We did it! Our Biggest Adventure Ever, and we are now Mr. and Mrs.
Photo By Lavishly Lux Studio
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The day was as crazy and as fast as it could have been, but it really did end up being the perfect day. It was definitely not without lots of bumps and things gone wrong (we’ll have another post all about that!), but all in all, no one noticed, our friends and family had a blast, and B and I are now married! Couldn’t ask for anything else.
It’s only been a week since the wedding, so we don’t have all our photos, videos, etc, but we’ll be updating and sharing those as soon as we get them.
But, I couldn’t wait to share our beautiful day, so here’s our Wedding Roundup…
Venue – Heritage Hill
I have been raving about our venue since we signed the contract, and I have to say, the venue made our entire wedding. We got married in Murrieta, California at an amazing venue called Heritage Hill. Heritage Hill is a beautiful outdoor DIY venue in Southern California, and we were able to create our perfect day because of this venue.
Everything was all outdoors including the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception. The ceremony space was on a hill-top, and our arch was placed near the edge of the cliff with incredible views. I mean, look at this!!
We kept our decor here very light, since we wanted the outdoors to be the biggest focus. And the weather couldn’t have been more perfect! B was really worried that it would be 100 degrees for our mid-June wedding, but thanks to a much later winter, we had the perfect weather around mid-70’s. Not too hot, and not too cold. And the breeze ended up being a great addition.
We hosted our Cocktail Hour just around the Reception space on the terraces at Heritage Hill. We set cocktail tables up around the peaceful waterfall, along with the bar, and had lounge areas and games for our guests to play while we took our photos.
After the cocktail hour, we moved onto the terrace and started the party. The views all around the property really made it the wedding of our dreams. B and I both wanted an outdoor ceremony and reception, and as soon as we saw Heritage Hill, we immediately knew that was where we wanted to get married.
If you are in Southern California, and looking for the perfect outdoor setting for your big day, we cannot recommend Heritage Hill enough. Check out their site here and schedule your tour! We know you’ll fall in love with it just as we did!
I had the best time searching for my wedding dress. I ended up going to 3 different bridal salons to see what type of dress I liked, and what designers were my favorite. As soon as I tried on some dresses from Maggie Sottero, I knew I wanted to wear one of her designs. It was so hard to choose from all of the stunning dresses (which you can see here), but as soon as I tried on this beauty from the Sottero and Midgley line, I fell in love.
To be honest, I fell in love with so many dresses because of the back of the dress…but I didn’t quite like the front of a lot, until I tried on this one. It was beautifully beaded, had a sexy open back, was fitted, and had the amazing train that I had always wanted.
Picking out your wedding dress can feel pretty daunting, but I loved this dress more and more, each time I tried it on. It turned out to be perfect!
I knew right away that I didn’t want to spend a ton of money on my veil. I was going to wear it for maybe an hour max, and definitely did not need to spend lots on a piece of fabric that would be worn for that short amount of time. So, I started researching and found several brides who had found awesome and cheap wedding veils from Amazon! I put together an entire post so brides can see they can save money by ordering one through Amazon. And that’s exactly where I found mine. It was less than $15 at the time plus it was on Amazon PRIME, and even included a pretty decorative clip, so I didn’t have to purchase one on top of the veil. You can see my Cathedral Veil Here.
If you’re looking for the you’re going to want to check out this post —> perfect wedding veil for cheap.
Another way I saved money was with my jewelry. I went on a fun shopping spree for myself and all my bridesmaids at Icings and picked out earrings, bracelets, and necklaces that I thought would go perfectly with each girl. Icings has a beautiful and affordable bridal line, and a great line of gold, silver, and rose gold jewelry as well, so I was able to get each girl a gift to wear with her dress.
Because my dress had all the beautiful beading, I didn’t want to take away from it with a statement necklace. (I went with the statement earrings from Icings instead). So I decided to go really simple with my necklace, and wanted just a floating diamond (crystal) on an invisible chain. I found this entire pack on Amazon, and wore one of these, and it matched beautifully.
One thing I have seen lots of women having a hard time finding, is proper undergarments for a backless dress and a “V” shaped front.
