Thursday, May 9, 2013

A + N's effing gorgeous California wedding

The beaming bride, the kick-ass dress, the California light.... These photos from Rad + In Love are slayin me this morning.

And Alejandra is so laid back about it all. D'you think I can take a teeeeeensy bit of credit?

Here's what she had to say:

I have such a hard time talking about my own wedding because it was a culmination of so many different story lines. It's hard to pick out one thread without unravelling the whole tapestry. I'll share a few wedding highlights in lieu of a full story.

The beginning:
My day began unintentionally early (before 7am!) because I just couldn't sleep anymore. All I could think about were my vows. My perfectionist self was literally dreaming about the words I would say, so I just got up and started to write them. I didn't even end up saying what I'd written, but it didn't matter. I could write new vows every day forever and I'd still never be able to capture everything. I realized that morning that it was ok not to get it all in one shot. We will keep reworking and living those vows out until the end!

When it hit me:
I didn't feel like anything huge in my life was changing since I had already been living with Nick for almost four years. However, little moments throughout the day kept reminding me that the party was happening -- now! I especially like remembering the moment I walked into the bathroom after dinner. As the door swung open, I saw my girlfriends for the first time that day and I instantly screamed like a teenage girl. I was overwhelmed with all the excitement and love.

Our wedding team:
We were lucky to be surrounded by an awesome group of people. I cannot recommend any of them enough. Indulge me as I share a little bit about them.

- Photographers: Rad + In Love
These ladies are outrageously talented, but they're also down-to-earth and will go the distance to capture your day. Seriously, an amazing team. At one point, Michelle jumped on her car roof to get the right angle, it caved in, and she just kept on shooting! We love them to death!

- Wedding planner extraordinaire: Allie Shane from Pop the Champagne
Words cannot express enough how dedicated and bad-ass Allie is. She provided the muscle for a wedding planned in three months from across the country (while we were also buying an apartment and moving; getting a new job; and taking night classes). When all we wanted to do was avoid decision making and fall asleep, she kept us moving forward. Without her, I would still be planning. Allie's secret is that she knows when to hold your hand, when to direct, and how to make it all fun.

- Venue: The Annenberg Community Beach House
Our Annenberg coordinator, Carol, worked closely with Allie to make our day totally seamless. She was delightful to work with and the venue was spectacular.

- Florist: Floret Cadet
Since we love flowers, but were too far across the country (and by this point in the planning process, running out of money) to dream too big, we needed someone we could trust to take a couple ideas and just run with them. From the moment we met Kate we knew we were in good hands. We left her to surprise us on the day and she did in the best way possible.

- DJ: Sean Osborne
So charming, kind, and he kept the party going! Sean was totally focused on making sure Nick and I got what we wanted in our playlist and on the wedding day. Right after our ceremony, as Nick and I took a moment to just be alone, he played a little song for us to dance together. It was really touching.

What I would do over:
I would sleep a whole lot more that week and I would eat a huge breakfast. That would've rocked.

We had originally daydreamed about having my sister and her whole band, The Del-Reys, perform, but that was logistically difficult. Instead, I was genuinely surprised when my sister got up to sing right after the toasts. She performed a killer a cappella rendition of "Si Nos Dejan" (I used to have a mariachi band in college) and then led everyone in singing "You've Got a Friend" together. It was such an awesome gift that she would still sing to us without any music in front of the whole room.

My favorite:
During the rehearsal the day before, I worried that our ceremony would be an unprepared disaster. So much planning had gone into the weekend, but we had very little set in stone for the part that was most important to us -- the ceremony. The morning of, I let it all go and rolled with the day. The ceremony ended up being beautiful.... 

In retrospect, it was just like every decision we made for our wedding. It didn't matter exactly what we did, everything ended up being a reflection of something Nick and I were building together. That made it perfect. The fact that the sun was shining and birds were chirping as Nick shared his vows was just crazy luck.

The ending:
I had told myself in advance to take a moment during the last dance to soak it all in. I'm so glad I did. I got to see those who were left all together on the dance floor enjoying themselves. The feeling of love was all around and I was so filled with happiness at that moment.

The real ending:
We got legally married at New York City's Marriage Bureau a week after we returned from our honeymoon on Kauai. Throughout the whole engagement, I had been torn between a courthouse wedding and a personalized ceremony. We ended up being so busy before leaving for our wedding in LA that we never got a California marriage license. The courthouse was a blast and I'm so glad we accidentally got both ceremonies. All dreams (unintentionally) fulfilled!


Q: Have you ever seen a smile that big?

A: No, no you have not.

Photos by Rad + In Love. (Go check out tons more images from this wedding over on the Rad + Love blog.)

p.s. Recognize the dress? Alejandra left that model in the DUST.


  1. Okay, I'm obviously emotional these days, but this just made me weepy at my desk! That smile!

  2. amazing and I love that the sweater is not remotely one that anyone would recommend (referring to her earlier letter), but looks perfect.

    1. so good! glad she didn't go with people's sadistic advice to "just be cold" / "drink more."

    2. Not going to lie...every time the breeze hit me during the ceremony I got a little distracted thinking about the sweater I was not wearing. Hahaha! But it did end up being an awesomely lucky last second purchase cause I was really cold during our rehearsal.

  3. I agree with Ms. K and Bess, totes made me weepy too!

    And the sweater seemed perfect!

    Gorgeous smile, gorgeous girl, gorgeous dress!

  4. Holy gorgeous. Joy, radiating through the internet and infecting all of us (even those of us stuck inside on a very dreary day in chilly Northern WI where spring refuses to show up and where we're all extremely Vitamin D deprived and I'm trying to be grumpy but now I can't be because THAT SMILE!) Congratulations!!!

  5. Love how genuine this wedding is! It oozes love and happiness.

  6. Ohhhhhh, so beautiful. Beautiful enough to make me temporarily lift my self-imposed comment ban. That smile! And the DRESS! And all the happiness! Love.

  7. A bride who is both gracious AND gorgeous? That's one lucky groom, yessirree.

  8. So pretty. Does anyone know where she got her awesome headpiece?

    1. I don't know where she got it, but I loved it as well and started searching on Etsy.

      Crystal Headband!

    2. The headband and sweater were both from Anthropologie back in February. The hairdresser cut the ends so it would fit the hairstyle (and not give me a headache).

  9. THAT DRESS. It's so pretty it's killing me.

  10. the pictures are amazing and beautiful!! i am very exited, i hired rad and in love for august.

    1. You'll love them!!! Pre-congratulations on your own bash! :)

  11. While I am biased (Alejandra is my little sister), I just want to say that this was truly one of the most joyful weddings I have ever been to (and I have been to many, many). I can't tell you how many folks, many of whom I didn't personally know, approached me to gush about how excited they were to be part of Nick and Alejandra's wedding and what extraordinarily wonderful and infectious people they are. It's been so awesome to read all these incredibly sweet comments and see how Alejandra's radiant personality was transmitted right through her photographs and into the eyes and hearts of everyone here on ESB. Let me tell you; you all nailed it. She really is a beautiful bride/person inside and out!

    So touched to feel all the love going around. A happy and hopeful Spring to all! :)

    P.S.- You are right. She totally left that model in the dust!

  12. Awww, you ESB-ers rock!! Glad we could share a little bit of the happy stuff with everyone else. Thanks for all your lovely comments :D


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