Lovelies, you’re in for a stunning boho Santa Barbara wedding and a bride-babe who knew Rue de Seine Avril was THE DRESS from the first time she laid eyes on it!
#OurLovelies Ashley found her wedding dress at Lovely Bride LA and shares her experience below. She also gave us the key to her wedding photography gallery and we couldn’t wait to share it with you. From the bohemian dream dress to the pampas grass florals and even the very tall furry friend they took photos with, we are dying over this simple yet beautifully bohemian wedding at the Santa Barbara Zoo.
We wanted to get all the inside information, so we asked Ashley and Brennan to share their love story with us along with all the details from planning their Santa Barbara wedding. Ashley even shared her top piece of advice for our brides-to-be.
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Tell us about you and Brennan as a couple…
Brennan and I are very spontaneous and active, but we also love our nights staying in watching movies. Before I met Brennan, I loved to plan everything out ahead of time and make sure everything was in order – now, I’ve grown accustomed to his spontaneous travel ideas, date nights and day trips so much that I don’t bat an eye when he suggests we do something on a whim. We live in Marina del Rey, California, so we’re outside enjoying our surroundings as much as possible. Life together is an adventure and it’s just getting started!
How did he propose?
We met on the beach in Santa Monica years ago which set the tone for our relationship. We had many date nights drinking wine on the sand, have spent endless days laying in the sun and swimming in the ocean, and love to vacation anywhere with a beach. When we planned a staycation at the Malibu Beach Inn last October, I didn’t think anything of it! Just another quick trip on the beach, just like usual. But this time was obviously different – we made loose plans to walk on the beach to grab a drink at Nobu for happy hour, and I was taking my time getting changed and out the door. Brennan kept his cool, and little did I know the moment I’d spent so much time dreaming about was about to happen!
Once we were finally down on the beach (it was SO WINDY that day and I was in a dress) I was ready to hurry to Nobu. Brennan suggested I stop to take a photo on a rock nearby, and after I quickly told him no, it’s too windy, he had to switch gears! He grabbed my hands and started his speech. I remember it all so vividly, and just remember thinking that there was no way this was really happening! My favorite thing he said was “I’ve loved riding this wave of life with you, and I want to keep riding it for the rest of my life.” So there we were, on the beach in Malibu, starting the next chapter of our lives together! He even had our friend hiding to capture it all on camera. It was truly magical and I wouldn’t change a thing! Except maybe have my nails done – that’s how much I wasn’t expecting it! haha
Describe each other in 3 words:
Ashley: Brennan is joyful, loving, and positive.
Brennan: Ashley is inspirational, caring, and outgoing.
You looked absolutely INCREDIBLE in Rue De Seine’s Avril wedding gown. How did you know your dress was the one?
Truthfully I knew it was my dress from the moment I found it on Pinterest! It was probably a year before we got engaged that I came across it and I instantly knew. It was so unique, breathtakingly gorgeous, and shocking! When I showed it to my sister her first impression was “wow I can’t believe you like that,” and I laugh because that only solidified my decision. Growing up, I used to choose my outfits based off of what people didn’t usually like, or were too nervous to wear – that was my way of being against the norm! So it was only right to get a dress that garnered the same first impression. I can’t tell you how many compliments I received after people finally saw it in photos and in person. I have never felt more magical in my entire life than when I was wearing that dress, and I will cherish it forever.
Describe your experience at Lovely Bride LA…
It was amazing! I went to the Rue De Seine trunk show in hopes of leaving with a gown that day, but truthfully, I wasn’t able to pull the trigger the first time around. I knew I loved the gown, but I needed more time to sit with the decision. Once I finally went back in for a second time, and had tried on a few dresses at one other store, I knew that there was nothing that would come close to the Avril gown. And sure enough, after getting a full hour appointment to wear the dress again and try on different slip options underneath, there was no question that it was the one.
Describe your wedding vision…
The only thing I could express when I was trying to put it together with my planner was a mix of a tropical oasis and a bohemian dream. I wanted it to feel magical, whimsical, laid back, and fun. And have lots of pampas grass – as much as humanly possible haha.
How did you pick your wedding venue?
We were SO set on getting married in Palm Springs – we loved vacationing there and it’s where we saw ourselves getting married from the moment we got engaged. But after being turned away from so many venues due to timing and dates being taken up already, we realized that what was still available just wasn’t going to fit in our budget. It was a long 4 months of searching before we were finally recommended the Santa Barbara Zoo. At first were weren’t too sure, but we had already been going up to Santa Barbara frequently for Brennan’s job, so we thought that there could be a chance that we’d feel connected to it. After booking a tour and walking around the venue, we were sure that it was the perfect spot for our wedding. It was surrounded by palm trees, had an ocean view, and was in the perfect location in Santa Barbara. We basically booked it on the spot!
What will you remember most about your wedding in 10 years?
Hands down we will always remember how much fun we had on the dance floor with all of our friends and family. From the moment the dance floor opened, it was completely FULL until we were forced to leave the venue haha. To be surrounded by the ones you love most, dancing and laughing and having the best night ever is truly unlike any other feeling. And my dress, of course 😉
Any dress shopping advice for Our future Lovelies?
Just take your time and don’t overthink it. I thought I was going to have that overwhelming feeling I’d heard about so many times – I expected to burst into tears as soon as I had the dress on, and be SO sure of the purchase, but throughout the entire shopping process, that moment never happened! Instead, I felt very practical when I tried the dress on – I looked at the dress and knew it was what I wanted, I acknowledged that I loved it and that it was comfortable etc, but I never got overly emotional about it. And that’s perfectly okay! Just go into each appointment knowing that it is your unique experience, no one else’s. There are no expectations of you other than to find a dress you feel the best in, and it WILL happen, even if it takes some time.
What is your best wedding planning advice?
Be clear on your non-negotiables. I went into the wedding planning process very laid-back and not really wanting to be too hands on. I let my planner handle most things, and she was amazing, but there were a few things on the day-of that I would have loved to switch around. Though it was STUNNING and literally the best day of my life, it’s also important to me to be transparent to those laid-back brides out there! If you want something specific, then BE specific and follow up multiple times to make sure it’s getting done 🙂 Otherwise, don’t be upset when something doesn’t happen how you envisioned it – people aren’t mind readers no matter how great they are at their jobs!
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