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Blanca + CJ
- Wedding planner – Ramona Arnold Simple Country Weddings, assisted by Jessica Shurtleff of Joyeux Events
- DJ/Band – DJ Alazzawi
- Caterer – Culinerdy Cruzers
- Bakery/desserts – Goodies & Co
- Bartender – Mobile Mixologist
- Photographer – Clair Images
- Videographer – Dallas Hamm, Elevated Designs
- Venue – McFarland Ranch
- Floral Designer – Accents By Sage
- Specialty Lighting – DeBorba Events
How did you meet? – CJ saw a picture of me on Facebook. A mutual friend had just joined my sorority uploaded pictures of us together onto her profile. CJ saw the pictures and requested that she set us up on a date. A few pictures later and she finally agreed to set us up on a date
Where was your first date? – Our first date was at a Chili’s. It was my first time seeing CJ in person and so I did not want to go alone. I asked a few of my sisters to come along for the ride. CJ was a trooper and put up with me and my sisters on the first date.
Where did you get engaged? – It was Spring Break (woohoo) and we drove 12 hours to Portland to spend our first long distance trip together. While staying in Portland, I had planned to propose to Blanca at the Rose Garden but the flowers weren’t in bloom yet. So I improvised and decided that the only other place that had enough beauty for the moment was the Japanese Gardens. I had a friend in the area follow us until we found just the right moment alone near a shrine. I got down on one knee and asked her to marry me.
What was you first impression of each other? –
BLANCA -I saw CJ walk in and immediately thought he was super handsome! As we got to talking I realized how funny he was. I spent the whole night laughing and maybe said about 2 words! haha!
CJ -She was soft spoken and shy. She brought 5 friends to our first date. It was rather intimidating. Then on top of that she lied to me. She told me the whole day she was starving and so she ordered sliders. She took one bite. One! She wasn’t hungry. I’m over there devouring my steak and she is just staring at me eating. With most girls I wouldn’t have bothered having a second date but there was a kindness about her that made me want to learn more about this quiet girl across from me.
When did you start planning your special event? – We started planning the day after Blanca graduated from college the summer after I proposed. We knew we’d have a long engagement since we were paying for it all ourselves. So over the next two plus years we planned our wedding.
What was the most fun detail in planning your wedding? – Venue shopping was a blast. We got a chance to see so many different beautiful places and trying to find the one that was just right gave us that bit of joy and excitement. Oh and cake tasting wasn’t that bad either!
How did you choose your style/theme? – We didn’t want something that was overly extravagant. We liked the idea of a simple rustic theme and it just fit our personalities.
What was the most difficult detail to agree on? – Guest list. So much back and forth. Not necessarily with each other. It was usually arguments with parents or grandparents about which random cousin we were leaving off the list.
What was the most unique detail about your ceremony? Reception? – Blanca’s parents are Spanish speaking and don’t understand much English. When I wrote my vows I knew I wanted to do something special for them. So I had a friend help me translate my vows so that members of her family would be able to understand the love that I have for her and what I vow to do for her in our lives together.
What personal touches did you include in your ceremony? Reception? – We wanted to include things that were special and unique to who we were as individuals. Blanca is a member of Phi Sigma Sigma so she had her sorority badge on her bouquet. I’m a big disc golf fan so when I threw the garter, I wrapped it around one of my putters that I use for the sport to get that extra distance on my throw.
What was the inspiration behind your flowers? – We wanted something that matched the venue and Blanca has always been in love with succulents.
How did you choose your wedding colors? – As a Cowboys fan, I’ve always looked good in Navy and Grey. Blanca wanted to add Blush to complement the blue and grey. It just seemed like a natural fit.
Did your pet play a role in your wedding? – Milo is a Jack Russell Terror, I mean Terrier. He has a mind of his own and while we would have loved for him to be involved in the actual ceremony, he got to enjoy the rehearsal and walk down the aisle then. We knew on the real day there would be too much stimulation for him to focus.
