I want to become a society lady Rockin' a new rock?!

San Francisco couple Annie and Jake were married just six short post-proposal, two-thousand miles away in the city where they first met—Cincinnati. The couple dubbed their wedding theme “relaxed romantic” and enlisted the help of very talented friends to implement their vision at Carnegie​ ​Center​ ​of​ ​Columbia​ ​Tusculum​. Literally, from the photographer, to the band—and every vendor in between—was a personal friend of the couple. Depp, moody florals are by Katie’s​ ​Blooms​, and the bride wore BHLDN​ gown and shoes while her best friend Folchi​ ​Photography​ captured all her joy on her big day.

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From the bride: Jake​ ​and​ ​I​ ​got​ ​married​ ​in​ ​May,​ ​just​ ​six​ ​months​ ​after​ ​he​ ​proposed.​ ​We​ ​simply​ ​couldn’t​ ​wait​ ​to​ ​to​ ​start our​ ​life​ ​together!​ ​Because​ ​of​ ​our​ ​short​ ​engagement,​ ​I​ ​think​ ​our​ ​wedding​ ​ended​ ​up​ ​really​ ​reflecting​ ​the two​ ​of​ ​us.​ ​We​ ​didn’t​ ​have​ ​the​ ​time​ ​or​ ​funds​ ​to​ ​go​ ​too​ ​crazy.​ ​Ha!

If​ ​there​ ​was​ ​a​ ​theme,​ ​I’d​ ​call​ ​it​ ​”relaxed​ ​romantic.”​ ​We​ ​wanted​ ​to​ ​keep​ ​things​ ​as​ ​simple​ ​and​ ​fun​ ​as possible​ ​for​ ​our​ ​guests​ ​–​ ​that’s​ ​where​ ​things​ ​like​ ​the​ ​food​ ​stations,​ ​cocktail​ ​tables​ ​and​ ​sparse​ ​seating, open​ ​bar​ ​featuring​ ​our​ ​favorite​ ​drinks,​ ​lawn​ ​games,​ ​and​ ​donut​ ​bar​ ​came​ ​into​ ​play​ ​–​ ​while​ ​still​ ​feeling beautiful​ ​and​ ​meaningful​ ​to​ ​us.

Jake​ ​and​ ​I​ ​are​ ​extremely​ ​lucky​ ​to​ ​be​ ​surrounded​ ​by​ ​a​ ​lot​ ​of​ ​talented​ ​people​ ​in​ ​our​ ​life.​ ​They​ ​all contributed​ ​their​ ​talents​ ​to​ ​our​ ​special​ ​day.​ ​My​ ​little​ ​sister​ ​did​ ​all​ ​of​ ​our​ ​stationery,​ ​my​ ​best​ ​friend​ ​took our​ ​photos,​ ​another​ ​best​ ​friend​ ​made​ ​our​ ​video,​ ​our​ ​band​ ​are​ ​actually​ ​close​ ​college​ ​friends​ ​of​ ​my husband’s,​ ​my​ ​cousin​ ​cantored,​ ​my​ ​sisters​ ​and​ ​soon-to-be​ ​sisters​ ​decorated​ ​the​ ​reception​ ​space​ ​(with the​ ​blooms​ ​by​ ​the​ ​box​ ​flowers!)​ ​and​ ​made​ ​our​ ​boutonnieres,​ ​the​ ​cake​ ​was​ ​a​ ​creation​ ​of​ ​a​ ​local​ ​baker who​ ​I​ ​met​ ​years​ ​ago,​ ​when​ ​she​ ​was​ ​just​ ​getting​ ​started.​ ​Countless​ numbers ​of​ ​our​ ​friends​ ​had​ ​”jobs”​ ​and “responsibilities”​ ​to​ ​keep​ ​our​ ​day​ ​moving​ ​along;​ ​even​ ​our​ ​priest​ ​was​ ​the​ ​man​ ​who​ ​baptized​ ​me​ ​26​ ​years ago​ ​(and​ ​was​ ​also​ ​my​ ​dad’s​ ​former​ ​principal​ ​40​ ​years​ ​ago)!
I​ ​was​ ​a​ ​little​ ​worried​ ​about​ ​planning​ ​the​ ​wedding​ ​from​ ​2000​ ​miles​ ​away​ ​(we​ ​live​ ​in​ ​San​ ​Francisco,​ ​and got​ ​married​ ​in​ ​the​ ​neighborhood​ ​where​ ​we​ ​met​ ​in​ ​Cincinnati),​ ​but​ ​having​ ​so​ ​many​ ​amazing​ ​friends​ ​and family​ ​made​ ​it​ ​easy.

