Candice & John’s Wedding!!

We were over the moon excited when Candice reached out to us last year about helping coordinate her & John’s August Leo Carrillo wedding. Her very dear pal and one of our faves Courtney of Brightly Designed was helping her  out with all of the details, so we immediately agreed to step in the last few weeks before the wedding and on the actual big day to take the reins and make sure everything went off without a hitch! By far one of the breeziest and most fun weddings of the summer. Who could complain when you get to work with Brightly Designed, She Wanders, and Root 75!?  C & J’s wedding is in the current issue of Exquisite Weddings, but also on the Bride Suite blog today! Check out those links & the lovely photos below!

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Candice + John

Wowza! Candice is already a stunner, but Brides by Brittany highlighted her features perfectly and really let her gorgeousness shine through on the big day!

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Seriously, we have a ton of photos of everyone smiling & giggling through out the whole day, as it should be. NON-STOP BLAST!

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For the ceremony decor, a mix of horseshoes with pretty patterned hearts and mason jars filled with flowers and flags that read John loves Candice/Candice loves John hung from the chairs down the aisle. Ashley & Courtney from Brightly Designed  also crafted a stunning paper flower backdrop for the ceremony that fit perfectly with the theme and into Leo Carrillo!

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Ummm how adorbs are the navy dresses paired with cowboy boots and statement necklaces!? Cute, quirky, and classic all at the same time!

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During cocktail hour, brightly colored vases, vintage cigar boxes, & old fashioned liquor bottles adorned the tables to set the mood on the patio for “Hurley’s Pub.”

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Mini glass beer boots were used for the escort card display. Guests were asked, “If you’re a pair find your boot to share. If you’re single use yours to mingle.” Too fun!

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One of our favorite moments of the night was when the bridal party made their grand entrance. After everyone was announced they stopped by the bartender, who had shots waiting for them, where they all raised their glasses before going bottom’s up! Way to get the party started!

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The peacocks were out in full force for the wedding- as seen above! The Brightly Designed gals repurposed  C+J’s cute rsvp postcards and strung them with ribbon and hearts to make a killer sweetheart table backdrop for the couple. Gathered vintage items were used as table number holders which were an eclectic mix of wooden numbers and paper printed numbers.

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In lieu of a traditional wedding cake, the couple and their guests got their sweet fix with a bundt wedding cake from Nothing Bundt Cakes and donuts from VG Bakery. Mmmm! Our kind of desserts!

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The guests had a blast drinking & dancing into the night! Congratulations & thanks again to Candice & John for letting us be a part of  your special day. HUGE thank-you to two other love birds, Suzanne & Mike from Shewanders for capturing every detail so perfectly, being so fun to work with, and sharing these lovely images!

Real Bride Blogger Jessica: The Backyard or The Beach?

After determining the guest count, the next thing for us to do was choose a VENUE. I’ve never been one of those girls who grew up knowing just  where I wanted to have my wedding. Plus, I’ve moved around a bit- so as much as I may have liked a certain spot in Texas or LA it just didn’t make sense for the wedding now.

We did have a few basic guidelines that helped us to narrow down the search:

– Ceremony site near the ocean (Nick is an avid surfer)

– Something casual and not too formal

– Nothing too pricey (rather have more food than space if you ask me!)

– Something with vendor options (definitely wanted flexibility to choose my own vendors)

This is really where having a planner helped me out. There are so many incredible venues out there; I never would have seen all the right ones for us without guidance. Kate and Ellen sent me a list of venues that matched the requirements we gave them, plus a couple extra venues they thought were worth looking at. My favorites were Condor’s Nest Ranch, Leo Carrillo Ranch Park,  The Thursday Club, Martin Johnson House, and my parents’ backyard.

{Condor’s Nest Ranch by Katie Neal}

To narrow down my choices, I started by making a list of pros and cons for each venue. Condor’s is a lovely scenic ranch, but ultimately is too far from the ocean for us. The Thursday Club in Point Loma is near the beach, but doesn’t let you have hard alochol. This may not be a deal breaker for some, but knowing our friends, we had to keep looking. Leo Carrillo Ranch is located fairly close to the ocean, full of charm, and is flexible with vendors. It was definitely a top contender

{Leo Carrillo by Tec Petaja}

Ultimately, it really came down to my parents’ house (ceremony at J Street look-out and reception in the backyard) and The Martin Johnson House. Both choices had the feel we wanted our wedding to exude. I really liked the idea of a causal backyard wedding and I figured it could save us some money that we could use elsewhere in our budget. Plus, I would be able to have the sparkler send-off that I always envisioned.

However, when we budgeted out the two options, they were more comparable than we thought. We really weren’t saving that much by holding the reception in the backyard, since we had to bring in more décor elements and all of the rentals. The final deciding factor: I really just disliked the idea of guests having to commute the distance from the ceremony site to the reception location. With Martin Johnson house it was all right there with a pretty ocean view bow on top!

{Lookout From Martin Johnson House}

After walking through the Martin Johnson a couple times with Kate and Ellen (this had been their number 1 all along) and looking through past weddings held there, we knew we had found the perfect venue for us. It was casual beachy, but still beautiful. Our ceremony will be held facing the Pacific Ocean. Black’s Beach (a favorite surf spot) is even visible from the ceremony site, a big plus for Nick. I love that the ceremony and reception can both be held in the same area.

The actual house has a homey feel and a huge deck overlooking the ocean that is perfect for dancing. There is ample room for lawn games, which I really want to incorporate into the cocktail hour. But what really sold us, is the amazing natural beauty found on the property, including huge trees, vibrant succulents, and the breath-taking views. The only bummer for me, is they don’t allow sparklers. So we’re brainstorming other options for my perfect send-off

{Ceremony at Martin Johnson House}

Finding a venue was a piece of cake compared to my next challenge…dress shoping! Boy was that a HUNT! Stay tuned to find out all the knitty gritty details on the dress!

From B & A: Jess covered a lot here so we don’t want to overload you with venue talk, but we would love to point out a few tips! Options… it’s always good to look at multiple locations even if you think you know exactly what you want. Jess didn’t seem too keen on the Martin Johnson House at first, since it was in La Jolla and they were originally thinking of a surf spot in Encinitas, however, we just knew it hit everything on their checklist.

Seeing a site in person makes all the difference. A site that looks gorgeous in one particular picture might not be so charming when you see the surrounding area in real life, and vice versa a lesser-known site could have lots of hidden potential!

Definitely do what Jess did and make a list of requirements from the start. Then weed places out through pros and cons. You should feel great about the venue you choose and really be able to envision YOUR wedding there!