Real Weddings: Nicole & Kent

Woohoo – we finally get to use our awesome Real Weddings icon!  (thanks Irene!) 

Today we bring you the gorgeous Hollywood glamour inspired wedding of Nicole and Kent.  They had a whirlwind romance getting married only six months after they met, and I’m so glad that they’ve shared their sweet story with us…


Venue: Island Club, Coronado Island (San Diego), California
Wedding Date: January 20, 2007
Bridal Gown/BM Dresses: Julius Bridal (NY)
Florist/Coordinator: Mary Bowerman
Photographer: James Walters (Walters & Walters, NC)
Videographer: Jaime Hobert
Cake: Villa Nueva Bakery
Honeymoon: Oahu and Kauai, Hawaii

The Story

Our theme was Old Hollywood Glamour (basically vintage black and white) and, at least for San Diego, it was extremely formal. The groom, groomsmen, and dads all wore white tie with tails, top hats and white gloves; the bridesmaids all wore black satin one-shouldered gowns with trains, white opera length gloves and white satin wraps. Probably the most unique thing about our wedding was our dress code for the guests – all guests wore black and white and no other colors, and all male guests wore tuxedos (neckties were banned).

We met online ( – but we got to know each other in person. On our very first date, we knew it was going to be serious. Exactly four days after that first date, we had the DTR (defining the relationship) talk and Kent told me he wanted to pursue me toward marriage. Two and a half months after that we were engaged, and about three and a half months after that we were married. And I took the California bar exam during that six months! Talk about whirlwind!



Our photographer loved shooting infrared.






DIY programs with embossed custom monogram tied with double-faced satin ribbon. We bought a custom embosser with interchangeable plates from Wilshire Graphic Press. Great product, great customer service, speedy delivery! We got one with our monogram which we used for the front of the programs and also to make thank you cards from plain cardstock. We got another plate with our name and address which we used to emboss our envelopes for thank you notes.

I also bought three 50-yard spools of this awesome double-faced satin ribbon (I wanted the real fabric kind, not plastic or paper) for a great price from a discount place in LA and then used it for everything – programs, table cakes, our fancy cake, dress straps for Brianna, our beautiful program passer-outer (see below).


Custom Cathedral-length veil with beaded French Alencon lace headdress and scallop applique at the end. My aunt sewed this veil for me. I had the hardest time finding Alencon lace at regular fabric stores and had to go to a specialty bridal fabric store in La Jolla – I guess there isn’t much of a market for lace that’s $100 a yard!! It’s a good thing I didn’t need too much. 





Our first kiss was really our first kiss. Our closest friends and family couldn’t believe that we didn’t kiss while we were dating or during our engagement. We just didn’t want that temptation. Also, it helped that for most of our engagement, we lived on opposite coasts and only saw each other for weekends twice a month. 



At the reception, we used rectangular tables instead of rounds (three rows of ten banquet tables end-on-end with overlapping tablecloths). This was a real hassle to orchestrate with our reception site, but in the end we achieved the intimate, vintage setting we were going for. 


For centerpieces, we started with plain black table napkins laid on the diagonal (in a diamond pattern down the middle of the table) to start the Art Deco look. Then, we used vintage-style, crystal candle lamps and six different flavors of table cakes. We saved lots of money by not having floral centerpieces. We used the plain white cakes, tied with black double-faced satin ribbon on crystal cake stands, for table numbers with the numbers printed on vellum over black and white Old Hollywood famous couple movie stills. I made the cake stands for about $1 each. I just bought desert dishes and plates at Marshall’s and glued them together. Viola! 


Our cake was HUGE, five layers with a custom-painted bride & groom topper that looked just like us – right down to the medals and gold brocade on my husband’s Navy uniform. We love our topper! We wanted to avoid our caterer’s cake cutting fee, so we did the table cakes with their own cake cutters/servers on the tables; for our cake, we bought styrofoam cake dummies, had our cake baker frost the layers, and then he put in just one real layer for our cake cutting ceremony. This also allowed us to keep the cake stable since we wanted it so tall, and it was CHEAP. I let the cake baker talk me out of fondant but I wish I’d stuck to my guns because fondant is so much smoother – and who cares about the taste since nobody’s eating the Styrofoam! 