I found the perfect product for my dress that wouldn’t be seen in the back or the front. It’s a very interesting looking “bra” from Misses Kisses. You can check it out here.
And, we have a 15% Coupon Code just for our readers!
Enter “kindofcrazy” at checkout for your discount!
Grooms and Groomsmen Suit
The next important attire was of course for B. After all, there’s no bride without my groom! We knew we wanted a nice blue color, and we also wanted something stylish. B also had groomsmen from 3 different states, so we knew it could potentially be difficult to get everyone to find the right store, to get fitted, find the right suit, and have them all ready to bring them out to California in time for our wedding. We wanted to make it really easy for each of our guys, so we were beyond excited when we found this awesome company called “Generation Tux”. It was seriously the easiest part of any of the wedding attire, and 7 out of 7 guys had a great fitting suit, all done and ordered online. I explain the whole process for you to see here.
And of course the bridesmaid dresses were really important to me, as my 4 sisters, and B’s 2 sisters were my bridesmaids, and I wanted them to look amazing. This was not hard to do once I found the company Amsale and saw their bridesmaid line. The dresses turned out so beautiful, and I couldn’t have been more happy with how my girls looked. I also knew I wanted each girl to have their own unique look, and Amsale had the perfect line of different styles in the same material, so they turned out so amazing!
We were so excited to have our 5 nieces all in our wedding as our flower girls, and picking out their dresses was so much fun! I actually got help from my two 6-year old nieces and we picked out their favorite dresses together. We checked out JJ’s House online since they had so many beautiful styles. I know some may be a little nervous to order online, but they came in and were the best! Great quality and materials, and fit the girls so great. We chose 2 different dresses that compliment each other, and had the older ones in one style and the younger girls in another style. They absolutely loved them.
The flower girl baskets were from Lilian Rose. They had so many pretty baskets, so we were able to match the girls with their baskets. We did two larger baskets for the older girls, and the smaller baskets for the 3 younger girls. They were the perfect size for the ages of the girls, and ended up holding the perfect amount of flower petals for each girl.
We all know how quickly boys can grow, so we didn’t want our ring bearers parents spending a fortune on a suit for the boys. We were going to just do suspenders and pants, since that seemed to be the cheaper route, but we found these suits with all the pieces that were very affordable, and went well with the flower girls, so we opted for these. It comes in 5 different colors as well!
For the Ring Bearer suitcase, we bought this one off Amazon, and cut out the letters on a Cricut machine.
Flowers can take up a huge percentage of your wedding budget. But, if done right, you can actually save money on your wedding flowers and not break the bank trying to get all your arrangements done. When we discovered that Sam’s Club not only sells beautiful flowers in bulk that are extremely affordable, we also saw they have pre-made collections that come all packaged and ready to go in the mail for your big day. And you would never know that all our flowers came from a club store! They turned out so beautiful, and we had very little work to do with them.
We went for the full bundle that included all the bouquets, centerpieces, corsages, and boutonnieres, all ready to go. All we had to do was put the centerpieces in vases, and everything was done! I wanted to add some greenery and hydrangeas in my bouquet and for the arch and any extra flower arrangements, so we went ahead and ordered bulk flowers too. We spent a fraction of the cost of what we could have spent going to a florist, and never had to worry about spending too much money on the flowers. And they were so gorgeous all around!
Check out our full review of our Sam’s Club Wedding Flowers Here!
Again, we thought an outdoor wedding in Southern California in June was going to be pretty hot, but we lucked out. We were prepared though, and had cute personalized fans from Little Things Favors. They came with sheets of stickers for us to add to the fan, where we added our names, the date, and our hashtag on it. These were great for an outdoor wedding, especially if it was going to be hot or if there wasn’t a breeze. Our guests loved them!
Personalized Water Bottles
Another thing about having an outdoor wedding was that we didn’t really have anywhere for our guests to go inside, cool off, or enjoy a refreshment after their drive. So we purchased some mini water bottles from Costco, and I had to be a little extra and get personalized water bottle labels. It’s all in the details! We got these from Amazon, and they had so many different options. Since we had the mini water bottles, these stickers didn’t fit as well as normal bottles, so we trimmed some of the excess blank space off the top and bottom to make them work.
