Inspiration: From the very start of our engagement, my fiancé and I were on the same page of how we envisioned our wedding: simple but timeless and classic. We wanted to make sure our guests ate good food and had a great time. Our wedding was on September 10th, not quite Fall but nearing the very end of Summer so picking a color scheme was tricky. I chose a deep blue color for the bridesmaids dresses that I knew would pop in pictures and would look great with the soft blush pink, peach, and ivory color palette I envisioned for the flowers. The only thing I did not complain about spending money on during wedding planning was our florist, who put together my exact vision, and then some! My husband stumbled across St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach and we fell in love. The sanctuary was jaw-dropping, with glass ceilings and ornate organ pipes, with the bright California sun beaming through making it a delightful ceremony. We held our reception at the church campus as well, in one of their event rooms that opened up to an outside patio decked out with lounge chairs and a fire pit. We brought in our own caterer making it possible to incorporate our heritage through the ethnic foods and desserts our guests dined on. We did a color-coordinated candy favor table, placing the candy jars directly atop photos of us. I enlarged a photo of us and created our picture guestbook on shutterfly.com-simple and fun! In lieu of a photobooth, we rented an enlarged frame on wheels and it was a hit! When I found my all-lace Pronovias gown in a boutique in Chicago, I knew I wanted some vintage element to the wedding, but did not want the whole vintage theme, so I incorporated it where I could: pre-ceremony wedding photos at Mission San Juan Capistrano, which boasted a Spanish elegance, using lace and burlap to cover the guestbook table, to the rustic boxes that our flowers were perched upon that adorned the aisle of the church, to the beaded handbag my sister gifted me, to the vintage frames that showcased any messages used within the reception.
Describe how you felt when you saw each other for the first time:
Bride: I was nervous to see him, hoping I would look just like he might have imagined. When I saw him finally, I just wanted to hurry through our pictures to go get married!! I couldn't believe the day we've talked about for months was here and I was excited that the man standing in front of me was about to be mine for a lifetime!!
Groom: I was excited to see her, I was seeing how wonderful everything was coming together for our day and I had to pause from all the excitement to take in how beautiful my bride looked.
What was your most favorite moment?
My favorite moment was walking down the aisle and the entire ceremony. Right before walking down the aisle, I'll never forget my dad, with tears falling down his face, telling me how proud he was of me, it was the BEST! We loved having an intimate ceremony with our pastor who married us and knowing everyone we cared about was in the room with us witnessing our commitment before God. We loved watching everyone eat and being "merry" during the reception, watching our slideshow was a hoot, and laughing it up the entire night with our loved ones, celebrating US.
What was your highest priority?
Our highest priority was making sure we had a ceremony that honored God and that spoke to who we were as individuals. We wanted to incorporate both Romanian and American traditions. We also cared very deeply for having great food that people would enjoy and making sure the atmosphere for our reception was warm, inviting, and fun!! We sought out a great caterer that came highly recommended and searched various reception vendors by doing internet searches, reading tons of wedding and photography blogs, and visiting every place that seemed a likely fit.
Advice for couples:
A lot of elements to our wedding we attempted to do ourselves, and we ended up spending just as much money, if not more, plus the added stress of completing the tasks! So the best advice I can give couples is to weigh the plus and minuses of doing something yourself, and don't feel afraid to delegate and leave it in the hands of someone else!! As for the actual day, the best advice we received while planning our wedding was to enjoy our day because it would pass by so quickly. Yeah, yeah, we thought, of course we'll enjoy our day. But seriously, enjoying it takes effort because your mind is going a million different directions and you're concentrating on what DIDN'T get done but somehow you'e gotta just let it all go and don't let a minute go by without taking in the depth and meaning of the occasion and enjoying all your guests!
Photographer - Closer to Love Photography
Ceremony & Reception Venue - St. Andrews Presbyterian Church
Videographer - Wellspun Weddings
Florist - Heavenly Blooms
Desserts: Cakes & Stuff
Bridesmaids Dresses - Donna Morgan, Nordstrom
Submitted via Two Bright Lights