Real Wedding | Becky & Derek

Becky and Derek included some sweet memories in their wedding.  Their love letter idea adds such a nice moment to the ceremony (and is such a great way to remember your wedding day years from now).  And their personalized CD favors are a great way for your guests to remember the fun they had at your wedding.

If you are looking for some ideas on how to incorporate some memorable touches into your big day….this wedding is for you.

Becky & Derek | September 6, 2009 | Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa, La Jolla, California

How he proposed
My husband wanted to propose before Christmas (and the end of the year) so we could celebrate with our families. He was waiting for the ring to come in to the store in L.A. that he got it from. It finally came in on about 2 weeks before Christmas on a Wednesday. He drove from San Diego to L.A. to pick it up and then asked me when we could go out to dinner. The upcoming Friday (2 days later) was the only weekend night we had free before Christmas. He acted fast and told me he wanted to take me out to dinner that Friday to celebrate my finals being over for grad school. He planned to take us to a beautiful restaurant (El Prado) in Balboa Park for dinner and then propose by the fountain afterward. I told him I didn’t want to go there and changed the location. We went to dinner at the restaurant I wanted to go to and there was no time for him to make plans at the restaurant. We had plans to go to a wine bar after dinner w/ friends so the only opening he saw where we’d be alone was on the walk from the restaurant to the car to go to the wine bar. He proposed outside the car under a street light… sort of impromptu and had been holding the ring in his pocket for 2 hours trying to find a good time.. After that we went to a wine bar and celebrate with our 2 good friends who are married with champagne and called all our friends.

The ceremony
We wanted the ceremony to have a personal feel. It was outdoors in the “olive garden” at Estancia Hotel. My husband’s uncle was our officiant. I walked down the aisle to “Not fire, not ice” Ben Harper. I had one of my best friends be our day of planner. A good friend who dj’s was our dj. We wrote part of of our vows to each other which we read aloud before doing short, more traditional vows. The best part was the “love letter ceremony”. My dad handmade a beautiful wooden box to hold a bottle of wine and had a drawer in it. We picked a bottle of wine together from our favorite wine bar. We wrote each other a love letter & sealed it. During the ceremony we had the officiant explain that we were placing a bottle of wine in the box and then we placed our sealed love letters to each other in the box as well and sealed it, to be opened/enjoyed on our 10th wedding anniversary.

The reception
We wanted the reception to also have a personal touch. We both love music. We created 3 different CD’s for favors “pop” “rock” and “dance” each with a funny picture of us on the cover and guests could choose which CD they wanted.

We also had a candy buffet with candy in all different jars in our colors. We had a slideshow with pics of family & friends, baby pics, etc.

Wedding Theme
The feel of the whole wedding was to be romantic, personal, vibrant and with a spanish flair (to go with the hotel and my dress). We wanted the colors to be vibrant and warm. My dress was spanish & romantic, we had sangria as part of our cocktail hour drinks. We created personal touches by having a slideshow, specially designed favors, welcome bags (everyone got bags w/ snacks, itineraries, things to do, maps, etc.), reading part of our own vows, involving important people in our wedding in numerous ways (my mom did the centerpieces), etc.

What made her wedding dress “The One”
I went to about 5 stores in San Diego and tried on about 7 dresses at each store. I found my stride at Here Comes the Bride. I knew I wanted ivory strapless lace. The dress I ended up picking fit perfectly and was exactly what I wanted- classic, romantic, vintage looking with a little pizazz and a train that wasn’t too intense. It was the one that made my mom & best friend cry and all the ladies in the store got really excited. It just felt right.

Becky’s advice for other brides
Don’t sweat the small stuff. It will all get done. The headcount always works out no matter how much it changes- you will be surprised who changes their mind last minute. The guests can’t tell what goes wrong- only you can. Remember to love each other and appreciate each other through this process. Enjoy it- it goes by so fast and then it’s over… ask for help if you need it.

The moments she will never forget
There are several. 1) seeing my fiancee before the ceremony 2) how nervous/scared/excited my dad was before the ceremony 3) how amazing my husbands vows were 4) how great it was to come back to the room at the end of the night and see how the hotel had decorated our room and just decompress together.

Becky’s Wedding Dress: Pronovias Dalila / Wedding Photography: Carrie McCluskey