Simply in Love

As I pulled up to the Classic Rock Café in downtown Fullerton, I knew things were about to get real and this sense of knowing I should be more nervous than I was, but I wasnt. :) Leanna and Steve were the very first couple I had ever scheduled a consultation with and I remember that high… of cloud 9!

They greeted me as they walked into the coffee shop, with warmth and that feeling of familiarity, that radiates when you’re around close friends. Our conversation was breezy and both sides knew that we could trust one another, on this journey we were about to embark on! I reassured Leanna that I would take care of her and Steve on their wedding day and that I would do everything in my power to make the day as stress free as possible! (Leanna owns a dance studio in DTF with her sister and is very comfortable with taking care of others and planning full on dance productions. However, she really wanted the responsibility lifted from her on this special day!) I glided out the front door of that café, with so much confidence and a signed contract for my first wedding!!

I met with them in May and their wedding was not until October. What I felt like was going to feel like eternity, jetted by. Before I knew it, I was meeting with Leanna again, at her sister’s home in Belmont Shore, where the wedding was to take place. The space was perfect for an intimate wedding like Leanna had envisioned. This beautiful home, walking distance from the beach (where the ceremony would commence), opened up into the front yard where guests would eat, drink and be marry! Leanna was VERY organized as she laid out all the details for me. She had orchestrated the timing for all her vendors, nothing was overlooked and she nicely packaged into separate boxes, the décor that I was responsible for arranging the morning of the wedding.

October 13th rolled around the corner and before I knew it, I was out of bed and on my way down Ocean Boulevard, to that gorgeous home on La Verne Avenue. :) There was a detail that most brides would not have looked at as minor and that was the weather! The skies were grey and as I continually checked the weather, rain was in our forecast! I quickly parked my car and nervously walked to the house, as I was uncertain of how Leanna was going to be feeling. I had coordinated with brides before at venues I had previously worked at and if they even heard a whisper of rain, anxiety and stress would be swirling through the room!!

To my very pleasant surprise, but not really because she had been so easy going the entire process. :) Leanna greeted me at the door with a hug and a smile! She very non-saliently mentioned that we would probably be moving the ceremony…again, a little unnerved, but Leanna was on the phone and figuring it out! It was quickly decided that the ceremony would take place at the Long Beach Yacht Club. As I arranged the centerpieces of baby's-breath in the kitchen, I took calls from Leanna’s phone; directing vendors, family members and the groom, to the new ceremony location and even more to my surprise, things kept right along!

Intimate photos of the bride and her daughters were captured in the living room, where beautiful, white light sneaked in through the cracks of the clouds and flooded through the floor to ceiling windows. Shortly after the bride and her family headed off to the club and the busyness of the morning settled, I continued the set up for the reception.

Neighbors graciously agreed to having the street closed off, so we could set up rectangular tables draped in white linen and burlap runners. Framed with white chairs, that were protected under white tenting. Pops of yellow, rustic and frills were splashed around the space, along side delicate white frames, capturing quotes of love. Inside, the kitchen was set with a lovely spread of cheeses, crackers and fruit. Where guests would gather for cocktails and socializing. Their wedding cake was displayed in the dining room, under a sparkling crystal chandelier. Leanna’s vision of simple beauty was pulled off!!

I will hold a few moments of that evening close to me, but two of them distinctly stand out! The first being; that the day Leanna and Steve got married, Steve’s parents were also celebrating their wedding anniversary. After Leanna and Steve danced their first, Steve’s parents were asked to step out on the dance floor, where they were surprised with the song that they first danced to on their wedding day!! It was beyond precious!!

The second being at the very end of the night. The bartender had packed up the bar, the rental company had picked up the seating area outside and the cops had paid a visit (hahaha- I guess we were having too much fun!). The entire party gathered in the kitchen after literally, dancing the night away and shared left overs, where the celebration continued. It was a picture full of love and happiness. You don't need to be over the top to make a wedding memorable.

It’s moments like these, that I reflect on quite often. They are a reminder of why I do what I do. Yes, I love to design and create but my true passion is people. Getting to be apart of these memories in people’s lives and knowing that I helped make it happen, touches my soul and pulls at my heart strings.

Leanna and Steve’s wedding emulated the true meaning of marriage, bringing two families together and capitalizing on what really matters, the people you love!

Months later, I still stay in contact with the couple, as Leanna as taken on a venue of her own in DTF! The Classic Fullerton Ballroom She asked me to meet with her on a chilly winter morning, where she asked me if I would like to be apart of her couple’s wedding day experience! I was so over the moon with joy and couldn't wait to share with her, the story of how her and Steve were the first couple I ever met with and booked for my business!!

Isn’t it funny, how life comes full circle!

Erin James