High School Sweethearts' Casual + Elegant San Diego Botanical Garden Wedding
November 18, 2015
California
Classic WeddingsOutdoor WeddingsGarden Weddings
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!
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From Heidi-O-Photo... Elaine & 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.