We love chocolate – we had three chocolate fountains (dark choc, milk choc and white choc) and a candy buffet!


For the candy buffet, we had about 8 or 9 crystal dishes of candy on a table with boxes under the tablecloth to give dimension. I just love the DIY signage on the candy buffet. We just printed them on the computer and used the same satin ribbon and the leftover black cardstock that we used for the programs, escort cards and place cards. 

DIY escort cards that matched the place cards.


No modern music – our big band played only 30’s and 40’s period music. We thought people wouldn’t dance, but the dance floor was packed all night long!


hg kent and nicole.jpg


hg kent and nicole2.jpg

My little brother and our most excellent ring bearer!

Our guests loved the photobooth guestbook! Guests make a scrapbook page with greetings, designs, etc and a space for a picture from the photobooth. Then guests step into the booth, accessorize with vintage goodies like feather boas and top hats, and take the pic which is later printed out and added to the page.


This was the most fun!! In this pic you can see the homemade backdrop (faux velvet on sale during the holidays), the digital camera on the tripod, and a few of the props we set out for the guests to accessorize their portraits. Behind the camera is Kristen; she and her sister Katie were responsible for supervising the whole guest book operation and taking all the pictures. They did SUCH a great job and they had a good time, too.


hg nicole and kent3.jpg

Action shots of guests working on the other part of the guest book . . . I set out scrapbook paper (blacks, whites, and reds) for them to assemble the page their portrait would go in after the wedding. We precut rectangles just a bit bigger than the pictures would be printed out to be used as frames and to show me where to glue the final pic. We elected to print the pics later ( rather than using polaroid because of price. Polaroid film costs about $1 per picture. Since we had about 200 guests, I just didn’t want to spend that much on the guest book. We absolutely love our guest book all assembled and we are SO glad we did it, since so many of our guests didn’t make it into our album.


hg nicole and kent4.jpg

Last but not least, our sparkler getaway. Not exactly unique, but it cost us about $12 for the sparklers and it made the coolest pictures!



Coming up, Part II: Vendor Reviews and much more!


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  1. Guest Icon Guest
    betting_im_not, Guest @ 2:10 pm

    the pictures aren’t showing up for me. :(

  2. mrsbee Member
    mrsbee 3235 posts, Sugar bee @ 2:13 pm

    i’m sorry – the pics are hosted on xanga because i didn’t have time to transfer them to weddingbee. xanga is probably blocked at your work?

  3. eggplant Member
    eggplant 304 posts, Helper bee @ 2:14 pm

    what a gorgeous dream wedding!! thanks for sharing! :-)

  4. magnolia Member
    magnolia 253 posts, Helper bee @ 2:18 pm

    Nicole, I hope you’re checking these comments! You had an absolutely stunning wedding, and I have to ask – where did you find your fur wrap?

  5. Guest Icon Guest
    Angeline, Guest @ 2:19 pm

    what a beautiful story and gorgeous wedding. impeccable taste! i am speechless.

  6. petunia Member
    petunia 287 posts, Helper bee @ 2:19 pm

    Absolutely breathtaking!

    Did the ringbearer don a top hat, too? If so, I’d love to know where you got it — I’m looking for one for my 8 year old nephew!

  7. Guest Icon Guest
    Jennifer, Guest @ 2:22 pm

    LOVE the vintage/formal photo booth thing idea for the guest book. I absolutely loved playing dress-up as a child (I still do) so that looks like so much fun.

  8. Guest Icon Guest
    tahoebound, Guest @ 2:28 pm

    I love the photobooth idea as well. Can you provide more information about how you set it up? It seems like a great alternative to renting a photobooth and having polaroids. Did guests just fill out the pages and then you inserted the printed pictures later? Beautiful wedding all around!

