Modern Weddings/Real Weddings

Romantic California Wedding with Rustic Spanish Charm

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When I first opened Carolyn and Kevin’s wedding photos, I instantly believed they swept me away to a sun-soaked Spanish destination wedding, somewhere in the hills of Andalusia.  All the golden hues, hardy vegetation, and rustic details fooled me. Why but of course, today we head to California!

The rustic outdoor ceremony space, with large twisted trees, was later contrasted by a more ornate, and regal reception room filled with pink and gold details, keeping with the old world charm.  It’s the dress though, an off-the-shoulder delicate lace Pronovias gown, that finishes the entire Spanish California look.

It seems the whole day is magically “golden hour” and we love the special tea ceremony moment captured so sweetly by Retrospect Images.

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Our Love Story

Kevin and I met our sophomore year of college when I joined the same club he was in. After about a year, we realized we were more than friends and the rest is history!

Kevin proposed on our six year anniversary. He hired a local flower shop to deliver six bouquets of flowers spaced throughout the day to my office. Each bouquet came with a photo and a poem he wrote commemorating a year of our relationship. At first I thought he was just going all out for our anniversary, but eventually started to suspect it was something more. This was confirmed when I got home and found Kevin waiting for me on one knee.

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The Dress

I knew my dress was the one because I didn’t want to take it off when I tried it on. I loved that I could have an outfit change without actually having to change my dress by removing the off-the-shoulder lace cover-up.

I let my bridesmaids pick their own dresses and shoes and just told them the color. This made it easy for all of us to make sure everyone was happy and comfortable the day of. We didn’t want the formality of tuxes, so the groom and groomsmen stuck to classic dark grey suits and navy ties.

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The Venue

Kevin and I both grew up in the bay area, so we knew we wanted to get married there. Monterey, CA was perfect because it felt like a destination, while still being close to our hometowns. We picked Nicklaus Club as our venue because of its beautiful grounds and Spanish style charm.

Also, we liked how each space was unique and intimate. Because the venue was already so beautifully decorated, we didn’t need to add much. We kept all paper goods and other decorative items neutral with touches of gold. The flowers were the only pops of color and I loved the pairing of the red, pink, and white flowers and lush greenery with the gold.

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The Ceremony

We kept the ceremony short and sweet, with Kevin’s uncle officiating. We wrote our own vows and took turns saying one line back and forth to each other. Taking turns helped to calm our nerves because it was almost like we were speaking together instead of by ourselves. Neither of us are emotional people, so the ceremony was filled with smiles and laughter.

We coincidentally got married on my parents’ anniversary so I incorporated details to celebrate their wedding day as well. During our ceremony, we included a modified Chinese tea ceremony and presented tea to both of our parents using the same tea set my parents’ used on their wedding day. I also had our cake vendor recreate my parents’ wedding cake as a surprise.

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The Photography

The search for photographers can be quite daunting because there are so many options. Ginny of Retrospect Images stood out to us though because of her style. I loved her use of light and how all her photos clearly captured the romance and happiness of the moment. Plus, Ginny has such a great, positive personality and helped two not-so-photogenic people feel comfortable in front of the camera.

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Special Moments

One of my favorite moments was our first dance. We are not natural dancers by any means, but Kevin took it upon himself to choreograph our whole dance. It was fun practicing before the day and I’ll always remember dancing under the night sky, surrounded by our family and friends holding sparklers, and surprising them with our “moves.”

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Advice to Other Couples

Try not to be concerned with what everyone else wants or sticking to a certain “theme” and just go with what you like!

Kevin and I were planning our wedding while living in different states, so we relied on Google Docs to stay organized and share information. It also made it convenient to be able to access Google Docs directly from our phones while meeting with vendors.

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Honeymoon

A couple days after our wedding we left for our honeymoon to Croatia.  We spent two weeks exploring the country, seeing spectacular waterfalls, and visiting Game of Thrones filming sites. It was a perfect way to relax and enjoy time as newlyweds so we would definitely recommend a honeymoon to other couples.

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