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Bride dress: Nicole Miller
Bride shoes: Corso Como
Groom suit & shoes : John Varvatos
Venue: Bride’s parents backyard in South Laguna Beach, CA
Photographer: Joielala Photographie & Scott Lawrence
Wedding Coordinator: Jen Peterson Events
Florist: Bliss Floral Designs
Invitations & guest book cards: Dear Clementine
Just Married sign: Earmark Invitations
Tissue poms: Prost to the Host
Succulent pots & vases – Ikea
DIY by bride – canvas art (billy balls), M&K cake topper, guest book card holder (decorative paper & labels from Paper Source)
From the bride:
It was early October and had been pouring rain all week; not typical of this time of year in Southern California. As our big day approached and the rain continued, even though our ceremony was going to be outside, I still didn’t feel nervous. Perhaps it was because I was finally marrying the man of my dreams, my best friend and the love of my life, and I knew that our day would be magical and just as it should been even if we were surrounded by rain clouds and had to make adjustments to the year of planning.
But the wedding Gods had another plan, and the morning of our big day was incredible. The clouds had parted, revealing rays of warm sunshine and fresh, breezy Fall weather; one of the most beautiful days of the year.
By the time our day arrived, Matt and I had been together for nine years and I hadn’t actually ever pictured us having a traditional wedding. When Matt proposed, I figured we would run off to Bali or Costa Rica and get married, barefoot on a beach, just the two of us…but, much to my surprise, my hubby had a different idea! He wanted to celebrate with our closest friends and family, and it didn’t take much convincing for me to agree…especially when I started visualizing our intimate, casual celebration set at my parent’s Laguna Beach home.
We wanted our wedding to be very natural, unique and comfortable, along with being a true reflection of who we are as a couple, a bit untraditional. My parents’ house is surrounded by nature, succulent filled hills on one side, the Pacific Ocean on the other, with views that take your breath away, so we really didn’t need to do much when it came to decorating, other than accentuate what was already there. It was important to us that our guests had a special experience, so we paid attention to detail while still keeping it all very simple, relaxed and intimate. From our ceremony being conducted by Matt’s best friend, to the flip flop favors, little succulent pots, billy balls, soft white flowers and tissue-paper poms to the canvases that I painted to go along with our invitations & guest book cards, we wanted to create feeling of comfort and warmth with a touch of our personal style. We were very fortunate to work with vendors (most of who are friends of ours) who really understood our “vision” and were able to take our ideas and help create the wedding of our dreams. It was truly a perfect day.
In an effort to keep things flowing and in a more relaxed atmosphere, we chose to have our fabulous caterer make a bunch of mixed hors d’ouvres full of our favorite comfort foods (Kobe beef sliders, mini mac & cheese, panko-crusted veggies, chicken skewers, etc.) rather than doing a sit-down dinner. Along with servers passing drinks & hors d’ouvres, we had self-serve homemade sangria, tubs full of our favorite beers and stationed food throughout the evening.
Because our event was small and intimate (60 guests) it was important that we work with people with whom we felt very comfortable – our close friends (photographers, invitation designer) and referrals of friends whose weddings we had attended (florist, wedding coordinator and caterer). They were all ahhhhhmazing and I would recommend to anyone having a So-Cal wedding!! If I have one piece of advice for any bride it would be, no matter how big or small the event, splurge and hire a wedding coordinator for at least the day-of (try to get a referral! ). Because I worked with vendors who I trusted, when our day actually arrived, I felt completely calm and was able to just focus on my beautiful husband and enjoying with our close family and friends.
If I have one piece of advice for any couple it would be to do whatever makes you happy. Do not feel confined to tradition. The day is about the two of you, and couples should feel comfortable creating the day of their dreams, any way they’d like. From the ceremony to the decor, do what feels right to you and it will no doubt be a perfect day!