Happy Friday, friends. In lieu of Friday Favorites, I figured you would want to know what I was up to this week. Well, surprise, Aaron and I were in California to see my twin get married! Sidenote: my cousin Melissa isn’t really my twin, but we share the same birthday – I’m just one year older. But, we’ve called ourselves twins for as long as I can remember. And, it’s something that’s carried over into adulthood.
The back story
Let me rewind for a quick second. About a month and a half ago, Melissa called me to ask about my wedding photographer. I thought she was asking for a friend because we had just met her boyfriend during Christmas. But, sometimes – when you know, you know. She and her boyfriend at the time, Christian, decided they wanted to get married on their one year anniversary. It initially started off as a courthouse wedding, but quickly turned into a very small outdoor ceremony with a small reception to follow. Her plan is to do a larger wedding next year.
But, I didn’t want to miss her wedding day, so we came up with a plan to make this day as special as possible, and Aaron and I booked our plane tickets.
Aaron and I flew in Monday, and we arrived in Santa Ana around 2 p.m. My parents picked us up from the airport, and we headed straight to the hotel.
We ate a quick lunch, and we headed over to my aunt’s house to do some wedding prep. My Aunt Susie and Uncle Mike were hosting the wedding reception in their backyard. My cousins were putting together a balloon arch. Because this all kind of happened so fast, it was literally all hands on deck to help make the day special. We called it an early evening because Tuesday was wedding day.
Heisler Park Gazebo Laguna Beach
My cousin just wanted immediate family at the ceremony, but she needed a spot where some of the extended family and friends could still watch. So, she chose to do her ceremony at Heisler Park Gazebo in Laguna Beach, which was a gorgeous choice.
The morning of the wedding, I met the florist over at my aunt’s house to help him set up. He was the florist I used for my wedding, so I knew he wouldn’t disappoint. My cousin wanted a boho theme, and Taka made the most gorgeous flowers and garland for the set up.
I stuck around to help my aunt, uncle and cousins set up for the reception later that evening. And, before we knew it, it was time to head over to the ceremony at the gazebo. My cousin hired my wedding photographer, and it was so nice to see him in action. I can’t say enough good things about him, and I cannot wait to see the photos he took of my cousin’s wedding day. I would have him shoot our wedding a million times over – and he even flew out to Houston to take mine and Aaron’s engagement photos.
We got our girl married in an intimate ceremony overlooking the ocean. Her best friend officiated, and her dad (my uncle) walked her down the aisle. She could not have asked for better weather on her wedding day.
It was so nice to see my family – I don’t usually visit in April, so this was a great bonus visit.
Melissa didn’t really want to make this a big deal – especially since she’s planning a larger wedding for next year. But, we all still wanted it to be special for her. The backyard reception was so much fun, and I know it’s something she will remember forever.
I have never officially changed my last name. So, Aaron and I jokingly call ourselves the TaniGomez family. Melissa’s new last name is Navarro, so her wedding hashtag was NavaGuchi, which is the perfect blend of our last name!
And, of course, you have to get an uncle picture. These four guys were probably such a handful growing up 🙂
There were speeches, there was a grand entrance, there was good food and good drinks – and lots of love and memories. And friends, no matter how you decide to do your wedding – whether it’s big or small – or non-traditional or the most traditional – what matters at the end of the day are your vows and the promise you and your spouse make to one another. All the other stuff is just icing on the cake!