I​ ​think​ ​it​ ​was​ ​the​ ​personal​ ​relationships​ ​that​ ​made​ ​our​ ​day​ ​even​ ​more​ ​unforgettable.​ ​In​ ​fact,​ ​when​ ​the doors​ ​to​ ​the​ ​church​ ​opened,​ ​and​ ​I​ ​started​ ​walking​ ​down​ ​the​ ​aisle​ ​with​ ​my​ ​dad,​ ​I​ ​spotted​ ​all​ ​the​ ​most important​ ​people​ ​of​ ​our​ ​life,​ ​gathered​ ​together​ ​to​ ​support​ ​Jake​ ​and​ ​me​ ​in​ ​the​ ​pews​ ​–​ ​and​ ​I​ ​just​ ​started crying. They​ ​were​ ​the​ ​happiest​ ​of​ ​tears.

Other​ ​interesting​ ​things​ ​about​ ​our​ ​wedding:
Lavender​ ​has​ ​always​ ​helped​ ​relax​ ​me,​ ​that’s​ ​why​ ​we​ ​incorporated​ ​it​ ​in​ ​all​ ​the​ ​decor. Our​ ​band​ ​learned​ ​”Blue​ ​Moon”​ ​for​ ​our​ ​first​ ​dance,​ ​because​ ​it’s​ ​only​ ​once​ ​in​ ​a​ ​blue​ ​moon​ ​that people​ ​get​ ​so​ ​lucky​ ​as​ ​we​ ​did​. My​ ​dad​ ​and​ ​I​ ​danced​ ​to​ ​”The​ ​Way​ ​you​ ​Look​ ​Tonight”​ ​by​ ​Frank​ ​Sinatra; we’ve​ ​been​ ​planning that​ ​dance​ ​since​ ​I​ ​was​ ​in​ ​high​ ​school. I​ ​had​ ​five​ ​bridesmaids,​ ​my​ ​three​ ​sisters​ ​and​ ​two​ ​sister-in-laws.​ ​Jake​ ​asked​ ​my​ ​brother​ ​and​ ​his brother​ ​to​ ​be​ ​groomsman,​ ​so​ ​all​ ​of​ ​our​ ​siblings​ ​were​ ​part​ ​of​ ​the​ ​wedding​ ​party​ ​which​ ​was really​ ​special. It​ ​was​ ​so​ ​HOT​ ​the​ ​day​ ​we​ ​got​ ​married!​ ​After​ ​all​ ​the​ ​photos​ ​and​ ​before​ ​the​ ​ceremony,​ ​our wedding​ ​party​ ​had​ ​to​ ​stop​ ​by​ ​the​ ​local​ ​bar​ ​to​ ​cool​ ​off​ ​with​ ​a​ ​beer​! The​ ​wedding,​ ​photos​ ​and​ ​reception​ ​were​ ​all​ ​in​ ​the​ ​neighborhood​ ​of​ ​Columbia​ ​Tusculum, where​ ​I​ ​lived​ ​for​ ​two​ ​years​ ​after​ ​college,​ ​and​ ​Jake​ ​and​ ​I​ ​met​ ​four​ ​years​ ​before​ ​our​ ​big​ ​day.

