Ellen and Drew traded a traditional night of drinks and dancing for a pastel floral-filled garden brunch wedding. They dressed up the already stunning Franciscan Gardens wedding venue space with DIY decor, sentimental details, and pastel blooms by Solstice Bloom. This couple ditched everything traditional for an unconventional celebration that best reflected their love story and, we have to say, it was well worth it!
They kick-started their day with a sweet first look, later joined by guests for a romantic courtyard ceremony complete with a circular ceremony backdrop and pink and purple blooms. Ellen gave us ethereal princess vibes in a floral-applique gown and roses in her bubblegum pink up-do. To match the spring theme, the groom rocked a fun lavender suit. When it came time for the reception, guests were treated to Studio Ghibli-themed coffee drinks and small bites—cohesive with the brunch theme.
The bride and her maid of honor proudly DIYed their wedding stationery, banners, seating charts, and coffee mug favors. So if you’re considering a DIY wedding, scroll on and take notes from these sweet photos captured by Junebug photographer Sunny Golden.
Ellen and Drew
Franciscan Gardens, California, United States
What Was The Most Memorable Part Of Your Franciscan Gardens Wedding?
While we weren’t initially interested in having a first look, we both agree it was the most memorable part of the day. We decided to do the first look because it worked best with the day-of schedule, especially having to coordinate logistics around a morning ceremony, so we agreed because that was also our best time for our portrait session. But we underestimated how special the first look ended up being for both of us! Having that intimate private moment together was a great way to start our big day because once we saw each other- it was like the stress and anxiety leading up to our big day just melted away as soon as we saw each other! And the reveal went both ways because Ellen had not seen Drew in his custom lilac suit either!
What Part Of Your Wedding Are You Most Proud Of?
We are definitely proud of having a morning ceremony and brunch reception! With an espresso cart! And donuts! While our choices were not all conventional for a wedding, the day ended up feeling so “us,” and we were happy with our decisions. Brunch and coffee are definitely our things- more so than evening dancing or drinking. And while we got a small cake for tradition (and pictures) of us newlyweds cutting the cake- we were more excited about the donuts!
What Wedding Planning Advice Would You Give?
Get a wedding planner or at least a Day-Of Coordinator! Especially if you plan to DIY elements yourself, hand off other responsibilities to your planner, and work with them on your vision and expectations, otherwise, it can easily become too much for you. Not only did our planner, Rachelle, from Radiant Love Events, take over managing our wedding and the vendors, but she also played an important role in keeping our goals realistic to the timeline and budget, as well as helping Ellen not put too much on her plate! And while you can dream big… sometimes what you need to hear and bring you back down to earth- is a professional’s opinion. With the limited time we had the morning leading up to the wedding as well, it would have been impossible for us to handle setup or logistics ourselves, so Rachelle and her assistant were crucial and handled the whole day flawlessly! Having a planner take the reins, and manage our wedding day for us left us stress-free and able to enjoy the day, our guests, and most importantly- live in the moment!
The Wedding Team:
Photography – Sunny Golden
Event Planning – Radiant Love Events
Ceremony + Reception Venue – Franciscan Gardens
Floral Design – Solstice Bloom
Cake – Sweet as Love OC
DJ – Shine Entertainment
Makeup Artist + Hair Stylist – Credo Makeup Studio
Bridal Accessories – Lee Renée
Bride’s Party Apparel – Baltic Born
Groom’s Apparel – Suit Supply
Rings – Richter Scale Rings
Rentals – Found Rental Co.
Congratulations to lovebirds Ellen and Drew on their beautifully unique Franciscan Garden wedding. And a huge thank you to Junebug photographer Sunny Golden for capturing every detail that’ll have future couples feeling empowered to let go of those traditional wedding planning expectations.
This couple planned a celebration that authentically represented their love—starting with their color palette. The pastel decor effortlessly brought a free-spirited and whimsical feel to Ellen and Drew’s intimate garden celebration. And choosing your own wedding colors will ultimately set the tone for your big day as well. If you’re on the fence about which wedding colors best suit your vibe or season, check out our tips for choosing your wedding color palette.