Sparkling Gold Wedding at Hartley Botanica
May 4, 2015
California
WhimsicalVintageOutdoor Weddings
A Bride after my own heart with her massive to-do lists and super organized approach to planning; I got giddy reading her story below. With that spirit, and a team of top notch vendors including Lauren Chism, TEAM Hair & Makeup, and Mobile Photobooth, the chic celebration's success was almost guaranteed. Onelove Photography captured every second and this gallery is full of must-do moments!
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From the Bride and Groom... My husband and I were in a long-distance relationship for six years while he was in the military and I was in college, so it was important for us to pay homage to the relationship that we built despite the distance that separated us. We represented this idea with an epistolary theme because when he was deployed, sometimes our only form of communication was through letters - our escort cards were hand-written letters that I personally did the calligraphy for and our guestbook was made up of postcards with vintage-looking images of the aisle we walked down that day. We asked guests to leave us a note on those postcards.

We also decided from the beginning that we really wanted to focus on spending time with our friends and family that day to celebrate, so we cut out a lot of the traditional parts of a wedding - like the bouquet toss and cake-cutting (we cut the cake privately). We spent the majority of our night in the photobooth or on the dancefloor with our friends and family and we wouldn't have had it any other way.

We chose a muted color scheme - white and gold, because we thought our venue provided enough natural beauty and color for us. The gold dress my bridesmaids are wearing holds special meaning for us because I wore that dress three years ago when I attended a military ball with my husband. I knew from the beginning of planning that I'd want that dress to be a part of our day, so it was easy to pick our wedding colors from that point on.

I began by looking at bridal magazines such as BRIDES and THE KNOT, but once we found our venue, I began to narrow down the blogs I was using for inspiration. I sort of let our venue dictate our design - there were certain colors and themes that the venue evoked so I began looking for blogs that reflected that image. Our venue had such an ethereal vibe and I found that a lot of the content on Style Me Pretty matched that idea. I found a lot of great content on Style Me Pretty and Pinterest and I think I can say that I honestly found most of my ideas on those two sites, or at least I was inspired by those two to create something of my own. Martha Stewart Weddings helped me a lot when it came to etiquette questions and LaurenConrad.com helped me with DIY ideas and fun things to do with my bridal party and I also used references from our photographer's website onelove-photo.com to help find certain vendors. The blog for wedding retailer BHLDN has great advice on styling your dress and all your accessories.

My advice to anyone planning a wedding is try not to get overwhelmed right from the start, it can seem incredibly daunting when you think about the big picture - so start with the biggest tasks and work your way down the list. Once I found our venue, I let the venue inspire me in every other decision.

I started by making one massive to-do list with absolutely everything I could think of that I'd need to complete by the time of the wedding (everything from finding a venue to finding stamps for my invites - I amalgamated lists from websites like Martha Stewart Weddings, A Practical Wedding, and The Knot) and put them all in one document that I would add to anytime inspiration struck, then I organized it by month and sometimes by week. It really helped to be able to say "I'm only going to focus on what I need to complete this month" and know that I wasn't forgetting anything.

I also used Evernote to clip all the many photos and articles I found online that inspired me; it is a fantastic way to help keep not only your clippings organized, but also your contracts and contact information. I referenced my Evernote notebooks and To-Do lists more than probably anything else during this whole process.

We asked my future father-in-law to officiate our wedding and we are so very happy that we did that. He has seen us grow from a summer romance back when I was 18 years old to a married couple today and has always been a big part of our support system so it made our ceremony that much more special to us. He laughed with us when we said our vows and he started to tear up during his closing statements and that's all because he knew us in a way that no ordinary officiant would.

Another highlight from that night is when my husband and I had our first private moment together that day (that our sneaky photographers thankfully caught) - my husband was filled with emotion and love and thanked me for the gift I gave him moments before we walked down the aisle. He hugged me and weeped with me and it was a deeply emotional moment for us that I'll never forget.