  9. Guest Icon Guest
    betting_im_not, Guest @ 2:33 pm

    doh. they did block xanga the other day. :( i’ll just look at this post when i get home. :)


  10. Member
    chill 244 posts, Helper bee @ 2:51 pm

    I love your wedding! It definitely is inspiring and just came together beautifully. Congratulations!

  11. Guest Icon Guest
    Jen, Guest @ 3:00 pm

    tahoebound – we did something similar for the photobooth. our photographer provided the camera setup, which was great because he attached a cord with a button for you to take pics yourself, and a professional screen flash. the photos came out almost as well as his b/c he had such an amazing digital camera!

  12. Guest Icon Guest
    JB, Guest @ 3:01 pm

    Beautiful wedding – I’m doing black and white, too, and loved seeing these photos. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Member
    loveletter 96 posts, Worker bee @ 3:03 pm

    i can’t see them either.. that’s been happening a lot lately. :(

  14. Guest Icon Guest
    Cara, Guest @ 3:14 pm

    LOVELY !!!!!!!! Congrats ! looks like everyone had a ball !

  15. Member
    tanya2s 412 posts, Helper bee @ 3:19 pm

    What a lovely wedding! I’m in awe that you managed to pull off the planning in such a short time! (especially since I KNOW what it’s like to study for the bar and try to do anything else at the same time…)

  16. Guest Icon Guest
    Jennifer, Guest @ 3:29 pm

    What a gorgeous wedding! Great theme and it looks like everyone had a fun time.

  17. Member
    taaliza 45 posts, Newbee @ 3:47 pm

    This wedding is fantastic! You did an amazing job in so little time! I loved how it turned out! Hope Hawaii was wonderful!

  18. Member
    Faithsista 44 posts, Newbee @ 4:04 pm

    Wow. I don’t know what else to say, so I’ll leave it at that.

  19. Member
    danibel 93 posts, Worker bee @ 4:09 pm

    absolutely breath-taking. you did an amazing job in planning your themed wedding. i love it!

  20. Guest Icon Guest
    Andria, Guest @ 4:35 pm

    Wow! I’m impressed by your beautiful wedding, but I must say I’m equally impressed that you guys never even kissed before! I’m just curious – so did you just tell each other when you met that you neither of you would kiss before you were married? I’m just amazed that both of you happened to have that same goal and that it actually worked! I must say I think you are the first couple I’ve ever heard of that has done this.

  21. Guest Icon Guest
    Jay, Guest @ 5:36 pm

    It does look gorgeous. But am I the only one who thinks it is rude to dictate to guests a specific wardrobe?

  22. Member
    tea 2414 posts, Buzzing bee @ 5:57 pm

    you carried your theme to a tee! it looked like a fabulous day.

    i have a question, how did you match up the photos with what was written in the guestbook?

  23. Guest Icon Guest
    twelvetigers, Guest @ 6:33 pm

    Beeeeyeautiful. Love it all.

    YIKES, first kiss actually at the altar?? I can’t even begin to imagine. That’s crazy. I hope it was a good kiss!

  24. Member
    JCM9608 544 posts, Busy bee @ 1:41 am

    amazing! very romantic. it speaks to me. :)

    i am totally using that cake idea because i want a huge cake but i don’t want to pay too much for something like the cake. thanks!

  25. Guest Icon Guest
    lani, Guest @ 3:16 am

    WOW. I love the black and white. . . if my family didn’t associate black w/ mourning; I’d go with it too!

    First kiss at the altar? I def can’t do that – I yearn for the late night cuddles and kisses. It’s a good thing your engagement wasn’t that long, I’d go CRAZY!

  26. Guest Icon Guest
    alldoneup, Guest @ 3:55 am

    Black and white are the epitome of elegance especially when you know how to keep it looking modern and classy…looks like a beautiful wedding!

  27. Guest Icon Guest
    Kelli, Guest @ 4:48 am

    What a gorgeous wedding! I absolutely love the theme, and the whole event looks wonderful and lovely!

