A wedding nine years in the making and worth it. A beautiful day at the beach with sand on their toes as they walked barefoot on the beach. Justin and Candice’s wedding were adorned with — colors that scream bright and fun — coral and aqua. Candice went on Pinterest to gather inspiration for this subtle beach wedding she created. Today we are giving you the chance to take a peek of that. Good luck on planning that dream wedding our dear readers and Congratulations Mr & Mrs Griego.
Justin and I met when we were just kids in high school. We started dating when we were just 14 years old. Back then, our dates consisted of going to football games, high school dances, and having our parents drop us off at the movie theater. It’s so funny to think about that now. I knew I truly loved Justin within the first year we were dating. Of course, everyone thought it was just high school puppy love, which at that point I guess it was. We were always told that we were too young, and we would not make it past high school. It was when we were in college that we both knew our relationship was more than just high school sweethearts. During our sophomore year in college, after five years of dating, Justin told me that he knew I was the woman he was going to marry and spend the rest of his life with, and I could just tell he was completely right.
We are a Perfect Match:
Justin and I have so many things in common, but we also have traits that compliment each other as opposites. We love trying new things and being adventurous. We love to have fun, whether it’s going out to new places or just staying in and watching movies and shows together. We have had the most fun times when we are spontaneous and don’t have a plan. Justin is always the one who reminds me that having fun and relaxing is just as important as getting things done. He keeps me from feeling too overwhelmed when life throws a lot at us at once. Even though we do need to have fun and let things go sometimes, I’m the one that makes sure we get the important things done. We balance each other out that way. Justin can always make me laugh when I’m taking things a little too seriously, and I always support Justin and remind him to be the best he can be. We have been cheering each other on, individually and together for nine years!
My family took Justin with us for a big European summer vacation in 2013. We visited London, Paris, and Rome. We spent two days in London and then took a train to Paris. We visited the Eifel Tower, the Love Bridge, the Louvre, and Notre Dame Cathedral. It was a great day. After six years of dating, I was somewhat expecting that Justin would propose to me at the Eifel Tower. Cliche, right? Well, we saw that and kept walking. At that point, I was thinking, “well maybe he is going to do it at the Love Bridge. I was dressed in a cute dress and totally prepared for it to happen. We put a lock on the Love Bridge and nothing…I trusted Justin to know exactly the right time to ask me such an important question, so I thought maybe he is going to propose in Rome when we get to Rome, or maybe he is waiting until we get back to Florida so he can do it romantically at the beach. He knows how much I love the beach. We had another whole day in France the next day, but we did not know what we were going to do (or so I thought). My absolute favorite thing in the world is Disney, so much so that I have a Mickey Mouse tattoo on my foot! Well, we decided that we should go to EuroDisney for the day. We got there and rode the rides and ate lunch. At lunch, my dad pointed out that there was a parade starting at one p.m. and after the parade, Mickey and Minnie would come out to take pictures.
I should have known something was up because my dad has never shown much interest in Disney before. So we finish up lunch and go out to see the parade. Then we see Mickey get off the float, and we run over to take our pictures with him. I was under the impression that my two sisters, my boyfriend, and I would be taking a picture together while my parents took the picture. When it was our turn, only Justin and I went up with Mickey. Confused, I waved my sisters over to get into the picture, but they did not come. I still had no idea what was happening. My sister, my mom, and my dad all had their phones and cameras out to take pictures of Justin and me. This still did not seem unusual because for every family picture we took in Europe, I always wanted one with Justin alone, as well. While hugging Mickey, who was to my left, Justin, on my right, got down on one knee. Even at that exact moment, I thought he was just tying his shoe! I had absolutely no idea until he opened the box with a ring inside. I cried uncontrollably. It was totally unexpected and beautiful. The crowd cheered, and Mickey congratulated us. I could not have asked for a better proposal. My family means the world to me, so the fact that they were all there was huge. We got engaged in the City of Love in DisneyLand, and it could not have been more perfect.
