Bride & Groom: De'Aura and Juan
Date: September 17, 2011 at the
Location: Golleher Alumni House on the Cal State Fullerton Campus
I am so excited to share this next real wedding with you! I met De'Aura a couple of years ago on a wedding forum (sense a pattern?) and instantly knew she was a woman that I would love to be friends with in real life! She is very funny, sarcastic and a sweetie pie! Sadly, she lives far away :( What can I say about this gorgeous wedding? I am simply amazed, at the amount of DIY elements De and her, now husband, Juan put into their wedding. The invites...FAB! The tablescape...DREAMY! The Coolhaus Ice Cream Truck...YUM! Take a look at this beautiful wedding and you will see why I chose to use every picture she and Juan submitted to us!!!!!
Let's jump right in!
Did you have a decor or theme that embodied your wedding? What was the inspiration for that particular idea and how was it unique to you and your groom?
If I had to pick a theme, I would say that our theme was "soft, gentle, love." Cheesy, right? The thing is, Juan and I are both pretty silly. We are constantly laughing, joking around and engaging in reflective conversations. We thought that the best way to showcase our love would be to have a wedding that was a reflection of our deepest feelings for each other. We decided that we wanted the day to be relaxing and covered in feelings of soft loving romance.
What were some of the elements you used in the decor to create the beautiful wedding you envisioned?
When Juan and I decided that we wanted the wedding to be soft and romantic, we knew that we had to have colors that would reflect this. The first colors that popped in my head were Blush and Champagne while Juan chose Champagne and Cream. We combined the colors and set out to find pieces that would complement this combo. For the decor, we hunted down candle sticks, candelabras, chandeliers, ornate picture frames and vases from several vintage, antique and thrift shops. For our invitations, we wanted them to be personal and creative. We achieved this by picking out several coordinating patterns of scrapbook paper which we used as the backdrop for the custom stationary design that was created by Sarah of Signatures by Sarah. Each invitation had a different pattern of paper, and a different stationary design. We then added bits of lace patterned doilies to give it a touch of romance.
Were any of the elements of your wedding day DIY? If so, tell us about them.
We were on a serious budget, which meant that we had to be creative and get crafty. The invites were by far my favorite DIY project. It took several days to cut, glue, print and assemble, but the finished product was worth it. I insisted on having personalized and hand crafted invitations. After all, it sets the tone for your guest and gives them a glimpse of your big day. Another labor of love consisted of cutting, melting, and gluing little circles of fabric to make flower petals for my moms clutch to coordinate with my blush dress, shoe clips, sashes for the Maid of Honor dresses, and centerpiece accessories. I also hand painted the wood signs for the birdcage card box, the "Reserved" seating signs, and the Escort Table signs (which I completely forgot to set up). In addition, Juan came up with the idea to have little cards for our guest to fill out. We came up with about six different questions that encouraged our guest to give advice and suggestions about various topics that most newly weds will encounter. I then added little crystal jewels to the ends so that the cards would look pretty on the tree that they were hanging from.
What advice would you give to a bride and groom, that would like to DIY some elements of their wedding?
Run!!! I am kidding. My advice would be to evaluate the project and be realistic with yourself. Make sure you have PLENTY of time and add a day or week to that. Enlist the skills of your family and friends and don't be afraid to ask for help. Some people are just so crafty that everything they touch is a work of art. While others, can make a cotton ball look like lint. Either way, just be real with yourself and know that it is okay to start over, buy it or go without it. Most people won't know that something is "missing" and the people who will probably won't be in your life for much longer (real friends won't notice or point out a "missing"project because they will be too busy laughing, crying, dancing, and sharing in your day). My husband wants me to add "have a first aid kit, a few boxes of tissues or toilet paper...whatever works, chocolate, alcohol, and your mom or best friend on speed dial. One day you will laugh at yourself, but in the mean time, don't kill your fiancé if he's already laughing and 'doesn't get it.' We can help, too!"
Where did you choose to hold your wedding, and how did the location influence your decor decisions?
We planned our California wedding from our home in Colorado. We searched online for the perfect location, but we knew that it would be hard to pick a place without actually seeing it. With the help of our friends who live in California, we were able to narrow down our search. During one of my trips to California, my MOH and I went to check out The Golleher Alumni House on the Cal State Fullerton Campus. I will be honest, it wasn't love at first sight, but it had so much potential. The home is a Spanish Colonial that has beautiful archways, terra cotta and colbalt blue tile work, a large Pepper Tree and little twinkle lights that draped over the outdoor patio. I wanted to be married under a tree, Juan wanted to be married at a home and we both wanted to be able to dance under the stars...check, check and check. The Alumni House allowed us to have the relaxed wedding that we wanted and the cream colored exterior of the home was the perfect backdrop for our blush and champagne wedding colors!
