When planning her wedding, Valerie’s main priority was for her family and friends to be together and have a fun-filled day. Using daisies – her favorite flower – and a color palette of black & white as a starting point, then adding pops of yellow, grass green, and aqua, her wedding style quickly came together with a “Modern California” feel. Stunning views of the ocean and the natural beauty of the aquarium provided the perfect canvas for creating an incredible wedding day.
With both of her sisters being past TBC brides, Valerie says her dress shopping experience at The Bridal Collection was a “family tradition and a dream come true”. To make it a special day for her mom and sisters as well as herself, she upgraded her appointment using a VIB package. The special details truly added to the big “Yes” moment, making her dress shopping day even more memorable! She highly recommends future brides considering the different options available.
As she toured the showroom, one particular wedding dress by Kathryn Elizabeth stood out to her immediately. The classic A-line silhouette of delicate soft lace featured a beautifully ruched bodice with a subtle sweetheart neckline. Adding a black bridal sash not only emphasized the gorgeous silhouette, but it also tied in with Valerie’s “Modern California” style! The moment she saw herself in the mirror, and the tears started, she just knew it was the one.
Valerie enjoyed incorporating personal details and memories as part of her wedding. To honor her late grandparents, she wore heirloom jewelry from each of her grandmothers and a necklace that her “Papa” made for her when she was a young girl. Her sister had custom shoes made, featuring all of Valerie’s favorite colors. Her engagement ring is also blue, matching the color of the ocean — which she and Andrew both love so much.
Even their wedding venue was near and dear to them! The aquarium overlooks the San Diego beach where they had their first date. Valerie and Andrew framed some of their favorite quotes to scatter about on tables at the reception including Walt Whitman’s “We were together, I forget the rest”.
In keeping with the “Modern California” and fun theme, Valerie and Andrew decided on featuring their favorite foods rather than a traditional meal at the reception. The cocktail hour started with local favorite appetizers, California wines and beer from San Diego Duckfoot Brewery. Baja caesar salads, gourmet street tacos, sliders and French fries completed the meal. In addition to the traditional wedding cake, their guests enjoyed custom-made ice cream cookie sandwiches. For the couple’s grand exit, the guests blew bubbles – which is not only fun, but ties in with all of the fish in the aquarium!
Planning a wedding is a celebration of you and your spouse as individuals and as a couple together; incorporating personal touches throughout the day is a wonderful way to do so.
Valerie and Andrew’s love of the ocean and cute animals took them all the way to Australia for a honeymoon of a lifetime! It had been Valerie’s lifelong dream to hold a koala bear and see quokkas. Andrew is passionate about the ocean and snorkeling, so Australia was the perfect choice for the new husband and wife.
They traveled to Brisbane, Australia and visited the Wildlife HQ Zoo, Noosa National Park and the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. After that, they made their way to Perth to visit Rottnest Island, also known as the home of the happy quokka.
“Our honeymoon was truly amazing and filled with the gorgeous coast of Australia, kind people and the most adorable animals on the planet. We can’t wait to go back!” – Valerie
Bridal Shop: The Bridal Collection
Wedding Dress: Kathryn Elizabeth
Photographer: Andrea Flanagan Photography
Caterer: Culinary Concepts
Florist: I Do Flowers for You
Hair/Makeup: Irresistible Mess