Miss California's Temecula Wedding at Temecula Creek Inn

"Bree Morse is Miss California 2015 so this wedding was nothing short of spectacular. Bree is a well-spoken bubbly ray of sunshine who has the biggest heart! Working with both her and Mike was an amazing experience. We collaborated closely on the details and overall aesthetic of the event - a natural but chic design in rose gold and white. The guest list was equally fun with some of her Miss America sisters as well as a familiar face from The Bachelor - Sarah Vendal who was a bridesmaid. My favorite design element was the suspended cake and I am so glad I worked with a bride who loved all of my crazy ideas and I had amazing vendor team who pulled everything together beautifully." -Michelle Garibay Events

I would be lying if I said we searched high and low for a venue. I did a fair amount of research online, but when we went to Temecula Creek Inn and saw the venue - we signed the contract on the spot. It is beautiful, rustic, natural, and everything we envisioned when thinking where we would get married. As Mike's family is from San Diego and mine Orange County, it was a decent middle point for our guests to travel to. We didn't have a specific date in mind, so that opened up availability for us. We also went for a Friday which made it more affordable as well. The staff at TCI made us feel special from the first time we visited until the day after our ceremony. We also selected vendors who had worked there before which was such a tremendous asset when it came to logistics and getting the perfect shots. 

Mike and I first met at CSULB when Mike was a Junior and I was a freshman, at my greek life orientation. He was a counselor and I was a pledge, but he says that had his eye on me from that point on. I, of course, couldn't let him into my heart that easy! A year passed with casual hello's and (now looking back) really lame Facebook posts, that we both attended the same event that changed our lives forever. That night we danced, talked and laughed the night away. It was there that I learned that Mike was quite the "dancer," and  that Mike learned that I'm physically unable to pass up a good pun. We joke that our wedding song should have been "We found love in a hopeless place," as there are few things less romantic than a fraternity pref. dance, but its where we began a life-long partnership that has already brought us so much happiness, so we wouldn't have it any other way. 

Mike and I had planned on going down to San Diego to celebrate his mom's birthday on a Saturday morning, but because I had a concert on Friday night, I told him to drive down Friday to celebrate with her then I would take the train down on Saturday to meet them. I woke up to find my train was delayed, but Mike assured me it was okay, to hop on the next one out and that he would pick me up at the downtown station. I got off the train and called him - no answer. I walked into the station - no Mike. I get a tap on my shoulder and turn around - it was my best friend from middle school, Lauren. It was very clear in that moment what was happening. She brought me outside and showed me the first of a series of videos on an iPad that Mike had pre-recorded. Each video was a series of chronological photos from our relationship and then a video of him explaining his favorite memories, why he loves me, all the sweet things a girl would ever want to hear. To top it off (and this is how much he knows me) at the end of the first video he sent us shopping to pick out a new outfit on him. We found an outfit, I lost my phone and have never been so calm about it, we then found my phone, and video #2. We went to go get our nails done! (You guys, I'm telling you - he's a keeper!) At the salon, Lauren also offered me my favorite snacks. Because I love snacks. And he bought them and gave them to her to hand to me so I don't get hangry. (But who could really get hangry when they know they are getting engaged to basically the best guy ever) Video #3, going to an undisclosed location. "This is it!" I thought to myself. We ended up at a bar that we had wanted to go to for a while. As I entered I fixed my hair and checked my teeth from those delicious snacks - total strangers. We had a glass of rose, because "yes way," and left. We started walking toward the waterfront in Downtown San Diego and I thought obviously we were going on a boat. Lauren took me for a hard left turn and we ended up in a park. Video #4 was set to a song we knew would be our first dance, which confirmed my thoughts that this was where it would happen. As I was watching the video, Mike snuck in behind me to catch on live, where the video left off. He had hired Emily Rhem, an old friend from high school who is now a photographer to capture the engagement. After tears and a resounding "yes" from me, we went to a local restaurant where all of our friends and family were waiting. 

Let's be real, I would be lying if I said I didn't have this wedding planned in my head 6 months after that pref night. But as trends changed through the years, as did my vision. However the most important thing to both Mike and I was that it would be just as fun for us as it was our guests. Both of our styles air on the side of casual with special attention to classic details, and I think Michelle and the team did a great job of capturing that. I joked that we had "bland" colors, sticking to natural whites, creams, greenery, wood, but classed it up with pops of rose gold. The venue is gorgeous on its own, and I wanted our florals to be just enough that it dressed it up without going overboard. 