Okay, let's talk about the day!
Why did you choose to buck tradition and wear a gorgeous pink gown?
I knew that I did not want a traditional gown. I love when a classic and timeless piece is mashed up with something that takes it over the edge. That is pretty much my husband and I...he is a classic man who follows tradition for the simple fact that it is tried and true and never failing. I, however, prefer things a little out of the box, but nothing too crazy...just that extra drop of spice. I decided that I needed to find a dress that would embody this. While I already had a Vintagesque off,off white dress (two notches past cream and a hair above beige), I new that I needed something that would make my Groom gasp and it could not be something that I would regret in a couple of years. When I went into Davids Bridal to try on the new White by Vera Wang, I had no idea that I would be a two dress bride, let alone that my second dress would be pink. As soon as I put that dress on, I knew that it was going home with me..mmhmm, honey, I was blushing and in love. My mom started crying, the sales lady started crying, and the other bride and her mom were yelling "OH MY GOD! GET THAT DRESS! GET THAT DRESS!" I was sold.
What was going on in your mind, as you walked down the aisle to your groom?
I told my dad that I needed for him to make sure that I did not go running down the aisle to my groom! Hehe. My dad made sure that I took a moment, right before my walk, to pause so that I could really relish in my feelings and emotions. My thoughts were all over the place. I went from praying I would not fall, wondering if I should have done an extra squirt of breath spray, hoping that Juan would not flip out over the color of the dress, to looking at our guest and feeling so blessed to be surrounded by them and loving the warmth the was growing in my heart. Then, I looked at my groom. I melted. I smiled. My heart was burning crimson. Juan was on the verge of tears. That was the moment that I knew that everything was going to be okay...even if I tripped...he would be there to catch me.
You had a gorgeous second dress, what made you decide to wear two dresses?
My decision to wear two dresses came about while trying to convince my traditional husband to jump on board with "the first look" idea. He was dead against it because he wanted the walk down the aisle to be our special moment. Once I explained how much time we would save (translate that to money) and how special we could make it, he agreed to do it with one condition...I had to look different in our first look and my walk down the aisle. I took that as "you can buy a second dress." Two points for him and two dresses for me! I am so glad I did it. Each dress yielded a different reaction from him...both of which I will forever cherish.
"We wanted every table to be decorated differently for that personal touch. We used latte colored linens that we draped with several layers of tulle to make the tables soft and delicate. I purchased blush pink and cream vases, cottage love birds and bird cages from Michaels. Juan came up with the idea of having the flowers in various shades of pink to create an ombre effect."
Tell us about some of the music you used throughout the wedding. What was your first dance song?
Juan was determined to have a Mariachi band at the wedding. Fortunately, his parents were able to make this happen. The Mariachi Band played while our guest arrived, during cocktail hour and a little bit during the actual reception. They even played while Juan's dad sang to him! Our intro into our reception was Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO, while our bridal party walked in on Kanye West All of the Lights! We wanted to set the tone and get our guest ready to rock the night with us. For our first dance, Juan and I had to listen to hundreds of songs to try and find THE song. We wanted a song that was not over played, and could stand out from the rest. As we went through several playlist and suggested wedding songs from various blogs, we came across Heaven (live) by Jamie Foxx. Juan looked at me and said "That's it. That's what I want to hear while I dance and hold you." He really is that sweet. I was sold.
What was the biggest challenge you had, while planning the wedding?
Oh this is a tough one. I would say it was a tie between working within our budget and our guest list. Our budget was smaller than I wanted, but it was totally doable. I just had to get creative. This meant doing my own projects, enlisting the help of friends, family and neighbors and getting rid of all the extras. When ever I thought about adding or buying something extra, I would take a moment to ask myself if that extra is for us and our joy/memories/marriage or is it for show. That helped me put things into perspective. In addition, Juan and I wanted a fairly small wedding. This was much easier said than done. Juan has a very large family in comparison to my family. Figuring out how to balance the guest list, without offending our families, was a challenge. We decided to do some basic math and came up with a number that represented how much we would be spending on that guest at our wedding. We then asked ourselves if we would be willing to spend that money on that guest at any other event. I know that probably sounds harsh, but a wedding (not the marriage) is just an elaborate dinner party.
