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Fourth Time is a Charm!Stacy & Melissa Grant staying with a friend 2 bride, groom, boat, sunset

Hannah and Nick had to reschedule their wedding 3 different times at 3 different venues, before finally being able to have their wedding. It was an emotional rollercoaster to say the least.  Canceling their original plan for May 9th was definitely the hardest part since they had been planning their ‘perfect’ wedding for over a year and a half.  Their original venue, didn’t supply anything but the room, so they had to personally hire all vendors and thought they had pulled together the perfect team for their wedding.

wedding rings

Planning a wedding under the best of circumstances can be stressful, then add in COVID and it definitely makes everything more stressful. Since there was no end to the shelter-in-place in the foreseeable future and it was completely out of their control, Hannah and Nick made the decision to cancel their original wedding date four weeks before the wedding. There were so many mixed emotions, they were thankful their family & and friends were healthy, but also so sad and disappointed after planning every detail for two years.

 

bride and bridesmaids in robesThen they moved their date to December 6, 2020 at the same venue reasoning that in seven months things should be getting back to normal. In August the venue informed them that they were not allowing any receptions due to COVID restrictions.  So, they were forced to start the venue search all over again! They found an alternate venue, but had to settle on December 4th.  Three weeks prior to their third wedding date the new venue cancelled the event due to additional restrictions being put on their business. Hannah and Nick were devastated once again.

bridal shoes and bouquet

They did not to give up and started yet another venue search! Their closest friends and family had already made accommodations for December 4th so they were determined to make it happen then. They were fortunate to find the San Diego Mission Bay Resort.  They were available on December 4th and helped them plan their dream wedding in just three weeks!  They feel eternally grateful to the San Diego Mission Bay Resort and everyone who made their wedding better than their original plans!

groomsmen on jetskis

Their original guest count was 180 and they had to narrow it down to 60, with 55 guests actually at their wedding.  Besides a much smaller guest list, due to the pandemic their were other things that they had to adjust for.

bride and groom's first kiss

At the venue, everything had to be fully outdoors due to COVID restrictions.  Guests had to wear masks during the ceremony and any time they were out of their seat at both ceremony and reception.  There was no dancing or mingling allowed.  All ceremony seats were spaced 6 feet apart.  They had to group tables by family/household for the reception, ceremony, and rehearsal dinner. They had to create three different seating charts for all of those events.  And of course, they had individual hand sanitizers at each seat as well.

bride and groom in beach buggy

bride and groom cutting wedding cake

Hannah’s advice for any brides planning or rescheduling their wedding during this time is to be patient, flexible, and grateful for the little things.  It’s so easy to focus on things that may go wrong or may not go as planned, but a wedding is all about your love and commitment to each other–that’s all that ultimately matters.  Be patient with venues, vendors, and guests since everyone’s situation is different.  Be willing to make changes and adapt away from your ideal plans.  Enjoy your time being engaged because that only happens once in your life and it’s a very special time!  Even if hiccups or disasters happen along your wedding planning journey, you and your spouse will become stronger by getting through those tough times.     

back of bride in wedding dress

Venue: San Diego Mission Bay Resort

Photographer & Videographer: BE Studios

Coordinator: Holly Kalkin Weddings

Florist: Camellia Wedding Flowers 

Bridal Gown: Stella York from The Bustle 

Menswear:  Ralph Lauren from Neiman Marcus

Jewelry:  David & Sons Fine Jewelers

Bridal Beauty: Hair Art by Lily

Cake/ Dessert: Babycakes 

Invitations: Minted

Entertainment:  Party People San Diego

 

Even during Covid

Love Never Fails

bride and groom walking

The months before Ciera & Bruce’s wedding were some of the most overwhelming and stressful in most of her life. She felt like she didn’t even recognize her own wedding plans and was grieving the wedding the wedding that she had dreamed of.  Ironically, the wedding ended up exactly what they would have wanted.

wedding invitation, wedding ring, flowers

They loved their more intimate setting and that they could be fully present in the day. During their little dinner reception, nearly everyone in their families did a speech or toast, sharing funny inside jokes and teary gratitude that they had found each other. These beautiful moments, of which were Ciera’s favorite from the day, wouldn’t have happened in their original big reception. It really ended up being a perfect day for them.

invitation, wedding rings

bridal bouquets, sunflowers, roses

In Ciera’s brother’s speech, he added a quote from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows that just really summed it up.

Ginny – “Seems silly, doesn’t it? A wedding. Given everything that’s going on.”
Harry – “Maybe that’s the best reason to have it. Because of everything that’s going on.”

bride twirling in wedding dress table setting, centerpiece, sunflowers

What made you decide to not postpone your original wedding plans, but keep your wedding date & make it smaller?
“We felt from very early on that we wanted to get married on our intended day no matter what. The important part of the event was marrying each other and that was what we kept as our compass. Early on in April, before we even knew the pandemic would affect our wedding, Bruce’s Dad (who was unable to travel to our wedding) had encouraged us to still proceed with the ceremony as best we could. He said that terrible things have happened in history and people still got married. His blessing meant so much to us and helped us proceed with our date. While we considered postponing our full wedding plan, we felt that we didn’t know when life would be “normal” and that felt uneasy to us. Of course, everyone’s opinion is different but this was how we coped and adjusted our plans.:

bride with bridesmaids

puzzle piece guest book

Are you happy with that decision?
“1000%! It was the perfect, intimate wedding we didn’t know we needed/wanted. Our wedding, to us, will forever be the light in a dark time. The skills and strength we used as a team to get thru wedding planning in a pandemic are resources we can tap into later in our relationship when we come across challenging times. There were many of times I cried about the “dream wedding” that felt stolen from us and all the planning and replanning that was required. Bruce was so supportive. On our wedding day, we felt such JOY that we had each other and were getting married…it was the best decision for us that we got married when we did.
I also would like to say we had wonderful vendors that did what they could to make the process easier on us.”

playing cards party favor

bride and groom, sweetheart table

What advice would you give to other couples that are trying to figure out what to do about their upcoming wedding?

“I’d say for you and your future husband to make the decision. Everyone is going to have thoughts and opinions, which you can absolutely put into consideration, but Ultimately, it is your day! Wedding etiquette and traditions are out the window, so you can make the best decision for YOU. Whether that means waiting to have your large gathering, eloping in the desert, or a backyard wedding, there isn’t a right way or one way to do it. I’d also recommend making a decision and sticking with it. By making the decision to proceed with our July intimate wedding in early May, we had time to find a livestream vendor and send our guests Wedding Care Packages. Having time to replan was a huge benefit to us.

When our plans changed, I tried to add some sugar to our lemonade. I had wanted to do carved name tags originally, but for a 200 person wedding it wasn’t a cost I could justify. For 16 person wedding in a pandemic – I think I can give myself that joy of costly name tags! I also bought our guest book puzzle prior to our new wedding plan. I wanted to still incorporate it and feel like our original guests were ‘there’. It’s okay to have some fun with the new plans. It might not be the wedding you envisioned, but you can add elements to your new wedding that you couldn’t have before.”

bride and groom kissing

Photographer: Lisette OC Photography

Venue: Private Residence

Florist: Kevin Reeder Wedding Flowers

Linens: Create A Party Rentals

Bridal Gown: WToo from Love and Lace Bridal Salon

Bridal Beauty: Divine Bridal Beauty;

Menswear: Friar Tux

Catering:  Craftsman Catering

Wedding Cake: Pacific Patisserie

Invitations: Pop Fizzle Gifts

Jewelry: Costco; Manly Bands

Videography: Storytime Motions