We also decided to create a timeline sign so our guests knew what to expect of the evening. We found a cute board that was on clearance, and my talented mother, and Maid of Honor cut out all the vinyl lettering for it.
For our Cocktail Hour, B and I wanted to make sure our guests were entertained and having a good time while we had to sneak off to do our photos. We made sure to have some music playing in the background, and had appetizers and drinks available. We had the bar open, had some cocktail tables up, and set up 2 areas with lounge furniture, so people had a place to sit and enjoy the day. Heritage Hill has lots of trees and a waterfall, so it was a great place for guests to relax and take some beautiful pictures of the scenery.
We hired our awesome bartender through Heritage Hill, and he had an amazing rate that couldn’t be beat. We heard nothing but good things about him, so we definitely recommend hiring Austin from Heritage Hill to serve at your wedding!
Another way we saved loads of money, was by stocking our own bar. We decided to do beer, wine, and whiskey, because we know our crowd. We came up with some fun signature cocktails and I created our bar menu and had it printed on poster board at Costco. Definitely make sure you set out a table of non-alcoholic beverages where your guests can go self serve. We picked up pink lemonade, waters, sodas and coffee from Costco in bulk which also saved us money as well.
At the bar, we served a few different kinds of Ballast Point Beer, Heritage Distilling Whiskeys, and several different wines from Total Wine & More & Wineonsale.com. It is way cheaper to buy your own alcohol than to hire a bar to serve. That’s another awesome thing about Heritage Hill, they allow you to bring in your own liquor and food vendors!
The Heritage Distilling cocktails were a hit, especially paired with their Brown Sugar Bourbon, and the local Ballast Point beer was also a popular choice. And of course, you can never go wrong with wine!
Another thing we did for entertainment was set out some games for our guests to enjoy. We had a couple games of cornhole, and then a personalized set of Jenga and Giant Connect Four from YardGames.com. Both kids and adults were loving it!
We had planned to do the Wedding Shoe Game Questions, but it didn’t work out as planned…but totally recommend it!
As a guest, I have always loved weddings that had a photo booth. It’s so much fun to get some snaps with your friends and family, and makes for a great wedding favor as well. We wanted to add more entertainment to the evening, so we rented a local photo booth that came with a great backdrop, printable photos, and a whole table of props to use. It was a blast!
B and I have a photo book for almost every big trip we’ve gone on…and we have one for each year of our relationship. So of course it was only fitting to have our Guest Book be a photo book as well. Plus, it’s something we can set out and flip through a lot more than we would a traditional guest book. We found an awesome guest book from MixBook, and it ended up being exactly what we wanted. They have templates all ready for you, so all you have to do is lay your photos in, or you can edit it any way you want. We added a few extra blank pages for more signing space as well. The guests loved flipping through to see our photos, and now we have the perfect addition to our photo books. One we will treasure forever.
Big AZ Letters
One of my favorite things at the reception was our Marquee “L-O-V-E” Letters. They are 7 foot tall light up letters that really made the dance floor pop. It was so beautiful during the day, and even more-so when the sun started to set and we turned the lights on. The guests really enjoyed taking photos by the letters, and it brought everything together to make for beautiful and effortless decor. This company has every letter you need, so you can spell out anything you want! Try your last name, your initials, or another word that would go well with your wedding. We cannot recommend this company enough, and think it just made all of our photos that much more perfect!
If you’re planning a wedding in Southern California (or any party for that matter…could be awesome at a bachelorette or bridal shower too!) then you should definitely get in contact with Big AZ Letters! If their name doesn’t make you want to hire them, their letters will!
When you have a DIY wedding, you’ll need to bring in your own rentals. Tables and chairs, your bar and any other furniture set-up you will want at your reception. Heritage Hill was awesome because they included our ceremony chairs and our tables, and we even borrowed their arches, so that helped with the cost as well. We brought in gold chiavari chairs for our reception, and a really nice white tufted lounge set up, which we got from The Rental Ave. They are based out of Southern California as well, and have so many different options of anything you would need for rentals. It’s definitely worth checking out their inventory!
