As mentioned in my previous post, we didn't necessarily get the sand portion of the beach for our wedding ceremony! So, after the ceremony ended, we rushed over with the bridesmaids and our photographer Hanna, to a larger public beach down the road, to get some classic shots while guests headed back up to the reception! To respect our guests and families privacy, we haven't added too many photos of them, nor will I be adding any of the family photos! However, it's taken three full blog posts to share the ones I have shared, so I'd say we're doing okay for content!!
While we we're shooting some photos on the beach, guests arrived back to our reception venue in Malibu Canyon. There was appetizers to be eaten, guest books to sign, and a pool to chill out by while they waited until our grand entrance (don't worry - it wasn't very long.) We rented a large airbnb with enough room to house the parents and the wedding guests, and a yard that was suitable enough to host our reception. The venue was perfect! And the host was great. It was a 15 minute drive up from the beach, had ample parking, and hosted the most beautiful intimate reception we could've asked for! We are simple people, who wanted to have a very small wedding. We also don't have very big families as a lot of our family members are all the way in Europe. It was such a huge deal to us to have guests travel from all over Canada to our wedding in California. It meant so much and it says a lot when people put that sort of effort, time, and money in to come witness your marriage! If you ever consider a destination wedding, please remember that because it is something that should forever be appreciated!!
I get a lot of questions about the planning portion of our wedding and that was definitely something I knew I wanted to share on my blog once I had photos back and could discuss all the fun details! If you are newly engaged, and wondering where to even begin - because that was us at first - I would personally start with budget. What are you working with? And trust me, you can make ANYTHING work. If you have a very small budget, then I would suggest a backyard wedding! Anything and anywhere can be made beautiful if you know what you're doing! If you're budget is a bit bigger, I'd suggest doing something like we did (without the travelling part because that adds huge expenses!). Rent an air bnb, or smaller venue that isn't capitalizing on the word "wedding". A restaurant can be hit and miss, you'll definitely find affordable places, but there's also tons that absolutely are not. Once you realize what your budget is, you can start to base your guest count on that. Every person's wedding has to be specific to themselves as a couple, so it's hard for me to give too much advice. But I'd absolutely start with budget. Then location. Then guest count. Then the DRESS!!! We knew that because we were travelling, we wanted something small. Our wedding was a total of 32 people! It was perfect. I felt like I was actually able to talk to each individual person, thank them for being there, and everyone could mingle with one another. Renting an air bnb that allowed our wedding guests to stay all together, also brought everyone so close and it was such a monumental bonding weekend for all of us!
We did our grand entrance with all guests tossing flower petals at us and it was so fun! We felt like it added a little somethin'-somethin' and it was really beautiful for photos! We immediately went into our first dance after that, and then sat down to dinner. For our reception decor, we knew we wanted simple, and Jim knows how much I love bohemian, so we did a mix. I knew I NEEDED pompous grass for the head table and I'm so happy we got a small bouquet of it together. We incorporated lots of candles, flowers, leaves, and LOTS of doilies. Amazon, Michaels, and vintage shops/markets were our best friend when it came to our simple reception decor. Plus, is it even a wedding without a buttload of bistro lights? They're just too pretty.
The canyon had the most perfect views during golden hour, so we snuck away for some more photos. The lighting was amazing so we used that area and time for all of the family photos too! We then headed back over to do cake cutting and speeches. During cake, every member of our wedding party, and mom & dad, did speeches! It was so emotional - happy and sad - and I'm not gonna lie, it feels pretty cool to have so many people say so many great things about you as a couple he he.
We wrapped up the wedding with a heartfelt thank you to all of our guests and then the dancing began. We don't have any photos of it, because really, who has time for photos when you're dancing that hard? And then, the entire wedding turned into one big pool party. It was the most fun ever and that's probably extremely biased of me but I don't care!!!!! We still have our wedding video coming in the next couple of months and I can. not. wait. I will share that once we receive it, but for now - that is all our amazing photos from the best day ever! Weddings are so fun! Let me plan yours...