I can’t imagine an engagement where 11 of the 15 months were spent with the Bride and Groom miles and miles and miles apart from each other. But such is the case with this wedding from Swann Soirées and it is such a beautiful testament to how much unity and love is between these two sweethearts, because we all know that a wedding this stunning couldn’t have happened without some serious teamwork. The Scripps Seaside Forum perfectly fit this Bride’s love for her Asian experiences with its amazing tile motifs and every image from Brett & Emily Photographers captures each moment in pure elegance and you can see them all right here.

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From the Bride… My husband and I are both active duty military and thus faced some unique challenges in the wedding planning process. He was deployed to Afghanistan in the months immediately following our engagement, and I was overseas on a ship with limited internet connectivity until two months prior to the wedding. We spent 11 of the 15 months prior to the wedding apart. This made it all that much more important to make our wedding a special memory. Right away, I knew I wanted a warm and rustic theme in a beach-side setting. And with my coordinator’s help, I think we really pulled this off. Every detail was more fabulous then I ever expected. Having a unique look and experience for our families, friends and ourselves was really important to us. We started with the ceremony, deciding on a wine ceremony rather than a traditional one. The first time I heard someone describe the wine ceremony to me I cried! I knew it was perfect for us. I had a custom box made for the wine bottle, which really added a personal touch.

The shawls that were free to take before the ceremony were influenced by my time in southeast Asia. I saw very unique patterns and detailed workmanship in in the shawls I saw in Singapore and the Philippines, and they really influenced the patterns I chose for wedding décor. With the Asian-influenced fabric I bought, my mother-in-law handmade all the napkins. Over 150 total! The living wall was an element my fabulous coordinator dreamed up and a great solution to bringing the outdoors into the lecture hall venue and making it into a warm, rustic setting. Inside the venue, you looked one way and there was a beautiful muslin wall covered with succulents and other gorgeous flowers, and the other direction was the ocean with a fiery orange sun setting into it. I could not have asked for a better setting. One of my other favorite details were my shoes, which are really special to me. I bought them in Singapore after having been at sea for 70 straight days. To break them in before the wedding, I wore them around my room on the ship with my uniform. To say I got some confused looks from my co-workers is an understatement.

Our wedding day was the perfect day, more than I ever imagined it would be. The absolute best part was spending time with family, friends and, of course, my groom. Time together is something we aren’t afforded much of by our careers, so our wedding day was extra-special. If I could give one piece of advice to other brides it would be to live in the moment! Have a coordinator for at least the day of so you can enjoy every second! Slow down, take it all in, and don’t let that one little detail that didn’t turn out perfectly bother you. It goes by in the blink of an eye, so take it all in and be thankful for every moment.

Wedding Photography: Brett & Emily Photographers / Wedding Venue: Scripps Seaside Forum in San Diego, California / Wedding Design + Coordination: Swann Soirees / Floral Design + Living Wall: Rae Florae / Officiant: Brenda Swann of Swann Soirees / Catering + Bar: TK&A Custom Catering / Wedding Cake: VG Donut and Bakery / Wedding Invitations: Paper & Thread Studio / Music: Michael Tiernan of Tiernan Tunes / Lighting + Rentals: Classic Party Rentals / Table Signage + Additional Signage: DIY by the Bride + Family / Transportation: Elite Image Limousine Services / Favors: A Donation to Wounded Warrior Project / Hair + Makeup: Marisa VonSheere