Monday, November 5, 2012

Gorgeous California Mountain Wedding

This one needs no introduction.

Kelli, take it away:

Our wedding story started a year before the actual event. Brian and I had just been reunited after an 8-month separation (he was in various Air Force trainings and I was working abroad in the Republic of Georgia). Shortly after picking me up from the airport, he proposed on top of our favorite mountain in San Diego, I said “yes” and we hit the road for a trip up the West Coast. Along the way, we stopped at the Sacramento court house and tied the knot. It was perfect.

The Air Force sent us to Omaha, Nebraska. When planning our "real" wedding/reception, we decided because we were so far from home, it was most important to us to get our families and friends together and spend a leisurely weekend in the place we fell in love -- San Diego. 

Because we live so far away from California, I relied a lot on my parents and sister Jessica to scout locations and help with details. I used Etsy, Pinterest and of course, ESB for ideas. I knew I needed Rad + In Love to do the photography after seeing the Badass California Mountain Wedding they shot...and even more so after meeting Jamie at my favorite coffee shop in my old ‘hood in San Diego! It was a no-brainer. 

We chose the Pine Hills Lodge in Julian (in the mountains east of SD) for our venue because of the rustic, low-key setting. I loved that there were cabins on the property so we could have the whole place to ourselves for the weekend and our guests wouldn’t have to worry about driving home after the wedding. That weekend was like living in a little village filled with our favorite people in the world -- complete with nights under the stars and a leisurely Sunday brunch. 

The wedding itself was a family affair with everyone pitching in. My parents picked up buckets of wildflowers at the local farmer’s market and everyone spent that morning making arrangements and wreaths while drinking coffee and chatting on the patio under the trees. 

My dress was Rachel Zoe and it was the perfect combination of Disco-Edwardian I desired. My bridesmaids chose their own dresses -- I just asked them to keep in mind vintage-inspired details like buttons, lace, sleeves, soft colors...etc. I think the results were perfect. The groomsmen were asked to go with a country gentleman-type look -- NAILED IT! Brian pieced together his look from ASOS and Etsy and...looked dayum fine. 

The ceremony was my favorite part of the day. My MIL and mom walked me down the aisle -- and because I was leaning on them I didn’t eat it in my wedges like I feared. 

(I also took all the ESB’ers advice and got my damn dress hemmed - thanks, everyone!) The shoes I ended up going with were on clearance at Free People - and broke on the dance floor... I guess that’s what I get for bucking ESB’s suggestion?

For some reason I thought because we were already married in the courthouse a year before, our second ceremony wouldn’t be as emotionally intense. But, it was just as meaningful as the first ceremony... 

This time my dad officiated, my SIL Mariel and Papa did readings and our favorite songs played. And of course, I got to say my vows again to my perfect man in front of our people. I was overwhelmed.

Our stunning cake was made by my sister’s MIL Linda McLennan -- and was not only beautiful, but she even baked it with our favorite flavors: one tier was red velvet for Brian, and one tier was funfetti for me! It was topped by a 50’s cake topper given to me by my Nana. 

We spent the rest of the evening eating BBQ, toasting and dancing. I think I danced for 3 hours straight. I had hoped the evening would deteriorate into a crazy dance inferno and I got my wish!

After the DJ called it a night, we hung out under the stars just drinking and laughing until the wee hours of the morning. 

Overall, I was extremely touched by the effort everyone put into celebrating our marriage. We had people flying and driving in from all over the country. To see everyone we love from both sides of our family come together for us was truly awesome, especially after not seeing most of them since our move to the Midwest. We will hold onto those memories of our perfect sunny day in the mountains forever -- and especially so during our second Midwest winter. 

♥ ♥ ♥

Photos by Rad + In Love. (Check out more details + gorg portraits from Kelli & Brian's wedding over here!)


  1. this is amazing, jamies work, the bride & grooms hard work, everything.

    but PLEASE smile in photos, brides-to-be. there's nothing better than a photo of a smiling bride

    1. I suspect those portraits were taken *before* the ceremony....

    2. jamie AND michelle ;)

      and, to each her own if she is smiling in portraits or not. she has SO MANY stunning candids with a fucking amazing and natural grin.

    3. I actually quite like the first pic where they're not smiling. sometimes when you're posed and staring at the camera the smile feels... pretty effin weird.

      just sayin I think you ladies rocked it, like always

  2. You look beautiful and your husband is a fox. Congratulations!

  3. Lovely!! So beautiful and it looks like it was super fun. This makes me want a mountain wedding.

  4. THAT DRESS. I die.

  5. love love love that dress. holy whoa.

  6. This is beautiful. Congratulations to the gorgeous bride and groom. I love it all, even though I hate the bride a little for getting to wear this amazing dress (it didn't exist yet when I got married).

  7. This is so painful for me. I had this dress pre-ordered for my wedding and it never happened for my wedding. It's so gorgeous here and magnificent that it reinforces that I wasn't wearing the right dress on my day. I'm so happy for her!