Aleksandra and Sean have one heck of an epic love story. Not in the traditional sense of heroic grand gestures, but epic in the length of their courtship. They dated for eight years before finally tying the knot. They met in high school and dated throughout college. Although at times separated by oceans and continents, and overcoming challenges, they managed to strengthen their relationship just like how the redwood threes grow together. Leaning into each other for support, hence their red wood inspired invite above.
Since they basically grew up together, they wanted to show their journey and hopes for their future in their wedding by bringing their two families together to help them create their perfect wedding. Designed entirely by Aleksandra Nicole Bruce, you can read on to see how they did this and of course see Aleksandra and Sean's entire wedding in the full gallery here. All beautifully captured by Sequins & Candy.
To Achieve Their DIY VisionWe relied heavily on our family and friends to help us incorporate special DIY details such as the Leaf your Thumb Print guest book which was drawn by my grandfather, the party favors which were loving made by the women of my mother-in-law's gourmet group, the table runners which were hand-stitched by my grandmother, the delicious wedding cake that Sean's aunt made, the pies that our guests so generously offered to bring and the ring bearer pillow which was made by a friend and stuffed with our fur-child's hair (our Goldendoodle, Stella). Sean's uncle was the videographer and we had musical performances by my dad, Sean's brother and our dear friend Jenn Grinels, who so graciously played our first dance song, "The Nearness of You".
On Their DIY Projects:Ever the crafty couple, we decided it would be fun and cheap to make the wedding invitations and the decorations ourselves. We started early and accomplished a DIY project per weekend. We crafted the Chuppah from yucca poles and a vintage table cloth, we made all of the bunted and standing signs, the paper cones for the petal toss and the fabric puff ball and coffee filter garlands. I would be lying if I said it wasn't challenging at times, but it was fun and we were super pleased with how it all turned out.
On their Venue:Like many young couples, we had a pretty tight budget, especially after our first wedding venue fell through a mere six months before our wedding and we were out our initial deposit. After I got over the shock, and although I hate to admit it, a mild bout of Bridezilla, Sean and I found the Los Penasquitos Adobe Ranch House, a historic landmark from the 1800s.
The price was right ($600 for the day) and the rangers were extremely helpful and wonderful to work with, giving us full access to the property the day before the wedding for set-up in addition to our wedding day. What we loved about the Ranch House, was that the money went back to preserving the property and various initiatives like their community garden. We were thrilled to celebrate our marriage and give back to the community at the same time. After all, what better way to celebrate your love than sharing it with the rest of the world?
What's wonderful about the DIY elements, is that it's a way to intimately involve family and friends in the planning. It also creates memories beyond the actual wedding day, so that when we look back on this momentous time, we aren't just remember the day, but rather all of the planning and little details that helped to create it. Overall, Sean and I were so touched by how our family and friends rallied to help us achieve our vision for our wedding day, and with their help, we will always remember it fondly.
Photographer: Sequins & Candy Event Designer: Aleksandra Nicole Bruce Venue: Los Penasquitos Adobe Ranch House Makeup: Keely Ulrich Caterer: Grand Ole' BBQ Dress Designer: Allure Bridal Hair Accessories: WishPiece Flowers: Franco's Flowers DJ: Box Canyon Band Groom's Bow Tie: Margarita G Groom's Attire: Banana Republic Shoe Designer: Beholden Stationary: Set Apart Designs & Nostalgic Imprints Prop or Furniture Rentals: Verity Jane Vintage Cake: Homemade by Aunt | Jewelry: Brides Grandmothers, Vintage | Hair: Savannah Machain | Officiant: Groom's Father