I Do

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Hi everyone! As wedding season kicks off, I hope you’ll enjoy this long overdue look at our wedding from last November, including a little bit about shopping for and tailoring the dress! =)

About Us

First, a little backstory on us. We had been dating a pretty long time by most people’s standards. We got engaged on our 8 year dating anniversary, so we heard a pretty big sigh of “FINALLY!” sweep across from family and friends who had been nosily prodding us on the subject for several years by that point.

We got married within a month of our 9 year dating anniversary, so this fall will mark 10 years of being together, and 1 year of wedded bliss. =)

The Venue

When we moved to San Diego from LA, our first indoctrination into the San Diego craft beer scene was at Stone Brewery in Escondido. I remember first stepping out to the beer garden, sipping on a tasty craft brew, surrounded by happy people (I’m convinced it’s pretty much impossible to feel anything but pure unadulterated joy at Stone Brewery) and thinking, “This is adult Disneyland! If I ever get married, I’d want it to be here!”

Fast forward to wedding venue scouting time, and Stone was first on our list. It turns out Stone in Escondido had some limitations (party size, music restrictions) that were deal breakers for us…but a new, bigger Stone Brewery location had just opened in Point Loma so we focused our attention there.

The day we arrived to tour with the event coordinator, a wedding reception was being held in the exact space we were interested in. We peeked in on the festivities and it was just what we wanted. Laid-back party atmosphere. Delicious food. Delicious beer with two(!) dedicated bars. A kick-ass band playing their hearts out (we liked them so much, we got their card & ended up convincing them to play our wedding too…). We basically said, “We’ll have what they’re having”, booked the space & picked the date right there on the spot. Our impending nuptials were quickly dubbed “Wedding of the Century” by beer thirsty friends and family once the location details started circulating. =)

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The inside space we booked at Stone Brewery, Liberty Station // the chandeliers are beer bottles!

If you’re thinking about a San Diego wedding…Stone is actually a great deal. There is no space rental fee…just minimums that you have to meet, which we easily met and surpassed. It kept our party rentals down to a minimum because most things were included free of charge, such as all tables, chairs, dining plates and silverware, even the servers and tray passers were Stone employees set aside just for our party. Food and drink prices were also not the normal price-gouged wedding prices, which was spectacular. I’d definitely recommend!

The Dress

As a girl who’s not particularly interested in dresses, this part had me stumped for a long time. We were getting married (ceremony & reception) at a beer brewery, so there was no need for anything crazy dramatic or elegant…plus, that’s just not my style. So, I did what most girls do, I started a Pinterest board. It came down to two options…both pretty untraditional. I either wanted to go short fit and flare, or I couldn’t shake my obsession with the dramatic shirt dress. I kept flip flopping between these two options:

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Fun fact: I ended up finding the navy version of the Theory dress on sale!

Ultimately, I decided I’d probably feel more comfortable in something a little more “bride” than the shirtdress, so I booked an appointment with Monique Lhuillier in Los Angeles, since they consistently produce a line of cute, short reception dresses. It was the only bridal dress appointment I booked, and after trying on 3 dresses, I chose the very first dress I tried on that day. The boutique took my measurements, placed the order, and my mom and I toasted with a celebratory glass of wine at the restaurant next door. =)

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I knew exactly what shoes I would wear…my blue suede Manolo Blahnik BB’s.

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Alterations

Since I’m used to complete overhaul tailoring experiences, I didn’t find this part too concerning. I was given the option of using the Monique Lhuillier tailoring services (for a fee of course), or picking up the dress and using a tailor of my choosing. I had no doubt my LA tailor could handle the job, but decided to use the ML tailor, because I knew it would be a lot of complicated work, and I wanted to have the peace of mind knowing that if anything went wrong in the tailoring process, I’d have leverage with the boutique for a rushed fix of the problem (not a guarantee, but at least I’d have ground to stand on).

I went through 4 rounds of fittings. The first was to fit the bodice that lined the inside of the dress. The second was to bring the dress up at the shoulder to better align the waistline and bust to my own since I’m so petite. The third was to slim and adjust the bodice for a snugger fit. The last was to adjust the neckline, since I wanted it cut lower than the original design. I was able to pick up my finished dress 1 week before the wedding. Phew! Just in time.

The Wedding

A few fun facts you might like to know before heading into the photos.

  • Our colors/textures were navy and charcoal tweed.
  • We had a short and sweet ceremony at the brewery in an outside courtyard, officiated by a good friend of ours who got ordained just for the occasion (what a great friend!).
  • We kept our wedding party SUPER small, only consisting of a single maid of honor and best man. They also happen to be the reason we met almost 10 years ago, which made it extra special to us.
  • The outside bar started serving beers before the ceremony, which wasn’t planned, but ended up being great! Oddly enough, it calmed my nerves seeing friends and family happily sipping on beers during the ceremony.
  • The flower leis we are wearing is called a Phuang Malai, which is a flower garland from Thailand.
  • All night, people were complimenting my hair. My response, “Thanks! It’s not mine!” I have SUPER thin hair, so there’s not much to work with. I wanted it to look like I actually had hair, so my hair stylist put in extentions and no one was the wiser until I told them. Ha!

