Julia…her ‘Julia’ Wedding Dress and Mark

  • By Jen Hart
  • Bohemian Wedding Dresses, California Wedding, Real Weddings
  • comments 0

Julia..her ‘Julia’ Bohemian Wedding Dress and Mark

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Every so often, a free-spirited bride-to-be walks into the studio that Yanique feels she just won’t ever be able to forget. Sometimes, like in Julia’s case, the bride envisions and wears the dress sooo ethereally well that the designer feels it’s only right to name it in their honor.

The story about how Mark and Julia met is a new millennium tale and while their first steps may not seem like romance movie material to Julia… the fact is that, in her heart, some serious alignments were taking place which would give birth to her life’s poetry, Love, which just keeps growing. So, yes, Tinder can make dreams come true. Neither of them were serious about the online dating thing, it was a matter of friends coaxing them on from the get-go.

So that fateful Right Swipe happened in August of 2012, after which it took a few good weeks of chatting on the app and getting to know one another before they were ready to exchange phone numbers and organize a real date. The date was set for a Mexican restaurant near where Mark lived, called Habana. Unfamiliar with the spot and its surrounds, Julia rocked up a full hour late for their first date, after not knowing what to wear and getting seriously lost en-route. Flustered to the brink, Julia remembers the way that nervous energy dissipated on joining Mark at the table and how she so quickly needed to accept the reality of his serious handsomeness.

The Blind Date and Kiss of a Lifetime

That blind date stretched on into the hours, with tales told on a whim that both of them had previously felt to keep secret. Julia was swept up in the intrigue of him, his manners and how easily he made her laugh. In her center she felt the poem come to life that night and was grateful when he walked her to her car and said goodbye with a kiss. She could actually kind of hear the fireworks going off in the distance; something was definitely going on here. That event is now safely filed under Julia’s ‘Kiss of a Lifetime’ heading.

Since Julia had been single for such an age before that first date, she liked to joke that if Mark hadn’t popped the question within 3 years, it would be time to break up. It was a joke but Julia did believe that after couple of years, that’s when you’d know whether this was for the long run. While Julia’s pretty sure that she would have been prepared to wait for him forever, she didn’t have to wait that long: only 2 years and 10 months.

The pair was invited on a 2-week trip all through Iceland; a van, friends and the county. They couldn’t contain their excitement; they’d never been to Europe and for them it felt like the opportunity of a lifetime. Julia knows that God serendipitously opened all the doors to make the special trip possible. Of course, Julia was secretly holding thumbs for a proposal but she knew it was wiser to keep her mind off the idea and just enjoy the trip.

“Jules, you are going to get that ice in Iceland!”

The thing is that her friends had caught on and the official group joke was: “Jules, you are going to get that ice in Iceland!” As a result, she simply couldn’t stop thinking about the possibility of getting engaged to the man of her wildest dreams, while exploring one of the most beautiful places on earth.


On the 9th day of their epic journey, Mark kept raving about a ‘Black Rock Beach’ that featured very close to the top his ‘Must See’ list. This obviously tugged on Julia’s hopes but alas, after visiting said beach, there’d still been no proposal. That’s when Julia decided that she was 1000% sure that she had the wrong idea.

On the road to their next sightseeing, Mark suggested that she change into something really cute, so that they could do one of their customary photo-shoots at the waterfall where Justin Bieber shot his music video, “I’ll show you.” Julia rather likes JB so she figured that she could probably use a more Instagram-able getup. Taking pictures at their destinations is something of an obsession for them so Julia definitely didn’t think the request at all suspicious.

Once they got to Skogafoss Waterfall, Mark scouted for the ideal spot for their friends to take a few photos…this was nothing unusual for the group. That’s when Julia felt like the whole world went into slow motion. As Mark turned to her, he took her hand and got down to his knee. She sort of blanked out at that point and actually has no idea what words came out of her mouth, nor can she recall Mark’s actual words. Oh well, we’re thinking that the answer must have been something that sounded like 1000% YESSS!!!!

Speaking of epic journeys, Julia’s hunt for her totally unreal, totally exquisite, totally HER boho wedding dress was like running into a brick wall at first. Her and her sister had been on the hunt for a few months already, when her sister discovered Dreamers & Lovers on etsy.com. She instantly saw sparks and just knew that she needed to book an appointment on the double.

Julia’s vision involved a laid back, long sleeve gown with a dramatic plunging neckline and infinitely feminine lace right through. She now sees that trip to visit Yanique at the studio as the second best decision she’s made in her life thus far. In Julia’s words, Yanique is a beauty with a truly incredible talent. After slipping into a few D&L boho wedding dresses, she laid hands on the Lisa, at which point she and her entourage of lady-fam fell in love with the gorgeous lace, the long sleeves, and the plunging V-backline.

