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When your groom-to-be calls you “bride chilla” you know you are the ultimate relaxed bride. You’d never guess that taylor + jeff’s planning process was so laidback, considering how beautifully their “spanish fiesta” (dubbed so by fleur de rye based on the tones they chose for their florals) theme came together. Then there’s their unique “venue”—california state university, channel islands—that they decided on after an impromptu late night stroll through campus. It was a rare spot that could accommodate their 350+ guest list, yet still had that spanish and california mission style vibe.

Super cute story behind this necklace: the morning of our wedding, jeff and I went on a breakfast date and exchanged some gifts. He got me a blender in true father of the bride fashion and I freaked out, because… really?

But then he told me to open it and inside was my dream turquoise zuni squash blossom necklace. I still can’t even believe he surprised me with that.

The groom, jeff, designed and planned most of the wedding, coordinating with vendors to make everything cohesive even though they didn’t have a particular theme or color palette in mind (“pale dogwood” was the only shade they really considered a must-have).

Our favorite part of the day was the ceremony. My brother married us and KILLED it. My eyelashes were falling off already by mid ceremony I was crying so much. Jeff has planned on marrying me since he met me when he was in 6th grade. And he saved everything he’s ever written me or I’d said about what I wanted in a partner and pulled out the archives during his vows. I was a blubbering mess. We also loved that my parents and jeff’s mom and step-dad prayed over us mid-ceremony. It was such a sweet intimate moment. Brown university alumni directory we had a framed photo of jeff’s late-dad in the front row. He was with us the whole day.

Sarah of sarah ellefson photography made our wedding from the moment we met her on that first facetime call. She made us feel so at ease. She even suggested we keep photog-shopping to make sure we settled on the right one for us. We did and we came directly back to her. She helped hone it details when it was really hard for me. Brown university providence she helped us with our timeline and made us so comfortable. I can’t stop reliving the day through her photos. She is the most thorough/professional person.

Would you believe that jeff actually wore an express suit he already had? As for the wedding dress, it’s rue de seine ‘blake’ from moondance bridal in san luis obispo. Taylor + jeff don’t consider themselves a traditional couple, so they decided to experience dress shopping together. They both quickly agreed that this was THE dress. Such a sweet memory!

We were in wine country (central california) with my brother and sister-in-law. It had been such a fun morning of hiking, coffee drinking and laughing just the four of us. On our way to our favorite winery he was telling them that this was the place I told him I fell in love with him (months after, of course). I was wondering why he was bringing up sentimental things… but I just went along with it. We got to the vineyard and he wanted me to walk down a row with him so my brother could take our photo. I resisted because it was muddy! But he insisted, so I begrudgingly went anyway.

There’s a series of photos: him by himself, me dragging myself out there, him holding my hands, me looking confused, him reciting a long acronym about all these deep things/why he loves me, me looking SO confused, him on one knee, me crying, joy, shock, SO happy. My brother and sister-in-law had no idea. It was like we all got engaged, we were so excited. Jeff and I have known each other since I was in 5th grade, he in 6th. We’ve traveled different paths, different schools, moved away for college. We both ended up back in the same place. Living 12 houses apart. Brown university religious affiliation he’s known I was the one our whole lives. It just took me a while to catch up. I pawned him off to date my friends, he pined for my love. He went to my grandparent’s hometown in upstate new york to mine the center stone for the engagement ring without me knowing—it’s called a herkimer diamond. It’s the most sentimental thing I now own. We’ve been friends 14 years, lovers 3 and now both for the rest of our lives.

Photography: sarah ellefson photography / location: california state university, channel islands / florals: fleur de rye / hair: moxie hair & design / makeup: noelle baddeley / calligraphy: coté collective / food truck: tacos el caporal / cake: becca stankis / rentals: otis & pearl / bride’s dress: rue de seine ‘blake’ from moon dance bridal in SLO / shoes: schutz / groom’s suit: express