If ever a bride (and couple) had fate on her side, it’s Stephanie. Our girl’s how-I-got-my-dress story is straight kismet, as is how her childhood friend happened to be at their venue the day she got married. Even how this couple discovered their Lake San Marco wedding venue seems destined to be, all of which you’ll hear all about from Stephanie below.
But first, we must point out her amazing wedding planning advice, which boils down to one very important thing: you do you.
How did your sweetie propose?
“We were in Palm Springs and on our way to dinner. Paul had been teasing me about my ring size asking if I really was a 6.5, so I said, “Why don’t you put a ring on it and find out?”, so he did.”
How did you choose your gown?
“The dress has a really funny story behind it. I had seen the Lovely on Pinterest and fell in love with it, but knew I had a tiny budget and could never afford it so I picked another dress from J.Crew.
One day when I was at a bridal appointment with my friend Mellen to pick out her wedding dress, we got to talking about dream dresses and I showed her the photo I had saved on the Astrid & Mercedes dress. We got really lost on the way to the second appointment and almost didn’t make it, but when we finally showed up 45 min late the sales girl was really nice and started showing us around.
All of a sudden Mellen calls from across the room, “They have your dress!” Thinking it was just a pretty dress in my style she had found, I walked over there to see her holding the dress I had showed her just a few hours ago! I was so excited I nearly forgot that the dress was still out of my budget and my wedding was 6 months away, so I couldn’t even order it if I wanted to and that’s when the sales girl told me it was a sample that was for sale and I could leave with today.
Thinking this is too good to be true, I quickly Skyped my sister and mom for their approval, which they gave, and I called J.Crew to see if I could return the old one, for store credit, then I walked out of there holding my perfect dream dress without going over my original budget!”
Tell us a little about your day! Did you have a theme or style in mind?
“When my now husband Paul and I started talking about our wedding, we didn’t really have a place or style in mind but more of a feeling. We wanted it to feel like a backyard wedding where all our favorite people could gather and have fun for the weekend.
Since we didn’t have a backyard, we had to find another solution. I looked all over the places, from Airbnb’s in Palm Springs (where we got engaged) to outdoor restaurants in San Francisco (where my family lives), but it wasn’t until we found the Lakehouse Resort & Hotel in San Marcos that our vision slowly came to life, right in our own backyard.
It was perfect, the resort was modern with a mid-century feel and fun, just like us, plus it was located on a small lake with a marina which just felt right somehow. There was a large green we could get married on and a place for a fire pit and lawn games for our guests to enjoy. They strung up market lights over the outdoor patio and served old fashioneds with yummy southern style food complete with bundt cakes in honor of Paul’s southern roots. In the end, we were able to relax and have fun with both of us being equally represented because we approached the wedding more like a party and not a formal event with rules and formally.”
What’s your funniest wedding day memory?
“It was after hair and makeup and I had a few moments before I needed to put my dress on, so I stepped outside onto the patio of my hotel room. I was standing there looking at the lake when all of a sudden out of the corner of my eye I see my childhood friend Kelly running down the marina waving her arms in the air and yelling my name. She had spotted me from the restaurant and came running over. She was so excited she missed the stairs that led to my room and ended up running the length of the marina laughing the whole way. When she finally got into the room we burst into a fit of giggles and high-pitch squeaks.”
Describe your wedding day in 5 words or less:
“Fun, fast, romantic, charming, enjoyable.”
Three words that best describe your sweetie:
“Funny, kind & resourceful.“
Any advice for future brides/grooms?
“I think the best advice I can give to someone planning a wedding is: be you. Don’t get caught up in trends or what everyone else is doing. Focus on the things that make you happy and you’ll have a wedding that reflects that.“
Where did you go on your honeymoon?
“We went on a road trip to Big Sur and it was honestly the best vacation we’ve been on.“
Stephanie + Paul’s Lake San Marcos Wedding Vendors
wedding dress: Astrid & Mercedes Lovely via Love and Lace Bridal | photographer: Danielle Kamens Photography | venue: Lakehouse Resort & Hotel | planning: Vorie Edelmann of Bella Florina Event & Design | door/arch: Archive Rentals | makeup + hair: Erika from Twig Hair Lounge