Jacy & I met 12 years ago at a festival called the Scottish Highland Games – I had been going to this festival since I was a kid, and he is a drum major for Scottish pipe bands. We were friends for a year until we started dating.
Our relationship was long distance for 5 years while he was in San Diego and I finished up college at Chico State and started my career. Finally, I transferred down to Temecula where we were closer to each other. We always knew we would be together, but also knew we needed to have other success in life such as graduation and jobs to build a foundation.
After 11 years together, we started designing my engagement ring using family stones. Jacy asked me to marry him at his parents home over 4th of July weekend. He flew my mom down and we had a nice celebration with everyone saying “FINALLY!” What I love about our relationship is we truly worked on our timeline, with our terms, never letting others influence our decisions. We knew what was right for us. I’m so lucky!
After graduating from Chico State, I worked for Wedgewood Weddings for 7 years. I was a venue sales rep & coordinator, so I’ve seen a good amount of wedding dresses. I’m talking 200+ wedding dresses a year! I knew it would be difficult for me not to say “I’ve seen this before” as I had likely, in fact, seen it before.
With two friends and my mom by my side, we started the search. I needed a dress within 3 months, so there was a stress factor there too. I knew I wanted something with a V neck and back as I felt that was a flattering look on me. I love lace, but more unique-looking lace. I knew Jacy wouldn’t want to see me in a large gown, and that’s not my style either. I felt like everything I was trying on at other stores was just too much fabric.
Zoë at Always Elegant Bridal helped narrow down the search. As soon as she walked over with my dress I knew it was the one before even putting it on! I didn’t want to take it off.
Jacy & I got married at Galway Downs in Temecula, CA. This is the venue I had worked at for the past 4 years, and the staff had become my family. We also wanted to get married quickly, so it just made sense to host our wedding at the place I knew like the back of my hand.
Jacy’s dad married us. Our nieces & nephews walked down the aisle before me. We didn’t have a wedding party, it was really just about us. We had wanted that moment for so long. Our family and friends wanted that moment for so long. There was no need to add anything else to it.
Galway Downs is an equestrian center with a wedding venue site right in the middle. It has a large modern barn, streams, ponds and little bridges that make for great photos. Plus, the best golden hour I’ve ever seen.
Since I had seen a few weddings in my day, I knew what I wanted to do and didn’t want to do. I had also seen hundreds of couples stress about decor, florals and cake that really didn’t matter at the end of the day. We had fall-colored florals, colored glass vases, cross-back chairs and farm-style tables.
We put eight tables directly down the middle of the reception room with guests sitting on each side. Jacy & I sat at the head of the table so we were able to look down the entire table seeing everyone chatting, laughing and enjoying their meals. Our florist also installed three iron bridges that they hung candles & greenery from. I had the lighting as dim as possible with just candles all the way down the table. It was very romantic.
We had a smaller guest count of 60 immediate family & close friends. The reception space at Galway can seat 300, so I wanted to do something different with the space. Plus, I had seen it set up the same way for every wedding in the past and I wanted to do something outside the box.
It’s very easy to get wrapped up in what you think you need to make your wedding day. Yes, the lounge set that costs 3k to rent is super cute but nobody is going to walk away from your wedding day saying “that was the best lounge set I’ve ever seen”. What really matters is a memorable ceremony, a good photographer, good food & drinks and music to dance to. Throw in your favorite people and that’s a party!
Photographer: Astray Photography | Wedding Dress: Always Elegant Bridal | Venue: Galway Downs by Wedgewood Weddings | Cake/Dessert: BoCakes Bakery | Florist: Soiree Floral Design | Planner & Caterer: Wedgewood Weddings | DJ/Music: Austin Murray Entertainment | Invitations: Minted | Hair & Makeup: Jodi Snowden & Co