Talk about this ice cream shot, was this a surprise for your guests?
I have a serious love for ice cream. I would name our first born 'Ice cream' if it wasn't criminal. Juan doesn't eat much dessert, but when he does, he will eat ice cream or cake. When we decided to have the ice cream truck from CoolHaus, we already knew that we had to have a shot of us trying to eat an ice cream sandwich. People kept telling us that we would be too busy to enjoy our wedding, let alone eat or have a dessert. We made a deal that we would eat an ice cream sandwich at our wedding and prove everyone wrong. Unfortunately, we never made it to the truck. However, my wonderful Maid of Honor put a sandwich aside for us to enjoy right before our departure. We ate an ice cream sandwich at our wedding and we enjoyed the heck out of it! That photo was Juan and I trying not to fight over the last ice cream sandwich while still proving our naysayers wrong! The ice cream truck was a wonderful surprise for our guest. I will never forget hearing my nephew yell "MOM! There's an ice cream truck and the sandwich is bigger than my face!" That comment was worth it. Our guest got to make their own ice cream sandwich by choosing 2 of 7 different fresh baked cookies and 1 of 5 different gourmet flavored and handmade ice creams. It was a huge hit!
What is the one thing you were glad you splurged on?
I am so glad I splurged on my second dress! I loved the first dress that I had, but that Blush, fluffy, curvy goodness was just what I wanted! I am also glad we splurged on our photos! I was not willing to compromise on photography. I had been following our photographers for years...as in right when they started their business. Through all the wedding changes, our photographers, my groom and my shoes never changed.
Reflecting on your wedding day, what was your favorite part of your wedding? Favorite detail? What did you love about it?
Our wedding day was everything that my soul needed. It was as if someone took my soul, and poured it all over that day...(brace yourself, I am about to do the unthinkable)...You know how Bella learns to force her shield out and cover/protect all of the people that she loves? Well, it was like that only I am not a vampire and my "shield" was really every ounce of my soul, my love, my true, raw and gritty emotions for my husband...all of it just poured out and surrounded my guest. (I will probably regret referencing that movie, but whatever you get what I am saying). I can't say that I have a favorite part, because there were so many things that happened that are forever etched in my memory...Kissing my forever and becoming his wife, my dad performing the ceremony, Juan's dad singing a dedication to us, the touching speeches, the food and cake (I love cake), the butterfly that danced around us as we said "I do forever" (yes, that really happened), the live Mariachi band, watching my love cry as I walked towards him down the aisle...*sigh* it was just all so perfect! I do, however have a favorite detail...It was our CoolHaus ice cream truck. What could be better than a chromed out and pimped out retro ice cream truck?
At the end of the night, what was your final thoughts?
I remember feeling so overwhelmed with love. I was so grateful for all of the faces, the hugs and well wishes. I realized that all of our guest had just witnessed and shared in the very first day of our lives as a married team. The reality of the day, and what it symbolized was everything that I wanted and more. I was so grateful for my Maid of Honors...seriously. Make sure you have a patient and supportive wedding party or network of friends and a loving family that "gets you" without judging you. Lastly, I could not wait to eat some more cake and snuggle up with my Husband! After all, I had just locked in my soulmate for life. I was ready to start our life!
Photographer: Your Inner Song Photography
Engagement Photo: Chris Loring Photography
Event Planner: We did it all, baby!
Ceremony Venue/Reception: The Golleher Alumni House
Videographer/Film Maker: Pasarelas Foto y Video
Officiant: My dad :)
Invitation Designer: Sarah of Signatures by Sarah
Catering: Alba Rodriquez and Lomeli's Italian
Florist: Fujiko's Flowers
Cake: Beverly's Best
Wedding Dress: White by Vera Wang and Unique Vintage
Bridal Accessories: Haute Bride for earrings and bracelet, my grandmother's blue sapphire ring, Nine West sparkle open toe shoes and DIY shoe clips
Bridesmaids’ Apparel: Netbride, Bill Levkoff style 672 in Latte ordered from
Groom & Groomsmen Apparel & Accessories: Friar Tux Shop
Hair & Make-up: Shearly Beloved
DJ: Found on Craigslist
Live Music: Mariachi
Other Vendors: Coolhaus, Bakers Party Rentals, Diana Castaneda for DOC, Maria Green of La Hermosa Events for consultations