We had a subtle beach theme. It wasn’t overdone, but it was simple.
The Wedding Décor Inspiration:
Even three months after our wedding, people say to us, “Everything just went together so perfectly.” I guess I got a lot of ideas from Pinterest, but honestly, I just chose colors and themes that I thought would look good together, and they did! However, getting married on the beach sets a beautiful decor in itself. We had the most beautiful, natural backdrop so we just chose things that would go with the beach, but wouldn’t be overdone and tacky.
The Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Projects:
That’s funny. My sister, Justin’s brother, and I had all of these big plans for fun Pinterest-inspired DIY projects that all seemed to be less and less exciting as the day got closer. We wanted to make an aisle runner, but it was a lot more work than we were willing to spend time doing when we had other things we wanted to do for the wedding. Like I said, you just realize what is important to you and what you can do without. My sister made a beautiful “Shoes Optional” sign because our ceremony was on the beach. She used light blue paint to match our colors. She painted it on a white-washed wooden sign. Our table numbers were pictures of Justin and I holding giant wooden numbers. For example, we held a number 1 and put that picture in a frame in the center of table 1, etc. That’s all I can think of that we did ourselves.
The Planning Process:
We had a long engagement because we wanted to graduate from college before getting married. We had about two years (23 months to be exact) to plan. It was enough time. It was too much time to make a lot of decisions and change our minds like three times before making concrete decisions. But because we wanted to graduate first, we didn’t do a lot of the big planning until after we graduated in December 2014. It ended up being the best way to plan and not be rushed or too stressed out with so much going on.
Planning Advise for Couples:
Take your time, don’t rush and enjoy every minute, even the stressful ones. It’s such a fun time. Just keep in mind the most important thing is you’re marrying the love of your life. Don’t lose sight of that with all the little details.
Best Advice we Received:
“Enjoy the little things and don’t rush because before you know it, the whole experience is over.”
The Outfit Inspiration:
Aqua is my favorite color so that color was already chosen from the beginning. We decided coral went well with it and was very beach-like. The girls wore coral dresses, and the guys wore tan suits with aqua ties. Again, Pinterest and the beach itself inspired the outfits.
Tips & tricks for Future Bride:
I stopped and enjoyed EVERYTHING because my mom kept telling me how she didn’t remember the food she ate or the songs that played. I remember stopping and reminding myself, “I am eating grouper, and this is good.” Hehe. The best moment of the whole day was in between our ceremony and our reception. The wedding party was done taking pictures, so they joined the guests for cocktail hour. Justin and I had just finished taking sunset pictures with the photographers. We took just a few minutes to walk on the beach, just the two of us and promised each other that we would remember having just a couple of minutes to breathe, smile together, and share a private kiss. We just stopped and soaked all of the beauty of the day in and said, “we are so lucky to have each other.” My biggest piece of advice to future brides is to remember exactly why you are getting married. Don’t get too swept up in the flavor of the cake or the weather forecast. The most important thing is that at the end of that special day, you married your best friend. Stop and take a second to just be with your husband and smile. As memorable as our first kiss, our first dance, and all the moments of the day were, I will always remember that feeling of just taking a few minutes alone with my husband to say excitedly, “I can’t believe we are finally married!”
The Challenges We Faced:
Honestly, we did not have too many challenges. Having so much time to plan, we made a lot of decisions that we didn’t stick to because we had a lot of time to think about them, but we got all of our first choices in vendors because we slowly hired them over time and not all at the last minute. It was a pretty stressless planning process. Even the last minute things we were getting together the week of the wedding wasn’t as stressful as it was fun and exciting.
We were incredibly lucky when it came to the budget. My parents paid for just about everything and we continue to tell them how appreciative we are. We never really decided on a budget for the entire wedding, but we set limits on each vendor and decision. I spent a lot of time on Wedding Wire making sure we were getting a good price for exactly what we wanted. To answer the question, we spent about $60,000, but thought we would spend about $50,000.
