From the bride: While we lived on opposite sides of the country, Andrew and I met in the summer of 2013 at a bike race in Wisconsin through mutual friends. It didn’t take me long to know he was something extraordinary that needed to be in my life, though, and a month after we said goodbye in Wisconsin I was flying to California to visit and train with him for a week. He asked me to be his girlfriend halfway through that trip, we said “I love you” to each other 11 days later and the rest is history.
Andrew proposed September of 2014, during another bike-racing trip. He took me to brunch and then to a nearby waterfall park, where we held hands as we walked along the path. I noticed a particular spot along the way, thinking that it would make for a beautiful location to get married, when Andrew pulled me aside to that very spot, got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. After I said yes, we celebrated with cupcakes and coffee before telling our friends and family.
I never really had a vision of what my wedding day would look like. I can’t remember when, but years ago I had decided that a wedding should be a reflection of the bride and groom at their current place in life. So I knew I wanted that for Andrew and I. We initially tried planning a big party for over 200 guests, but then decided to go a more intimate route when I saw a picture of the sunken gardens of the Santa Barbara Courthouse and knew I wanted to get married there.
Andrew and I found a couple nearby restaurant options for our reception, ultimately going with Blue Agave (now Nectar Eatery and Lounge) because of our love for Mexican food. We let their max capacity dedicate the size of our guest list, asked a friend to provide the ceremony music and splurged on a trolley for our guests instead of the traditional cocktail hour. And then we let incorporated our personalities in, wearing Vans, keeping our attire on the casual side, having my aunt do my hair while I did my makeup, asking my brother to be the bro of honor, and offering cupcakes and coffee after the ceremony to reflect one of the traditions Andrew and I have. We also made our balloon confetti invitations, faux fried ice cream wedding cake (one of Andrew’s favorite desserts), mini piñatas filled with candy for the centerpieces, and an iPod playlist for the reception.
One of my favorite moments from our wedding day was the walk Andrew and I took, husband and wife, from the courthouse to the restaurant. It was a good 15 minutes we had just the two of us, to bask in the joy, tell each other how beautiful/handsome we looked and to try and stop the day from moving so fast.
A month before the wedding we realized we needed a wedding planner, that you can only DIY so much. I found Selena through Yelp and hired her almost right after our first exchange of emails. She remains one of the best decisions Andrew and I made for our wedding. Not only did she help find us last-minute flowers and set up a reception area more gorgeous than what we could have imagined it looking like, she made the wedding run off without a hitch. The day could not have been more perfect. And, of course, I got to marry my best friend.