The Day We Got Married – Part One | Getting Ready!

2017 was a crazy busy year with a lot of moving around and hours in front of a screen – with the break, I finally have time to blog about our May wedding. I am in love with the photos of the day and am so thankful for everyone who helped pull together our ‘small backyard wedding’ for 300. Most importantly, after 7 months of marriage, I can look back at that day and say that marrying Devin Hawkins was one of the best decisions I have ever made! Welcome to 1/3 of these posts – I’ve got to get everything down in writing so I don’t forget.

I saw this Essence of Australia bridal gown at Mira’s Bridal over a year before the wedding and fell in love with the skirt and the color! I never even tried on another dress, haha. There was a bit of a mixup with the bodice and it wasn’t what I wanted at all (cue the irrational tears) but my amazing sister spent a couple days as seamstress changing the whole shape of the upper gown to be more of what I wanted. She’s an angel and I felt like a princess all day. <3

Devin and I didn’t want a big matchy matchy wedding, we were going for a classy backyard wedding that was fun for all our friends and family. Part of that meant that I wanted my bridesmaids to have it simple too – they could choose their own dresses and shoes, and I’d have hair and makeup for them on the day. I loved the gowns they picked – my only requirement being that they were black and full length. I feel like their choices really matched their personalities in a way. (And how does that saying go? “You can easily wear it somewhere else”)My accessories all fell together as we got closer to the day – my girls were amazing and helped me pull off all the rose gold pieces that I envisioned. (Soooo 2017, but sill my favorite metal!) Natalie bought me the Rose Gold glitter Keds (Kate Spade Edition) for Christmas 2016. I’d been looking at all the different rose sneakers on the market and hadn’t even seen these ones… how great of a sister in law is she?? Then Liz picked up all the Kendra Scott jewelry – my earrings and bracelet, and matching earrings for the girls – she flew them all the way out from DC and gifted me the bracelet that matched everything else! She also grabbed the matching nail polish for me, and I have to tell you, the KS polish is incredible – such an amazing color and it’s easy to apply and stays on forever. 10/10 would recommend. 

Talking about mix ups, my makeup artist cancelled on me 10 days before the wedding. It wasn’t the end of the world, but I was definitely upset. I wanted to let everyone feel pampered and get glammed up. I called Holly with the bad news and she recommended her personal MUA from Fresno… incredibly, Marie Rojo drove all the way to Hickman to help Holly, Nicki, Liz, and Alie get their war paint makeup on point.

With half the girls covered, I reached out to an old friend – Bitsy Briones – down in Santa Clarita who does incredible work, and practically begged her to be my Makeup Artist for the day. I should have known I didn’t need to beg, she was quick to say yes and then drove up the night before to do a trial run with me before the day of. 😮 How incredible are these wedding vendors?? I was absolutely blown away and I can’t say enough about how personable Bitsy was and how incredible her work is. If you live in Santa Clarita and need a glam look, seriously hire her – you will not be disappointed!! (And thanks to Tai for housing Bitsy while she was here so she wasn’t alone in some hotel room somewhere) Shoutout to Holly for making sure I got a ‘basic bride’ Starbucks cup – Cool Lime Refreshers are 100% better than coffee. I’d fight you on that.I was super laid back in planning the wedding day – I probably should have cared more, but 2017 was a weird year for me and it wasn’t in the cards to be the Type A planner I always thought I’d be. (Living on the other side of the world didn’t help) Basically, I pulled together a group of incredible professionals (and some friends), gave them a general idea of what I was wanting, and let them do whatever they wanted. I think that’s why I’m so rave-y about everyone who helped make the day feel super special for Devin and me.

One such woman was Rebecca Carnes – hair stylist extraordinaire. We had talked a couple weeks before the wedding about what I was looking for, how many girls there were, and what the timeline was. She and her assistant turned up early and rocked amazing styles for everyone pretty much on the fly. I am 100% terrible with hair – ponytails are the extent of my skills – so I am in awe at what these ladies were able to pull together from the millions of strands of hair we all have. When I’d mention to friends who I had booked to do hair, it was a anonymous “Oh great, she’s the best there is!!” We met again later in the year when she was the hair stylist for Emma’s wedding. So so good.

My bridesmaids have the best smiles and are soooo beautiful!!

Marie finishing up on the left while Bitsy get’s my OK for my mom’s makeup on the right. 

Not only did Nicki help me fix my dress, she also made a matching dress from scratch for Rosie AND helped me put together my veil. Initially I wasn’t going to do a veil, but a couple weeks before the wedding, I changed my mind. I’m allowed to do that, right? Nicki and I went down to JoAnnes to find lace. As soon as I saw this bold Art Deco styled lace I KNEW it had to be for me. It was slightly browner than my dress color, but I think it actually added a pop of contrast. (We made sure the body of the veil was a perfect match to the dress.) My sister is seriously amazing… there is no way I would have been able to do everything I wanted without her.

These Kendra Scott earring were the perfect size – dainty and delicate while still being visible and staying out of the way. I also hadn’t used the Michael Kors perfume before that day, so that smelling it in the future will bring back all the amazing memories.
The one thing I knew I wanted to do from day one of wedding planning, was to throw a luncheon for my closer gal pals after we had gotten ready, but before the Ceremony. We all had to eat anyway, but I wanted some extra time with college friends who were driving in from out of town, and I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for the impact they’ve had in my life over the years. I have so so so much love for all these women and what better day to celebrate them? Not everyone could make it, but I am so thankful that I put this in the timeline.. and we all ate well!! I ordered Panera Bread weeks earlier and Rachel picked it up on the morning so that none of the wedding party had to leave. (Yay friends) I looooove Panera catering – It comes out at around $8 a person and is more than enough food. We were giving food away to all the people helping set up and we still had some leftover for snacking on after the ceremony!
I lived with the most amazing girls in college (GO DIXON) and was so excited to see some of them – they all had to travel in from out of town!! I love these girls so much! 

Reception Venue: Hickman Community Church
Photography: Nauna Photography + Julie Hughes Photography
Videographer: Resistance Videography
Bride’s Dress: Mira’s Bridal
Dress Designer: Essence of Australia
Jewelry: Kendra Scott
Flowers: Muffie Farinha + Shirley Griggs
Makeup: Bitsy B Beauty  +  Marie Rojo
Hair: Rebecca Carnes
Luncheon Catering: Panera Bread
Reception Catering: Cassie Shepherd
Photobooth: Creative Smiles Photo Booth
Cake: Serene Asire
DJ: Christian Herrera

Part Two | First Look and the Ceremony Coming right up!! 🙂