We’re closing out the week in California, with a gorgeous San Diego wedding inspired by the Big Sur.

Ashley & Ritz got married with a romantic poolside wedding, with stunning style, luxe decor, and lots of charming botanical touches.

We’re so excited to be sharing both their atmospheric photographs by Chaz Cruz, and dreamy wedding film by Ren & Rob.

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There are so many details from this wedding that you guys are going to go crazy for (don’t forget to hit Pin!), but there are a few stand-outs that set this gorgeous day apart.

Ashley’s Watters wedding dress with an illusion back – um, wow!

Her incredible bouquet with peaches, creams and blues – we’re obsessed.

The glamorous poolside setting, the sweet personalised paper goods, the sparkling gold linens, oh and their adorable pooch Howl.

Okay, so I guess there’s more than just a few details we love about this wedding!

Wedding Day Snapshot

Luxe Poolside Wedding | Chaz Cruz Photography | Bridal Musings Wedding Blog

Our Love Story

In this day and age, it’s not every day that you hear people marrying their high school sweethearts anymore.

We always believed our relationship could be a story that was based off one of those cheesy 90s teen movies, where the premise lies within a boy and girl who are best friends, and the girl is stuck picking up the pieces whenever the boy gets his heart broken, when in reality his true love was standing right in front of him the entire time.

And voila! 

The once hidden love romance erupts at the end of the movie where the two best friends go to prom together, dance in silence under the rain and fall helplessly in love with each other.

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It’s fun to know that this was not a teen movie, and it truly is our reality. And to think that was only the beginning…

Ritz and I have been together for over 10 years before finally saying ‘I do’ on June 27, 2015, the day before our 11th year dating anniversary.

Ten years seems like a long time, but you have to admit that the first part of our relationship we were both young and still trying to find ourselves.

But through it, we also learned how to grow with each other, make each other better, and experience every milestone of our adult lives together.

Ten years long in the making, but it was surely, as we like to say, worth the wait

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The Inspiration

Just like our personalities, we wanted to keep our wedding calm, cool, and collected which worked great with our outdoor ‘Big Sur wedding in the City’ feel.

So it was appropriate that we went with a color palette within the pastels family of creams, blues, greens, gray, with a hint of yellow and blush to create a soothing feel of the outdoors.

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The Attire

We dressed our stunning wedding party in simple outfits and made a statement with the little details, something that we love to do!

Our bridesmaids were dressed in budget-friendly cream dresses with a beautiful back detail & various floral belts from Asos, layering necklaces from Forever 21 with Steve Madden sandals to match.

What made my wedding dress so special was that my grandma is the one who chose it for me. She sure knew how to choose THE DRESS and it definitely fit my style.

Just like my everyday style, I knew I wanted my dress to be unique, appropriate for my figure, yet making a statement with the little details.

The one part of my dress that I wanted to make a statement on was the back. I fell in love with the lace detail of the back, and keeping it very classy with the illusion netting to give me some coverage on my back and chest.

What made it more unique was Watters gave you the ability to customize the color of your dress. I chose an amaretto color for the lining of my dress to give a little twist to the normal all ivory/white color, and also to make my dress more fitting for my skin tone.

My sister and maid of honor made my attire even more special by allowing me to wear her veil, which also was my “something borrowed” for the wedding.

The hip groom and groomsmen were dressed in various navy blue suits with matching chambray shirts from JCrew and detailed floral ties from Tie Bar.

All in all, the entire day from start to finish felt absolutely magical!

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The Flowers

Tawnee Gomez and her husband Luis of Urban Shindigs are definitely one of the best and funniest people to coordinate a wedding with.

As our day of coordinator, Tawnee was able to take all of our ideas and DIY décor and mold it into everything we dreamt our wedding would be.

Our florist, Danielle Sanchez of Luxe Botanique, and also one of Tawnee’s good friends, not only created some of the most beautiful floral bouquets I have ever seen, while her artistic centerpieces and outdoor décor set the magical Big Sur tone of our entire wedding experience.

