Jackie and Hector’s parents had been friends since middle school, but the couple had no idea they would ever be together and hosting such a gorgeous Fiesta Wedding. Jackie visited us in our California studio, and everything about her was laidback and fresh, so we can attest that the relaxed vibe in her photos is authentic, and not just for the cameras:-) Everything from her wedding, including the vibrant pops of color, the groom’s Charro suit, and her Mexican Inspired Wedding Dress screams creative and unique. Get ready to be inspired, if a Mexican Style Wedding is on your wish list, by this wedding filled with Cactus and hosted in the California desert. They even had a Mariachi band, and Takis was on their menu…so much fun!!
Tell us, how do did you meet?
It was destiny that Hector and I met. My parents were friends with his parents ever since I was in middle school. Hector’s first memory of meeting me was during a camping trip that our families visited. However, my first memory of meeting him was a year later outside of our parish hall. We became close friends fast, and the rest was history.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress
The search for my wedding dress started when I went to a traditional bridal shop with my mom and sister on a day off from work. It was pretty early on in my engagement, and I just wanted to explore different styles. I tried on about six dresses. All of them looking beautiful, and the online pictures made them look perfect. However, not a single one of those dresses felt right on me. I felt discouraged, so when I got home, I googled “laid back wedding dresses,” and I found Dreamers & Lovers. I was SO EXCITED looking though the website. Even though I went to one more wedding dress shop after my first visit to Dreamers & Lovers, there was nothing that compared. I knew my dress was there, and I was so happy!
Did you write your vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse, or line?
We didn’t write our vows, but on the day of the wedding, our priest took us by surprise and said: “they have prepared their vows that they will share now.” The improvisation made for great vows because without having much time to think about what we wanted to say, the words came out naturally. I told him I was so excited for him to be my best friend for the rest of my life.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding?
Honestly, the vendors we had were the best! It was such a blessing finding Dreamers & Lovers and finding a dress that made me feel comfortable and beautiful. We were so lucky to find a great Photographer/Videographer team-Poema Studios. They were the sweetest couple with such great talent. Finally, our florist was the best! She is my mother-in-law, and she put so much love into the arrangements and bouquets.
What advice do you have for other future-brides currently planning a wedding?
My biggest advice is to keep the process stress free. Remember what this day is about: you and your partner. It’s all about you guys and the love that you are celebrating.
Tell us all about the proposal
He planned a weekend full of activities, one of which included a picnic at the park on a Saturday morning. We were sitting on a blanket, eating salads and snacks, and he surprised me with the ring. After I said yes, our family came out to celebrate us from behind some nearby bushes. He planned a family dinner that same night. It was perfect because it felt so natural.
How many guests did you have?
We had about 250 guests.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert?
Real flowers adorned our wedding cake. We couldn’t pick just one flavor, so each layer was a different flavor.
What was your favorite detail of the wedding?
My favorite part of the wedding was seeing everyone that we love celebrating our love with us. Seeing everyone dancing & laughing the whole time was a testament to what our love represents. We had a blast dancing with our loved ones, and it’s a feeling I will never forget.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding?
The only challenge that we had was that our first venue burned down due to the Malibu Fires in 2018. We had to scramble to find a new venue but ended up finding a great place.
What’s next for you as a couple?
Right now, we are both focused on our careers- Social Work and Marketing. Eventually, we would love to get a puppy! Also, we have a trip to Tokyo planned for our first anniversary. That’s super exciting for us both!
Tell us about your wedding flowers?
Our flower vendor was Rosa’s Flowers in Sylmar, CA- a small business that happens to be owned by my mother-in-law. I always joke that she’s a flower queen, but it’s true. Her talent and ability to put different flowers together is an art, and we were so blessed that she took our vision and created something beautiful.
Take a second and remember what you were like at 4 and 5 years old. It was a great day if you had playtime, yummy snacks, and finding your sleeping mat. For Amanda and Derek, they were starting their journey of finding their soulmates. These love birds went from playing sports together to then reconnecting after high school. It’s safe to say they had a strong foundation with a lifetime of friendship and memories. Amanda and Derek’s love story is one for the books, as was their recent wedding at the Condor’s Nest in California. Their wedding feature is full of inspiration for the boho bride-to-be. We especially love all the DIY details from the flowers to the cake. Amanda wears her Ophelia two-piece wedding dress. We feel she couldn’t have chosen a more perfect dress to match her personality. She looks incredible.
