One fact that I am very adamant about: No matter what the wedding industry will tell you, it is not the details, nor the budget, that make the wedding. This is a day that celebrates the beginning of your marriage, and that is the most important thing. Commitment makes the wedding. Authenticity makes the wedding. An expression of your personality and your love is what makes the wedding.
That being said, while the details don’t define the couple, I love when the couples make the details! This wedding was a labor of love. Ashley poured her creative spirit into this wedding. Most every facet of this wedding is special to them, created or gifted by family & friends.
Congratulations James & Ashley!
Adorning Ashley’s neck is her grandmothers necklace, a set of pearls worn by her grandmother starting at the age of 16, while she still was living in Germany. In addition to this family heirloom, Ashley’s mother presented her with a set of earring borrowed from a close friend. Custom hair pieces and boutonnieres were created by Rhiannon, close friend of the groom. All flowers were purchased at the LA Flower District and arranged by family.
Ashley & James opted to do a First Look, providing ample time to take relaxed & intimate portraits. They took advantage of this quiet time to sneak in extra hugs, conversation, and simply let their emotions run free. Keeping with the feel of a wedding about them, their interests, and their love, they made the priority of seeing each other for the first time be about the beautiful moment they shared together, right there, instead of as a guarded moment in front of the guests. Plus, they were able to sneak in some early kisses. Win/Win!
(sidenote: I kinda have the hots for that groomsman on the far left. Rawr.)
The ceremony at Heritage Park was short & sweet. The downpour from the night before subsided early enough to provide perfect conditions. With the lovely smell of freshly watered grass, accentuated by the gentle salty breeze that floated up from the Pacific Ocean, the park was downright heavenly.
More cuteness. James & I go way back, but Ashley & I had only met that morning. This was the moment I knew we were kindred spirits!
The reception was held at a private residence in San Juan Capistrano. Aside from the rented tables and dance floor, everything you see is a collection of hand made or personal items; courtesy of the host, wedding party, friends, or family. My favorite details are the love letters. James & Ashley spent a year of their relationship dating long distance, and they frequently corresponded through hand written letters. These letters were all over the reception, both in beautifully tied bundles, as well as the backing paper in the frames scattered around the tables.
The rest of the evening was spent devouring delicious tacos, dancing, and simply enjoying the reunion of many scattered friends and loved ones.
Thank you James & Ashley for a lovely day! We’re so happy to have you join life in Boston, and are excited to stand by you & watch your marriage grow.
Photography by Briana Moore, assistant Alison Smidt
Ceremony Venue: Heritage Park, Dana Point, CA
Reception Venue: Private Residence , San Juan Capistrano, CA
Rings: Wise Choice Jewelers, Abby Fine Jewelry Design
Cake: provided by Gayle Wilhelm (family friend)
Bride’s Dress: David’s Bridal
Bride’s Shoes: Nine West
Men’s Attire: Men’s Wearhouse, GAP, JC Penny
Bridesmaid dresses: Urban Outfitters, Target,
Bridesmaid Jackets: Forever 21
Flower Girl Dresses: Dress Kids Up
Custom fabric hairpieces & boutonnieres: Rhiannon Teaters
Linens & Rentals: Signature Party Rentals
Invitations and paper: Robeck Design
Florist: flowers purchased at LA Flower District, arrangements by wedding party