Nina and Sergery were engaged on Valentine’s Day and married six months later at Pema Osel Ling Retreat Center in a secluded redwood grove. The bride’s favorite detail from the day? “I loved my dress,” she said. “I wanted to have something simple but unique, and that dress was it.” During the ceremony, they was surprised with a speech from their officiant about them being secret agents from other planets. “It was hilarious,” she said. In order to make their day personal and a reflection of them as a couple, they also wrote each other letters and sealed them in a box along with a bottle of wine to open on their 10th anniversary. Guests enjoyed a semi-vegetarian meal and went home with a “tie the knot” kit, since Nina and Sergery are both into backpacking and hiking.
Elva and Bobby were married on July 20 at Limoneira Ranch in Santa Paula, Calif. “My husband and I knew we wanted an outdoor, rustic venue that would capture our vision of having a whimsical, festive Mexican and Persian multicultural wedding,” Elva said. “Everything about the site was picture-perfect: its rich history, the lemon orchards, the bocce ball courts, the old buildings, the green hills, the windmills, the views, the list is endless! Being able to have a hot air balloon on site for our guests didn’t hurt either.” The traditional Persian ceremony was, for many of their guests, a first introduction to the other family’s customs, since it consisted of items that symbolized a happy marriage to them — sweets, pastries, mirrors, flowers, honey and Holy Quran. The Mexican reception decor was “bright, bold, and full of fun colors,” she said. “We incorporated papel picado, maracas, Mexican sweet bread, mini pinatas, and of course, lots of tequila in our signature drinks.”
Many couples these days are proving the “it’s bad luck to see your significant other before the ceremony” superstition wrong. Why? Because ”the look on his face when he turned around was something I’ll never forget,” April, the bride pictured above said. “Plus, it gave us a chance to have a romantic moment before the crowd of people got there.” Whereas, during a traditional walk down the aisle, all eyes are on the bride, and your guests have their phones out ready to Facebook, tweet, or Instagram. What they’re missing is the groom’s spontaneous reaction as he sees his bride being given away. See more first looks that will make you smile here.
Melissa and Aaron were married on one of the hottest days of summer, but that didn’t keep this soiree from happening. The bride walked down the aisle wearing a sweetheart mermaid wedding gown and accessorized with a flower hair pin in her side updo whereas the groom wore a gray suit and pale blue tie, which also matched the bridesmaids’ chiffon dresses. Floral arrangements featured baby’s breath, roses, dahlias, succulents, and scabiosa pods. During the outdoor ceremony, Melissa and Aaron filled a mason jar of sand together to represent their unity. Each guest received a “to have and to hold and to keep your beer cold” koozie at each place setting, enjoyed a “love is sweet” candy bar filled with jolly ranchers, lollipops, reese’s pieces, and sour patch kids, and slipped on a pair of dancing shoes to keep comfy.
Shannon and Steve were married at Tivoli Tool! in Laguna Beach, Calif on September 15. The couple opted to have a first look prior to the ceremony with the sand between their toes along the Pacific Ocean. Shannon wore a sweetheart ruched wedding gown accented with a beaded embellishment and carried a eco-friendly bouquet of succulents, roses, dahlias, berries, and scabiosa pods. To make her maid of honor stand out, she wore a coral chiffon dress whereas her bridesmaids wore aqua chiffon dresses. Steve said “I do” to his bride in the garden courtyard next to a waterfall backdrop. Guests were escorted to their seats with ombre tags attached to vintage keys. As the sun set, twinkling lights and heart-shaped paper decor hung overhead as the newlyweds performed their first dance and cut the three-tiered wedding cake topped with glittery signage.