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Annabel + Spencer

(October 8, 2022 in Del Mar, CA)

Planning a wedding can be an overwhelming task, but when you have a clear vision in mind, it can make the process much smoother. For one bride, the vision was a blend of fall and beach, creating an elegant bohemian vibe with soft tones and greenery. From choosing vendors based on proximity and ratings to straying away from the traditional wedding timeline, she made sure her special day reflected her personality and style. In this blog post, she shares her experience of planning her wedding, how it went on the day-of, and her top tips for future brides to make their wedding day unforgettable.

By our real bride, Annabel:

What was the vision for your wedding?

My vision was fall meets the beach. I wanted an elegant bohemian vibe. Soft tones and lots of greenery, an ethereal and timeless feel. It met my vision perfectly. I chose my vendors based on proximity and ratings. The food was delicious and the music was wonderful!

How did it go the day-of?

So, I planned my entire wedding. We had about 100 people total, which isn’t huge but still a fair amount. It was a lot of work, but definitely worth it! Especially if you’re a woman who knows what she wants, I’d say, plan it yourself! I strayed a little bit from the traditional wedding timeline. We did a first look, and I am so glad that we did! My bridesmaids and my mom watched that moment. It was so much more intimate and took away the nerves.

We had a violinist for walking down the aisle and pre-ceremony. It was so beautiful, live music hits differently. For my entrance song, I had the violinist do a cover of “Happy Together” by the Turtles. It juxtaposed with the traditional hymns he was playing beforehand, so it was kind of awesome. I had both of my parents walk me down the aisle. Our service was a formal Episcopalian wedding mass. I am not the most religious person, but it truly felt special. It was definitely one of the most defining points of my life. I didn’t expect to cry, but I should a few tears seeing my vows, as did, my husband.

We had an hour and a half cocktail hour post-ceremony. We did about 45 minutes of pictures with our families, then we were able to do our grand entrance with the bridesmaids and groomsmen. I’m so glad we did this because we were actually able to mingle with our guests and enjoy a few drinks!

I had set up a timeline in place, and we ran an hour and a half over between dinner lol. But, nothing goes exactly to plan. We did our first dance, “Islands in the Steam” by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers, and then opened up the dance floor to everybody with “Don’t Stop the Rock” by Freestyle lol. It was so much fun to see old and young alike tearing it up on the dance floor. I made a playlist in advance, and the DJ did a wonderful job of incorporating other music as well. We stuck mostly to funk and EDM. I didn’t want the “traditional” wedding music.

I decided not to do a garter toss or bouquet toss, I gave my bouquet to my best friend’s mom. I chose not to do a father-daughter dance either, not a big fan of the traditional wedding to-dos. For cake cutting, we just did a low-key thing on our own (mini cake) and gave cupcakes to everyone else!

We had the photographer take photos the entire time, I cannot recommend that enough. You get so many good candids of all of your guests! We also put disposable cameras on each table and my MOH developed all of the pics for us. There were so many funny ones and I highly recommend this! You get good keepsakes for yourselves and your guests! We did open seating for the ceremony and dinner. We did a buffet-style dinner with many options.

Planning a wedding yourself can be stressful, but you have to have fun! It truly was one of the most exciting and fun nights of my life! My husband, friends, family and I danced for two hours!

We chose not to do a big send-off, rather we said our goodbyes individually and headed out to our honeymoon suite. It was truly such a magical day, and I honestly wish it lasted longer. The wedding was low-key yet incredibly beautiful. Everyone kept telling me how fun and inviting it was. He and I joke that we should have a wedding every year!

What is your #1 tip to future brides?

1. Have your photographer there the entire time. You will want to get candid pictures of you both and all of your guests. You get to capture more memories that way!

2. Understand that everything will not go as planned. We were way over schedule and had to extend our time at the venue, but that’s OK. Just make sure you have room in the budget!

3. There will be some ugly pictures. You won’t look like an Instagram model in every single shot. That’s OK, keep the ones you like! Even Bella Hadid isn’t perfect lol.

4. Don’t worry about other people! If you’re worried that other people are having a good time you will not have a good time! That’s not your job!

5. Include time to mingle with your guests. I’m so glad that we were actually able to take part in the cocktail hour. Most brides don’t get to. I felt like I was able to connect with my guests and felt more relaxed.