Amanda loves hot air balloons, and was on a work trip in las vegas, and was surprised with a hot air balloon ride with a few of her co-workers… when she should up to the ride, Derek popped out of the hot air balloon basket to go on the trip with her. He proposed mid-air on the journey.
The Wedding Dress
Before being engaged, I came across Dreamers & Lovers on instagram and had my wedding dress picked out before marriage was even talked about, haha. I know what I like when I see it 😉
Yes, we wrote our vows, I think my favorite line would be me telling Derek, “you are not only the best person in my life, but you are the best person in everyone’s life around you.” HE IS SO LOVED!!!
The Must-Have Detail
I dreamed of having a rug aisle for the ceremony that we were able to rent from witty rentals.
Advice for Future Brides
Make it as simple as possible for yourself, and take all the help you can get! LOL
There were 140 guests!
The Wedding Cake
The bride’s mother made both cupcakes and wedding cake. The wedding cake was carrot with cream cheese frosting, all homemade so yummy 🙂
Everything was perfect! More than we could’ve imagined, it was so awesome to see it all come together, knowing how much love went into every detail. Our thank you gifts were hand-painted rocks that we all helped out with; this took months to get done!
The Next Chapter
We are ready to enjoy life! 2 weeks after the wedding, Amanda and Derek put together a brand new salon for the bride and her three business partners, then traveled to Bali for three weeks!! We are excited to enjoy each other.
All of our flowers and arrangements were artificial and silk! Besides the greenery. The bride’s cousin put them all together!
It was the best day of our lives, and we partied all night with our friends and family!!!!We wish we could relive this day over and over again.
To view Amanda’s dress, as well as other two-piece wedding dresses. See here
Have you ever dated long distance? What if that distance span continents? This is how Noel and Kyle started their romance. In a year they became fast friends. They spent every day together talking, laughing and getting to know each other. Then that moment came. The moment Noel had to tell Kyle that she would be spending a significant amount of time in Paris. While a dreamy place, the angst and longing must have been real. What would become of their relationship? Could they pick up where they had left off? As fate would have it, Kyle wound up receiving lessons on the magic of Paris through Skype. When Noel returned to America, they both knew something had changed. Their friendship led to love and here is their story to show that we exist for LOVE.
“Kyle heard all about the magic that is chocolat chaud (hot chocolate rich enough to eat with a spoon!)”….yummmmm
How they Met?
Through our undergrad years, Kyle and I would take the train every day to our college. One day, Kyle broke the ice with a friendly hello and a chat about what classes I was taking. We became fast friends and would spend our daily commute often talking and laughing, learning more about one another and building our rapport. After about a year of friendship I went off to Paris for a quarter abroad. During my Paris adventure, we would skype…alllllll the time! Kyle heard all about the magic that is chocolat chaud (hot chocolate rich enough to eat with a spoon!) and I got to hear all about his first internship with a major biotech company. When I got back, we both knew something had changed and we’ve been together ever since.
The Wedding Dress
Let me start off by saying how much of an incredibly picky person I am. I wish I wasn’t so particular, but I am! It’s in my DNA lol. My dress needed to be classic but still fun, elegant and timeless, but still whimsical. I wanted to feel absolutely beautiful, comfortable, and most importantly, like ME on my wedding day. I had tried on wedding dresses at many places before finally finding my perfect dress at Dreamers & Lovers. Everyone at D&L was so kind and welcoming and made me feel so at ease throughout the entire process. My dress, the Vivienne, was everything I had ever wanted and more. It was perfect!
Reading at the Ceremony
We had a very intimate wedding in front of a waterfall in Iceland. Our ceremony was officiated by an Icelandic Humanist wedding officiant who was absolutely amazing! She got to know us through skype conversations for a few months before our wedding and she made our ceremony so personal and true to our relationship. One of my favorite readings she did was of an Icelandic poem that she surprised us with on the day. She recited it in both Icelandic and English and it was so beautiful!
We wrote them together a few nights before the ceremony. It was the middle of the night, we were in a very cold car, in the middle of nowhere in Iceland, waiting to see the Northern Lights. Things got deep! But we still kept a note of playfulness–anyone who knows us, knows we love to laugh! Of all of it though, I just love the sincerity of our vows.
We had such a small wedding that we only worked with a few vendors–our hotel, our photographers, and D&Ls! I can’t speak highly enough about how amazing it was to work with these businesses–I wanted a relaxed wedding and they all made that possible. Kyle and I were able to focus on just each other on our wedding day which was such an incredible gift.
