Many military couples get married in a courthouse with the intention of having a “true wedding” down the line but for one reason or another such as deployments, trainings, or the lack of ability to plan because of the military’s sporadic scheduling, their fairy tale of being in a beautiful white dress gets pushed back further and further.
Nicole is a prior United States Marine and her husband Alex who currently serves as a Sergeant on Camp Pendleton in Oceanside California as a Low Altitude Air Defense Gunner had this exact story. When Nicole and Alex first met they were both in the Marines and although they knew being in a relationship in the military had its challenges, they said they couldn’t help how one made the other one feel. They took advantage of the days they were able to watch the sunsets off the gorgeous Southern California beaches and took turns trying to pull off the next biggest prank on one another. (During the shoot at one point when Alex wasn’t looking, Nicole would tell me how she was currently in the lead as the “Best Pranker” and then Alex told me the same thing at one point. I thought it was the cutest thing I had seen.) These two lovebirds were undeniably head over heels for one another.
Soon however, Alex was given orders to deploy to the Middle East for 7 months so more than ever their love was going to be tested. But their love grew stronger and when he returned home, he gave her a bigger reason to be excited for his homecoming. He surprised her and got down on one knee and asked Nicole to spend forever with him! Due to the schedule of the military and another deployment was not too far out they decided to get married in a court house and would later have a grand celebration in front of their friends and family.
Three years later, and they still have not found the time to have their fairytale wedding. The Military community is near and dear to my heart and they are such an amazing and deserving couple that I just felt I had to capture beautiful photos of them. When someone thinks of “fairytale” how could you not also think of Disney?!
I came up with the “Snow White” themed wedding idea because I love Disney and I have always thought the Snow White story as one of the most romantic stories ever told. I knew I wanted the colors and decor to be romantic and whimsical. When it came to choosing the attire of the Bride and Groom, my first thought was the Groom being a “modern spin” of a Prince and the Marine’s classic Dress Blues came into play. Believe it or not the Bride’s dress was found on Amazon and it was perfectly whimsical.
A love like Nicole’s and Alex’s deserve to be celebrated because it is real and long lasting! I felt so honored to be able to create a fairy tale looking wedding for them with the help of amazing vendors. Kirsten from @whimsylaneevents was our day of wedding coordinator who made sure everything went smoothly, which it did! Florist Ashlee McGee, who is the owner of heritagebloom.com really went all out by providing beautiful bouquets for both the Bride and her Bridesmaids, centerpieces for the reception table, an amazing garland of greenery across their sweetheart table, and last but not least she created gorgeous floral work for the handmade, custom ceremony arch made by another great vendor I had the pleasure of working with, AKT Party Rentals. Andrew and Katee are husband and wife team and the owners of aktmade.com. Each piece they provided for the shoot: Reception table, sweetheart table, ceremony benches, and ceremony arch are hand crafted and designed for their clients. Just like Ashlee, they were beyond helpful, reliable and fun to work with the day of the shoot. The Snow White Wedding would also not have happened if it wasn’t for some of the amazing details! From the custom cake made by Kristine Guerrero, owner of eatyourcaketoo.net, the well written calligraphy of the banner behind the sweetheart table and apples with guest names on the reception table made by Kathleen of @tsecalligraphy, the customized wedding invitation and vows made by Stationer Cristina of 24thavedesigns.com and the glam squad from PerettiHill.com who provided hair and make up.
About the author and SDVoyager Contributor, Kayla Miller:
I am a local Southern California Wedding Photographer that travels throughout the U.S. as well as International. Capturing every detail that makes a memory such as love, laughter and emotions is what I enjoy the most! Every Bride and wedding I have had the honor of shooting has been unique and special and I make sure to show my Client’s love story through their photos of their special day. Receiving feedback from a Bride such as, ” I don’t know what I would’ve done without you today.” or ” We can not stop staring and showing everyone our photos. We absolutely love them!” gives me the BIGGEST smile across my face. Yes, even more than Coldstone and Za (pizza). And ask anyone that knows me, that means a lot! I go above and beyond for my Clients because they deserve that and so much more on their wedding day!
List of Vendors
Memories Exposed Photography – www.memoriesexposedphotography.com @photographerkaylamiller (Photographer, Event Host & Styled Shoot Planner)
AKT Party Rentals & Custom Furniture- www.aktmade.com @akt_made (Furniture Rental)
Heritage Bloom- www.heritagebloom.com @heritagebloom (Florist)
Peretti Hill Glam Squad- www.PerettiHall.com @peretitihill (Make Up and Hair)
TSE Calligraphy- @tsecalligraphy (Apples & Banner)
Eat Your Cake Too- www.eatyourcaketoo.net @eatyourcaketoo (Cake)
24th Ave Designs- www.24thavedesigns.com @24thavedesigns (Invitations, Menu & Vows)
Whimsy Lane Events- www.whimsylaneevents.com @whimsylaneevents (Day of Wedding Coordinator)