What was the inspiration for the dress you chose? Who is the designer of your gown? – Since I am a small girl, I knew I wanted something simple and flowy. Something that seemed lightweight and wouldn’t weigh me down. The moment I tried on my dress I knew it was the one! My dress was the first thing I bought for the wedding! I bought my dress in SLO at A Heart’s Desire, it is Casa Blanca
Describe your wedding day -Our wedding day was perfect. All I remember is people telling me that the day was going to fly by, so to enjoy every moment of it. And looking back I know I did. After saying I do, CJ and I spent the rest of the day together. From eating our delicious food, to saying hello to all our guests. Then we left the party for sunset photos. And this will be something I will never forget. We got to go away and just be ourselves and enjoy how happy we were. After a good breather and many pictures later, we had a blast returning to the party and just danced the night away.
How did your wedding reflect the dream wedding you had as a child? – Being able to marry the person you love the most in the world. It absolutely lived up to the dreams we had as children.
If you could go back and change one thing about your wedding day, what would that be? – The heat!! 104 degrees?? No thank you!
How did you pick your first dance song? What song was it? -This was a big point of contention between us. – Blanca wanted some lame song. I wanted Marry Me by Train. For the first and probably final time, I actually won the argument. Whenever I heard the song, I could only think about Blanca and I knew that I wanted it to be our first song.
What was the funniest OOPS moment of your wedding day? – Probably the best man speech. It went from great to Michael Scott awkward to great again. He started with all these compliments about CJ and then proceeded to explain why CJ is a vindictive person who holds grudges for life. He then finished on a bright note again talking about the dedication he would have for me. So the oops was not clearing his speech beforehand.
Any other details/comments you would like to share? -The food was bomb! Highly recommend Culinerdy. Many of our guest raved about how much they loved the food truck
Dennielle + Chris
Venue: The Flower Farm Inn | Full Wedding Planning and Day of Coordination : Simple Country Weddings, assisted by Jessica Shurtleff of Joyeux Events | DJ: DeBorba Events | Catering: Culinerdy Cruzer | Wedding Cake: Go West Baking | Photographer: Isaiah & Taylor Photography | Bartenders: Gracie and Abbey | Videographer: Wedding Mix | Floral design: Melody, Family friend
How did you meet? We met through friends while attending California State University, Chico.
Where was your first date? Our first date was at Frankie’s Italian Restaurant in Chico, CA.
Where did you get engaged? We got engaged at Tree Bones Resort in Big Sur, CA.
What was you first impression of each other? Chris’s first impression of Dennielle was that she was attractive. Dennielle’s first impression of Chris was that he was very handsome.
When did you start planning your special event? We started planning our wedding in October 2015.
What was the most fun detail in planning your wedding? The most fun detail that we enjoyed about planning our wedding was hand- making details of the wedding such as the corn hole board and the guest sign in board because they made them together.
How did you choose your style/theme? We decided on a simple, fun, home-like feel because we wanted our guest to have fun and enjoy their time celebrating with us.
What was the most difficult detail to agree on? The most difficult detail to agree on was deciding if we should spend extra money on a professional videographer. We decided to go a less expensive route and have our guest video our wedding and send to Wedding Mix to make our wedding video.
What was the most unique detail about your ceremony? Reception? The most unique detail about our ceremony was that we did a combination of doing our own vows and repeating vows. The most unique detail about the reception was that Dennielle surprised her mom and danced with her during the dances.
What personal touches did you include in your ceremony? Reception? Personal touches during the ceremony included fans on every chair to explain the wedding party and to thank our guests for attending. During the reception personal touches included having Dennielle’s grandma’s quilt hanging behind the thank you gifts that she made for their wedding.
What was the inspiration behind your flowers? The inspiration behind the flowers was that Dennielle’s favorite flower has always been a sunflower because they make people happy and they wanted to incorporate sunflowers to celebrate this happy occasion.
How did you choose your wedding colors? We wanted to have a nice contrast that would match the yellow in the sunflowers so we decided on a grayish blue for the bridesmaid’s dresses
What was the inspiration for the dress you chose? Who is the designer of your gown? Designer: Enzoani. The dress was chosen because it was simple but elegant with a low back and that is exactly what Dennielle wanted.
Describe your wedding day. Our wedding day was magical, surrounded by love and support. The whole day ran smoothly because of Ramona and Jessica. They decorated the Flower Farm beautifully and were so professional in coordinating all of the vendors, wedding party, and guests. We believe that the reason our wedding was so magical was because of them. Everyone was on the same page, organized, and if there was something that did not go according to plan they knew exactly how to handle each and every situation with poise and elegance. We felt so blessed to have everyone who loves us in one room to celebrate unity and love with us. From start to finish our wedding day was incredible. All thanks to Simple Country Weddings. We cannot thank them enough.