Photographer: Folchi​ ​Photography​ // Floral​ ​Styling: Katie’s​ ​Blooms​ // Flowers: Blooms By The Box​ ​​// Paper​ ​Products: MOO​ ​​// Ceremony​ ​Venue: St.​ ​Stephen’s​ ​Catholic​ ​Church​ // Reception​ ​Venue: Carnegie​ ​Center​ ​of​ ​Columbia​ ​Tusculum​ // Bridal​ ​Shoot​ ​Venue: Queen​ ​City​ ​Vignette​ // Wedding​ ​Dress​ ​+​ ​Shoes Designer:​ ​BHLDN​ // Bridesmaid​ ​Attire: Azazie​ ​// Graphic​ ​Design: Colleen​ ​Butler​ ​Design​ // Cake​ ​Topper Hickory​ ​Twine // Hair: Hannah​ ​Quirk // Makeup: Chelsea​ ​Skurow // Food​ ​+​ ​Beverage: Jeff​ ​Thomas​ ​Catering // Bakery: Canteen​ ​Bakery​ // Videographer: Shane​ ​Harrison​ ​and​ ​Jenna​ ​Heaton // Ceremony​ ​Entertainment: DJ​ ​CEO // Reception​ ​Entertainment: Suede​ ​Jackets​ ​(band) // Grooms​ ​Suit Designer:​ ​Tommy​ ​Hilfiger​ // Tent: The​ ​Alleen​ ​Co​ ​​ ​​

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Allison and Christian’s love for old world glitz and southern charm is apparent in every detail of their stunning Charleston nuptials designed by A Charleston Bride. Allison stunned in a crystal-encrusted and tulle Jenny Packham while the groom in his classic black tux was flanked by groomsmen in white dinner jackets and bow ties. Vows were said in a classic church ceremony at Grace Episcopal Church, followed by a reception kicked off with a cocktail hour in the garden of the Govenor Thomas Bennett House. Overhead string lights and a beautiful bar with a jazz ensemble captured the New Orleans flair of the groom’s heritage. Palmetto Bloom created romantic florals in soft white, and added impact with graphic rust palms set against luxe pink velvet accents throughout the lounge area. And, lucky for us, it’s all captured beautifully in these images by Virgil Buano.

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What made the wedding special and unique?

 The groom, Christian J. Leveque, is known as the master of surprises and always has tricks up his sleeve. From giving his bride-to-be, Allison, a pile of Legos she had to build into the Empire State Building before being whisked away for a birthday in NYC, to a surprise engagement in New Orleans where each candid moment was captured by a hidden photographer, to the unveiling of his surprise honeymoon plans to the Maldives and Dubai, this groom never disappoints.

Christian and Allison tied the knot on February 25, 2017 in Charleston, South Carolina. The joyous occasion started with a 4:00 pm ceremony at Grace Church Cathedral followed by a cocktail hour and reception at the Governor Thomas Bennett House. The night was capped off with an after party at The McKee’s. Lindsey Boyce of A Charleston Bride planned every detail of this amazing day to perfection. Virgil Bunao put his signature touch on the photography at the wedding, as well as an engagement shoot in downtown Charleston and bridal portraits at Lowndes Grove. Adam Siegel captured the event in motion, providing flawless video production. Betsy Weir of Lemontree Calligraphy & Illustration, a watercolor studio based in Melbourne, Australia, designed an original crest displaying the bride and groom’s heritage that was used throughout their wedding season, including save the dates and a gobo projection on the dance floor during the reception. Jonie LaRosee of Palmetto Bloom went above and beyond with her creative floral designs and bouquets for the special occasion.

Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!

The bride chose two different looks for her big day, both of which were from White on Daniel Island. Allison’s first dress – designed by Jenny Packham and known as the Dixie – was vintage inspired and embellished with heavy crystals. For the reception Allison changed into a two-piece couture gown designed by Jodi Moylan, owner and designer at White. The talented Madison Hughes was the make-up artist and stylist that dolled up the entire wedding party. For Allison’s first look, Madison styled her hair down in soft elegant, romantic curls – then for the reception Madison created a beautiful up-do so she could dance the night away. The mother of the bride wore a blush Romona Keveza gown she discovered while wedding dress shopping with Allison in New York City from the bridal boutique Panache with the help of Elise Rosenblum.

