A Cop and an Attorney Said “I Do” at a Luxe Inn in San Diego

 California, Real Weddings, San Diego  Comments Off on A Cop and an Attorney Said “I Do” at a Luxe Inn in San Diego
Aug 212015
 

When Chris and Kendall briefly dated in high school in Portland, they had no idea they'd end up being such a perfect pair down the road — personally and professionally! The duo split ways for college and early careers, but met up again 14 years after they first dated, when Kendall was in San Diego helping her best friend plan her wedding. "We met up with Chris, and he put on his famous charm. We haven't been apart since!" says Kendall. With the romance rekindled, Chris, a police officer, decided that the date of his big promotion to detective would be a great opportunity to propose to his attorney girlfriend, and the couple adopted the hashtag #lawandorderlove, perfect for the two law-enforcers.

Kendall and Chris started searching for an outdoor venue, and fell in love with the giant Brazilian Pepper Tree on the property of the Inn at Rancho Santa Fe. The hard-working couple hired Couture Events to plan the wedding, focusing on creating a simple, fun celebration that was all about having a big party with the bride and groom's closest friends. Keep reading to see how it all came together, photographed by B. Miller Photography!

Every bride needs a dose of sparkle on her wedding day. Kendall found hers in a pair of Miu Miu pumps and a beaded floral hairpiece. She looked classic in a strapless lace gown by Modern Trousseau, low chignon, and her sister's veil.

Chris donned a gray suit and a tie from his friend's company, Hook + Albert. Kendall's bridesmaids wore navy chiffon dresses and carried bouquets of white roses, astilbe, and greenery that matched the bride's.

The ceremony took place on the venue's lawn, with white chairs arranged in front of a twisting tree.

Kendall and Chris couldn't leave out their pup, Finn! He wore a collar of flowers and was led down the aisle by Kendall's sister.

The couple wrote their own vows, which they exchanged during a ceremony officiated by Chris's partner. "I was nervous about getting so personal in front of an audience, but it ended up being my favorite part of the wedding," says the bride.

"Finn escaped from three hotel rooms that weekend, but was surprisingly well-behaved during the ceremony," Kendall laughs.

The couple's wood grain invitations were inspired by the tree under which they exchanged vows.

Lanterns, vines, and white roses topped the tables, set beneath strings of café lights. For a playful touch, lights were added to the box hedges, as well.

Metal vessels held white roses, hydrangeas, and lisianthus, while lanterns and candles cast a glow over the tables. Guests were treated to a surprise dessert of ice cream sandwiches instead of wedding cake. "The chef made cereal milk ice cream to put a twist on the flavors," the bride says.

The newlyweds had their first dance to "Love, Love, Love" by Of Monsters and Men before guests got down on the dance floor. Kendall was about to start a trial a few days after the wedding, so she and Chris took a mini-moon to Palm Springs before planning an official honeymoon to Croatia.

Her best advice is to hire people that you enjoy being around. "We've become good friends with a lot of the vendors we used," says Kendall. "It also made the wedding so much more fun, because the people who were around that day were so awesome!"

Ceremony & Reception Venue: The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe || Wedding Planner: Couture Events || Bride's Wedding Dress: Modern Trousseau || Shoes: Miu Miu || Jewelry: Cathy Waterman || Hair: Katie Hollis of A Dab Will Do You || Makeup: Shelby Sterrett || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Donna Morgan || Groom's Attire: Bar III || Groom & Groomsmen's Ties: Hook & Albert || Florist: Posies Flowers || Invitations & Paper Goods: Elum || Music: The Flashdance || Videography: Amari Productions || Photography: B. Miller Photography

Did you love this San Diego wedding? Then check out another California wedding in the video below!

Jul 292015
 

Sometimes in the great search for that one perfect dress, you don't even know where to begin. The answer? With an appointment at a top-notch bridal salon. In our new August/September 2015 issue (on newsstands now!) we call out the best 50 bridal salons — big and small, luxury and budget-friendly, boho and traditional — across America. How did we go about creating such a list? We asked more than 1,100 real brides nationwide to weigh in on the best spots to find that dream wedding dress by rating and submitting their own gown-shopping experience. From precious, personalized boutiques in the South to giant wedding dress meccas in the Northeast to intimate indie shops in California, we found them all. So take note, brides-to-be! These are our readers' favorite bridal boutiques in the West.

Bateau Bridal Boutique, Anchorage, Alaska
A chalkboard sign with your name greets you at this one-bride-at-a-time salon. It also has a consignment room, where some happy reviewers found their dream dress for way less than retail.