*note: for privacy sake, I’m only including a selection of photos that don’t include party guests.

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Mmm…beer…*drool drool drool* // The real reason everyone showed up ;)

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Our wedding band: The Show Ponies (check out their Youtube Channel!)


They played “La Vie en rose” for our ceremony // so happy a guest captured it on video!

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Some of you may know these wedding crashers ;) Wendy, Jean, & Jen

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The growlers were a popular party favor

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Neither of us like cake, so a friend of ours who went to pastry school agreed to bake her signature Nutella stuffed chocolate chip cookies for our dessert. They were DELICIOUS!

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About half way through the night, I kicked off my 4″ Manolos and switched into a comfy pair of Tieks. =)

All in all, it was a pretty laid back wedding which is exactly what we wanted. I hope you enjoyed the photos, and look out for a little special treat tomorrow. =)

Wedding coordinator: Lindsey Price // Wedding photographer: Tim King // Wedding band: The Show Ponies // Hair & Makeup: Alli Micucci at Bijou Beautiful // Venue: Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens Liberty Station // Floral Arrangments: Studio B Floral Design // Dress: Monique Lhuillier // Shoes: Manolo Blahnik & Tieks

44 Comments

  • Kelly, your wedding looks so thoughtful and beautiful! I love that you were true to yourself and it really shows! I wish all the luck in your life, your wedded life, and your blog! You inspire all the time to embrace who I am and what I like :)

  • Hi Kelly, I just recently discovered your blog and I love how true you are to your style. I love that dress, and your wedding looks like it was amazing! Congrats!

  • Absolutely gorgeous! (Funny thing: I was looking at Stone for ours, and now I wish we’d asked them for quotes because I think I assumed it was too much from what information they had online.)

    • Thanks Revanche! We feared the same thing going into it, but figured it didn’t hurt to try since it was our ideal location from the first time we laid eyes on it. It was actually a really good deal. I’d recommend it for any event, really. =)

  • Swoon! the flare of your dress is perfect! thanks for sharing your special day and little tips on your wedding style :) what a fun intimate wedding!

  • Oh Kelly. Thanks for sharing the details of your special day. Congratulations to both of you. It all sounds so lovely….the venue, ambience, all your beautiful clothes, the happy faces….special memories.
    I personally prefer a modern wedding dress and yours looks so, so pretty on you.
    I’m curious about what nationality your husband is and the story behind the wedding bands on your shoulders. This detail is striking.
    Wishing you both a loyal, long and loving marriage filled with lots of laughter and the strength to ride all the years and grow old together.
    Kind regards, Deb.

    • Thank you so much Deb! My husband is Thai, and those flower garlands draped around our shoulders are called Phuang Malai. I dried them out, but still have to figure out how I want to frame them. =)

  • Everything about this is perfect! You looked stunning in your dress, and what an amazing venue. Congrats Kelly!

  • So beautiful! I love it so much I want to redo mine (something I thought I would never say). The dress, the shoes, the venue, you totally did it right.

    • Hi Ellen! I think their prices recently went up a little bit, but when we booked, it was $5K for the dining hall and $5K for the adjacent outside courtyard in food/drink/extras spends. They also have different pricing for daytime vs. evening bookings…so you could save a lot of money by doing an early event (over by 3pm I think it was…but don’t quote me on that) and you could cut that down by about 1/2! We did a sunset ceremony and night reception, so we opted for the heftier minimum, but we reached it pretty easily with a full seated dinner and open bar all night. They have other spaces for different prices, but I liked that particular dining hall/courtyard combination because it was so private.

  • Kelly, I’ve been waiting months for this post! ;) And it was worth the wait! You looked absolutely stunning. I’m so, so happy for you and Mike. Loved your dress, the shoes, and all the details because they’re so *you*. Also have to echo the guests… absolutely adore your “fuller” hairstyle. Congrats!!

    • Thank you so much Cee! I definitely referenced back to your beautiful small and intimate wedding while planning. ;)

  • Kelly, thank you so much for sharing your wedding story. It’s fabulous and so much like what I wish for mine to look/feel – From the dress to the location! You have such great taste (especially the beer part)!

  • Beautiful wedding! I love how you tailored it to your personalities and didn’t give into the wedding machine. You looked beautiful. What do the neck, rope embellishments signify?

    • Thank you Gigi! We are wearing Phuang Malai around our necks, a traditional flower garland from Thailand (my husband is Thai). They are worn during celebrations, like graduations and weddings. =)

  • Kelly, Love love love your story, your dress and choice of shoe, and all the photos!!! You look so great! Congratulations :)

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