Maria and Jason were married at their own home in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. on June 14. “Our engagement party was actually a surprise wedding to all of our guests,” Jason said. “For the first hour and a half of the event, we were dressed casual. We made an announcement over the microphone thanking everyone for coming to share in our special day. We then dropped the bomb that no one was supposed to leave because the party was really our ‘surprise wedding!’ We said were going upstairs to change, and we were to be married in 30 minutes. And that is exactly what happened. People’s faces were in complete shock, and one person even yelled out, ‘Are they for real?’ Once reality settled in, everyone started clapping and congratulating us.” The bride wore a strapless lace wedding gown, accessorized with a her hair half-up/half-down in loose curls with a jeweled headband, while the groom wore a khaki vest and pants, accessorized with a pale blue tie and pair of Vans slip-ons. Her bouquet featured cymbidium orchids. The very important extra was Piglet, the flower pup. Following the outdoor ceremony, dinner and dancing began underneath a tent. To beat the heat, refreshing drinks in beverage dispensers, such as pink lemonande, were served. The newlyweds’ best advice? “Not everything is going to come out perfect,” he said. “Just roll with the punches and enjoy your day.” Almost everything was handmade! Tables included burlap runners, mason jar centerpieces, lanterns, and lots of candles. “They were full throttle on making something beautiful from scratch,” Stephanie Rawcliffe, the photographer, said. “What an amazing job she did!”
Allison and Justin were married on Sunset Cliffs followed by a reception at BO-Beau Kitchen and Bar in San Diego, Calif. on July 15. Fun fact: It was a Tuesday! “Justin and I wanted to keep everything local to our town of Ocean Beach,” Allison said. “We knew the cliffs were romantic and beautiful without having to add much. We wanted to take our family and friends out for delicious food too.” The bride wore an empire-waisted wedding gown with lace capped sleeves, accessorized with a pair of jeweled neutral flats, while the groom wore a dark gray suit, accessorized with a striped tie. Her bouquet featured roses, dahlias, and succulents. “The most important and beautiful part of the day was when we read our vows to each other,” she said. A French-inspired dinner was served on the private patio, decorated minimally. Wooden tables included matching folding chairs, napkin-wrapped silverware, and a chalkboard sign hung above the fireplace. Plus, lots of #selfies were taken! The newlyweds’ best advice? “We had a lot of people, who wanted to help with the wedding, and we let them,” Allison said. “It was the day so much more special to have everyone involved. My mom made the dress Justin’s niece wore, Justin’s nephew played the ukelele for music, and my brother made the cake.”
Lindsey and Patrick were married at the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, Colo. on June 26. “The Garden of the Gods was a special place for us because that was where we had our first real date,” Lindsey said. “We felt a deep connection there and knew that we were going to be together forever.” The bride wore a strapless satin trumpet wedding gown, accessorized with her hair in a braid and a pair of Doc Martens boots, while the groom wore a black suit, accessorized with solid tie. Her bouquet featured roses, ranunculuses, succulents, and ivy vines. “We also love the the mountains, so the view was just perfect during the ceremony,” she said. “We had each written our vows the night before. Hearing them with no one but each other to look at was so romantic.” And teary-eyed! In lieu of a reception, they had a picnic. “The picnic I made for the two of us was also a favorite of ours,” Lindsey said. “I made the sandwiches and fruit salad myself. It was nice to sit on the quilt my grandmother and mother made for us and just take in the moment while having a meal together. The dessert? Donuts. “I also loved that even though we were eloping, we still dressed like it was a formal event,” she said. “My dress made me feel like a beautiful bride, which is how you are supposed to feel on your big day!” The newlyweds’ best advice? “Make it all about you,” Lindsey said. “People get so swept up in the planning and all the little details that they forget what it is all really about, expressing your love for one another.”
Brenda and Mark were married at Villa San Juan Capistrano in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. on May 18. “It fit us,” Brenda said. “It was unique, intimate, outdoors, and beautiful all-in-one.” The bride wore a strapless lace a-line wedding gown, accessorized with a her hair half-up/half-down in loose curls with a jeweled headband, while the groom wore a dark gray suit, accessorized with a patterned tie. Since there was no bridesmaids or groomsmen, the only bouquet featured garden roses, pincushions ferns, olive branch leaves, and lavender sprigs. “I walked down the aisle to “One Day More” from Les Miserables, and my favorite moment was by far saying our vows and declarations to each other,” she said. After the “I do’s,” the now Mr. and Mrs. took off for a ride in a Bentley. The reception followed outside on the courtyard. Tables were decorated with white linens, vintage vases and vessels, mercury glass votives filled with candles, and picture frames. Fun fact: “Table numbers were all of the Los Angeles Laker’s retired jersey numbers (I am a huge fan!),” Brenda said. “Both of our mom’s even made cookies for the mini dessert display.” Look at those butterscotch toffee shot glasses, caramel apple lattice top pies, In lieu of a traditional guest book, guests were asked to help build memories by writing well wishes on Jenga blocks. The newlyweds’ best advice? “Don’t procrastinate, trust your gut, and make decisions together,” she said. “It should be a team effort.”
Jessica and Ryan were married at High Point Restaurant in Monteagle, Tenn. on May 17. “Ryan’s surprise proposal took place on the very step I stood and married him on,” Jessica said. “High Point Restaurant sits on top of a mountain . . . The mansion, built in 1929, presumably financed by Al Capone, was put on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997. Escape hatches on the roof and underground tunnels in the basement are what Capone used to transfer liquor in the ’20s and ’30s. When you see it, you can’t help but wonder all the secrets it holds.” The bride wore a handmade lace fit ‘n’ flare wedding gown with a keyhole back, accessorized with a faux fur coat, while the groom wore a dark gray suit, accessorized with a striped tie. “I drew Mrs. Shirley pictures of what I imagined, and she started the dress seven weeks before our wedding day,” she said. “It is made from one piece of lace, and we picked flowers out of it and placed them on my chest and back.” During the ceremony, passages were read from a Bible the two purchased together. “Instead of asking our 26 guests to sign a traditional guest book, we asked them to underline a verse of encouragement for us or one that was meaningful to them and sign their family name beside it,” Jessica said. Reception tables were decorated with sequin runners, tall centerpieces, and candelabras. “We wanted soft, natural colors,” she said. “Gold, ivory, and chocolate brown were the main ones, which we felt complimented the overgrown greenery, wood, and rocks surrounding the area.” The two-tiered cake featured a chevron pattern, and the newlyweds even had a pair of forks that said, “I do” and “Me too.” Bonus: a full candy buffet!