  28. Guest Icon Guest
    proudfarmwife, Guest @ 5:00 pm

    YAAAAAAAAY for saving your first kiss! So TOTALLY good for you! We wanted to wait to for our first kiss until the altar, but it didn’t work out that way… sometimes, it makes me sad, but most of the time I’m glad for the way it DID happen (because of the circumstances). But you are certainly not first couple that I know of that’s waited! GOOD FOR YOU! Good for having the DTR talk, as well! Helps to keep a relationship on track 😉 We had the same thing going into our dating (or courting, whatever you want to call it) and were engaged 5 1/2 months later, married in a little less than 5 months after that! God bless you as you set out in this new phase of life! Oh yeah, you had a GORGEOUS wedding! Love it!

  29. Guest Icon Guest
    waiting, Guest @ 10:29 pm

    i think its totally aweinspiring that u saved ur first kiss for the altar. and i’d love to see more testimonies of couples who were able to do the same ‘cos its so encouraging.

  30. Guest Icon Guest
    Jamesia, Guest @ 2:38 pm

    I love your wedding! You deserved all of the beauty and celebration! You did it the way God intended and I would love to have celebrated that with you if I were one of your guests. It is hard sometimes to get all excited about a wedding when you know the couple rolled out of bed with each other the morning of and are simply going through the motions of “making it legal.”

    I wish you and your hubby many years of Holy Matrimony and happiness!

  31. Guest Icon Guest
    Nicole Handfield, Guest @ 10:17 am

    Hi, um thank you SO MUCH for all of your nice comments. I just found out that our wedding was featured here. I used to check this site all the time, but then felt kinda lame since I wasn’t planning a wedding anymore. OK, to answer your questions, yes, my little brother did wear a top hat and we got all of our top hats from They were great and had great prices. We also got a bunch of kids suspenders and bow ties there so the really young ones didn’t have to rent a tux, just white shirt and black pants and viola! instant formal cutie pie. We also got a cane and some other stuff to use as props for our photobooth guest book from them.

    For the set up of that, it was really super easy and CHEAP. We just put our digital camera on a tripod (both of which we already had) and put out scrapbook materials we already had. I did buy the fabric (on sale for the holidays) for the backdrop (which we sewed onto a wooden dowel so that it would hang nicely) and we also bought some props, but it really was such a good price for a project with such impact. Oh, we also paid to print the pictures (but they’re like 25 cents each) and bought a leather album to put the pages in. It was pretty easy and fun to put it all together since the guests signed their names and put the rectangle “frame” on their page where they wanted the pic to go, we just pasted the page with the name (I guess that would be a challenge if you don’t know who the person is =0 ).

    Regarding telling our guests what to wear, yes it was a bit rude, but we figured we were paying for it and we wanted it formal and since the guys would be in black and white, we wanted the ladies to match so the pictures would look better. I think one set of grandparents did not come because they didn’t want to dress up and I still don’t regret our wardrobe decision. My family is not especially close or healthy, so that’s the call I made. I wish they would’ve come and I still love them very much, but that’s just the way we wanted our wedding to look visually and we were willing to sacrifice a bit of comfort for that look. I think it’s for each bride and groom to decide for themselves how much to concede from their wedding vision.

    Regarding waiting/saving ourselves/first kiss. I was not a Christian until about five years ago so I had kissed and had sex before. I had never met a man who was so strong in the area of purity as my husband. It was definitely my husband’s discipline that kept us both pure. Which, by the way I find a huge comfort, because I know that he has the discipline to not stray AFTER our wedding. And, I know what you are thinking, we have an VERY healthy “bedroom life” now that we are married.

    Anyway thank you so much for featuring our wedding. I am so grateful and glad you liked it. We had the time of our lives.

  32. Guest Icon Guest
    Nicole Handfield, Guest @ 10:25 am

    Sorry, Miss Magnolia, my fur wrap was from ebay. My Mom got one just like it in black and I think it was $30 for the both of them. They were lined in satin and everything. Wish I’d ordered a child-sized one for my little niece flower girl – we got her a sleeveless dress and she was cold so she ended up wearing mine. =)

  33. Guest Icon Guest
    jnicholea, Guest @ 12:47 am

    I don’t know if anyone will read this, but would the bride mind emailing me her experience with Julius Bridal? I am interested in using them, but it’s hard to tell what you will get. Her dress looks gorgeous!

