Desktop and Tablet header image Mobile header image

helping brides create beautiful weddings without breaking the bank

This J.Crew inspired wedding made me SO very happy that I couldn't wait to share it with you! I could go on and on about just the flowers from this wedding- they are SO gorgeous! And amazingly enough, the bride and her bridesmaids did all of the flowers for the day- didn't they do a fantastic job?  This whole event just oozes happiness, including the darling couple, Kiersten and Bradley! It has so much clever, quirky personality- I especially love the banner with the quote from The Princess Bride. Definitely make sure to read the details about their table ‘numbers' and the special cake cutting ceremony that they did with each of their parents– SO sweet! This might be one of my favorite featured weddings, ever. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do! xoxo-Jessica

J.Crew Inspired California Wedding

J.Crew Inspired California Wedding

J.Crew Inspired California Wedding

J.Crew Inspired California Wedding

J.Crew Inspired California Wedding

J.Crew Inspired California Wedding

J.Crew Inspired California Wedding

J.Crew Inspired California Wedding

J.Crew Inspired California Wedding

J.Crew Inspired California Wedding

J.Crew Inspired California Wedding


Kiersten + Bradley

May 28, 2011
Poway + San Diego, CA


What was your budget? If you are able, give us a rough breakdown of how you spent your budget.

We started out with a 10-12,000 dollar range, but after meeting with Shari at Swann Soiress we realized a day of event coordinator was a must. I think our wedding was around $13,000 total.

Bradley is from Tennessee and I'm from Maryland and we met and fell in love in Los Angeles, and got engaged in San Francisco. We decided before he proposed we would defiantly get married in LA, but after getting engaged I really loved the idea of having the priest who married my parents also marry us. He was in San Diego, and after realizing many of our wedding party and guests would be flying across the country anyway, we decided to make it a destination of sorts in San Diego.

How many guests did you have?  


What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?

They were only three ideas I went into wedding planning with: I didn't want a pouffy, princess dress, I wanted white lights in the trees and finally I wanted my favorite cake: a Baskin Robbins mint chocolate chip ice cream cake. My husband and I come from amazing families with strong marriages.  We knew that our wedding was just one day, but the marriage is a lifetime.  With that being said, we also knew we wanted the wedding to be one big celebration of a weekend that was truly and uniquely us.
I poured over so many blogs, falling in love with a whimsical, J.crew feel to our wedding. We decided on gray tones and fresh green with splashes of spring pastels. It was really important that our wedding was completely us, but also celebrating all those who had gotten us to this very important day.  We started to call the day “Fantastical Marryment” and it just stuck and became our theme of sorts.
I don't like matchy-matchy, so each of my bridesmaids chose their own grey dress. I gave them inspiration pictures and they them bought in a range of prices. It was great to have each one in a different tone, cut and silhouette. My twin sisters were the only ones who wore the same one from I found the girls shoes on They were the perfect color!  I gave them each a small rose gold locket necklace by  She's a childhood friend of my husband and new sister-in-law.  In fact the lockets inspired me to choose a rose gold wedding band.

We wanted the groomsmen to have the same fresh, whimsy look. They chose their own gray pants and brown shoes.  My husband gave each of them green gingham skinny ties, designed by our friend Matthew, to celebrate the weekend.  Bradley wanted a little more dressed up look and wore grey pants and vest from  I loved the way the wedding party turned out!

What was the biggest thing you did to save money?

I decided about halfway through the engagement I was gonna do all our flowers. The quotes we were getting were so high, and honestly my taste was too much for my budget. So early Thursday morning before heading down to San Diego, my twin sisters and best friend all drove down to the LA Flower Mart and bought peonies, ranunculus, baby's breath and so much more. I watched video after video on how to make arrangements. And so Friday morning my bridesmaids and girls all had a flower party, we- in freezing hotel rooms because we had to crank the AC up- made 10 bouquets, 12 boutonnieres, 6 corsages and so much more!  Many of my girls had just met each other the night before at dinner, so it was great for everyone to hang out and get to know each other.

What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?

I think the best advice I got was from my best friend who's an event and wedding planner. She said, “Just know someone's gonna get upset. Someone's not going to be happy with the place you've chosen, the dress you chose, who is in your bridal party, etc. It's your day to celebrate each other and also celebrate everyone who've gotten you to this day.”  That gave me so much freedom to not please everyone all the time. We of course made decisions with others in mind, but at the end of the day truly had the wedding we wanted, the wedding we chose.

What was your biggest splurge?

