A Luxe International Wedding at the Ritz Carlton, Dana Point
They say true love will find you when the timing is right.
Well, that split second of a special moment came in the middle of thousands of people with only hours counting down before they’d be a thousand miles apart. It was beyond fate how Coco Lloyd and Jacob Clifton crossed paths and even more serendipitous how they took their love from across the pond to the dreamy sands of the west coast.
Coco never pictured herself having a wedding or what it would necessarily look like, she just knew having her family there was the only way it would feel complete. After traveling to Laguna Beach a few times and dining at the Ritz Carlton for dinner, they instantly knew that’s where they would start their new lives together. From an impromptu proposal in New York to their timeless and whimsical sun-kissed wedding, this couple’s love is one that was ‘just meant to be.’ We loved working with Coco and Jocob and were so thrilled to get the inside scoop on their fairytale love story and wedding to match!
How It All Began
Where/when did it all start? How did the two of you meet and fall in love?
It was so serendipitous and interesting how we met. I was actually taking a class for my MBA in London and it was my last night there. I was walking around Piccadilly Circus and looked over and saw the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen. I decided to go ask her for directions, even though I knew exactly where I was going. We started talking, she asked me out, and we went for breakfast the next morning. We only met for a few hours for one day before I flew back to Boston. We spent a couple of months apart, but still talking every day during that time. We knew we wanted to be in each other’s lives almost immediately. I didn’t want her to fall out of my life, so I made it a priority to keep going back to London. Luckily I worked for a company where I could work 15 days in Boston and then 15 days in London because there was an office there as well.
How long after that did you decide to get married and connect the long-distance relationship?
We were together for about five months and then he asked me to go to Boston to meet his family and see where he was living. I had never been to Boston, so I was really excited to go. It was January 2017, and one night we were in New York it was really cold and snowy. We were walking around and we went into Grand Central Station, it was about midnight. We were talking about what it would be like to live together, and then Jacob...
I just popped the question! It just felt like I needed to ask her.
He didn’t get down on one knee either. [Laughs]
Okay, okay. It was kind of a running joke after, and I would just randomly get down on one knee everywhere. [Laughs] I didn’t even have a ring that day.
What was funny is we went to the Jewelry District the day before because I wanted to see it. We started joking and looking at the diamond rings. I told him if I was to get married this is the one I would pick. He called the guy and basically let me design my own ring.
What an amazing engagement story! You can feel the serendipity throughout your relationship for sure. Were you pretty formal for the planning aspect or did you follow the go with the flow type of style you were adapting?
I was never a big wedding person, so I never thought about seriously planning a wedding but I knew I really wanted my family to be there. There was an immigration problem and they didn’t know how long it would take for my immigration to go through, so we weren’t going to be able to plan a wedding. We had no option but to just get married on our own.
They allow you 90 days, but you just don’t know when those days start so there was no way for us to plan a wedding.
So it was still a bit spontaneous?
So the first wedding, we were in New York on a rooftop and we had this biker guy marry us and there was a random witness. We just took pictures on our iPhone [Laughs], it was pretty fun.
That’s great! After everything was settled, you wed in Laguna Beach. What is the significance of that location for you guys all the way from London and Boston?
Jacob and I spent a lot of time in Laguna together. It was our favorite place on the West Coast. We went and had some drinks at The Ritz Carlton and we absolutely loved the view and everything there. We just knew that’s where we wanted to have the wedding. We found this plaza room with this big balcony that overlooked the ocean, it was the perfect place.
Also for family traditions of my own. We had a red bouquet, to honor my mom who passed away a couple years before. She had her own chair, place card and it was special for me because it was as if she was there. What’s funny enough is one of her favorite places was Laguna Beach, more specifically Dana Point, and I was born maybe five minutes from there. That was part of the reason why that area was special to me.
How was the decor and overall style of the wedding, with it being in such a relaxed environment?
Decor wise, we both have similar tastes. We love golds and creams, and different colors. I’m a bit of a rockstar, so I like to have a little edge in there. So I had a sequence jacket on that day, a multi-colored veil, and a few little touches that were quite fun.
It was a luxury old elegance that I was looking for. Something that could’ve been from a hundred years ago but still very elegant. Timeless.
On the other side, what did you really enjoy about the wedding planning or process?
I loved our invitations and we got so many great compliments on them! Every single person that got it commented on how beautiful the invitations were.
When we were looking for invitations, and when I say we I mean Coco [Laughs], she found you and said we had to basically go through you and there was nothing else to discuss. She was set on working with Azure.
Anything you would’ve changed or maybe something you didn’t think of until the day of?
My friend sang live at the wedding, she is a musical singer in England and she sang for our first dance. I remember thinking at the time we didn’t think out where to place her. They had her next to the DJ, which was far in the room so people couldn’t see her. They thought it was a record and not a live singer. There was no video of her singing either, since they didn’t pan on the video and it was only on us. I really wish we would’ve had that footage.
Connecting love and unity through design and creativity is what drives our purpose as a host for art form through memorable moments. For Coco and Jacob’s serendipitous wedding and overall partnership, matching the essence of their spontaneous love affair was important to mirror and find details within. We were more than thrilled to create a tangible timestamp of not only the first moment they locked eyes, but a keepsake to the beginning of their future together.