Here's a (not so) quickie recap of the events leading to our wedding!
My friend Nicky from Eight 20 Photography was our photographer and we absolutely were blown away by our engagement session. We went up to Ventura, CA on a sunny day in December '13 and she took some really amazing shots. So many great ones to choose from, but here are two of my favorites:
By far the most important part, no? I had quite the adventure finding my dress - only two different stores, but I tried on probably close to 20 dresses. There were several I loved, and one that I *thought* was the one. I bought it, and of course had immediate remorse, so after a week of determining it wasn't just nerves, I exchanged it for a different one. And man, oh man, it was the best decision ever! I ended up with a Vera Wang dress from David's Bridal. I had them add a sweetheart neckline to it, and had to have the top taken in a bunch (I'm small on top and NOT SMALL on bottom). Here it is:
In March '14 we went to Palm Springs for a long weekend for my bachelorette party, and it was so, so much fun! Four rooms at the Hard Rock Palm Springs, 14 girls, pool time, penis straws, lots o' drinks, a s'mores bar, and a goofy scavenger hunt all added to an overall amazing weekend of spending time with some of the best ladies I know!
I had two, since I have two sets of parents, and otherwise there would be about a thousand people there. (Kidding, but still a lot). My mom hosted one, and my stepmom and sisters hosted the other, and both were amazing and so lovely. (And yes, I wore the same dress to both. It was a great dress!)
Shower 1: Hosted by my lovely mama and Shosh & Marie:
Shower 2: Hosted by my step-mom and sisters, with an AMAZING cake by Dani!
We got married up in Santa Barbara, so a few people had to travel into town for the wedding. I had always, always wanted to do a family lunch the day before the wedding at our favorite restaurant in Santa Barbara, The Palace, and it ended up being the perfect occasion! We had family and a few close friends come for a hosted lunch and it was a really great time.
Our ceremony was originally going to be guerrilla style on the beach with only immediate family and 2-3 friends, but then of course plans changed a bit. We ended up at Alice Keck park instead - still having a much smaller ceremony than reception, and only invited close family and a few friends. Yet somehow, that still ended up being about 40 people! In hindsight, it may have just been fine to open the invite to everyone, but we really loved having an intimate ceremony and a few moments with our people.
Since the ceremony was at 2pm and the reception was at 6pm, it was awesome to be able to take photos and relax a bit (or, in Sean's case, go for a beer with his besties) before the reception kicked off... Nicky was able to get some really fun shots of us! Here are a couple of my favorites:
We had our reception at the El Paseo restaurant off State St in Santa Barbara, and it was a near perfect event! There were a couple of things we'd wished we'd thought about ahead of time - asking the bar to not force $4 water bottles on people who asked for a glass of water; asking the servers not to offer coffee & tea to everyone, making it seem like it was included in the meal - but for the most part they were a fantastic venue and the setting and building couldn't have been more perfect for us.
The food was awesome and the drinks were strong (a little too strong, actually), and we all had a BLAST. My friend and old co-worker, DJ Shakee from Scratch Weddings, was our DJ and kept the tone exactly right. There wasn't one person who didn't get onto the dance floor at one point or another, and it was just so much FUN!
We did lots of fun personalized things, but my favorite was definitely the table numbers with song lyrics. I had been collecting song lyrics that stood out to me for ages, and it was the perfect application for them! I also collected a bunch of fun and different photo frames to frame the lyrics in. We had a great guest book station with two options - a book of our engagement photos for folks to sign, and a FujiFilm Instant camera for people to take fun shots with!
Cake & Desserts:
My good friend Dani made an incredible cake for the reception. It was so, so good, and absolutely gorgeous! Boston Cream cake (complete with custard and ganache in between the layers) and a stunningly good buttercream frosting. We ate it for breakfast and a snack the following day, too, and were sad to leave it for our honeymoon. We also had an amazing dessert table filled with delicious treats made by friends and family - mini apple pies, cookies, s'mores pops, Samosas bundt cakes, the list went on and on! It was all so incredible.
Our wedding was a really incredible experience and there's literally nothing I'd change about it! And - there are a few more photos up at Nicky's Eight 20 Photography blog!