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High School Sweethearts’ Casual + Elegant San Diego Botanical Garden Wedding

I’m not going to lie, when I saw this sweet San Diego wedding from Heidi-O-Photo, I got a little homesick because this couple’s big day totally embodies the laid-back California lifestyle. From all the DIY wood elements (the signs, cake stand and succulent boxes) to the minimal décor to highlight the Botanic Garden‘s natural beauty, this day is all kinds of wonderful. See it all in THE VAULT!


From Heidi-O-PhotoElaine & Kevin have known each other since high school and after all these years married in a beautiful garden ceremony. Their day was a perfect blend of elegant and casual beauty. The cream florals popped against the bridesmaids’ pink dresses and groomsmen’s suits.

From the Bride… Kevin and I met in high school as team mates on our cross country and track & field teams. I noticed Kevin immediately and had a crush on him all throughout high school, but he had no clue. I thought he was so cute! Kevin first really noticed me on a trip in a packed van full of our team mates on the way to San Luis Obispo for a cross country meet. I was blaring Britney Spears and *Nsync from my headphones and tearing out magazine photos of Britney and boy bands and taping them all over the van’s windows. Needless to say, Kevin was very entertained. Soon after, Kevin graduated from high school and our paths didn’t really cross again until a couple of years later after I graduated. It was 4th of July weekend in 2004. Kevin and I have always had mutual friends and a couple of good friends advised him to call me and invite me to go watch fireworks. We hadn’t seen each other in years so I was both confused and ecstatic by his phone call. That night watching fireworks was the beginning of our friendship. Over the summer, we grew closer and officially became a couple.

Our engagement took place while on vacation in Cabo San Lucas with a couple of our good friends. On the second night of our trip, Kevin planned on popping the question at sunset on the beach but that didn’t work out because he couldn’t get my best friend, Jamie, and I out of the pool to go get dressed. After dinner and as the night went on, I was tired and wanted to call it a night. Kevin insisted on walking around the resort instead and took us to a secluded area of the resort with a fire pit. That is where Kevin finally, after ten years together, asked me to marry him. He said some sweet things to me when he was down on one knee but I didn’t hear any of it because my best friend, Jamie, was jumping up and down and screaming at the top of her lungs behind us. I was no longer tired though and we danced the night away!

We chose the San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas for our wedding because it is simply gorgeous! We wanted our wedding to be entirely outdoors surrounded by nature and greenery. It was the first venue we looked at and it was exactly what we were looking for.

Our wedding style was laid back, relaxed and simple—California casual! We wanted the natural beauty of the gardens to shine through so décor and color was minimal and simple. You don’t need a lot of crazy décor and color when your venue is beautiful all by itself. My parents, Kevin and I made every wooden décor item: the flower/succulent boxes, signs, corn hole and cake stand. I hand painted every sign, too. It was a lot of work, but we had fun bonding time and keepsakes to cherish forever.

We really stayed “in the moment” during the entire wedding, so we have a lot of vivid memories from the day. We love all of our wedding photos, but our favorites are probably from our first look. Our faces are just lit up with pure happiness and excitement. We also loved taking all of our portraits after the first look. We had plenty of time and got a lot of great shots! We didn’t feel rushed at all throughout the day.

Photography: heidi-o-photo | Floral Design: Mount Tabor Park | Wedding Dress: Enzoani | Bakery: VG Donut & Bakery | Stationery: Minted | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Dessy Collection By Vivian Diamond | Catering: I Love Tacos | Lighting: Bright Ideas Lighting | DJ: Sunset Sound Productions | Hotel: Best Western Encinitas | Venue: San Diego Botanic Gardens | Bat Service: RG Bar | Groom & Groomsmen's Suits: Men's Wearhouse | Rentals: Allie's Party Rentals

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Tara Keely and Blush by Hayley Paige Trunk Show

With all the wedding dress options out there, I’m always drawn to that timeless combination of classic + modern, which may explain why I’m head over heels with the Fall 2015 Tara Keely + Blush by Hayley Paige collections. And lucky for you Southern California brides, they’ll be featured at the JLM Couture trunk show July 10-12, 2015! Mark your calendars m’dears!!

Held at the JLM Couture West Hollywood Flagship location, this is a trunk show you won’t want to miss. Known for their gorgeous silhouettes, amazing detailing and luxe fabrics, the dresses in the Blush by Hayley Paige + Tara Keely collections are as lovely as can be. All dresses featured are not only stunning but affordable (We’re talking under $3000!) plus all brides who purchase a gown that weekend will be given 10% off!

Head over here to find out more about the show and to book your appointment! Happy dress hunting, dears.


IQ Videography

I’ll admit it — I’ve been married almost four years, and I still watch my wedding film all the time. So you can imagine my excitement that I get to introduce you all to the incredibly talented and award winning IQ Videography.

Based in San Francisco, IQ Videography specializes in an artistic, modern style that beautifully captures all the details of your wedding day. Their unobtrusive approach allows for a more intimate filming of your big day and their top-notch HD technology and editing techniques create a finished product that is something you’ll watch on repeat for years to come. IQ Videography also uses combinations of 8mm film and video — swoon! The combination of nostalgic + crisp footage is so unique and seriously special.

Capturing all of the most special and emotional moments from your big day, from gift exchanges to hand-written emotional vows, IQ Videography crafts wedding films that are as visually stunning. For more information and to book them for your big day, head over here.

Ceremony Venue: Calistoga Ranch Resort | Reception Venue: Annadel Estate Winery