Since we had an outdoor reception, we knew we didn’t want to worry about broken plates, cups, etc. So we opted for some beautiful place settings from Posh Party Supplies. They had everything we needed to make our tables complete. From the beautiful plates you would never guess were plastic, to the silverware, barware, cups, and even placemats and chargers! Posh Party Supplies has such amazing stuff that you would never be able to tell its throw away stuff. We definitely didn’t want a backyard BBQ feel with those cheap paper plates and napkins, so we opted for their beautiful line of products, and could not have been happier. They have so many different collections, that we are confident you will find something you’ll love. They also tend to have some really great sales, so be sure to check them out!
We found an awesome company based out of Los Angeles California, Urquid Linens, who sells some really beautiful tablecloths. You might think tablecloths aren’t that noticed, but when you decorate your sweetheart table, cake table, and guest book tables, they can really pop with the right linens. I absolutely fell in love with so many of their patterns, that I mixed it up and had different linens on each table. And of course, I wanted our dinner tables to be beautiful as well, so we found some really rich and shimmery tablecloths for those, and it made the tables pop. They were gorgeous!
Since we got the pre-made collection from Sam’s Club flowers, we had our centerpieces all done and ready to go! We wanted to add a little touch of us on the tables, so we added a fish in a fishbowl with a mini fishing pole. Those of you who follow the blog know that B is an avid fisherman, so that little touch was a fun detail for us. We also added a bit of a travel theme, so each table was named with a place B and I had been together, along with 3 photo frames of us in those locations. We wanted each table to be personalized and thought this was a good way to make them a little more interactive.
Since it was an outdoor venue and would go into the evening, we wanted to make sure we had some candles that would be able to add to the mood and ambiance of the venue. So we found some awesome LED candles from Events Wholesale that were a good fit for the table. They have several different types, but we went with the moving LED candles to make them look more realistic. Then we decorated them to match with our colors and decor.
Alright, we know you’ve been waiting to hear all about the food (and desserts of course!). B and I decided from the very beginning that we DID NOT want a plated sit down meal, where the options are “chicken or beef”. We wanted our reception to be more interactive, and to get people mingling. Plus, we wanted really great food! So, we decided to hire a few food stations to come set up and serve a variety of different foods.
We had a Wood Fired Oven Pizza station, a Tacos Bar, and a Sushi Bar all booked for our wedding. Kind of tying into the travel theme…foods from around the world. Unfortunately, the sushi caterer never showed up!!! Yeah…remember that list of things that went wrong….that will be at the top of our list.
Luckily, we had 2 very professional food caterers save the day. Can you imagine if we only had one caterer? Ugh, wedding stress!
Wicked Pizza Pies is based out of Southern California, and we heard nothing but raving reviews of their food at our wedding. Their pizza was delicious, the chefs never ran out of pizzas, and we were able to choose 5 different versions to serve. Plus we also ordered their caesar salad, and their garlic knots which were amazing! Wicked Pizza Pies was definitely a win for sure!
Heart Attack BBQ was our taco caterer, and again, people loved them! We heard so many compliments on our food (even though I was so bummed about the sushi bar failure), so knowing our taco and pizza caterers were that good really helped ease the situation the sushi caterer put us in.
I have a HUGE sweet tooth, so it was only fitting that we have lots of different desserts to serve at our wedding. I couldn’t let go of the traditional cake, so of course we had one of those…even though I chose a very untraditional decoration for it. We got our 3-tiered cake from Sam’s Club, and they are just under $70!! It serves around 66 people, so we supplemented with their gourmet cupcakes that end up being just $1 a cupcake. And the cake and cupcakes were delicious!! Sam’s Club has a design book you can pick your wedding cake from, and to go with our theme a little (B is the fisherman and I was always referred to as “the little mermaid” growing up) I chose the Mermaid Looking cake, and it turned out incredible. We even bought this as our wedding cake topper! I mean, how perfect is that? I keep saying it, but “it’s all in the details!!”
