Friday/11am Cali brides certainly know how to infuse that laid back charm that we all know and love into their wedding day. Take this pretty yellow and blue fete captured by Shannen Norman Photography for example. This wedding has just the right amount of vintage and elegance and I’m loving each and every detail I see, especially the adorable blue bridesmaid dresses and how they coordinate perfectly with the groomsmen without being too matchy-matchy. See even more here.

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From the Bride…I really wanted our wedding to be relaxed and fun for people, just like a summer barbecue. Jared and I both travel for our jobs, so we were apart a lot during the dating process and especially during engagement, so I wanted the wedding day to be a time to enjoy friends and each other. Also, neither of us are from California, where we had the wedding, so we wanted everyone to feel like we were having them over for dinner and to hang out. My husband is from Alabama, so I figured we could easily use the southern/vintage theme, and we were able to keep it low key due to our budget. Thankfully, I was able to find a venue that worked perfectly with a barbecue dinner and the décor that I wanted to use. Crestmore Manor is a Southern Style home with a pond, trees, and Carriage House for a reception area.  We were engaged for six months, so I stalked wedding blogs and was a frequent visitor of antique stores and thrift stores. I would always pick up little items I liked, hoping it would all fit together. Everything worked perfectly with the ceremony by the pond, and barbecue for dinner in the carriage house afterward. We had bocce ball, croquet and hopscotch for our guests to play during the evening, and of course some dancing after dinner.

One of my favorite parts of the day was the first look. I was so happy that Jared and I were able to have such an intimate time to share excitement, talk, and be together since the rest of the day is so busy! I will never forget his face when he turned around or feeling how fast his heart was beating when he first hugged me. Also, everyone told me I would not remember any of the details, so I made a conscious effort to pay attention. I even turned and looked at the guests during the ceremony so I would remember that people were there. I of course noticed things that did not go as planned, but I did not care because I was having so much fun. Looking back, I am really thankful that Jared and I were able to have moments together to talk and enjoy one another, since that is what the day is about! We absolutely loved our wedding day. We actually had a lot of little details go wrong in the days leading up to the wedding (i.e. my sister’s flight was booked for the wrong day, a groomsman accidentally left his pants for the ceremony in Colorado, etc.), but my family and friends were so helpful and positive, which made a world of difference. By the time I woke up on our wedding day, I was thrilled to finally get to celebrate and enjoy, despite any of the other mishaps.

If I could give other brides advice looking back, I would say that they should really make the day fit them, not other people’s expectations. We kept everything very relaxed and did a lot of things that were not standard. Even our honeymoon was different because of our travel schedules, but it ended up working perfectly. We went to San Diego for three days (so no jet lag), and then we went to Greece and Turkey two months later once our schedules relaxed. It was such a blast to travel and explore together after we had rested, gotten our apartment together, and were loving married life! I would encourage brides to do whatever will work for them, since we sometimes feel like we have to meet certain expectations for how the wedding or honeymoon are required to look. We got married on a Sunday, I ate a barbecue sandwich in my wedding dress, hopped a fence for pictures, and honeymooned two months after our wedding day. I seriously would not change a single thing!

Venue: Crestmore Manor / Wedding Photography: Shannen Norman Photography / Floral Design: The Flower Club / Caterer: Lucille’s Smokehouse BBQ / Wedding Cake: Cheryl Stewart, Family Friend