Going Against the Grain and Following your Heart
This one might sound silly, but it was definitely against the grain for our ‘life plans’ and was totally a heart-led decision. About 8 months before our wedding, Kyle and I got a puppy! Yes, a little anticlimactic, but it was a big deal for us! We had always wanted a dog and were looking forward to getting one in the future sometime, but not for a while… and especially not while we were planning our wedding, one that was going to take place thousands of miles away, in the wilderness, in a foreign country! Well, as fate would have it, we were meant to get our little fluff ball much sooner (I mean, once you see the perfect pup, how can you say no to it???). It was a leap, and we have never looked back since welcoming our little Ro pup into our lives.
Advice for Future Brides
Your wedding should be about your relationship, about your love for each other, your commitment. Do what makes you and your husband happy and don’t get bogged down by the things that don’t matter. No one is going to remember the chairs! (Side note–we didn’t even have chairs at our ceremony!). Be present and–my favorite piece of advice given to me by a dear friend–look into each other’s eyes. 🙂
Kyle loves to make me laugh! We knew we were going to get married (we had been talking about it for quite some time) and on Halloween, he proposed wearing a giant, inflatable T-rex costume! It was ridiculous and hilarious and perfect.
The Wedding Guests
We had our parents and our siblings with us for the ceremony and dinner. There were 10 of us total.
The Wedding Cake/Desserts
We had a traditional Icelandic wedding cake called Kransekake. It is a cake made up of rings of marzipan sponge cake and covered in delicate icing. One of the traditions that we were told is that the bride and groom are supposed to break off a ring of cake together and however many rings they break off is how many children they will have. On our first attempt, we broke off seven…oops.
So hard to choose! My dress (!), my coat/mittens/cashmere stockings (it was cold!), the pearl earrings my mother gave me, my husband zipping me up into my dress (we got ready together), the Takis we shared in the back of the Superjeep we took adventuring after our ceremony…ALL OF IT! 🙂
We thought it was going to be telling our families that we were going to get married in Iceland, but they were all so supportive and on board. It was great! It was probably getting all of our documents ready for our wedding in a foreign country–not for the faint of heart!
The Next Chapter
Savoring life’s special little moments, going on more adventures, playing with our pup…who knows what the future holds!
The Wedding Flowers
They were beautiful and simple. White and ivory roses, lots of greens.
It was just the most magical day! An amazing way to begin our next chapter together.
Their romance blossomed after happy hour, and ignited a journey of happiness which involves traveling the country in a renovated school bus and getting married on Lake Superior, with their 10 nearest and dearest in tow. Everything about their intimate elopement wedding day speaks natural and simple beauty!! The bride, Laura added long sleeves to her simple white wedding dress, and it is magical.
Tell us, how did you meet? I moved to California from Minneapolis in 2010 for grad school. My grad-school roommate was from Redondo Beach and suggested moving there after school. James was high school friends with my roommate, so we met through him. I ended up driving James home from the Pier after happy hour one time, and we stopped for a drink together on our way home, and the rest is history.
Tell us about finding your wedding dress: James and I have been traveling in a renovated school bus for the last 14 months. (instagram @shortbustamove) We were traveling on the east coast when I was shopping for dresses. I looked online, and all of my searches kept bringing me to Dreamers & Lovers. My mom, bless her heart, tried to coordinate having dresses shipped to me while traveling, but I didn’t have a permanent address or even a mirror to try them on. My only mirror was at Planet Fitness – ha! So I decided to fly out to California for 24 hours. I had been living in Torrance for 8 years prior to our trip, so I was able to bring some of my friends shopping with me. I had only one appointment set up, Dreamers & Lovers. I knew I wanted a dress from D&L, and I was only in town long enough for this one appointment. So I said, “this is it, I’m finding a dress here”. I wasn’t surprised at all that I was able to find my perfect dress at D&L.
What readings, if any, did you have at your ceremony? My brother officiated the ceremony, which was one of the most special parts of the wedding. The ceremony in general was non-denominational, though drew from various spiritual themes and traditions. My husband and I come from different religious backgrounds, so my brother was able to weave these into the ceremony. He built a traditional Jewish Chuppah, a canopy that represents the couple’s new life together. Traditionally, a chuppah must be a temporary structure created by hand (my brother). It’s open to the sky above as a connection with ancestors, and open on all four sides to represent hospitality. The is a covering, depicting God is all around us, one/flowing.
