Beautiful Blooms + Cute Kiddos Make This Wedding A Pinterest Top Pick
June 24, 2016
California
Al FrescoLuxury VenueOutdoor Weddings
Gorgeous brides, sweet little ones and endless beautiful blooms make the world go round (OK, so I may be a little blogger biased, but still). And this California celebration from Sposto Photography has all that and more. Eager for a little live action? Wonderland Cinema's clip below has you covered. So sit back, relax, and soak up all this pretty in our Vault as we kick of the weekend ahead. Happy Friday!
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From the Bride... Joe and I met on Halloween two years ago when he was going to his usual after-work hang out spot and my coworker dragged me out of the house and 45 minutes away. Although reluctant at first, I’m so glad she did or I don’t think Joe and I would have ever crossed paths. I saw him across the room and was immediately drawn to him. We spent the rest of the evening and the rest of the year getting to know each other. For our one year anniversary, we planned a trip to Big Bear and rented the cutest cabin fit for two. I scheduled a photoshoot and Joe scheduled a couple’s massage. It was our first vacation together. Our photoshoot was the first thing on our schedule and I was so eager to take photos in the forest. As a wedding and portrait photographer, this is my absolute favorite setting. I just love wooded, natural backgrounds. Little did I know, Joe planned to propose to me during the photo session and had secretly contacted the photographer I hired the day before. The sun was setting and the shoot was coming to an end. Joe suggested a pose where I was standing in front and facing away from him. After the camera went wild and the photographers’ eyes lit up, I knew something was happening. I looked back at Joe to find him on his knee holding a ring box with a grin from ear to ear. We enjoyed the rest of our vacation in Big Bear on cloud nine and completely overjoyed to be engaged!

After coming down the mountain and back to reality, I knew there was so much to do! We discussed the elements of the wedding that were most important to us on the drive back and of course, photography was on the top of my list while Joe’s top priorities were the food and music. After doing some research I had learned that a great place to start is to ask ourselves, “What do we want our guests to say to each other on the way home from our wedding?” My answer to this question was that I hoped they would talk about the love that Joe and I share and that they would be emotionally moved during our ceremony. Joe wanted his guests to comment on how fun the event was and that they had a blast!

So we knew our top priorities were to find an amazing photographer, which we did! We can’t recommend Sposto Photography enough and their images easily testify to their incredible talent and vision.

We also ensured our ceremony was led by someone close to us and the ceremony agenda was unique and customized to pull on everyone heart strings. We didn’t want a cookie cutter ceremony! We entrusted our dear friend and Bible study leader, Richard Higgins to officiate because we knew that he would convey a personal and intimate message that would show our guests not only how much we love each other but how much we love them. We also opted to write our own vows in gorgeous custom hand-assembled vow books. My love language is Words of Affirmation and every one could tell because I filled every page of my book.

For Joe, we brought in the best paella caterer, Paella Valenciana. We knew we had to have them the moment we showed up for the tasting and smelt the aromas at the door. Our menu had three paella varieties which included a selection of chicken, pork chorizo, calamari, mussels, shrimp or vegetarian. I paired the Spanish dish with Sangria as my signature cocktail and Joe chose his favorite beer, Leinenkugel Sunset Wheat. To further encourage a good time, Joe’s sister, Emi, a professional vocalist, entertained our guests during dinner by singing “Come Rain or Come Shine” by Ray Charles. We also chose DJ Dougie to get the crowd on the dance floor. I have worked weddings where he was DJ’ing and I knew he would create the party that Joe wanted for our guests.

After taking care of our top priorities, we started to design the rest of the event. Being an island girl from Maui, I’m not quite sure where my love of the forest came from. I believe many expected a tropical affaire adorned with orchids and tiki torches lighting up dancing hula maidens. On the contrary, I chose a romantic woodland style that included moss and wood textures coupled with feminine blush fabrics and touches of gold. I did keep ferns in the mix because they remind me of my mother who loves to garden. If I could have picked the perfect venue, it would have been in the center of the Redwood National Forest. However, since much of our family would be traveling from Hawaii, Japan, and Wisconsin, we decided to keep it local. Secluded Garden Estate served as the best alternative close to San Diego. The property is lush with greenery and trees engulf the path as guests arrive. The view from every angle was breathtakingly beautiful as the rocks sprinkled the rolling hills and caught the warmth of the sun as it set behind us. As a wedding photographer myself, I reveled in all of the photographic opportunities that this location matched to my vision. The most unique aspect of the venue was the wooden greenhouse frame that hosted our ceremony. When Joe and I first visited and I saw the white-painted window panes hanging from what was once the walls of the greenhouse, I knew it was the one. We booked it that day.

Once the venue was booked, I spent the next 11 months loving the wedding planning process. I knew I had waited a very long time to find Joe and getting to plan our wedding was so much fun. The best piece of advice I can offer to brides is to make your wedding yours. Don’t worry about what everyone else is doing or what everyone else wants. Stay true to who you are as a couple and put that in your wedding as much as you can! In the early days of dating, we had a hilarious conversation which started an inside joke that we occasionally rehearse with our best German accents. Since then, “Hansel” and “Gretel” have been our terms of endearment for each other. So I chose to have my nephew, a ring bearer, carry a sign down the aisle reading, “Hansel, here comes your Gretel”. Nobody but us knew what it meant and I loved that. It was our own special moment, on our own special day.

More classic + romantic Cali weddings this way!