This San Diego bride has style for serious miles. That is beyond apparent by the fashion chosen for this gorgeous day, the necklace she wore (with an amazing backstory – make sure to read her story below!), and the GLITTER thrown at their grand exit. So it comes as no shock that she teamed up with the chicest of chic – Couture Events – to plan and perfect this delish wedding, photographed to perfection by Bryan N. Miller Photography. It was a match made in matrimonial heaven, and we’ve got the gallery to prove it!

Planning a wedding was a dream come true for me! For years I had been looking at wedding blogs and other friends’ photos and just getting lost in my future magical day. When the big day finally arrived for me, I had a mirad of ideas floating around in my head, and the first order of business was to get all of those ideas organized and sifted through. My lovely wedding planner, Krystel, was a complete lifesaver in this area! She interviewed Neil and I to ask us details about who we were, what we liked, and what intrigued us about style. After gathering up our mix match ideas, she whipped up an inspiration board that completely complimented us both. From there it was making the board come to life. What a fun process it was! We did a lot of DIY items, and had certain things made for us, so it was an enjoyable experience of getting crafty and spending some quality time with family and friends to make it all happen. I love thinking about the early morning creative sessions my mom and I would have over coffee, or the wild errunds my sweet friends would go on with me. Day by day we would begin to see the board emerge into reality and it was so exciting! At the end of it all, we had scads of decor that meant so much because of all of the love that was put into making it. To see everything displayed just perfectly at the wedding was truly a dream!

Walking into the ceremony felt so surreal. I was overcome with so much emotion as I entered the room with my dad. Esthetically, everything was beautiful. The warehouse itself offered lighting created by wooden crates and light bulbs. The aisle that I walked down was burlap and lining it was wooden stumps cut by Neil and my father in law. On the stumps, and surrounding, them were jars of fresh lavender, baby’s breath, and candles. The stage that we stood on was lit up with tons of candle light as well, which were in lace covered, glass vases. Our arbor was made out of 30 feet of white chiffon fabric. One of my favorite touches of the ceremony was a painting a friend did for us. It was on a large white canvas and on it was a bible verse written in black, graffiti style font. The decor alone was enough to take my breath away, and then seeing Neil standing at the end of aisle just about did me in. It was amazing. Our pastor and his wife married us, and tied in our story and our personalities with the message he shared during the ceremony. It was such a sweet time shared with everyone we love.

Neil and I are from San Diego, and so with that comes many incredible wedding venue options. We both love the city and the beach and so had to decide between those two locations for our big day. In the midst of that choice, we went to an event at the Moniker warehouse and instantly knew “THIS IS THE PLACE!”. It was fun and funky feeling, with a sense of warmth about it that we knew would work. The other really great thing about a warehouse is that it is a blank canvas that you can create, really, anything you want with. We found it exciting that we could make our personalities come alive in that building so easily.

The reception was so much fun! Neil and I continue to talk about how much fun we had dancing and laughing the night away, and how much we loved seeing all of the decorations come together. The part of the warehouse that the reception was held in was actually a parking garage. This made for a fairly large space for dancing, eating, and pictures. Something that both Neil and I have in common is that we love to dance! Picking out the songs for the playlist was definitely one of his favorite aspects of the planning process, and being able to enjoy the music on that day was even better! It also felt magical being able to look up and see the contrast of an industrial ceiling mixed with market lights and paper lanterns. Another aspect that I loved about the reception was our head table. The bridal party tables had logs cut in half with tapered candles that slowly dripped wax down the side. Behind all of us were huge wooden frames with mixtures of flannel, burlap, and lace, creating an R, N, and a heart. Those pieces were some of my favorites!

Towards the end of the planning process, I had some final details that needed to be nailed down. Some of those included what my flower girls would be throwing as they walked down the aisle, and what we would be thrown or held during our grand exit. After tossing around the idea of petals, rice, or bubbles, I tapped into a deep love in my heart, GLITTER! When I ran this idea by Krystel, it instantly became set in stone, as she shares my passion for it. So on the day, my flower girls held little tin buckets and lined the aisle, and maybe some guests too, with handfuls of glitter. I figured, why stop there? During our grand exit, I had people hold sparklers in one hand and toss glitter with the other. It was so fun, and made for some awesome pictures!

The biggest thing that I took away from the whole process was seeing how deeply relationships are impacted by this time, the most important time of your life. So my biggest piece of advice, is to dive into those relationships. Work through the stress and details and try to enjoy every moment that you get to spend with those who are in your life in this moment. Laugh off the random things that seem to be going wrong, or the difficult people that you may have to deal with and remember what the bigger picture is. Getting Married! This is such a unique time where people are just loving on you and excited about you for months on end. Soak it up. As I was able to grasp this concept, I had so much more fun! When I look back at the whole engagement time, I can say that it had it’s challenges, but it was so enjoyable and filled with so much love.

One of the most exciting details on the day, for me, was the jewelry that my bridesmaids and I wore. The beads from the necklace and earrings are made out of paper. They are hand made by Acholi women who live in a slum in Southern Uganda. These women are refugees in their own country due to a 20 year long civil war that has displaced them and their families. These women, because they are outcasts, could not get work, and so were left pounding rocks in quarry, with their children for one dollar a day. This amount was not enough to feed their families, much less send them to school, or receive any medical care that they may need. My brother worked in Uganda for 3 years, with a non-profit organization, and ran across these women. He discovered that on the side they make this beautiful, paper jewelry and it got him thinking. He brought it home for us for Christmas one year, and dreams soon started to emerge. My family ended up starting a full time, socially proactive business where we buy the jewelry from these women and sell it here in the states, and in other places around the world. The company’s name is Ember Arts. These women now have established businesses of their own, are able to provide three meals a day for their children, send them to school, and give them the medical attention that they need. The hope in Ember is that it will not stop there, but it will empower women to dream again in the midst of what seem like hopeless situations, that there can be a spark that helps their dreams become reality.  For me to be able to wear the jewelry on my wedding day was so special. I was able to carry with me the women’s dreams in Uganda, while living out my own.

Photography: Bryan N. Miller Photography / Coordination & Styling: Couture Events / Florist: Posies Flowers / Catering: Casa De Mexico / Venue: Moniker Warehouse / Bridesmaid Dresses: ASOS / Gown: Preview, by Allure / Brides & Bridesmaid Jewelry: Ember Arts Designed by Emily Goodrich / Brides Shoes: Nordstrom by GLINT / Grooms suit: J.Crew / Grooms Shoes: Krew / Groomsmen Attire: Ties + Vests H&M, Pants from Active by Active, Shoes from VANS

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