We saved the most money by getting started early and using a preferred vendor list. We got percentages from our packages and services by hiring vendors soon enough. We got a free hour of photography for signing a contract a year and a half in advance. We got a deal on the package we chose for videography because we told them the Don Cesar recommended them. We didn’t have to cut our guest list short to save because being that most people had to travel for our wedding; not everyone could make it. And as sad as we were not to see everyone, that cut the cost of food by about 50 people.
The Guest List:
We invited 206 guests, and the final number was about 150.
Like I said, we didn’t have to. We invited a lot of people, but not everyone could make it.
We LOVE music. We always say we have a song for everything in our life, so the music was one of the first things we discussed and made decisions about.
- The officiant, Justin, his brother, and his best man came out to the ceremony area too, “I Can’t Wait (Be My Wife)” by Ben Rue.
- The processional- “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri.
- Bride’s Entrance- “Turning Page” by Sleeping, At Last,
- Sand Ceremony- “Marry Me” by Train
- Recessional- “Best Day of My Life” by American Authors.
We went on a Royal Caribbean Western Caribbean cruise. For a week, we enjoyed our cruise ship (Independence of the Seas) and participated in amazing excursions at all of the ports, Labadee, Jamaica, Cayman Islands, and Cozumel, Mexico. It was incredibly nice to disconnect completely from the phones, The internet, etc. and just thoroughly enjoy each other.
Our love for adventure and spontaneity is an important staple to us, so I am also excited for whatever adventures life takes us on next. We have a lot of fun trips in mind. We are also excited to start a family. (:
Favorite Part of the Day:
That’s a hard question! The entire day was so spectacular. I enjoyed every second. I had a blast getting ready for my girls. We even got to watch, “Bridesmaids” while we got ready. I think my favorite and most exciting part of the day was the First Look with Justin. My heart was racing. The photographer told me to walk to him slowly, but I felt like I was running to him. He couldn’t even wait to turn around. The look on his face made me smile so big. I had done such a good job not crying until this point. We didn’t even want to do the first look until about six months before the wedding. And at that point, I was pushing for it, and Justin didn’t like the idea. I’m so glad we did it. It was just a nice personal moment for us to have together without all 150 guests being there. The best part was that even though it was a private moment that we shared, our wedding party and parents were up on a balcony able to watch us and cheer us on. It was an incredible few minutes of the day.
The Highlights from the Ceremony & Reception:
The whole experience was amazing. We wrote our vows, so that was cool and very emotional. A moment that makes me smile just thinking about it is when Justin just could not wait to kiss me. The officiant hadn’t said to kiss the bride yet, but Justin was reaching out for my face to grab me and kiss me. The guests were laughing and crying as our officiant made a joke about not being able to wait. He finally kissed me and pronounced us husband and wife. We have these picture from the photographer of the moment we were pronounced husband and wife and were about to walk down the aisle. It is our absolute favorite picture. Justin and I are looking at each other with the most genuine, biggest smiles. The reception was a giant, fun party, which is exactly what we wanted. Our families and our friends all know how much we love to dance. The best highlight from the reception had to be the father-daughter dance. My dad and I prepared a surprise compilation of songs and dance moves to break out in during our dance. No one knew about it, including Justin and my mom. We surprised everyone! The dance started with a minute of our favorite song together, “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” Then the DJ cut the song and started, “Yeah” by Usher. We broke out in dance, and the whole banquet room was going crazy cheering and laughing. It was the perfect way to start a night of dancing.
Most Memorable Moment:
From walking toward Justin down the aisle to smiling and dancing with Justin as we walked back down the aisle as husband and wife were memorable. Listening to Justin read vows that he wrote himself was incredibly memorable for me. I also love that I got to say exactly what I wanted in my words to express my vows to him. However, Justin chopping at the bit to kiss me was the most memorable part of the ceremony for me.
Photographer: Limelight Photography
Bridesmaid Dresses: David’s Bridal
Reception Venue: Loews Don CeSar Hotel