Christian’s 13 leading men wore ivory dinner jackets from Berlin’s paired with midnight blue tuxedo pants and Ralph Lauren pocket squares, highlighting the groom’s love of southern staples with a contemporary twist. The groom wore a custom midnight blue tuxedo from Klein Epstein & Parker of Los Angeles, California. Christian chose to mark the occasion with a quote from Winston Churchill embroidered inside his jacket that was revealed to his bride during their first look, as well as a final touch of their wedding hashtag #Lev4ev under the jacket collar.

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?

The reception kicked off with a cocktail hour in the garden of the Thomas Bennett House. Overhead string lights and a beautiful bar with a jazz ensemble captured the New Orleans flare of the groom’s heritage. The couple’s love for old world glitz and southern charm was evident from their choreographed first dance that started with a classical tune and ended with the South Carolina state dance. Cru Catering outdid themselves with delicious southern dishes displaying both Louisiana and South Carolina Lowcountry cuisines. Guests indulged in these tasty entrees served in the secret garden during the reception. The wedding cake was designed by Jim Smeal, who drew inspiration from a floral dress design and crafted the perfect cake to represent the couple’s big day. The 8-piece Atlanta band, Mo’ Sol, brought the party to life as they performed an electric mix of Motown classics and modern hits.

What was the most memorable part of the day?

The groom and his groomsmen surprised the bride by paying homage to the classic scene from the 80’s hit movie Top Gun, serenading her with “You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling.” With beignets in hand, guests were draped with Mardi Gras beads and sequined feather masks as the night drew to an end. The couple exited to the famous New Orleans “Second Line” wedding tradition. Allison and Christian had beautiful custom-made umbrellas for the occasion, as their guests formed a long line waving monogrammed handkerchiefs and sending the couple off in style at the close of this magical night. The couple made their getaway in a vintage 1948 Oldsmobile convertible, taking in the crisp Charleston air and waving goodbye to the many friends and family who helped celebrate the new Leveques.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

From the groom: Allison and I met at the wedding for two mutual friends, although we did not know each other previously. The attraction was instant and the chemistry undeniable. I was living in Atlanta at the time, while Allison was in Charleston. A few weeks after the wedding, Allison visited me in Atlanta on Mother’s Day, which was very special to me as my mother succumbed to leukemia and passed away when I was 20. Subsequently, I visited Allison in Charleston for Memorial Day weekend. The rest, as they say, is history. We were basically inseparable from that moment forward!

I wanted the proposal to be unique and special. After nearly five years of courtship, Allison was convinced I couldn’t surprise her but I still had a few tricks up my sleeve! I grew up in New Orleans and we were planning a weekend trip there for a friend’s wedding. I knew the timing would be perfect, as Allison wouldn’t be expecting it! My dad picked us up from the airport and was waiting to stealthily hand off the custom engagement ring I had designed myself. He dropped us off at the rehearsal dinner and wished me luck, knowing I would be proposing the next day. It was there that the mother of the bride-to-be told Allison we were invited to an intimate family brunch the following morning at the Columns Hotel on St. Charles Avenue – a New Orleans favorite of ours. Of course this was all part of an elaborate plan to get an unsuspecting Allison to the right spot for me to pop the big question! The next morning we arrived for “brunch” and were met by a photographer who told us she was there to photograph the brunch for the wedding party and asked if we minded letting her snap some photos to perfect the lighting, as we were the first from the wedding party to arrive. Allison, ever the picture aficionado, ate it up. Shortly thereafter she said, “I hope we get to do this one day,” to which I replied, “How about right now?” Before she could quite figure out what I meant, I dropped down on one knee and asked Allison if she would give me my life’s greatest honor and spend forever with me. Luckily she YES!! (Christian spent over 6 months custom designing the ring with a jeweler in New Orleans. Allison had no idea what any of it would look like…it truly is spectacular and very unique. The center stone came from Sri Lanka!)

