I must be in the right business because I never get tired of getting wrapped up in romance. Earlier this year, a sweet young bride named Tania who was getting married in Carmel, California asked me to design the invitations for her dreamy wedding overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Her big day was going to have it all: a strapless dress with a sweeping train, a riot of lush pink and cream flowers, and an out-of-this-world location.

I decided to design something sophisticated but whimsical, complete with lavish blooms and small birds - as if it were going to be held in the garden of one's dreams (well, it kind of was). Since the bride was as timeless as they come, of course I included soft pink, a color so enduringly popular that for the entire month of October I am offering a rare 15 discount on all pink Ceci products (and giving a portion of the proceeds to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation). But the detail I am most proud of is the commemorative watercolor I created for their invites as a playful-but-romantic take on their relationship. Framed by extravagant peonies, the portrait shows the happy couple in front of their wedding location flanked by some of their favorite things: her dogs and his golf clubs. In another section I painted their silhouettes surrounded by hints of other passions, including shopping and motorcycles.

During the lead-up to this wedding I also had the great pleasure of working with Preston Bailey, who created the incredible decor, and Ashley Carter of Goldbug Studio, who was charged with creating flowery, fairy-inspired party hats that matched my designs. Her fantastical creations only added to the romance, which I am still inspired by to this very day. To get you inspired, I've compiled my own playful list of essentials to make your fairy-tale come true - whether you're getting married soon or just wishing for a little more Cinderella-like magic in your life.

As for me, I quickly realized I had my own romantic vista to draw on for inspiration, which is why photographer Justin Lee and I recently found ourselves overlooking the cliffs in Torrey Pines near my hometown of San Diego. I hope you'll agree that the location is spectacular - a place that makes one feel as if truly anything is possible.


Ceci Johnson of Ceci New York - BREATHTAKING VIEW: Inspired by Tania and Abel's wedding overlooking the ocean, Ceci stands on the cliffs in Torrey Pines wearing a pink Marchesa dress and roses and peonies in her hair.

Photography by Justin Lee Photography

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