  34. Guest Icon Guest
    Nicole Handfield, Guest @ 1:22 am

    I loved them! Please email me handfieldshalom at and I’ll tell you whatever you want to know. Actually, when I received my dress, I was worried that it was too tight in the waist, so they sent me another one from New York and I think it was even overnight shipping. I ended up liking the first one better, but they were more than accommodating and the product was exactly what I wanted. I think they have it all. Great price, great service, and although they do need some lead time, it’s still much less time than most bridal companies.

  35. daffodil Member
    daffodil 598 posts, Busy bee @ 3:08 am

    beautiful wedding! i am so amazed that you guys pulled this together so quickly…it really looks like such an amazingly beautiful and happy day!

  36. Guest Icon Guest
    LNH, Guest @ 8:09 am

    Beautiful, beautiful wedding! We’re thinking about doing a photo booth that way, but we’re a bit stuck on how to get the pictures printed out. What printer or set up did you use?

  37. Guest Icon Guest
    Steve, Guest @ 8:22 am

    More excellent photos!

  38. Guest Icon Guest
    Nicole Handfield, Guest @ 9:55 am

    LNH, it’s really simple, just upload them onto a photo website (we used and then they mail the prints or you pick them up at the store near you. Digital prints are so cheap these days and then you just paste the pics on the page those people made at the wedding right on the frame they glued down for the pic. I can email you some (slightly blurry) pics of how the finished book turned out if you want.

  39. Guest Icon Guest
    Nicole Handfield, Guest @ 9:55 am

    oops, I mean

  40. Guest Icon Guest
    ribbit, Guest @ 3:17 pm

    Jamesia, what an incredibly rude and narrow-minded thing to say. “It is hard sometimes to get all excited about a wedding when you know the couple rolled out of bed with each other the morning of and are simply going through the motions of “making it legal.”” I’m guessing these so-called marriages are less important and and will probably end up divorced in a few months? Way to stay true to the whole “though shall not judge” thing though.

  41. Guest Icon Guest
    Jamesia, Guest @ 4:01 pm

    No, Ribbit, that’s all you…on the judgement…

    These are all your assumptions and exhibition of your narrowmindedness: “I’m guessing these so-called marriages are less important and and will probably end up divorced in a few months? Way to stay true to the whole “though shall not judge” thing though.

    This will be my last response to your comment.


  42. Guest Icon Guest
    Trinia, Guest @ 1:20 am

    Hey Nicole,
    I have a question about the, and dating online, and just how you made it work long distance? If you’re interested, email me,

    Thanks so much,

  43. Guest Icon Guest
    Kristen Weir, Guest @ 12:44 pm

    What a beautiful wedding! I just keep thinking about you, so I tried very hard to find you on the internet and I did!!! I’d love to hear from you.


  44. Guest Icon Guest
    Angel, Guest @ 4:24 pm

    WOW i was reading the comments, and out of the blue i see the one …..what an incredibly rude and narrow-minded thing to say. “It is hard sometimes to get all excited about a wedding when you know the couple rolled out of bed with each other the morning of and are simply going through the motions of “making it legal.”” I’m guessing these so-called marriages are less important and and will probably end up divorced in a few months?….

    WOW!!! gee makes me feel real good knowing that the day before i get married my DF will be elsewhere lol…

  45. Guest Icon Guest
    J, Guest @ 7:59 am

    I would like to copy some of your pics for a wedding blog I’m writing for. Credits will be given to you. Thanks!

  46. Member
    magdiela 44 posts, Newbee @ 11:48 am

    I am so speechless! Your wedding was absolutly beautiful! I will be stealing some ideas if you dont mind!

  47. Guest Icon Guest
    Hayne, Guest @ 7:01 am

    A lovely collection of photos, the informal feel of the photography really brings across a true feeling of what the day must have been like for the happy couple.

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