Cake and Cupcakes would be a great dessert for most weddings, but for Sara’s wedding, I just had to have ice cream! We hired an ice cream cart, and got the add on for them to also make shaved ice for people (one of B’s favorite desserts). And yes, the dessert was overkill! We had so much. But that’s exactly what I wanted. If it were up to me, we probably would’ve had a full dessert wedding! ha.
Oh, and of course we had a late night S’mores by the fire dessert too! (I can’t help myself!)
We of course had our personalized toasting glasses and cake cutting knife and server as well. We got ours from Modern Monogram. It was great because it came all in the same package, and all matched. They were beautiful.
Favors & Gifts
Cinderollies Dancing Shoes
Our wedding favors were so much fun! Our favorite thing we got for our female guests were some awesome dancing shoes. Since our wedding was outdoors, we wanted to be able to give our ladies a pair of comfy shoes to dance in. We found an amazing company, Cinderollies and I just had to have these for our guests. They are a pair of ballet flats that come in a custom zip-up bag to hold them in. Not only are these perfect for the ladies to use on the dance floor, but they are perfect for them to take on the go, whenever they might be out for a night on the town. Cinderollies has several different colors to choose from so they can match up with your wedding theme. They are very well made and your guests will absolutely love them. Check them out here to see!
Baggage Claim Favors
We found these cute little luggage boxes on Amazon, and filled them with Kisses. We went with a mix of silver (plain chocolate) and gold (chocolate with an almond) since those matched our wedding colors. I knew I wanted to give our guests something sweet they could enjoy rather than a random nicknack that will be thrown out shortly after.
I had a little something special in mind for a gift for my new hubby. I booked a boudoir shoot with our photographer, and then took those photos to make a gorgeous book for him. Nations Photo Lab had the perfect book for this that was leather bound and had room for a personalized message engraved on the cover. It was so easy to customize the book with all the photos, and the book turned out so perfect! It is definitely a (secret) gift that will be cherished forever. And yes…he loved it!
Groomsmen Gifts- Home Wet Bar
We found the most awesome gifts for Groomsmen at Home Wet Bar! They have so many great personalized gifts that any groomsmen will love. Let’s be honest, a lot of the gifts out there for groomsmen are pretty cheesy, and most guys will think so too. So we were so excited to discover Home Wet Bar. They had the perfect package for our guys that had a personalized ammo can, 2 personalized whiskey glasses, and whiskey stones! See it here. The guys absolutely loved them, and we know they’ll actually use them for years to come.
One thing I always love seeing is a Sparkler exit photo. I was so excited when our venue, Heritage Hill said we could do one. It was actually one of the highlights on the night, and I was able to see everyone at once all lined up while we ran through them. While everyone was getting their sparklers all ready, B and I had our final dance together alone on the dance floor, and it was one extra moment together that I absolutely loved. Then we ran through the tunnel of sparklers and got some photos as well.
We opted for the longest ones from I Love Sparklers and I was so glad we did. We had tons of time to enjoy them, and even ran back and forth through them, while our guests had a fun time waving them around. The sparks were beautiful and the whole line up looked amazing. If you’re able to do a sparkler send off, definitely check out ILoveSparklers.com and get the long one! Plus they have personalized tags to add as well! And, if you aren’t able to do sparklers, they have tons of other send-off ideas you can use as well!
Whew! That was a long one! We will be sharing lots more about our big day throughout the next few months, and when we get our professional pictures and video from Lavishly Lux Studio and Royal Bison Studios, so stay tuned for lots more!
Sara, a seasoned expert in wedding planning and date ideas, brings a wealth of experience to our couples blog. With a background in the television industry and hands-on involvement in a dozen weddings, including working as a wedding assistant on "My Fair Wedding with David Tutera," Sara has an innate understanding of the magic that makes weddings truly special. Growing up with four sisters has given her unique insights into the dating world, making her a go-to source for practical and heartfelt dating advice. Her knowledge and enthusiasm make her the perfect guide for couples seeking to infuse their relationships with creativity and love.