Venue: The beach in Huntington, California
Wedding Date: April 23, 2011
Reception: Sparks Woodfire Grill
Hotel: Shorebreak Hotel, a Joie de Vivre Hotel
Florist: Greenleaf Wholesale Florist, Inc.
Cake & Cupcakes: Barb’s Bakery
Photographer: Jaylee Photography
Wedding Planner: Southern Cal Weddings
All images courtesy of Jaylee Photography
We live in Phoenix, Arizona, but I really didn’t want to get married there. We thought we just wanted to go to Vegas and have a party; my parents, however, did not agree to the idea. With that idea being thrown out, I suggested a destination wedding on the beach and my husband, being the awesome man he is, decided that would be a solid second choice. My parents agreed as long as we had a party after in Phoenix. I picked Huntington Beach because it’s my favorite beach in California (clean, laid back, fun).
After we figured out the location, the rest of the details just seemed to fall into place. Since we do not live there, we got in contact with a wedding planner who would take care of the licenses, the canopy we would stand under, and chairs for the guests. At the time she seemed great, and we put down money to get things rolling. In December, I went looking for a wedding dress and found it after 30 minutes and trying on only three dresses before it. My dress was an ivory color, so I picked our other color to be purple. Our wedding photographers were a very easy decision. Our friends Josh and Ali have their own photography business, and not only are they amazing wedding photographers but they also did our engagement session. They live in Seattle, so we just flew them in for the weekend.
In January my fiancé (now husband), maid of honor, her husband, and I all took a trip to Huntington. We stayed at the Shorebreak Hotel in hopes that we would love it enough to have everyone stay there for the wedding. (We did!) We also ate at a bunch of local restaurants and picked Sparks Woodfire Grill to eat at after the ceremony (very elegant and tons of yummy food!). We also found a wholesale flower company that not only had excellent prices but would also make our bouquets. With all those decisions made, we focused on the little details (groom’s clothing, wedding gifts, how to do hair and makeup, etc.).
The Big Day:
The boys spent the day surfing and hanging out, while the girls had a late brunch and spent the rest of the time getting ready at the hotel. At about 3:30 PM we headed downstairs to start pictures. Alex was at the bottom of a large staircase, and I walked down the steps and tapped him on the shoulder, and he spun me around for our first kiss. After taking some more shots there, we grabbed the rest of our wedding party and headed down to the beach. We took pictures on the pier, around the pier, and under it.
As we were walking back to the hotel to get ready for the ceremony, I looked down the beach to NOT see our wedding lady setting up. We raced back, started making phone calls, and realized she had gotten the time wrong. I had said 5:00 PM to set up, and she had decided 6:00 would be better. All the groomsmen and Alex ran down to the beach to set up everything. Needless to say, the coordinator did not receive her full payment, but we still got married on the beach. I walked down with my dad. My uncle married us. Alex read his vows to me (I kept it together without crying), then I read my vows to him (did NOT keep it together—cried the whole way through), and we put on each other’s rings and kissed to become Mr. & Mrs.
After family and sunset pictures, we headed over to Sparks Woodfire Grill to eat dinner. We heard some sweet toasts, said thank you to everyone who came, and ate yummy food. It was all a whirlwind, and by 10:00 PM we were completely exhausted. We said our goodbyes and turned in for the night.
After the Big Day:
We haven’t gone on a honeymoon yet. Being a teacher, I only get so many days off work, and we used a lot of our money on the wedding. We are hoping to head somewhere over New Year’s to “officially” celebrate. For now we are happy starting our lives together and added a little puppy to our family to keep the days (and nights!) interesting.
My advice to any future brides/grooms out there: it’s your wedding, so do what YOU really want to do!! There is so much pressure from so many people who want to give you “advice.” Either let it go in one ear and out the other, or just stop them before it starts! You and your partner are really the only people who constantly look back and think about the wedding, so make it something you really want to relive. Also, pay extra for the photographer!! Photography is really the only thing you get to tangibly have from the day, and they help make all the quick moments that you thought you forgot come alive and be relived over and over!