When you are planning your wedding all on your own and being able to collaborate with people the day of your wedding to create something beautiful was absolutely amazing, and we owe much of that accomplishment to Tawnee and Danielle.

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The Venue

When we’re not scavenging for the latest and greatest food craze or Ritz educating me on comic book heroes, the love for quirky adventures and outdoors is what we love most.

One of our favorite trips as a couple was hiking through the area of Big Sur, chasing waterfalls, and watching the sunset within our Sibly Tent at the Treebones Resort.

We really wanted to have our wedding in Big Sur, but a lot of our family members wouldn’t have been able to handle the travel. So we decided to combine the love of our San Diego hometown and create a modern “outdoor Big Sur wedding in the City.”

We knew that Big Sur was such a hot theme for weddings these days, so we tried to find ways to make this theme unique and our own.

We chose the Palomar Hotel’s SummerSalt Pool Deck & Lounge as our ceremony and reception venue for its relaxing outdoor space, modern wooden finishes, and dog-friendly accommodations to allow our best dog man Howl to enjoy the festivities as well.

Having the ceremony in front of the pool with the hotel’s greenery as our backdrop encompassed our vision to be married within the woods and waterfalls of Big Sur.

Everyone had a small bottle of wedding bubbles at their seats as yet another detail to our wedding theme.

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Favourite Memories

The one thing that stood out for us in our wedding was having the ability to spend this day with our best pup Howl.

He truly is our “first born” and has stuck through our ups and downs in life. Howl’s ability to walk around freely and greet family and guests all night was such an amazing thing to see!

Our florist Danielle, made him look even more dapper with a custom made floral wreath for him to wear for the ceremony, and he wore a matching floral bow tie just like the groom.

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The Ceremony

What made our wedding experience even more memorable was that we made sure everything we did was “all in the family.”

From our wedding officiant being our brother-in-law to our photographer (Chaz Cruz) and invitations of Chabot Craft Co. being captured by some of our high school pals, each one of our vendors were close friends, family, or small world acquaintances.

No one was a stranger to us nor to each other, which created the ultimate “dream team” of friends hanging out and capturing an unforgettable story together.

Not only did we have our brother-in-law officiate our wedding, but we also had the bride’s brother and other brother-in-law sing and play the guitar during our processional.

There was no dry eye in the room. 

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Favourite Memories

The one thing that stood out for us in our wedding was having the ability to spend this day with our best pup Howl.

He truly is our “first born” and has stuck through our ups and downs in life. Howl’s ability to walk around freely and greet family and guests all night was such an amazing thing to see!

Our florist Danielle, made him look even more dapper with a custom made floral wreath for him to wear for the ceremony, and he wore a matching floral bow tie just like the groom.

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The Photography & Videography

We will never forget this special day, because we had the most wonderful photos and cinematic images through Chaz Cruz Photography and Ren & Rob Productions.

It was no question that Chaz Cruz would be part of our wedding. Being that Chaz has been a friend of ours since high school, we’ve watched him grow into one of leading photographers in the business.

His artistic ability to find the modern beauty within any environment and understand a couple’s personality and style fit perfectly with us. Being one of our friends just made taking pictures on our wedding day so fun!

Also being San Diego natives, we’ve watched the work of Ren & Rob through many of our friends’ wedding experiences.

As a husband and wife power couple, Ren & Rob’s work was so unique in a way that they were able to take our wedding and create powerful cinematic images in details that we never would have thought of ourselves!

We were truly blessed to have them on our special day. 

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The Decor & Details

The DIY table numbers we made out of chalkboard cardstock and moss signified the cool eco-friendly “Human Nest” that you could sleep in at the Treebones Resort in Big Sur, CA.

The DIY seating chart display made out of moss and tree branches, and the DIY personalized wood slice magnets made great escort cards and party favors that symbolized the outdoor details of the trees and nature that surrounded us on our hikes in Big Sur.

We decorated the pool with floating pink and yellow flowers to give the venue a pop of color.

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The Refreshments

One of the most important factors in choosing our venue was the food. Being serious ‘foodies’ at heart, we made sure that our wedding strayed far from the traditional wedding cuisine.

