Alyssa and Riley’s gorgeous wedding makes one thing very clear—there’s no better wedding accessory than a pair of huge smiles on the couple of honor. This duo’s joy is as contagious as their day is beautiful. The rustic, simplicity of Franciscan Gardens made for a perfect canvas for Alyssa’s hand-crafted signs, as well as the elegant rose with eucalyptus and pops of gold floral design by Penelope Pots. All the big smiles and lovely design features of the day were captured perfectly by the most gifted Natalie Schutt Photography.
What made the wedding special and unique?
Riley and I did not have a wedding planner, being involved in every decision made our wedding that much more special to us and personal. The most unique thing about our wedding had to be all the vendors! They’re all so incredibly talented. Once we told them what we had in mind for our wedding day, we trusted them to just “do their thing.” Everything turned out better than we could have ever imagined!
Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!
I began the search for my dress at Mariposa Bridal Boutique in Anaheim, CA. This was my first time trying on dresses so I wasn’t too sure of what to expect (nor did I expect to find my dress that day). I tried on a handful of dresses before finally trying on “my dress”. I continued to try on more dresses thinking I should, just to be sure. There was just no contest here – ultimately, the fit and flare of the Maggie Sottero dress with light beading and lace had my heart. My favorite part of the dress has to be the detail and train.
What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?
Riley’s mom is an ordained minister so we thought, who better to marry us than her? It was such an honor and so incredibly special to have her marry us!
I love to craft so I knew I wanted to create some things we could use on our big day! I made our table numbers, table seating chart and welcome sign.
My “something old” and “something borrowed” were also very personal and cherished items. An old handkerchief from my grandmother was gifted to me by one of my aunts. She made it into a rose shape to be placed in my bouquet as my “something old”. My cousin gave me an angel wing charm (the other matching charm belonged to my grandmother) to add to my bouquet as well – that was my “something borrowed”.
What was the most memorable part of the day?
I have two moments I’ll never forget. The first being when my grandpa walked me down the aisle. He’s 93 and to me, that’s a blessing in itself. Then to have him escort me down the aisle alongside my dad; I couldn’t be more grateful.
The second being when Riley and I saw each other for the first time during our “first look”. I’ve always dreamed of that moment. I had so many butterflies right before tapping him on his shoulder to turn around. Having that moment to share – just us two – that was just so special.
Tell us how you met and became engaged.
Riley and I met through a mutual friend in 2014. We frequented the same spot and one day we both asked our mutual friend who each other was. We started dating almost instantly. About a year and a half later, Riley was stationed in Biloxi, MS (he’s in the Air Force). I went to visit him in the little beach town of Biloxi. When I arrived it was near sunset so we went to grab dinner at a restaurant right on the water. After dinner, we began to walk along the shore and that’s where he stopped to whisper sweet nothings in my ear. Then, he got down on one knee and proposed! I cried, screamed and jumped for joy. Riley had to remind me to give him my hand so he could place the ring on my finger. That’s when I saw it – my dream ring!
Photographer: Natalie Schutt Photography // Coordinator: Agape Planning // Florist: Penelope Pots // Paper Goods: Wedding Paper Divas // Venue: Franciscan Gardens // Catering: 24 Carrots // Officiant: Maria Evans, Mother of the Groom // Hair/Makeup: Blush by M. Marie // DJ: Elevated Pulse Productions // Bakery: Torrance Bakery // Videographer: Kayla Esparza Photography // Ring Box: The Mrs. Box