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Romantic Navy Wedding on the California Coast

Michelle and JJ got married on a golf course in Seaside, CA. Their wedding was filled with DIY features like their centerpieces which had homemade florals and frames with their engagement photos.  They kept a surprise until after the wedding… they're expecting! You will love their sweet announcement photo! Enjoy this Romantic Navy Wedding on the California Coast! Xoxo, Jessica

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Michelle + JJ

June 24th, 2018

Seaside, CA | Bayonet and Black Horse

What was your total budget? Please provide a budget breakdown.

Dress: $1400 – Epiphany
Shoes: $25 – Payless
Hair: $250 (included 2 hair trials)
Makeup: $150 (included 2 makeup trials)
Flowers: $200 (Costco & CamFlor)
Decor (photo booth set up, candles, centerpieces, etc) $250
Photography: $2,480 – 6 hours of photography & engagement session
DJ: $1,300 – included ceremony and music from 5-11 PM
Cake: $195 – had a friend pick up and drop off vs. paying extra for delivery
Guest Favors: $300 – personalized coasters and bottle openers
Venue: $5,500 (included food, ceremony, reception, bartenders, tip, waiters, clean up) – not including alcohol (that was gifted to us by our parents which was well worth it to have a beer & wine open bar!)

TOTAL California Dream Wedding in Monterey, CA: $12,050


How many guests did you have?

We had a total of 70 guests attend our wedding.


How did you meet?

On one random evening in March, we were both at the right place at the right time. I went out with some girlfriends of mine and he was out with some of his guy friends. We met initially at a pool bar and both parties started playing pool together. When we arrived JJ offered to buy me a beer and the rest is history. I tell people it's like in the movies when two people are talking the night away and everything around them goes blurry and fast. I ended up driving everyone home that evening and a couple of days later we went on our first date, being the BEST first date I had ever had in my life.


What is your proposal story?

JJ took me to Love.  The grounds had beautiful views. The cabin itself was old and rustic, with fake dusty flowers all over the room, floral decor in the wallpaper and bedding along with a jacuzzi smack dab in the middle of the living room. It was a site for sore eyes, but we had the best weekend ever. He took me back to where we went on our first hike together and carved our names into a fallen down tree. After a couple of minutes at the top, he got down on one knee and proposed.


Tell us about your wedding vision.

My vision was Coastal California succulent colors. Succulents can be pretty expensive so I took a twist and used colors that went well with them. Ivory, peach, and eucalyptus green were the main focus. We chose a golf course that fit our budget and one I knew would get beautiful views for all of our guests visiting CA for the first, and possibly, only time in their lives.


Tell us about your attire choices.

I knew it would mostly be the Naval dress on the groomsmen side, so I went with a simple light grey and mint green for the boys along with mint green dresses for the girls to pair well with the ivory and peach flowers we held. It turned out better than I could have imagined.


What was most important to you two while planning? Was there anything you chose to splurge on or skip?

We splurged on photography! We had never had professional pictures before and the package included an entire engagement session as well. We have these pictures for the rest of our lives. I'm so grateful we did this because it captured our family, friends, and venue so well. I also splurged on my dress a little bit. I budgeted for $1000 and ended up using $1400, no regrets at all! Skipped hiring a day of coordinator and put all my friends and family to use when it came to setting up the venue before the big event. They wanted to help so I let them help! We also skipped renting a photo booth (which is upwards of $500-800) and decided to buy and create our own corner of fun! It turned out great!


What were your favorite parts of the day?

Hands down the best part of the day was sneaking off to take our “baby announcement” picture with our photographer. Barely anyone at the wedding knew we were expecting so it was such a special time for us, alone on that day, to take that picture and share that moment together. I would say my second favorite moment of the day was when I went to read my vows and JJ pulled out his microphone and held it for me for all to hear. I didn't know it would pick up my voice and it just reiterated how sweet and thoughtful JJ is.


Tell us about your wedding flowers.

Flowers in this area are EXPENSIVE! I asked around quite a bit and wasn't getting anywhere when one day someone told me about a wholesale place about 45 minutes from home. Their sister did her entire wedding plus wedding party for under $500. They allowed me to trade in flowers the day I picked them up if they weren't what I expected. It was so fun creating the bouquets and centerpieces with my sister and mom, especially since I had done most of everything else on my own. It was a special moment we got to share together and they turned out incredible.


Tell us about your wedding cake.

First off, we thought mostly about our guests when it came to the cake. I worked for a bakery when we first moved here and I knew I wanted The Perfect Crumb to make our cake. I thought about flavors everyone would like and wanted it to be simple and elegant. I also knew that from the previous 5 weddings I had gone to, people are typically too caught up in the drinking and dancing to care about a HUGE decorated cake. I wanted to give them flavor vs. beauty when it came down to it. Chocolate and Funfetti flavors with a Swiss Meringue Butter Cream frosting. We got so many compliments and I will always remember how excited everyone was for the Funfetti!


Please describe any DIY, homemade, or personal items.

I went thrift shopping around town for most of the decor. Using these copper candle holders to decorate the bar area with eucalyptus intertwined in those. I put greenery everywhere I could think of to add a more natural touch to the tables because the venue itself was mostly dark wood. I used gifts that had been given to us through the engagement party and bridal shower, mini signs about love and life. My best friend cut and painted our guest signage which was an anchor and “S” painted in white, peach, and mint green and people signed those with a permanent marker. My glass centerpieces came from Dollar Tree!


Did you include any family heirlooms or special traditions?

We did the Naval Sword Arch Entrance. If you are in the military/navy this is a MUST! We were not going to do it at first and it truly added a Naval feel to the wedding.

Do you have any advice for couples planning their wedding now?

Don't stress the small things. This is your day and when it comes down to it those small things are never going to matter. This day is about YOU and what YOU want. Don't talk or ask too much advice from other people or you will get lost in what everyone else thinks you should do.



Photography: Archer Inspired • Ceremony Venue: Bayonet & Blackhorse Golf Course • Reception Venue: Bayonet & Blackhorse Golf Course • Floral: DIY by bride • Stationery: Zazzle • Wedding Cake: Susan Carter • Hair: Ginger Green • Makeup: Hailee Lee • Wedding Dress: Epiphany Boutique • Groom's Attire: Navy Uniform • Bridesmaid Dresses: Davids's Bridal • Wedding Ring: Verragio • Wedding Ring: Boundless Bands • Submitted via: Matchology


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