Christian + Allison | Charleston, SC from Adam Siegel on Vimeo.

Coordinator: A Charleston Bride // Photographer: Virgil Buano // Floral Design: Palmetto Bloom // Calligraphy and Invitation Suite: Sweet Magnolia Paper // Watercolor Crest: Lemon Tree Calligraphy // Ceremony Venue: Grace Episcopal Church // Reception Venue: Govenor Thomas Bennett House // Bridal Gown #1: Jenny Packham / White on Daniel Island // Bridal Gown #2 (Reception): Jodi Moylan of White on Daniel Island // Hair and Makeup: Madison Hughes // Bridesmaids Dresses: Jenny Yoo // Groom’s Custom Tuxedo: Klein Epstein & Parker // Groomsmen Tuxedos: Berlin’s // Rings: Aucoin Hart Jewelers (New Orleans) // Caterer: Cru Catering // Cake: Wedding Cakes by Jim Smeal // Videographer: Siegel Films // Equipment Rentals: Snyder Events // Tent Rentals: Skyline Tent Company // Linen Rentals: La Tavola Linens // Lounge Rentals: Ooh! Events // Lighting Rentals: Technical Event Company // Reception Musicians: Mo’ Sol Band // Transportation: Carolina Executive Limo

Katie and Alex were married on a crisp, sunny November day in Minneapolis. The traditional ceremony was followed by a warehouse reception at Solar Arts designed by Blush & Whim and filled with the couple’s vision of “endless greens, rustic wood, vintage charm, the glow of Edison bulbs; oh and donuts for days.” We love the moodiness of the palette—sage green, dusty teal, mauve and burgundy—in the florals by the always-amazing Munster Rose and stationery by Paper Rock Scissors. Check out all the details in these STUNNING images from Kokal Photography.

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What made the wedding special and unique?

Our wedding came together like a dream come true!  With one of the last nice sunny, warm days in November, it was perfect. November is a special month for us, with both our birthdays, my grandmother’s birthday on our wedding day as well as Veteran’s Day, and with so many amazing vets in our lives. But ultimately our vision of endless greens, rustic wood and vintage charm as well as the glow of Edison bulbs; oh and donuts for days, it was truly classic and magical.

Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!

I absolutely loved my gown (as I’m sure most brides would say about their dress) designed by Enzoani. It was mermaid style, made of soft tulle, was so incredibly comfortable, and absolutely not what I thought I was looking for but ended up being perfect for me in every way. I added a crystal sash to it for some glitz.

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?

We had a custom welcome sign made from Paper and Pine Co. Shasta Bell created our custom guest wood board for our guests to sign; her calligraphy is perfection. Also, my parents made the birch wood table number holders that sat on all the tables. All details coming together, organized by my wedding planning Jennae and venue coordinator Jenna, made the day perfect!

What was the most memorable part of the day?

Our ceremony! It was a traditional Catholic ceremony at St. Charles Borromeo and seeing my groom at the end of the isle waiting for me, melted my heart. We are truly a perfect match and we were both so happy to finally call each other husband and wife. Also, having all our friends and family their to share in our ceremony and reception, we couldn’t have asked for a better day.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

We rode the same school bus when we were little, but didn’t know it. My grandparents and Alex’s parents played cards often when we were young, and we attended the same elementary, middle, and high schools. We also have very close mutual friends, who now say it was meant to be at some point. But it wasn’t until a chance encounter many years later, well after our college years, that our paths finally crossed for keeps! We met, dated briefly and knew it was for life. We got engaged at Insight Brewery; Alex surprised Katie on a Monday evening in December, surrounded by family and friends.

