It was really hard trying to articulate what kind of place we envisioned ourselves getting married in. We looked at the “traditional” venues and they were too “Pinterest-worthy” and that just isn’t us (not to say Pinterest didn’t help with planning!). When we found out that our favorite restaurant, Karl Strauss Brewery, had a venue that hosted weddings we were so excited to check it out.

On a beautiful October morning we walked across the bridge by the koi pond and we were awestruck – we knew this was the perfect place for us.Karl Strauss was special for us for a few reasons. To start, you can’t find a more beautiful area to get married in than San Diego. Secondly, we love craft brews and always dream of one day opening our own pub and going to Karl Strauss feeds that dream and always inspires us. Beer and good food are a shared joy we love to indulge in, especially when our work (Angela is a police officer and I am a registered nurse) has us down for the count. Finally, we loved the vibe of brewery and sought out details that would celebrate the artistry and laid back vibe of the emerging Southern California microbrew culture.

Neither of us is particularly religious but we both felt it would be important to incorporate Angela’s Native American heritage into the ceremony. She was taught by one of her tribal leaders how to do a smudging in which several herbs were burned in an abalone shell and the smoke was used as a ceremonial cleansing. She performed the smudging to cleanse the both of us as a way to enter into our union clear and focused on the future.

Our color palette also came from a place of importance. We’re both Seahawks fans and, though we told people we our colors were navy, mint and silver, they were technically Seahawks Navy, Action Green and Wolf Gray.

The brewery itself was the center point of decor. The Karl Strauss aesthetic is simultaneously urban and rustic without being so trendy that it would become outdated. We wanted things to be simple, uncluttered and symbolic. We used beer flights with succulents potted in flight glasses for centerpieces and growlers with custom labels made by Grog Tag (using a hops-themed tag designed by one of their artists, we were able to make custom, commemorative vinyl labels as well as an awesome metal sign). The growlers had a DIY element as we purchased them from The Webstaurant Store and assembled them once our custom labels arrived. The rest was up to our wonderful florist, Jennifer Ikel.

We wanted to honor our grandmothers with our flowers so Angela had these wonderfully fragrant gardenias for her mother’s mother and I had sunflowers for my mom’s mother. Barley was used in the corsages and boutonnieres and succulents were a major player throughout. We had the arch decorated in the same way with glass orbs with orchids and yellow dahlias that added a special element. We were more interested in the natural backdrop of the Karl Strauss Brewery Gardens in providing an “immersed in nature” kind of feel and our flowers were an enhancement for that, particularly the succulents.

I think the entire day was reflective of who we are as a couple. Having the ceremony and reception at a brewery was classically us and everyone that went has told us that it was the most fun they had at a wedding ever. Even some of the moms who didn’t bring their kids brought them back candy bags from our rainbow candy bar and the kids declared it the best wedding ever!

Like a lot of the things we did for our wedding planning, we fell into a lot things, our dresses included. We went with Angela’s sister-in-law to look at bridesmaid dresses at David’s Bridal and we decided to try dresses on for fun. We ended up falling in love with a few and said ‘yes’ to the dress that day. My dress was a big  tulle “floof” with a rhinestone belt that I accented with pearls. Angela’s dress is one that I tear up looking at even in its preservation box. It was a beautifully embroidered corset style top with an empire waist that looked like it had been carved out of alabaster. Both of our dresses were perfectly us. I like a lot of drama and detail and the bottom of my dress had a ton of tulle flowers accented with translucent white sequins. Angela’s was simple and elegant and made her look incredibly royal. Ultimately, we ended up barefoot the entire time — we both worked in retail and wore high heels for years and that was something we just were no longer interest in.

We met at work a long time ago and those details are not incredibly important. But, the proposal took place on my birthday in December. We went to Malibu and hiked up Mt. Allen, the first hike Angela ever took me on. It was there where I realized I had a crush on her several years prior. It was a beautifully clear day. After we got to the peak, she told me she had something for me and pulled out this beautiful ring and asked me to marry her. Though this was in 2013 and we wouldn’t be able to be traditionally married yet, it was the happiest birthday I had ever had.

From the marrier, Catherine




Photographer: Savoring The Sweet Life Photography
DJ: Sunset Mobile Music
Cake designer: The French Gourmet
Floral designer: I Do Flowers For You
Makeup artist: Jellis faces
Hair stylist: Jellis faces
Officiant: Two Rings Wedding Officiant
Caterer: Karl Strauss Brewery Gardens
Reception venue: Karl Strauss Brewery Gardens

Submitted via Two Bright Lights