LOHO Bride // Real Bride: Stephanie + Julian

We are lucky to see images of beautiful weddings each and every day, but what makes a bride and groom stand out is when they take the time to add their own personal touches to the occasion. Stephanie and Julian do not disappoint. From the personalized luggage tags to the seating chart on a map of the world, this couple infused their love for travel throughout their big day. We are so happy for them and can't wait to share their story with you (just wait until you see her Rue de Seine Violet gown!). 

Can you tell us a little about yourself? It can literally be anything! We just want to know what gets you excited, even if it’s that you’re passionate about puppies.

My roots lie in Minnesota, but my heart has always been drawn to the coast. I've been living in San Francisco for over a decade now. I just quit my long-standing job in digital music to become a freelance writer and editor and start a new career in nutrition, wellness, and yoga. I have my husband to thank for motivating me to shake things up and pursue a new path. We're currently on an extended honeymoon throughout Europe. We even have a travel blog (www.bigandsmalltravel.com) to document our adventures! We're incredibly excited for this next chapter in our lives.

Were you channeling any style icons while dress shopping?

Not particularly, but I did know that I wanted a look that was both elegant and bohemian-inspired; something unique and effortlessly chic that I could comfortably dance and frolic on the beach in.

What was the best part of your LOHO Bride experience?

LOHO Bride was actually the first stop on my wedding dress journey. After going to about a dozen other spots, it was clear that LOHO Bride provided a truly special and intimate experience. Christy made me feel incredibly comfortable and offered her advice and guidance in a gracious and helpful way. She actually picked out the dress I ended up choosing!


How did you choose your dress and what was the most magical part about it?

As mentioned above, Christy actually picked out the dress for me. It didn't really grab me from the hanger, so I reluctantly tried it on and was shocked at how it seemed to fit me just right. I still wasn't convinced though. I lingered over the pictures everyday, as my mom, sister, and closest friends were all in full agreement that this was THE dress. I may not have had a this is it moment, but every time I tried it on it just felt right. I couldn't imagine having any other dress.

Describe your wedding. Where did it take place? What inspiration or themes were you drawn to when planning?

Our small, intimate wedding took place in beautiful Carmel, California. The ceremony was held on Carmel River State Beach, which is tucked away at the southern end of town and is typically more of a locals' spot. After the ceremony, I looked around and realized we pretty much had the beach to ourselves, which made it feel even more magical. The reception was held at the nearby Mission Ranch, which stretches out to the sea with breathtaking views of Point Lobos. The food was incredible, the macarons were a hit, and we had everyone dancing to Daft Punk by the end of the night. No one wanted it to end. It felt like a truly perfect day.

We went with a travel theme. Our invitations were made to look like plane tickets. Our reception tables represented some of our favorite destinations; we used our own postcards as place settings; and we put together a seating chart made from a world map. I also put together personalized luggage tags and a little travel bag for all of the guests. Putting all the details together was much more fun than I ever thought it would be!

What made your wedding personal to you and your partner? 

We spent a lot of time figuring out the actual location and we finally realized it should be in Carmel, one of our favorite weekend getaways. That in itself, sharing this meaningful spot with our closest friends and family, made it feel very special.   

Did you have a special moment or one thing that truly made it in a league of its own?

Right before taking my dad's arm and heading down the sandy stairs and "aisle," I just remember peeking out from behind the brush on the path overlooking the beach and being blown away by the dramatic setting: the overcast sky, the calm waters, the sea-worn rocks, the palm-laced arch, our closest family and friends mingling, the guitarist playing our favorite songs, and, of course, my dapper soon-to-be hubby anxiously awaiting. It was more beautiful and surreal than I had ever envisioned.

Any parting wisdom for yet-to-wed LOHO Brides?

Enjoy the whole planning process, as stressful and frustrating as it can be. Don't get bogged down by the seemingly infinite amount of ideas out there. Really nail down the look and style you want and make sure your partner has a say in it all, too! Add some personal and DIY touches. These things are fun to put together and make the event truly unique.

As everyone will tell you, the day will go by in a flash. Don't waste the time worrying about the details at this point. Get lost in the joy, and be sure to sneak away with your partner for at least a few minutes to remember what this day is truly about.

Photography Credits: Elisa Kemp, Brandon Wehman, Wanderlust Photo Co., Alex Barakat, 838 Media Group.