Tell us about your wedding! What was the inspiration behind your day?
The inspiration behind our wedding was our love of earthy, warm colors, and our love of nature as a whole. We knew we wanted the main color to be a warm, dark green, and The Hacienda provided a beautiful backdrop full of warm browns and beautiful live plants everywhere to compliment it. It all came together to make a rich and natural color scheme, with just a pop of color from the burnt orange we added in!
Let’s talk wedding decor. How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the reception?
We relied heavily on the venue’s appearance and decorations as is, and they provided a beautiful atmosphere. The main focus for us was really on the people, rather than extravagant decor; so the only things we really contributed were the programs we made into fans, the favors, the handmade bouquets, and the wands with colorful ribbons for the big exit. Most of the visual appeal was the venue itself!
What were the florals like in your wedding?
This was the only area we really did DIY – Alyssa’s mom and stepsister helped to create the bouquets, corsages, and boutonnieres all by hand, while the venue took care of the rest of the floral decorations. All the flowers for the bouquets were sourced from a local wholesale floral shop, Rosa’s Wholesale Flowers in Anaheim, and we loved them! The flowers played a big part in providing that pop of color amidst the dark, earthy greens and browns.
What were some of your favorite parts of your wedding?
We personally constructed the programs that were handed out as fans, and also set up a small memorial on an indoor table for Alyssa’s grandfather, who passed away in January and would have performed the wedding. Alyssa’s grandmother also hand colored the little green hearts on the tags tied to the favors, and that added a nice little personal touch to them.
Our two favorite parts of our wedding (besides… well, all of it) were the cake and the photo booth. We weren’t even originally planning on having a photo booth for the reception, but I’m so glad we changed our minds! The guests had SO much fun taking silly pictures with us, and now we have a wonderful collection of little personalized mementos to remember the day by.
Let’s talk fashion. How did you both choose your wedding day look?
Overall, we think our dresses complemented each other really nicely – which was a pleasant surprise, since we didn’t know what the other’s person dress looked like until the First Look! We both went dress shopping with Alyssa’s mom, and she was aware of how they might complement each other as we shopped. Alyssa’s dress was a strapless A-line with a beaded lacy design down the front, and Natalie’s was an off-the-shoulder A-line with a pink underlay that showed through to give the dress a blush of color – oh, and lots and lots of sparkles. They turned out looking beautiful together and we felt like princesses!
How did you meet? Tell us about the proposal.
We met through a mutual friend, and knew each other for over two years before we started dating. This time provided a solid foundation of friendship for our relationship to be built on, and we’re grateful it took us both so long to realize we were in love! In early March of 2020, Natalie planned a hiking date near the beach followed by a dinner of Taco Bell and a visit to the seaside bench we frequented when we were first dating. After asking a stranger to take a \”photo\” of us in front of the water, Natalie proposed – and we got it all on video! It was the sweetest moment ever.
What was the most anticipated or special moment of your wedding day?
We were both the most excited for our First Look. On the morning of the wedding we got ready in Alyssa’s mom’s house, and decided to have our First Look in her living room – where we fell in love during the late nights of our early relationship. We had it in front of Alyssa’s stepfather’s extensive vinyl collection, and found that the tall, busy bookshelves provided a cool and simple backdrop for the special moment. It was so hard not to cry all our makeup off!
Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice that you’d like to share with other couples planning their day?
Our biggest piece of advice would be to take some time and identify which parts of the wedding day are going to be the most important to you, and to prioritize those. There’s so much advice and “must-do”s around planning a wedding, but what’s really going to make it special is knowing which aspects of the wedding are most important to you personally and then allowing yourself to let go of the minor details. Things will go wrong; you will be taken off guard by mistakes and mishaps, guaranteed. But what matters most is that you enjoy the day and remain present, and that you soak in the wonder and joy of it all. It doesn’t have to be “perfect” to be perfect! Oh, and another pro tip: spend the day before the wedding at the spa together. Don’t do any work, don’t be running around like a maniac, and don’t let the stress of the week before ruin the actual experience for you. Take a day off together and just enjoy each other’s company. This really prepares you to manage your anxiety on the day of, and we are so glad we did it!