Stephanie and Nick's wedding created in collaboration with Bash Please was a celebration of spring, filled with joy, vibrant florals, and a stunning bride. In our interview with Stephanie, we not only learned about the intricacies of their special day but also had the opportunity to delve into the story of how they first crossed paths.
How did you meet?
Nick and I met in Cabo San Lucas in 2014 during the University of Southern California’s spring break. He was a sophomore, and I was a junior. Our paths crossed, and we hit it off instantly. The energy and chemistry were undeniable, and we’ve been inseparable ever since.
Tell us a little about yourselves.
In our professional lives, we are both quite passionate. I work as an acupuncturist, a role that allows me to help others find relief from their ailments and achieve a sense of balance and wellness in their lives. Nick is a successful self-employed entrepreneur. His work involves a lot of challenges, but he thrives on it and enjoys every minute of building something from the ground up.
Outside of work, we both have our hobbies to keep us active. I am an avid equestrian and spend a lot of my free time at the barn riding and caring for horses. Additionally, I am a dedicated volunteer at an organization called Ahead With Horses, which aims to improve the quality of life for disabled, disadvantaged, and special needs children through equine therapy.
Nick is a sports enthusiast. He enjoys running, which helps him stay fit and clear his mind. He also loves playing pickleball and basketball, both of which satisfy his competitive streak and allow him to spend time with friends. Despite our differing hobbies, we have found a way to appreciate and support each other’s interests.
Where was your wedding? Why did you choose this venue?
The wedding took place at Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa in Rancho Santa Fe, CA. The venue was chosen for several reasons. Firstly, I grew up in La Jolla and felt a deep attachment to my hometown, making it a meaningful location for the wedding. Additionally, Rancho Santa Fe is conveniently located near Los Angeles, making it easily accessible for the majority of the guests. Moreover, the resort itself is renowned for its beauty, with stunning grounds that provided a picturesque backdrop for the celebration.
What was the concept behind your wedding, and how did you find your inspiration?
Our wedding took place during the first week of spring, a time symbolizing new beginnings and renewal, which perfectly aligned with the next chapter of our life together. We embraced the resort’s beautiful natural surroundings and highlighted the blooming flowers that are characteristic of the spring season. While our planners played a significant role in conceptualizing the decor, I personally scoured the internet and Instagram for inspiring images to share with them, ensuring that our vision was brought to life.
How long did it take to plan your wedding? Did you encounter any challenges during the planning process?
We dedicated a year and a half to meticulously plan our wedding, with a significant focus on selecting the ideal venue. Exploring numerous locations in California and even venturing out of state, we ultimately settled on Rancho Valencia. Our wedding planners, Bash Please, played a pivotal role in ensuring a smooth planning process. Their hard work, commitment, and innovative approach contributed immensely to creating an unforgettable day for us. Perhaps the most challenging aspect was narrowing down our guest list and finding a venue capable of accommodating the large number of attendees at the Welcome Party we hosted on the night before our wedding.
Did you have any pre-wedding events, like a rehearsal dinner or bridal shower?
Instead of a rehearsal dinner, we organized a welcome party for all the wedding attendees. My bridal shower took place at the home of one of my mom’s friends, and it was a wonderful afternoon hosted by her seven closest friends. We all enjoyed delicious food, drinks, fun games, and the best company. For my bachelorette party, we ventured to Alisal Ranch, a dude ranch located in the Santa Ynez Valley. It turned out to be an incredible weekend filled with many bonding experiences as my closest friends and I embraced our inner cowgirls.
How many guests did you have? And what was the seating arrangement at the wedding like?
We had a total of 230 guests attending our wedding. The seating arrangement featured a lengthy head table positioned to face the dance floor. Surrounding the head table and dance floor were various tables, accommodating 8, 10, and 16 guests each.
Tell us about your outfits. How many different styles have you tried?
During a day of wedding dress shopping in LA, I was accompanied by my mom and sister. After trying on nearly 15 dresses, I ultimately selected a gown by Oscar De La Renta. As for the remaining wedding outfits, I primarily searched online and, after several unsuccessful attempts, I eventually settled on my welcome party ensemble and after-party attire a few weeks before the wedding. I made the decision to wear white for all three occasions. Meanwhile, Nick opted for a custom-made Ralph Lauren tuxedo for the wedding and wore an Ivory Ralph Lauren suit jacket at the Welcome Party.
What was your first dance song? Did you choreograph or improvise?
The song we selected for our first dance was “Let’s Stay Together” by Al Green. It’s a classic that carries a beautiful message and has a nice easy rhythm for dancing. Since both of us were unfamiliar with slow dance moves beyond swaying, we decided to take three dance lessons. These lessons proved to be incredibly helpful in teaching us new steps and enhancing our dance skills.
Did you have any special performances or entertainment?
We hired The Mighty Untouchables, a local band based in San Diego. Their performance was absolutely phenomenal, and we received numerous requests from guests after the wedding asking for the playlist they played.
Did you have any special or unique elements at your wedding?
We made our celebration truly special by featuring our beloved dog, Mowgli, who means the absolute world to us. His adorable face was printed on the cocktail stirrers, and we even created a signature beverage named “Moe’s Margarita” in his honor.
What was the most memorable moment from your wedding day?
Exchanging our vows at the ceremony and Nick crowd surfing at the reception.
Are there any vendors that you would like to tell us a little more about?
One vendor that stood out to us was Siren Floral Co. Their work was truly remarkable, and Rachael and her team exceeded our expectations with their stunning floral arrangements. The inverted tulip installation they created above our head table at the reception was simply breathtaking. We also want to express our gratitude to our amazing photographer, Dani Toscano, who skillfully captured every precious moment that we will cherish forever. Working with these talented women was an absolute joy.
What advice would you give to couples who are currently planning their wedding?
Try to finalize your guest list early in the wedding planning process and, in general, don’t procrastinate on your to-do list. You don’t want to be scrambling at the last minute to get things organized when you should be focusing on self-care and trying to calm any pre-wedding jitters.
Planning & Design: @bashplease
Rentals: @theonicollection @brighteventrentals @zephyrtents @nuagedesignsinc
Entertainment: @themightyuntouchables @elianastrings