Our formal sit down meals were far from traditional, encompassing a gastro-lounge, farm-to-table dining style dining. 

We served:

  • Wild Mushroom Ravioli with spinach, truffle oil, parmesan, heirloom tomatoes & brown butter
  • Braised Short Ribs with yokon gold mashed potatoes & roasted carrots
  • Grilled Salomon with chive potato cake, her beurre blanc, lemon & roasted asparagus

We also had a buffet-style table serve delicious sliders and French fries as our guests late night snack a couple hours into the wedding once the dancing had begun. 

Our unique cake from Hey There Cupcake and DIY cake display showed such cool artistry within a simple yet bold cake to create our feel of the McWay Falls in Big Sur.

To make things even more fun, we also made DIY cake push pops with our signature wedding label made by our close friends of Chabot Craft Co. that our guests had at the table as another sweet tooth nibbler for dessert.

On top of that, each of our guests had a delicious crème brulee served with their dinner. This was our unique twist to serving our desserts than just serving wedding cake.

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Advice for Other Couples

If we had to give advice to up and coming lovebirds planning a wedding, we would like to make sure you smile and have fun!

Surround yourself with trustworthy and honest people who will support your ideas, no matter how weird and out of this world they might be! It’s your day, so c’est la vie!

Don’t stress, take your time, don’t sweat the small stuff, and take everything in stride one step at a time!

Budget wise, if you time your shopping wisely, taking advantage of all the holiday sales will help tremendously!

If online shopping is your best friend as much as it was ours, using the cash back deals from Ebates.com was definitely helpful with our big purchases.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to stray away from buying all your necessities from large wedding vendors! Nowadays, your favorite everyday shops have beautiful wedding outfits and accessories that you can use and buy during their awesome sales! (i.e. Macys, Nordstrom, Lulus, Asos, JCrew)

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The Honeymoon

It was such an honor and experience to have our honeymoon in Fiji.

We left for our honeymoon two days after our wedding and it was such a great time to relax, not worry about anymore planning, and just be one with each other as husband and wife!

What we loved about Fiji is we got to experience a little bit of everything! From caving and cultural adventures, to just luxury spas and soaking up the sun on their popular beaches, it was surely one of the best trips we have ever taken.

We stayed at the Intercontinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa, where we spent a week at their ‘Club Intercontinental’ Suites, which were an exclusive section of the resort, providing a separate and private lounge/pool area afar from the main resort accommodations.

Our suite had its own little backyard terrace and tropical garden consisting of a day bed, an outdoor Cleopatra bath, and a private plunge pool for us to enjoy.

They also provided daily afternoon tea time and evening cocktail hour every day, along with a daily breakfast buffet!

The people of Fiji are also by far some of the nicest and sweetest people we have ever met!

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Watch Ashley & Ritz’s Beautiful Wedding Film

ritz & ash | wedding trailer from RenandRob on Vimeo.

Oh my, isn’t it just gorgeous. I love the idea of a poolside wedding, there’s just something so exclusive and glamorous about it, don’t you think.

And really cool that when they couldn’t take their wedding to the Big Sur, they brought the Big Sur to them!

Thanks so much to Chaz Cruz Photography, Ren & Rob, and of course Ashley & Ritz for sharing their gorgeous San Diego wedding with us.

Be inspired by more awesome real weddings

Photographer: Chaz Cruz / Videography: Ren & Rob / Bride’s Dress: Watters Bridal Cinzia Gown (Style 6030B) / Bridal Salon: The White Room / Bride’s Shoes: Steve Madden / Bride’s Veil/Hair Accessories: Halo & Co / Bride’s Veil/Hair Accessories: David's Bridal / Hanger: BHLDN / Bridesmaid Dresses: ASOS / Groom’s Attire: J Crew / Wedding Planner/Coordinator: Urban Shindigs / Venue: Palomar Hotel / Flowers: Luxe Botanique / Cake Baker: Hey There, Cupcake! / Invitations & Stationery: Chabot Craft Co / Hairstylist: GG Hair Art / Makeup Artist: Valerie Vonprisk