Photographer: Alina Kay
He cleansed the area with sage, and had us all take a rock from lake superior to hold for the ceremony. After the ceremony, we returned the rocks to the lake with a message of thanks to nature. He also used the theme of ancestors throughout the ceremony, which made the ceremony pretty emotional. He spoke of ancestors being a bridge between the past and present. He led us in a guided reflection on our ancestors. All married family members also shared “what marriage means to you”.
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line?We did write our own vows… we tried to keep them light, but with meaningful to both of us.
What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding?My photographer. I loved all of the details, including my dress and flowers, and she was able to capture everything so beautifully in such a natural style.
What advice do you have for other future-brides currently planning a wedding? Keep it simple. Spend time on things that will be meaningful to you and your spouse, rather than the “extras”. Spend money on a good photographer – it’s worth it.
Tell us all about the proposal- There wasn’t one! We had planned on getting married while on our trip, and we wanted family to be there, so we decided to get married last summer on the North Shore of Lake Superior with our family 🙂
How many guests did you have?– 10, parents and siblings. My brother officiated.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert? Simple, 8 inch round, white textured. I had my florist make a topper for the cake.
What was your favorite detail of the wedding? MY DRESS!! I’m still getting compliments.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? Figuring out logistics while on the road.
What’s next for you as a couple? We just finished our year of travel, and we will be moving to Minnesota. I grew up there and my family is there. I’m a little nervous for James – he’s lived in Redondo Beach his entire life! It’s going to be cold!
Tell us about your wedding flowers? Flora North was amazing to work with. They matched my dream of having moody colors in a natural environment. The flowers were natural, moody and dramatic.
Hanna and Matthias’ picture perfect Cathedral Park wedding was planned in a way that can only be labeled spontaneous. It took them all of 3 months to DIY and dream together the deliciously boho tidbits and touches of their oh-so-boho, laid back wedding. And it all turned out just as they’d wanted.
The venue…which was almost as breathtaking as Hanna in her comfortable wedding dress from D&L, was booked a jaw-dropping week before the day, without them even having visited the site.
The photo-book of Hanna and Matthias’ special day tells the tale of how simple additions, a light copper arch dressed with moody boho blooms, greenery dressed blackboards with hand-chalked notes on love, along with the ultimate venue and the ultimate boho wedding dress go a very long way toward making that perfect day a reality.
Using the Gothic bridge supports in Portland, Oregon’s Cathedral Park as their ‘chapel’ was a stroke of genius from the couple and shots of the small group of attendees under the huge archways of St. John’s Bridge, with the gorgeous parkland’s behind, look like something out of a fairytale.
The concrete backdrop of their ceremony spot was beautifully offset with simple bohemian touches, the arch mentioned earlier, a small Persian rug for the pair to stand on as they took their vows, a copper bar cart and an assortment of minimal copper candlesticks, greenery and copper goblet and saucer for their communion wine and bread.
It was the ceremony, which really stood out as the most memorable for this happy couple, especially when the March sun decided to show its face during the proceedings, as if the day was designed for them. A particularly sweet moment was when the officiant ask the couple to turn and look at the loved ones present at the ceremony, saying:
“These are your people. These people know you and love you and have come here today to celebrate and bless this marriage. You have a history with them, relationships with them, and intimacy with them. You are very rich people to have these friends and family. And they really love you a lot. ”
Olivia Strohm Photography did a remarkable job of capturing the couple in authentic bohemian style. I particularly enjoyed the shots taken with the Blockhouse’s neighbor, Pomarius nursery, as backdrop, complete with terracotta pots, waiting to be filled and a selection of flowers the couple didn’t have to order and pay for…the result was a feast of natural moments that truly exemplifies the couple’s feelings for one another. Even better, Olivia was always there, encouraging the couple to snog, which both of them really appreciated!
Speaking of the Blockhouse, this quaint event space served the pair’s reception needs just fine and them and their guests were able to settle down to craft beers, good ol’ fashioned burgers, fries and doughnuts…it goes to show, you needn’t pay for a whopping 5 course spread to keep your guests happy.
Hanna fixed all the stationary her creative self and the couple brought in less than a handful of vendors. At the end of the day it was about simple, timeless boho touches along with the love and laughs that they and their nearest and dearest brought to the table.
In their own words:
“We wanted our wedding to be a celebration of God’s sovereignty in our relationship and in the relationships that have and will support us as we grow together. Ultimately, we wanted to mob around and explore an unfamiliar city with our closest friends and family and make new memories as we kicked off this new season of our lives!“