Honestly, having a day of coordinator wasn't in our plans at all, but it was the best wedding decision we made.

What was your favorite detail?

Bradley and I are both actors and met in an improv class. It roughly took three “meetings” and three years to actually find each other. The first time we met, I thought he was too nice and didn't call him back after our date. The second time we met, I felt bad for breaking his heart and I later found out he didn't even remember me. The third time, he was still incredibly nice, but I also realized he was witty, funny and incredibly caring. It didn't take long for me to fall in love. A few months into us dating, I noticed all of our text messages backed up to his email. I asked him to start saving all those emails in a folder, but didn't tell him why…

The DIY reception decor was probably my favorite thing about the wedding itself!  I finally told Bradley why I wanted him to save the texts… to go on each table.  Instead of numbering the tables, each one had a handmade flag with a tea towel calendar cut out with a heart around the date and labeled with the event. Then on each table was a hand painted frame with texts from that day. From our first date, to the first time we met each other's parents, to our engagement, each table was a little part of our relationship. Guests could go around and read some silly, or sweet texts we had sent each other. These took FOREVER to go through but we had a blast doing it and so many guests walked around to each table during the sangria hour.


What is the most memorable moment of your day?

I think there are two. Honestly the whole weekend was wonderful, but these are the two that we always talk about.
The first was our rehearsal dinner. It was so incredibly special. We had about 50 people in the back room at The Hamburger Factory and Bradley and I had the idea to give each of parents a little cake with their own handmade wooden cake toppers to celebrate their 35 and 34 years of marriage respectively. Each couple had a little cake cutting ceremony, where we got to make a little speech and thank them for everything they've done to get us ready to this point. The rest of the night was filled with our family and friends telling funny and sweet stories to toast– and honestly who doesn't love great things being said about them for hours 🙂
The second was at our reception. A friend of mine asked our friend who was DJing if he had any Disney songs. I was a Disney princess for 5 years for kids' parties and I've just always loved Disney. She dedicated, “A Whole New World” to us and Bradley and I started to lip sync and dance the whole song. Being that we're both actors and comedians we fell right into an improved performance. We both pretended to be on a flying carpet and just randomly dipped and swerved at the same time. It was hysterical and many of friends couldn't believe it was just random. It was truly this fun moment that solidified how truly matched we are for each other.


Coordinator: Swann Soirees    |   Photographer: Aaron and Samantha Photography    |   Hair and Make up: Marisa Von Sheere    |   Bride’s Dress: marguerite by wtoo    |   Groom’s Suit: jcrew    |   Ceremony: St. Michael’s Catholic Church    |   Reception: Spanish Village Arts Center, Balboa Park    |   Caterer: El Indio Catering    |   Ice Cream Cake: Baskin Robbins    |   Flowers: Bride and Bridesmaids made them   |   DJ and Musicians: Friends of the couple   |   Videographer: Friend   |   Invitations: Friend
Share this post:

About Jessica

Jessica is the creator of The Budget Savvy Bride; she launched the site in May of 2008, shortly after becoming engaged. Jessica has been recognized as a budget wedding expert by various media outlets and continues to share realistic inspiration and actionable tips to help brides save money on their weddings. Google

Connect with Jessica
  • Erin

    Wow, beautiful wedding! I love this.

  • Razan

    I LOVE the idea of having your text messages displayed! Super cute! Can you tell me which diy flower bouquet videos you used to make the flowers? I’m thinking of doing the same thing, but I am literally clueless! Thank you so much, and Congratulations to you and Bradley! You two make a really sweet couple 🙂

    • kiersten

      hi! thanks so much for your sweet comments… the video’s link is below. A few others I watched- but this was the easiest. Just make sure to get flower wire as well as the tape. That way they are really secure. It was honestly sooooo easy once we got the hang of it! the minimum florists were quoting us was 1,500 just for bouquets and boutineers (not any decor!) by purchasing and doing ourself, everything- including supplies and flowers was 236!!! Florists were quoting the bouquet I wanted (almost all peonies with a dash of ranunculus) at 150 minimum. So basically best decision ever 🙂

      • Laura Dorey

        Hi Kiersten! I really love all of the pictures from your wedding. I’m considering venues in San Diego, and I’d like to visit the Spanish Village Arts Center particularly. I would love to email you some specific questions if you wouldn’t mind. Let me know.


        • kiersten

          hi! I just saw this- you can totally email me. my email is kierstenlyons at gmail

  • James

    Wonderful photography here!

  • I seriously LOVE LOVE LOVE this wedding. Especially all the babys breath! Gorg!

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!