How did your wedding reflect the dream wedding you had as a child? Our wedding exceeded our expectations that we had thought of as children. Everything went smoothly and better than expected, we couldn’t have asked for anything better.
If you could go back and change one thing about your wedding day, what would that be? To remember to pack socks for Dennielle’s dancing shoes!
How did you pick your first dance song? What song was it? Perfect by Ed Sheeran. Since we were living in Long Beach, CA during the planning stages we made several road trips back to Sacramento and during these road trips we would listen to music and this song just spoke to both of us and we knew that this song would be the song we had to dance to for our first dance.
What was the funniest OOPS moment of your wedding day? During the ceremony Dennielle started walking back down the aisle immediately after our first kiss but before the officiate presented us as Mr. and Mrs. Flores.
By Guest Author Wendy Dessler
Today’s bride and groom are not the newlyweds of yesteryear. Many couples are marrying after they have graduated college and have begun their careers. They are likely to have purchased a home together and have already furnished that home. Many couples see the price tag of an elaborate wedding as wasteful and the socially minded couple would rather the money go to a worthy cause. There are many ways to incorporate giving into the tradition of wedding activities. Below we are listing our top ten choices. However, use your imagination and create your own charitable wedding activities that mean something to you and contribute to meaningful causes in your world.
There are many platforms that allow people to create a fundraising avenue. This is a worthwhile effort. It is wise to read the sites carefully to ensure that there are no hidden fees associated with the gifts. Sites like Plumfund provide an easy to use platform that is free. Whether the fundraising is to help a friend or family member who is in need, to pay expenses associated with treatment, or more traditional reasons, free fundraising is a top choice.
Paper Goods That Give Back
Your paper products such as invitations, save the date cards, announcements, place cards and such are an expected expense. Take advantage of the opportunity to include your charity fundraising link on your paper products. As an added bonus, choose a supplier that makes a contribution to the charity of your choice from the proceeds of your order. An example is I Do Foundation which makes a 10% donation to your charity choice.
Donate Your Gown
While many brides choose to save their wedding gown in the hope that someday a future daughter may want to use a vintage gown in their ceremony. However, if you would like to help fight breast cancer, consider donating your gown to Brides Against Breast Cancer. They will resell your gown and donate the money earned to the cause.
If your bridesmaids would like to donate their dresses to a worthy cause, consider The Glass Slipper Project in Chicago. This organization helps disadvantaged teens have prom dresses. They have more information on their site for other programs nationwide.
Feed The Hungry
Donate leftover food from your receptions, showers, parties, and rehearsal dinners to a local homeless shelter. Most catering services will place leftover foods in disposable containers for easy transport.
Flowers For Nursing Homes
Arrange to have a trusted friend or the bridal party to collect the blooms from the flowers that are used in the wedding and deliver them to a local nursing home. This is a welcome treat for the residence and gives you more use for your money.
Consider having a girls night in, sleepover, or pool party instead of the traditional bachelorette party. Ask each guest to chip in the amount of money they would have spent for a night at the bar and donate the money to the local power company to pay the electric bill for a struggling family.
Food banks across the country are struggling trying to keep up with the demands of the hungry. Announce a food bank donation on your wedding shower invitations. Ask each guest to bring a nonperishable food donation to the shower and deliver the gift to a local pantry.
Rent a non-profit space for your wedding venue. Many museums and botanical gardens rent space and the money supports their venue and makes a beautiful memory for your wedding day.
Do some research and use credit cards that make a donation with your needed purchases. Check out Working Assets for more information. There are also some store cards that make donations for education. An example will be Target which allows you to donate to the school of your choice for education.
Guest Author Wendy Dessler
Blogger at HoneyFund.com
Super-Connector at OutreachMama
Wendy is a super-connector with OutreachMama and Youth Noise NJ who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition. You can contact her on Twitter.
High school sweethearts Aaliyah and Derek’s wedding was featured in Reverie Gallery.
This Galas Barn rustic elegance wedding included rentals by Simple Country Weddings.