Wedding Part 1: Portraits

How does anyone ever decide which wedding photos to share? We finally got the rest of our pictures back this weekend, and if there's one good thing to come out of being quarantined right now, it's that I've had nothing but time to stare at them over and over again. I have so many to share, and it's been so long since I've really blogged that I can't wait to post all of these and give some insights into our big day and the decisions that came out of planning. Before I get into it, let me say this: all signs pointed toward a disaster. We got married on Friday the 13th, we learned that it was going to rain only a few days beforehand (which I know is good luck but never feels like it), and of course, there was a global pandemic. 

I can say with confidence that this was the luckiest I have ever been in my entire life. The day before the wedding, we started getting cancellations, and I freaked out. At the time, people were just starting to realize how serious the pandemic was (and still is), and I was convinced no one was going to show up. Somehow, that didn't happen. Only a small handful ended up not being able to make it, and we had so many people make the trip out that we figured would cancel. It seems crazy and irresponsible now, but almost two months ago, this was right before quarantine started when we were all still figuring out what was going on. I strongly believe that if we had had the wedding a day or two later, we would have had to cancel. We made it just in time, and Jon and I will forever be grateful, especially as so many people are having to cancel their weddings. The situation is horrible right now, but Jon and I are safely quarantined together and still feeling like newlyweds. 

Okay, on to the fun stuff! These aren't even half of the portraits, and they're in no particular order because there are just too many to organize. In this post, I'll shed some light on choosing our venue and the dress! 

The Venue - Speakeasy on State
The venue was arguably the most important decision, and it was certainly the tab I filled up the most with options in my planning spreadsheet. There were originally some venues in Orange County and LA that I fell in love with, but hey, have you heard that weddings are expensive?? We didn't think to look at Redlands, but I found this venue while searching online and the prospect of getting married in a true vintage venue and a cost-effective one at that felt like it at least warranted a visit. We made the decision to get married there almost immediately after leaving our first tour.

If you're wondering, yes, this venue used to be an actual functioning speakeasy in the 1920s! The building has been around since the 1800s, and the owners kept so many of the details from when it was a real speakeasy. There's some original flooring, a red light that used to signal that the cops were coming, markings of a trap door, holes in a door where someone would point a pistol, and more. The brick wall behind us in a lot of these photos (which was the backdrop for the ceremony) was an old advertisement on the side of the building. 

In addition to being gorgeous, we loved that we were able to get a package that was almost all-inclusive. It included the food, DJ, cake, florals, photobooth, and coordinator. I cannot recommend doing all-inclusive or semi-inclusive enough for brides! There were enough little details when it came to planning, and it was a huge load off to not have to look for so many vendors. We also loved that we could have the wedding indoors (which was so fortunate considering the rain) and that we could have the ceremony and reception in the same place, but in two different rooms. I'll touch on some of our vendors in some upcoming posts, but I can't rave about them enough! Everyone at the venue was SO incredibly nice and easy to work with, and we fell in love with our coordinator, Callie. Such a dream come true to work with people who were so on top of everything and also so relaxed. 

I'm sure it goes without saying that a big factor in our decision to go with the venue was this umbrella alley. The alley is adjacent to the venue, and I couldn't resist the idea of taking our wedding photos there. When we learned it was going to rain that week, I had a mild panic attack because even though I knew our wedding would be fine indoors, I had been dreaming of taking pictures in the alley. Once I stopped moping about it, I started looking up inspiration for rainy photos, ordered clear umbrellas, and emailed our photographers to see if they would be up for shooting a bit in the rain (they were). Downtown Redlands is a really cute area, so our original plan was to take all of the family photos in a little area nearby and then take the wedding party photos and the portraits of the two of us in the alley. That was Plan A, and I sent the photographers and our coordinator my Plan B for if it ended up raining harder than we wanted, which was to take all of the group shots inside the venue and brave the rain for some outside with just me and Jon. I really wanted to make people wait as little as possible in between the ceremony and reception, but when it became clear that going out in the rain before the ceremony wasn't a great idea, we moved things around to plan to take our rainy ones before the reception. On the actual day, it ended up being pretty perfect. It was really rainy during our rehearsal and most of the day of the wedding, but by the time we took these, it was a light drizzle. My friend Jenn proved herself to be the best maid of honor of all time by coming out with us, holding the umbrellas, and carrying my train (a TRUE friend). The bottom of my dress got pretty soaked, but at that point, it wasn't a big deal. We're so happy with how the photos came out! 

The Dress
The elusive dress I've been talking about for almost a year! It's by Stella York and was from a local boutique, Pebbles Bridal in Placentia. As I've mentioned, and like so many brides before me, this was completely different than anything I expected to wear. For starters, it's long, which I was adamantly against. It's also WAY more low cut than anything I ever wear, and I surprised myself by deciding on this. But what can I say? That whole thing about putting on the dress and just feeling like it was the one was...mostly true for me. It wasn't my first choice the first time I tried it on, but when I looked through photos of all of the ones I tried, I kept coming back to this one over and over. I couldn't get over how I looked in it and how it fit my curves. When I went back and put it on again, I knew that I wasn't going to feel this good in anything else. I also just loved the layered lace detail, the fact that it came with a sparkly belt with a ribbon bow, and THAT BACK. The back sold it for me and for everyone else I showed. 

I'll have some more details on my accessories in another post (because I planned this poorly), but I was so excited about the denim jacket I wore for photos and after the wedding (pictured below). I had been toying with the idea of getting a custom one or a patch for months, but I never got around to it. A couple of weeks before, I realized that I'd regret it if I didn't since I couldn't stop thinking about it, and I ordered that cute patch last minute from Daily Disco. It ended up being perfect to throw on after the wedding since we went to a bar close by with a bunch of friends and it was pretty chilly! 

All photos are by our incredible photographers, Cobos Co.! Hollow and Grace did such an amazing job, and we couldn't be happier with our photos. Plus, they were just so sweet and good at wrangling my family/making everyone feel comfortable. We looked at SO many photographers and we obviously made the right choice in the end. 

More photos to come! Up next: either getting ready or the ceremony. I haven't decided!

Venue: Speakeasy on State | Photographers: Cobos Co. | Coordinator: K. Rose Events | Dress: Stella York via Pebbles Bridal Boutique | Flowers: I Dew Flowers | Suits: Men's Warehouse | Denim Jacket Patch: Daily Disco | Hair Clip: The Blooming Gift via Etsy


  1. You are stunning!! Loved them all!
    Visit me back

  2. Loving getting to see all this! Congratulations again on your marriage!