Monica & Ryan | Real Weddings
With their friends and family in attendance, Monica and Ryan became husband and wife in a romantic estate wedding in San Diego.
Monica, how did Ryan propose?
I love going to the Del Mar Horse Races and eating, so when he told me there was an event going on at the races where we could try tacos from more than 40 of the best restaurants and food trucks from San Diego, TJ and LA, I was in! After the races and taco eating, he told me he had to meet someone from work, which I totally believed. Apparently, the guy was “running late” so we took a walk on the beach and BOOM! There it was! A blanket set up with roses, candles and champagne. I was shocked and so excited! He got down on one knee and proposed. I don’t think I said anything, but I hugged him and he asked, “Is that a yes?” I responded, “YES!”
After the proposal we were supposed to meet his family for dinner, which had been planned for weeks. Little did I know that when I went to his parents’ to freshen up for the dinner, there was a surprise party with all our family and friends! It was such a great way to propose and throw an engagement party!
Tell us about the location.
Being a wedding planner made it really hard when choosing the perfect venue. At Create Events, we work with so many great venues and staffs, so narrowing it down would have been almost impossible. We asked a close family friend about using their home. This was extremely special to me since my family and I have spent every Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas at this home for the past 10+ years. I’ve also always loved estate-style weddings, which made this location the wedding venue of my dreams.
What was the theme or inspiration?
My husband and I wanted to keep it simple. I love weddings with a clean, fresh look, so sticking with white, gold and neutrals was extremely important when creating the overall look. Ryan wanted something outdoorsy and fun, so I decided to incorporate market lighting, farm tables and other wood elements. By adding chiffon runners, white linen rounds and a lot of candlelight, I was able to soften the setting and make both of our visions come to life. One decor item I really wanted were the cascading flowers on the fountain. This was a focal point throughout the reception, and many of our guests used it as a backdrop for photos.
Tell us about your DIY wedding projects.
As a wedding planner, I’ve noticed that a lot of guests at weddings tend to skip signing the guest book, so we are constantly reminding them to do so. Because of this, I decided to incorporate a recipe card in the invitation. That way, guests could send it back with their response card or bring it with them to the wedding to drop off. Now we have so many different family recipes to make and pass on to our children one day.
I created a memorial tree with hanging photos of family members, people who would have attended our wedding and our pets. It was subliminal but still there, and many guests commented on how creative and thoughtful it was. It was something different that they had not seen before.
Ryan is in the alcohol industry, and one of the brands he distributes is Dom Pérignon. We were given a bottle as a gift and used it as something for guests to sign at the “welcome table.” Next to it was a note that let guests know we would be opening up the bottle to celebrate our one-year anniversary.
As a wedding planner yourself, how did you approach planning your own wedding? Was it any different than helping a client?
It was different in a way, but because I made my husband my “client,” the approach was the same. I asked him what his vision was for the wedding and if he had anything that was a must. It was important for me to include his ideas and make him feel like he was part of the process.
What were your favorite moments?
Oh, my gosh, there are too many so I’ll just go down the line:
1. First, look! I’ve seen so many weddings, but being in the moment myself was surreal. For me, it was almost like an out-of-body experience. I loved having the time just with him!
2. Walking down the aisle with my dad. I always tell my brides to take their time and enjoy the moment, so I took my own advice. I soaked everything in while walking down the aisle and felt so happy to have my father there with me.
3. Our personal vows. I remember looking at Ryan and he was so teary-eyed. Everywhere I looked people were crying. I know people were crying because they thought it was sweet, but honestly, I was too happy to cry. I couldn’t stop smiling.
4. Incorporating Persian traditions was really important to me. Both the honey ceremony and sugar-grinding ceremony are moments I’ll never forget.
5. Father-daughter dance. We started out with the traditional slow song, but when the second the song switched to Persian music, I heard an instant roar and clapping from the crowd. Then when we invited guests to join the dance floor, I remember seeing 200+ people get up and charge the floor—it was crazy!
Your wedding dress was custom made. Any special story behind that?
I’ve seen so many beautiful dresses on my brides, but wanted to take elements that I thought would be perfect for my build and style. It was really important for me to be comfortable, as well, so I had my designer create a chiffon skirt that could be taken off at any time. Having this element as part of my wedding dress was perfect, because I could have a full-length wedding dress for all the formals and then take it off for the reception and dancing!
Your Nordstrom experience: How did you choose your bridesmaid dresses?
My bridesmaid DeAnna (a Nordstrom employee) was actually a big part of choosing the bridesmaid dresses. We went over the location, feel and overall style. From there she was able to narrow down a few designers that she thought would be perfect for my wedding. I chose Show Me Your Mumu because I wanted my bridesmaids to be comfortable and have something they would probably wear again. I chose the colors and from there let them pick any style they wanted. It worked out perfectly since each girl was able to choose what fit her own body type!
Advice for other brides-to-be?
Relax and enjoy the day! Don’t stress about the little things. It’s truly about being present and letting go! It’s also extremely important to hire at least a day-of coordinator! That way you, your family and friends can really relax and know everything is being taken care of.
Where was/is the honeymoon?
Photography by France Photographers
Wedding planning by Create Events
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