Yes, wedding planning IS tough. From all the crazy appointments with vendors and figuring out whose attending, to picking out the right dress and deciding who will stand up next to you on your big day. All of it can be unbelievably stressful. So when we heard from our next bride, Chelsea and she open described her stress levels it was like a breath of fresh air. A terrifyingly accurate bit of air, granted but soothing in how human it made her to us.
Want to know what Chelsea had to say? Of course you do! Keep on scrolling to find a link to her blogged advice on finding the right dress as well as a blog link about how to narrow down your bridesmaid options. Oh and don't forget to check out even more of this beautiful days details (because, besides all the stress it was an absolutely stunning wedding) by visiting the full gallery here. Photos are courtesy of Jessica Grazia Mangia Photography.
Take It From Me, I Used To Be A Bride
How amazing is Chelsea's wedding dress? It's not too hard to believe it was handmade just for her, but how do you even begin to decide what a custom dress will look like and feel like? Well, turns out that Chelsea has some fantastic advice on just that topic and you can read all about how she decided on her dress while she helps you make a few decisions for yours! Just click here.
From the Bride: I let my bridesmaids wear whatever they wished. My hope was that they would all feel comfortable and that no one would end up spending any unnecessary money on a dress that she didn't like or that wasn't flattering. I pretty much defined laid back bride in respect to bridal party - one of my bridesmaids actually borrowed a dress of mine! But how do you pick your bridesmaids? Chelsea has advice for that too! Just click here.
Let's Move This PartyFrom First Comes Love Event Design: Chelsea and Matt were married at Dos Pueblos Ranch and had their event span across 3 different locations on the ocean front property. They said their I Do's on the grassy bluff and had the vast ocean as their backdrop. Chelsea was big into DIY crafts for the wedding, so a majority of the signage and details were handmade; including the reserve seating signage, watercolor welcome sign and card box. Guests were greeted with a yummy lemonade spritzer before taking their seats.
Wait Did You Say Avocado Bar??!!
After the ceremony the guests made their way down to cocktail hour on the great lawn which meets with the sand. An avocado bar and endless rosé circled around the party. Their elegantly dressed guests enjoyed croquet, Janga and several other fun lawn games until it was time for the reception.
Jump On The School Bus shuttled the guests up to the main house for the party to begin! Stunning curtain drapery welcomed the guests into the reception lit by a beautiful Santa Barbara sunset. The head table backdrop was handmade by the groom and the brides father (as well as the ceremony chuppah), dressed with hanging garlands and scattered hurricane glass candles.
The bride and groom enjoyed serval heartwarming speeches by their closest family and friends and danced the night away to great tunes by SoulCirque. Their reception definitely felt like a huge party, lasting long into the night!!
Lessons & Lighting
From the Bride: Take dance lessons! Really, even if you think you're Fred Astaire, take the lessons. It was one of the most enjoyable parts of the whole wedding planning process and it made the first dance that much more special. My other piece of advice is to focus on your engagement photo session so you aren't as concerned with posed photos on the day of. We were able to actually enjoy cocktail hour with everyone as a result.
Omgosh did it ever! I cringe when I think back on the lighting. There was serious miscommunications and we ended up with a very dark reception once the sun went down! No one else seemed to mind, but my husband and I spent a small portion of dinner trying to track down our lighting contact to brighten up the venue!
So about that budget...
Haha, ohhh, the budget. When I first went to our venue, I thought "oh how great! We'll spend a lot on this gorgeous 2300 acre ocean-side ranch, but then we can hire out all of our own vendors and save money everywhere else!" Quite the opposite. ... click to learn more!
I had to bring in luxury bathrooms, build a dance floor, bring in generators, buses that stayed on for the entire event, furniture, build walkways, ...and the list goes on! The ' DIY backyard wedding' feel I was going for ended up costing us double what we initially planned on.