The Birth of the Julia Boho Wedding Dress

The only thing is, Julia had hopes for a plunging neckline and not a plunging back. In a burst of creative spirit, she asked Yanique if she could actually try the Lisa dress on backwards. To everyone’s awe, she came out of that dressing room as though her hopes and dreams had come alive. With the help of Yanique’s skilled and thoughtful seamstresses, D&L took every aspect of her vision on board and a few tweaks later; she had HER bohemian wedding dress, straight from laid-back heaven.

Pop-Up Wedding How-to…Solved!

Plans were set in place for an intimate wedding ceremony with just 23 of their nearest and dearest. Their reception, however, was to be a full on celebration with 150 friends and family partying it up into the night.

Finding a destination for their pop-up, outdoor, desert wedding was to be the greatest challenge; they found it so difficult to decide. They only settled on the perfect location 2 short months before the date; well after their extraordinary photographer, India Earl; their videographer, Max Cutrone, their florist, Leelina Martin and their AirBn’Bs had all been booked.

The mission was to have all 23 guests hop onto a 1 1/2 hour party bus ride to a pop-up ceremony on the Salt Flats in Palm Springs, CA, right in the middle of the desert. The couple will never forget that moment when the bus finally pulled over to the side of the road at Amboy Salt Flats. That’s when the guys sprang into fire-drill-like action, grabbing the macramé-decorated altar, ghost chairs and the rug for the ceremony and building it up from nothing in the space of an hour.

Julia felt like someone might pinch her awake at any moment, when her bridesmaids and mom helped her zip up her ‘Julia’ in the bus as the boys worked miracles outside before their eyes. The feeling of love and support from their dear friends and family, who helped them make their wild pop-up in the middle of sublime nowhere a bright reality. The location picked was at 7840 Amboy Road, Palm Springs, CA.

As for flowers, Julia’s favorite specimen is the King Protea so that’s what she chose for her bouquet, Leelina accented it with dusty swathes of eucalyptus, olive branches, silver tree, silver dollar seeds and the bridesmaids had the same dusty green eucalyptus vibe.

Oh, and since Julia has a weak spot for desert plants like cacti and succulents, she opted for a simplistic naked cake with desert arrangements for accents.

The Readings

Readings were an integral part of the ceremony so, in Julia’s words, here’s what their beliefs entail and what they chose to have included in the ceremony:

God ordained marriage to be unique and to be the most deeply covenantal relationship possible by incorporating both horizontal and vertical agreements. If we were to see a picture of this, it would resemble a cross. For example, Ephesians 5:3 states that in marriage two individuals cleave together and become one flesh. The word ‘cleave’ emphasizes the Hebrew meaning of a man and a woman literally becoming glued together through a binding oath. This is the horizontal binding. Then, the beautiful nature of God’s perfect love for His people and what He desires for a married couple is expressed in 1 Corinthians 13:

“Love is slow to lose patience. Love is not possessive. It does not pursue selfish advantage. Love never gives up and never loses faith. It is always hopeful and endures through every circumstance.”

This is the example of God’s love, which is the binding agent for the married couple. This is the vertical binding. So, pictorially, husband and wife together and then their married partnership in union with God form the full nature of the Cross.

The Vows

Self written vows were extremely hard for Julia, who says that there just aren’t enough words in the dictionary to truly explain the eternal kind of love she has for Mark. She could only describe her feelings and how Mark changed her life as a lightning bolt. Lightning bolts strike only once, in one spot and at one time. They have a purpose about where they strike and they most certainly leave a lifelong mark. The lightning bolt lights up the sky fast and if you’re not looking or paying attention you may just miss it. When it happens it might make you very nervous for a second but the aftermath is breathtaking.

Here are Julia’s own words:

Mark struck my heart with his love like no one else has done before and will ever do again. He lights up my world with his catching personality, laugh, and affection. I wasn’t looking for love, but it just happened to fall-like a lightning bolt…straight into my life. And I knew in my heart that there was something about this caring, tender man that I wanted more of. His love is the most amazing thing I have ever experienced and it leaves me in awe.

Next on the horizon for this angelic boho couple, who stole the hearts of the whole Dreamers & Lovers team, is thoroughly relishing the married life, seeing where it all takes them with traveling, puppies and even cacti and then, of course, starting their own new family!!


Photographer: India Earl

HMUA: Kayla-Arielle

Florist: Leelina Martin