Lillian Lottie Couture, Scottsdale, Ariz.
"The salon is beautiful, and I was able to find my gown without spending a stupid amount of money," says a bride of this shop, which carries 400-plus gowns by popular labels like Allure Bridals, Pronovias, and Casablanca.

Erin Cole Couture Bridal, Costa Mesa, Calif.
Erin Cole is known for her eponymous accessories line, so expect the jewelry and veils to be on point. But what draws brides from as far away as Dubai are the gowns — think Monique Lhuillier and Carolina Herrera — and the expert seamstress. "She replaced the back zipper with 24 buttons. It looked flawless!" says a bride.

The White Flower, San Diego
At this chic and cheerful salon, paper parasols hang above styles by Hayley Paige and Lazaro. Brides love the friendly vibe and the fact that the shop is divided into two salons: one for gowns under $2,500, one for gowns over.

Loho Bride, San Francisco
This shop caters to cool girls, offering indie designers like Daughters of Simone and Bo & Luca and a custom soundtrack for your appointment. "They found out I like '90s R&B and played TLC my whole fitting," says a delighted bride.

See more: The Ultimate Wedding Dress Guide: The Best Necklines by Body Type

Marina Morrison, San Francisco
This airy space above Union Square carries all the wedding heavyweights, from Marchesa to Mira Zwillinger, and features a crack alterations team: "I was stressed my strapless gown would slip, but it stayed put all night," says a bride.

Anna Bé, Denver
This salon deftly mixes high-end labels (Sareh Nouri, Tara LaTour) with wallet-friendly lines (Watters, Gemy Maalouf). "My budget was on the lower end, but they still treated me like a VIP," says a fan.

Little White Dress Bridal Shop, Denver
"The staff made me feel treasured every time I came in," says a bride of this salon, the only one in Colorado to carry Rivini and Claire Pettibone — the label Mark Zuckerberg's better half, Priscilla Chan, snagged when she shopped here for her wedding.

Willow Bride, Whitefish, Mont.
This Rockies salon features in-demand names like Tara Keely and Sarah Seven. "I'd just had a baby, so I wasn't at my best," says a bride. "They helped me find a dress that made me feel beautiful."

Couture Bride, Las Vegas
"The staff treated me like family. They still keep in touch!" says a fan. The owner is a former Vera Wang exec, so you know the gowns are gorge: Think Anna Maier Couture and, natch, Vera.

Divine Designs Bridal Boutique, Portland, Oreg.
"I went to five salons in town. Divine had the prettiest gowns by far," raves a bride who swooned over styles by Elizabeth Fillmore, Anne Barge, and Liancarlo.

The Dress Theory, Seattle
"There was no taffeta, no cookie-cutter dresses," says a bride of this cozy boutique, with designers like Temperley London and Theia (and branches in Nashville and San Diego). "Every dress was unique!"

For even more of the best wedding dresses, advice, and big-day inspiration, pick up the BRIDES August/September 2015 issue on newsstands now and available for download.

A Glamorous Fall Wedding at the San Diego Botanic Garden

 California, Real Weddings, San Diego  Comments Off on A Glamorous Fall Wedding at the San Diego Botanic Garden
Jul 232015
 
Glamorous Fall Wedding at San Diego Botanical Garden, Bride in Anne Barge Wedding Dress

Photo: SheWanders

Ashley and Ryan have both lived in the San Diego area most of their lives, but neither had been to the San Diego Botanic Garden until Ryan proposed and the pair started hunting for wedding venues. "I got goose bumps the first time we saw the Gazebo Lawn," says Ashley. And so it was settled: The couple started planning a wedding for October 10th, 2014 (just eight months after they got engaged!) and invited 100 guests to celebrate with them.

The couple dressed up the natural space with moody glamour, using soft shades of gray, gold, and pink and adding a fall feel with wine tones. The bride and her family took on DIY projects that ranged from building an altar out of vintage porch posts to dip-dying napkins and hand-making crepe paper flower escort cards. Keep reading to see the gorgeous details, photographed by SheWanders!

Glamorous Fall Wedding at San Diego Botanical Garden, Gold Foil Invitation Suite with Ombre Details

Photo: SheWanders

It all started with the invitations, mixing gold foil, flowers, and ombré watercolor details.

Glamorous Fall Wedding at San Diego Botanical Garden, Groomsmen in Gray Jackets Glamorous Fall Wedding at San Diego Botanical Garden, Bride with Bridesmaids in Grey Dresses

Photo: SheWanders

Ryan and his groomsmen looked comfortably classic in black pants and light gray jackets. Ashley's bridesmaids matched them in gray chiffon gowns, accented with bold bouquets. The flower girls wore light pink tulle dresses, and the bride's eldest niece wore shimmering gold.