Photography: Kokal Photography // Wedding Planner: Blush & Whim // Florals: Munster Rose // Invitations: Paper Rock Scissors // Ceremony: Church of St. Charles Borromeo, St. Anthony MN // Reception: Solar Arts // Calligrapher: Shasta Bell // Bride’s Dress: Enzoani (the Ivan dress) from Posh Bridal Couture // Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jenny Yoo from Bella Bridesmaids // Hair/Makeup Hair by Theresa // Grooms/Groomsmen’s Attire: Michael Kors from The Foursome // Ring Display: The Mrs. Box // Rings: R.F. Moeller // Linens: Linen Effects // 700+ Donuts: Sarah Jane’s Bakery // Birch Table Number Holders: Bride’s Parents // Welcome Sign: Paper and Pine Co. // Catering: Chow Girls Catering // Edison Bulbs: Phos Events // Vintage Rentals:  On Solid Ground // Band: The Sevilles // Photo Booth: Selfie and Co.

 

Becky and Chris’s wedding at Big Spring Farm was what Kathryn Ivy Photography called “one of the most sentimental, detail driven, beautiful weddings” she’s ever been a part of. It also happens to be beautiful. Bare trees and rustic-barn vibes set the tone of the day planned by A Little Party Events and cozy, on-trend details like the retro food truck by The Cozy Caravan Club, donut wall by Blue Ridge Bagels and copper accents filled with florals University Florist added personalization to the event. To fully appreciate all the lovely moments of the day, we have the gorgeous images from  Kathryn Ivy Photography.

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form the photographer: Chris and Becky met at college (JMU) and they became friends – but nothing more. Becky was going through the life change of losing her dad and Chris became such a great support for her. He patiently pursued her for over a year before they finally had their first date. They dated for 2 years when Chris decided to ask Becky to marry him. He proposed to her on top of Skyline Drive, in the rain, surrounded by both of their closest friends.

Becky and Chris were surrounded by those same friends, plus a lot more, on their wedding day at Big Spring Farm. Becky was absolutely stunning in her Hayley Paige Londyn wedding gown. Her bridesmaids wore a variety of blush, cream, and gold dresses. Their bouquets by University Florist of Lexington were full of white roses and greenery. Becky & her sister Amanda had special ribbon made with their family quote printed, “Just think, all this and heaven too.” The bouquets were wrapped in white and blush silk ribbon and Becky’s had a locket with pictures of her and her daddy. Becky carried his handkerchief with her all day to catch the tears of joy (and there were a lot of those!)

The couple shared a first look where they read their personal, intimate vows to one another. At the ceremony, Amanda, Becky’s sister, played a recording of the prayer their daddy said at her wedding just weeks before he passed. Everyone was in tears, including me behind my camera. That was one of the most special moments I have ever witnessed at a wedding ceremony.

At the reception, drinks were served by the Cozy Caravan Club (the cutest thing in the world!!). In lieu of a father/daughter dance, Becky had her daddy’s friends play one of his favorite bluegrass songs while everyone danced in his honor. And her girlfriends sang an a cappella love song for them. They sounded like angels! This was one of the most sentimental, detail driven, beautiful weddings I have ever been a part of and I am so honored to have photographed it.

Photographer:  Kathryn Ivy Photography // Event Planner: A Little Party Events // Floral Designer: University Florist // Event Venue: Big Spring Farm // // Dress Designer: Hayley Paige // Bakery: Blue Ridge Bagels // Hair Stylist: BooBoo Shears // DJ: Music of the Times // Caterer: The Cozy Caravan Club

 

The ocean provided a “foundation of strength and positivity” in bride Ashley’s upbringing and she made it a strong point to incorporate it in the celebration of her wedding to Brandon. Casa Del Mar Hotel, in Santa Monica, offered a perfect setting for the couple and set the scene for an elegant day  planned by EDE By Jacqueline with nods to an ocean theme. Romantic ceremony design and florals by Chloe & Mint and a french-inspired macaron bar are the Parisian details we know brides will love and Sally Pinera captured it all beautifully.

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What made the wedding special and unique? 

