After spending so much of my last few years swimming in sea of weddings, I’m still amazed how they strike such a cord with me. Oh, and they do. I open up a wedding like a child opens up a present, with such enthusiasm and anticipation, and when a wedding like this one from Studio Castillero from a Bride this stylish waits on the other side, I can barely believe me luck. Because this type of soiree sits with me for awhile, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. See why here.

From the Bride… Athan and I met in Encinitas, a little San Diego beach town, three years before we became engaged. We hit it off immediately and discovered that we both had a love for music and art. And we’ve been together ever since!

We had traveled to New York City for a friend’s wedding. The day before the wedding, Athan and I were taking a stroll in Central Park, around Turtle Pond to be exact, when he popped the question. It was a total surprise! Such a beautiful place to be proposed to. Afterward, we had some alone time in the lovely park to take it all in.

Athan is of Greek descent, so it was very important to him and his family to have a traditional Greek ceremony. For the reception, Athan and I wanted a casual yet elegant outdoor atmosphere and we found the perfect location at Leo Carrillo in Carlsbad. It had that old California and Spanish rustic charm in the architecture and landscaping that we were looking for. Plus, I fell in love with the gorgeous peacocks that roamed the grounds.

I adore anything and everything bohemian so I knew I wanted that to influence the style of our wedding. Since Leo Carrillo had these great white-washed walls and beautiful succulents, we wanted to incorporate that into the look for our linens and centerpieces. Our floral designer, Lily, did an amazing job of mixing the succulents with more vibrant flowers which really stood out against the white linens. I wanted there to be a variety of different vases and flowers on each table for more of an eclectic look. My mother-in-law and I picked out all the vases and candle holders, mainly in rustic mercury glass to give it a more elegant finish.

I was on somewhat of a tight budget for my dress. After trying on what seemed like a million dresses, I finally found my dress online. I went to the store to try it on and knew it was the one! It was simple which is what I wanted and it also had a somewhat Grecian look which was perfect for a Greek wedding! My headpiece was just two gold necklaces that my hairstylist, Tara, incorporated into two braids around my crown. I decided to wear flats the entire day– one of the best decisions I made! I was comfortable throughout the ceremony, reception and dancing. Priceless.

Whitney Lee did the cake and desserts which included baklava for Athan’s Greek side and cannolis for my Italian side. Having the reception outside under the market lights was perfect for Greek dancing. D.J. Ray did a fantastic job of keeping the music going and everyone danced until the end of the reception. Festivities went beyond our expectations in making sure everything was coordinated beautifully. I can’t say how happy we are with Megan and Brent’s photography as well, so precious! We were extremely lucky to have such helpful and talented vendors.

The whole day was magical and turned out exactly how we wanted it. We couldn’t have done it without the help of our families. It was beyond amazing to celebrate and dance the night away under the stars with our family and friends. Couldn’t ask for anything better.

Wedding Photography: Studio Castillero | Ceremony Venue: Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church, Cardiff by the Sea, Califonia | Officiants: Fr John Kariotakis + Fr Michael Sitaras |  Reception Venue: Leo Carrillo Ranch, Carlsbad, California | Event Coordination + Catering: Festivities Catering | Floral Design: Lily Custom Floral | Invitations: Papyrus | Desserts + Cake: Whitney Lee (whitney.lee21@yahoo.com) | Hair + Makeup: Tara Fontana of Fairytale Hair and Makeup | Dress: Vera Wang Collection-David’s Bridal | Bride’s Shoes: Aldo | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Vera Wang Collection-David’s Bridal | Men’s Attire: Black by Vera Wang-Men’s Wearhouse | Music: Ray Blake from MY DJ’s