WWW readers Jillian and Uziel wanted a wedding that felt more like a great adventure than a standard, run of the mill celebration, so they decided to tie the knot at YMCA Camp Round Meadow in Angelus Oaks, California on the 17th of September 2016. Guests stayed in cabins on site and together with the lovely couple, took part in fun activities such as rock wall climbing and zip-lining in the lead-up to the big day. They were married under tall trees draped with soft white fabric and then danced the night away under the stars, hanging fairy lights and a twinkly chandelier.
The couple and their adorable son looked absolutely incredible. Jillian wore Watters separates – a lace top with a tulle skirt, a long veil, to-die-for Badgley Mischka high heels and a shiny statement necklace that belongs to her Mum. Her bouquet was next level fabulous. It was a cascading multicoloured mix of blooms that popped against her white outfit and the natural surroundings. Uziel wore a dark blue jacket with a black satin lapel with black pants and a bowtie. My heart was bursting over dad and son’s matching colourful socks and their little lad’s dapper black suit. The groom even had a surprise costume change at the reception – a bright patterned jacket that had ‘party time’ written all over it. Bridesmaids wore ivory dresses in different styles and the groomsmen were decked out in black suits with black bowties and ties.
Thank you so much to L&B Photography for sharing these divine images with us.
THE PROPOSAL | Uzi and I had been together for a little while and I had been dropping some serious hints that I’d like a shiny ring on my finger. It was a week after my birthday, I wasn’t expecting it. Well, I knew it was coming. I ruin surprises a lot, unintentionally, of course. But, as punishment for knowing there was a ring, I had to wait. I waited for an eternity, or so it felt. Working in the service industry, I’ve experienced a lot of public proposals and I knew I didn’t want to share that moment with anyone. I wanted to enjoy the intimacy of it with just us. Uzi knew that and planned a date night. He would try to take me out to a nice dinner as often as he could, so I didn’t think twice about going out. He let me get dressed up and called me out of the room. He proposed in our home right before he took me out to dinner. It was quiet and so perfect. He was so nervous, I think he was secretly happy I specifically requested an engagement without an audience! It was the perfect night. We were engaged for about a year and a half before we married.
THE VISION | Working in the wedding world I had seen so many weddings and knew what I didn’t want. I envisioned a DIY but formal but whimsical wedding. I had ideas in my head of this elegant evening in the middle of nowhere. Somewhere where it isn’t done every weekend. I didn’t want the standard weddings I had worked or the venue coordinator telling me “NO” to my not so cookie-cutter requests. I wanted something unique to us and our guests… I wanted an adventure! It was hard convincing my parents that I wanted my wedding at a retreat centre/youth camp. They had envisioned a ballroom and fine china. I asked for mountains and dirt. Once they saw my vision of this hosting a weekend adventure with our closest loved ones with all the elements of that ballroom wedding (and a little dirt), they were 100% on board. We were able to set all our guests up in their own cabins for the weekend and give them a truly unique experience as guests. We did zip-lining, rope courses and rock walls the day before and hosted meals for them throughout their stay. I hope they enjoyed it as much as we did!
THE PLANNING PROCESS | The camp only offers certain weekends for weddings since their priority is the camps they host for the youth. One weekend was available for 2016 and I took it. It gave me 5.5 months to plan. Craziest 5.5 months of my life. No shocker to anyone that this wedding was going to be done in this short amount of time. I am the queen of impulse parties and last minute decisions. I also am currently living 2,000 miles away from my venue. I had to plan my wedding long-distance and rely on my parents to complete a lot of the local tasks. This wedding was already starting off to be a “Jillian Event”. Uzi and I had faith we could do it in this short amount of time. I started collecting crystal vases from thrift stores and taking trips to LA whenever I could get home to California to find table cloths and linen napkins. I assigned my parents so much, I am forever indebted for the amount of time and effort they put into getting the details done. They were my wedding planners and I know my vision would not have been executed if it weren’t for them. The time went by quickly and I am amazed by how beautiful everything turned out to be.
THE VENUE | YMCA Camp Round Meadow in Angelus Oaks, California.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | Watters dress, Badgley Mischka shoes, Mom’s jewellery.
FINDING THE DRESS | I do not have an easy body type to find a dress for in five months. I am the girl who buys things off the rack and crosses her fingers it looks good when she gets home. I found my dress on my final attempt before taking a last minute flight to California to look for one. It was just my toddler and me at the appointment. They squeezed me in for an early morning appointment after I sent an email requesting for an appointment in the middle of the night before. It was two pieces, what I originally wanted but couldn’t find one that fit right. I Facetimed my mom and she loved it.
GROOM’S ATTIRE | My dad called us one day and said, “I found THE COOLEST tux shop. This is where I am getting my tux for your wedding from and you should get Uzi’s there too.” This guy has dressed the stars, he was rock’n’roll and owned his own little shop in a tiny strip mall that you probably wouldn’t look twice at. This man had the most amazing suits and tuxedos. We found our classic modern fitting tux and a fun second jacket for Uzi to change into.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We chose to do acoustic and instrumental modern songs to play at our ceremony and dinner hour. My bridesmaids walked down to Beyoncé’s “Crazy In Love”. Our ceremony had verses from the Bible read by our wonderful officiant. It was a quick, spiritual and fun ceremony.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | Five of my closest friends. Two MOH’s and bridesmaids! Dresses were from ‘Vow to be Chic’… One of my bridesmaids is having us order dresses from them for her wedding!
THE FLOWERS | Los Angeles Flower Market trip with my Mom’s friends and bridesmaids. They helped make the bouquets and centrepieces. I wanted unique flowers – of course not traditional or typical flowers. I wanted them to look like they could’ve come from the forest. Some of the greens even came from my parents’ yard!
THE CAKE | DeLeons Bakery in Anaheim. They have been our go-to family bakery. They made my ‘Sweet 16’ cake!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | L&B Photography. THE ABSOLUTE BEST!
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | We bought all the table cloths, napkins, vases… anything you would rent, we bought. It was cheaper and I didn’t have to worry about ruining things if they got dirty from the location. We used the camp’s tables and wooden benches for seating.
THE HONEYMOON | We are planning a family-moon to Hawaii!
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Seeing our son playing in the dirt with the toys and dancing with our guests… and the fit he threw during the ceremony! We bought his tux, so we didn’t care how dirty he got! Gillian captured some cute moments of him. And seeing my husband at the altar. Seeing him get emotional, that face, it’s forever ingrained in my head.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | Throw a party. Do things your own way. Ask for help. Make your own wedding “traditions”… and don’t let anyone tell you “NO”. It’s your day and it can be the way you imagined it. If you ever feel overwhelmed, ask for help and leave it up to the wedding gods – it will all come together!
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | L&B Photography
Groom’s Tux | Clint’s Tux Shoppe
Day of Coordinator | Marie Stark Events
Venue | YMCA Camp Round Meadow
Cake | De Leons Bakery
Thank you, Jillian and Uziel, for sharing your amazing destination wedding with us. Your hard work really paid off and I am sure that your guests loved every minute of their mini-break and throughly enjoyed sharing your special day with you. Ps. Jillian, I am besotted with your pink engagement ring and feel the need to ‘pin’ it so I can gaze longingly at it! Abby xx