I wanted something in Santa Monica. I grew up in there and wanted it to be close to home and close to my heart. I envisioned my wedding to be near the ocean without actually being on the beach/water. Growing up, I found peace and comfort in looking at the vast ocean and hearing the waves crash. It was what I would turn to through life’s tougher moments and it never failed me. The ocean and home were pillars of strength for me, so I wanted that foundation of strength and positivity represented in my wedding as well.

My color palette was cream/champagne with touches of mint green/sage. I’m drawn to natural colors and wanted my wedding to be subtle with a touch of class and understated elegance. I chose the venue because I wanted to accentuate the colors of the ballroom itself and not cover it up with too much “stuff” going on. I wanted to enhance the beauty that was already there.

I loved the flower girl dresses. I wanted something extra poofy and had the dresses made of layers on layers of tulle by an Etsy seller. All the girls were so adorable in them! I also ordered the same dress for our daughter. Though she was too young to be a flower girl, I wanted her to match the other girls.

My flowers were organic and free flowing like those found in a garden. I wanted a soft color palate of cream and blush accented with eucalyptus and other greens and Chloe + Mint captured that well. Garden roses, black and white anemones, and peonies. My gown was by Martina Liana and made me feel comfortable in my new full-figure as a mother. The sweetheart top and delicate lace was subtle but still elegant. I wanted a more traditional look for the ceremony and added a lace bolero. Cake (by the Butter End) was a simple but delicious and adored with flowers that matched my bouquet.

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal? 

I really wanted to personalize my wedding details. A dear friend of mine is a designer and gifted us her time and creativity by working with me to design our invitation suite. We handpicked every detail of the suite, from the font, layout, cardstock, envelope color, foil press color, etc. I wanted to tie in the location of the wedding – by the beach –and elements of that so we selected different seashells and incorporated a different shell into the invite, RSVP, menu, and thank you card. It was felt really special to be able to work with her to create something from scratch instead of selecting a pre-made design. Although it took a lot more time than I had on my hands (with a then newborn), I have a fond memory of the whole process.

I also wanted my then-fiancé to have a part in planning the wedding, and I wanted him to feel proud of the celebration we were putting together for our friends and family. Being an avid fan of Chardonnay, his father has a hefty collection of wine corks. I wanted to somehow incorporate the wine corks into the wedding and asked Brandon if he could make the corks into escort card holders. Brandon was really on board and worked on his project with his brother. The escort card holders came out beautiful, and he was able to bond with his brother while working on them. I loved that this simple project not only personalized our wedding but also brought my husband and his brother closer.

What was the most memorable part of the day? 

My favorite moment was the reaction of our wedding guests when we had our First Dance. Having had our daughter, Harper, a few months before the wedding, and being a working mom, I did not have much time to learn a choreographed dance (let alone plan a wedding!) It was a tradition of Brandon’s family though, and I so very much wanted to honor this tradition. We started dance practice late and as our wedding day got closer and closer, we realized we would not be able to get down the routine in time. On the day of, we decided we throw off our guests and start our dance swaying back and forth, like a middle school slow dance. When it was cue to start the choreographed part, I heard our guests gasp in surprise that we had something planned. It was so fun and exciting, and in the midst of the excitement from everyone’s cheering, we somehow pulled off the dance!

Take in every moment and enjoy the day! Really, just have fun. My wedding really did fly by – like every other bride had cautioned me – but I never realized just how quickly the day would be over!

Photographer: Sally Pinera // Wedding Planner: EDE By Jacqueline // Flowers: Chloe & Mint // Venue & Catering: Casa Del Mar Hotel // Wedding Dress: Martina Liana // Dress Salon: Lovella Bridal // Shoes: Badgley Mischka // Bridesmaids Dresses: Jenny Yoo // Hair & Makeup: Kelly Zhang Studio // Groom’s Tux: Men’s Warehouse // Cake: The Butterend // Videography: April Story Films // DJ: Vox DJ’s // Ring Box: The Mrs. Box