Love Stories (02/05/2014 Edition)

How did you meet your fiancée?

Curtis and I met in the dorms during our first year in college. We instantly became close friends, and stayed that way throughout school. It wasn't until our senior year that we took a leap of faith...needless to say, we never looked back. :)

How did you choose the location for your wedding? What type of venue were you looking for?

We knew immediately that we wanted to return to our beloved college town, San Luis Obispo, for our wedding day. It's where it all started, and it’s just so beautiful... what better place to bring our friends and family to celebrate! We wanted a venue that would showcase all that we love about the area...the coastal climate & gorgeous countryside in particular, and settled on a new venue, Greengate Ranch, tucked into the rolling hills of Edna Valley wine country. It was just perfect.

How did you decide on your bridesmaids dresses? Tell us about your experience at Bella!

Choosing my bridesmaid dresses was the very first thing that I did and one of the easiest! The Saturday after we got engaged, Curtis and I spent a weekend celebrating with my family. As I was sitting on the living room floor browsing through bridal catalogs with my mom and sister, I spotted the Joanna August Ceremony line... SOLD! The dresses had just the look and feel that I wanted for my girls. I wanted them to feel fabulous, but still be able to kick up their heels and celebrate with us without worrying about a wardrobe malfunction.

Nine bridesmaids meant nine different personalities, body types, and styles! I wanted each of my wonderful gals to feel special, so I chose three different styles (Blair, Dani, & 8th Avenue long) and three different colors (Tiny Dancer, All Tomorrow's Parties, & Landslide) to work with. This allowed me to give each of my maids their own unique look, as no two dresses were exactly the same. Something else to note is that my girls live all over California (from LA to Sacramento), making it impossible to get everyone together in one location for a dress fitting. The Joanna August Ceremony line uses elastic waistbands, and is sized SM, MED, LRG, etc. which made it so easy to size each person

Cassidy with Bella Bridesmaid LA was a dream to work with. She was sure to have the styles and colors I was interested in pulled for my appointment, was so supportive and helpful as I pieced each dress combo together, and made herself available for any questions we had during the process. The experience was so enjoyable, and I was thrilled with the end result!

Who designed your bridal gown. Where did you get it?

Tara Keely by Lazaro from JLM Couture in Los Angeles...a fabulous recommendation from Cassidy at Bella. I literally had the "aha" moment with my dress. After a day of shopping and finding a handful of dresses that I liked, I walked out of the dressing room in my Tara Keely gown, saw the look on my mom and sister's faces, and knew it was the one!

What was your favorite part of the day?

It's just too hard to choose. 1) I loved getting ready in the house on the hill that overlooked our venue. Waking up there with my bridesmaids and being able to watch as everything was set-up and people arrived (including my groom) was really special. 2) Walking down the aisle was unreal. It wasn't until then that it all sunk in. 3) We love to party! We practically cut our photos short because we were just too anxious to join our loved ones at the reception. We ate, drank, and boogied the night away.

What inspired you when you were planning your big day?

I had so much fun creating our romantic countryside wonderland. Aside from the bridesmaid dresses, we let the inspiration of the venue lead the way. The ranch was already so gorgeous in its natural state that we decided to stick to neutral, soft colors, wild and textural florals, and interesting, but soft fabrics like lace to lend a natural theme to the design. Because the look and feel of the ranch lent us so much freedom, we then didn't worry about matching every little detail! We wanted to create an atmosphere that was beautiful & romantic, yet warm & welcoming, so our decisions were based on those goals and we didn't look back!

What advise do you have for other brides?

Don't sweat the small stuff, and enjoy being a fiancée! It's such a special time that often gets overlooked due to the excitement of planning a wedding. We had a speedy seven month engagement, and had to often remind ourselves to stop and enjoy the moment.

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