday dinner as a gift for me.
Tim and I got all dolled up to head down to Laguna Beach, CA with our friends. We scoped out a place where there weren’t too many other people and we could get some nice sunset shots on the sand. Our friend with the camera instructed us to walk down the beach so he could check the lighting and take some test shots before we began. As we were walking back, I saw a piece of glass sticking out of the sand and went to pick it up – it was a jar that had a tag “message in a bottle”.
Since there were a lot of kids around playing in the tide pools, I figured one of them left it behind. So, I pulled the cork and opened the scroll and it said, “Will you marry me?” When I turned around, Tim was on one knee and a pair of parasailors flew over our heads (something he swears was not part of the plan). Tim chose that spot to propose because he was actually planning to propose in Santorini, but decided to take advantage of the 2nd best sunset he knew of to propose in front of.
The first look…
Mr. & Mrs…
Yes! My family is Jamaican, so it was very important for me to have elements of my family’s culture blended with my husband and I’s California lifestyle.
To start, I worked with a designer (Alisha Jemelian – One Blushing Bride) to create my one-of-a-kind veil. On the bottom edge of the cathedral-length train, she embroidered a pair of Swallow-Tail Hummingbirds – the Jamaican national bird. The birds framed an inside joke between Tim and I that I also had embroidered on my veil.
While our overall theme was “Santorini in Wine Country” as an homage to our originally planned dream vacation, the Bougainvillea flowers I was adamant about including in the decor, were an homage to the flowers my mother grew up with at her family’s home in Jamaica. They also grow rampant in Greece and here in SoCal, so it was a nice blend of the three cultures.
Food was going to be the most important element of the wedding, so it took me several weeks to work with our caterer to land on a menu that featured classic California cuisine paired with bright Caribbean flavors. For appetizers, we had Tuna Tartare Tacos, Mac & Cheese bites, and Bacalaítos (Codfish fritters). Dinner was a duet of Grilled Santa Maria Tri-Tip and Jerk Chilean Sea Bass with a Santa Barbara succotash and Jerk-seasoned sweet potatoes. Music was also extremely important. The DJ played a great mix of Reggae, Soca, and Calypso music, which kept everyone on the dance floor all night long!
One of the other things I was very, very adamant about was making sure that I hired as many vendors that were either women or people of color as possible. As a black woman in advertising, I know how important having visibility is, especially in the wedding industry. To highlight these vendors, I’ve added stars next to all of the POC/Women-Owned businesses in my list of vendors below.
Favorite wedding day memories…
There were probably two moments that were my absolute favorite from our day.
1) While getting touched up in hair and make-up after taking 1st look photos, I turned to see my Godmother walk into the bridal suite. She had been in a serious accident the year before and, up until the week before, had said she likely was not going to be in attendance. She’s like a second mother to me, so to not have her at my wedding was a devastating blow. Her surprising me and getting to meet Tim on our wedding day was so special!
2) Having my parents walk me down the aisle was surreal and emotional for a number of reasons. My father was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and in the months leading up to our wedding, we weren’t sure he was going to make it. With months of immunotherapy treatment, he was well enough to travel and was so proud to be there to walk me down the aisle. My mother has been my rock and my best friend, so I couldn’t see myself getting married without her by my side the way she’s been through my entire life.
Reception space décor…
Wedding advice for engaged couples…
TAKE. IT. ALL. IN!!! We were engaged for 14 months and it flew by very fast. Because we actually had fun while planning, we were both kind of sad by the time our wedding day ended. Also, try to let your partner have a say in some things. If you can humor their ideas, you’ll get less frustrated. You might even find your significant other has some pretty cool thoughts that will take your wedding to the next level!
Looking for more Greece inspired wedding ideas?
- *Wedding Dress Designer: Blush by Hayley Paige @allthatglittersonthegram
- Wedding Dress Salon: Calvet Couture Bridal @calvetcouturebridal
- *Alterations: Olivia Vaatete with A Stitch In Time @asitbridal
- *Bridal Veil: Alisha Jemelian, One Blushing Bride @oneblushingbride
- Bridesmaids Dresses: Azazie @azazieofficial
- *Hair: Aishah Williams @hairby_aishah
- Makeup: Sandy Perez, Makeup by Sanndy @makeupbysanndy
- Shoes: Me (Converse Chuck Taylors, Swarovski)
- Ceremony/Reception: Avensole Winery @avensolewinery @avensolewineryweddings
- Photography: Dan Sauer Photography @dan.sauer
- *Videography: Chandler Jenkins, Jenkins Wedding Videography @jenkinsweddingvideography
- *Wedding Planner: Jessica Nielsen (provided with the venue)
- *Florist: Teresa Eoff, Figure Eight Events @figureeightevents
- *Cake: Dejenia Cummings, Sweet Stacks Cakery @sweet_stacks_cakery
- *Dessert: Autumn Rosale – FroZone Nitrogen Ice Cream @gofrozone
- Stationery: Minted
- Groom’s/groomsmen attire: Paolo Cellini
- Rings: @farahjewelrydtla
- *Security: MaxPro Safe and Secure
- *Programs: Marry Me Magazines @marrymemagazines
- DJs: Second Song DJs @secondsong_official
- Favors: Wine-n-Gear & Evil Eye Favor Supplies @evileyefavor
- *Ceremony Décor: Madam Palooza @madampaloozaemporium
- *Calligraphy: Shelby Huber, Shelby Creative Design @shelbycreativedesign