Glamorous Fall Wedding at San Diego Botanical Garden, Colorful Bouquet of Garden Roses, Dahlias, and Peonies Glamorous Fall Wedding at San Diego Botanical Garden, Bride's White and Cream Bouquet Glamorous Fall Wedding at San Diego Botanical Garden, Flower Girl with Ribbon Wand

Photo: SheWanders

The bridesmaids' bouquets included bright pink garden roses, dahlias, and peonies, while Ashley's white-and-cream bouquet, tied with flowing ribbons, mixed roses and gardenias.

Glamorous Fall Wedding at San Diego Botanical Garden, Floral Ceremony Arch Glamorous Fall Wedding at San Diego Botanical Garden, Gold Chair Backs with Ribbons

Photo: SheWanders

Ashley and her father used vintage porch posts to construct the altar, which her florist decorated with dahlias and roses. Aisle seats were tied with ribbons and strings of sequins.

Glamorous Fall Wedding at San Diego Botanical Garden, Bride and Groom During Ceremony

Photo: SheWanders

Guests waved ribbon wands after Ryan and Ashley were pronounced husband and wife.

Glamorous Fall Wedding at San Diego Botanical Garden, Bride and Groom - Lace Anne Barge Gown Glamorous Fall Wedding at San Diego Botanical Garden, Bride and Groom at Flower Wall

Photo: SheWanders

The bride wore an off-white Alencon lace Anne Barge gown with a cocoa underlay. "I dragged my mom, grandmother, sister, and niece to four different bridal shops, where I tried this dress on every time," says Ashley. "It was one of the first ones I tried at the first appointment, but I had to keep trying on others to be sure it was the one!"

Glamorous Fall Wedding at San Diego Botanical Garden, Floral Escort Card Wall Glamorous Fall Wedding at San Diego Botanical Garden, Flower Escort Card Wall

Photo: SheWanders

Ashley and her sister hand-made crepe paper flowers that were used as the guests' escort cards. They attached them to a moss-covered wall decorated with additional oversized blooms, which became the backdrop for the photo booth later in the evening.

Glamorous Fall Wedding at San Diego Botanical Garden, Romantic Table Settings Glamorous Fall Wedding at San Diego Botanical Garden, Leafy Chair Back

Photo: SheWanders

Farm tables were left bare, topped with gold chargers and low vessels full of roses, dahlias, and greenery. A sequined tablecloth and garlands of greenery marked the sweetheart table.

Glamorous Fall Wedding at San Diego Botanical Garden, Ombre Linens on Table Glamorous Fall Wedding at San Diego Botanical Garden, Pink and Gold Place Setting Glamorous Fall Wedding at San Diego Botanical Garden, Lounge Seating Area

Photo: SheWanders

Napkins that faded from white to pink were hand-made by the bride and her sister. Silverware was wrapped in scrolls featuring playful twists on wedding vows, such as "I promise to let you watch your favorite shows... during the commercial breaks of my favorite shows."

Glamorous Fall Wedding at San Diego Botanical Garden, Two Tiered Wedding Cake with Flowers Glamorous Fall Wedding at San Diego Botanical Garden, Bride and Groom Dancing

Photo: SheWanders

After guests dined on garlic mashed potatoes, braised beef brisket, and gouda mac and cheese and sipped Moscow Mules and Jack and Coke, the bride and groom cut into a banana cake decorated with fresh flowers, then hit the dance floor beneath café lights and a crystal chandelier.

The couple headed to Tulum for five days on the beach, then wined and dined (and took a ghost tour!) in New Orleans. Says Ashley, "Some of my favorite memories from our wedding day are the moments Ryan and I had just the two of us. And I'm so glad we had a wedding coordinator! It's impossible to have everything go as planned, and I'm so glad we were able to enjoy the day as much as we did and not worry about the little things."

Ceremony & Reception Venue: San Diego Botanic Garden || Month-of Coordinator: Luxe Events || Bride's Wedding Dress: Anne Barge || Shoes & Jewelry: BHLDN || Hair: Audra René || Makeup: Elena T Beauty || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jenny Yoo || Groom & Groomsmen's Attire: Friar Tux || Engagement Ring: Rock For Her || Bride's Wedding Band: Catbird || Florist: Flowers Annette Gomez || Invitations & Paper Goods: Brightly Designed || Music: Sleeping Giant Music || Catering: EcoCaters || Cake: VG Bakery || Rentals: Archive Rentals, Farm Tables and More, Concepts Event Design Inc., Bright Ideas Lighting || Photography: SheWanders

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Did you love this colorful ceremony and reception? Check out another bright bash in the video below!

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