Bree: I knew I wanted to do a dress change since I was like 7, and could not be happier that I followed through with it. One of the most frequent comments I received was "You've worn so many beautiful gowns - how will you ever choose THE gown?!" I saw it as a process of elimination. Poofy? No. Beaded? No. Corset? Heck no! This girl is trying to eat CAKE. Mia Bella has designed and made all of my gowns for Miss California and then Miss America, so it was a no brainer that I would visit them again for the "final" dress to finish off the trifecta. I saw this Pronovias gown on Pinterest and could not get it out of my mind after that. I went to Mia Bella, tried on pretty much every other dress, and saved the Pronovias for last. Needless to say, I wasted my group's time because the second I put it on it was absolutely the one. 

Dress #2 was something fun I could dance in but still feel like a bride. I wanted to add a little something special and had seen a painted leather jacket on Instagram, saw it was WAY out of my price range, and thought - hey, I could do that! I found the blue suede jacket at H&M and had a friend who paints do the personalization on the back. This was honestly one of my FAVORITE decisions. It made for some great photos, AND kept me warm!

Bridesmaids: As someone who has a number of long dresses in their closet that I will never wear again, there was no way I was going to ask my girls to purchase an expensive dress that would be out of style within the year. I gave them all a paint swatch and basically told them to find something full-length and flowy in that color - the results were perfect! Everyone had a dress that fit their body type but that still looked great in union. 

Mike & Groomsmen:
Mike and his groomsmen went to Grooms Grotto in Costa Mesa for their suits, who again did an incredible job fitting each of them with a custom suit. We picked blue because it was less formal than black, but dressed it up with black shoes, belts, and ties. To differentiate Mike, he wore a bow tie. 

I. love. dessert.  And Laura Marie at Laura Marie's Cakes did not disappoint. It was clear by the looks of our plates at our tasting that we were very happy with our vendor selection, and through the design process she captured our ideas beautifully. We ultimately ended up with a 4 tier cake with an "ombre" line design from the bottom tier up to the top, then incorporated some of our florals as a cake topper. Temecula Creek Inn has beautiful trees, and at some point in the planning process with Michelle we had come across a picture of a suspended cake and I remember her calling me and saying, "we should hang it from the tree." I agreed immediately and then thought to myself, "wait, open bar, dance floor....this might not be a great idea," but Michelle assured me it would be worth it. She worked with Laura Marie and the team from Jake Duke to make both a cake and suspense system that would hold the cake in place throughout the night, and it was probably one of the biggest hits at the wedding. Everyone wanted a picture with the floating cake, and couldn't wait to eat it!

As Miss California, I was a brand ambassador for American Pistachio Growers and traveled the state and to China promoting the many health benefits of this tasty green nut. I had gotten to know one the pistachio farmers quite well, and when thinking of a wedding favor that wouldn't be thrown out the next day, thought I would see if we could get some nuts to hand out. He asked me my wedding date and I thought he was confirming that they would make it to us in time. However, when we received the package and opened the nuts, each nut was personalized with our names and wedding date. I think in this moment both Mike and I felt that we were the definition of the slang term "extra." 

We purchased brown bags on amazon, I designed a stamp that said something about our love being "nuts" (the puns are back!), packaged them up and we were good to go! 

Neither Mike nor I are very well educated on types of flowers, so I can only imagine how entertained Michelle and the team at Soiree were when we first tried to explain our vision. "Greenery, but not the pointy kind. It's kind of a grey color. I don't want to be carrying weeds."  Needless to say, they somehow knew exactly what I was talking about and brought our vision to life.  My bouquet was a loose and natural arrangement of garden roses, white peonies, ranunculus, lisianthus, eucalyptus and dusty miller greenery. Our wedding party sat at a beautiful wood farm table with a long center garland of greenery and white blooms. Round tables were decorated with pedestal vases with coordinating florals. We saved some money by reusing the floral arrangement that decorated our altar arch for our Photo Booth later. 

The prospect of a wedding is so exciting - its like when you think of your favorite Christmas morning, them multiply that by 10, and know that it is going to happen in approximately 6 months, 4 days and 2 hours (or wherever you may be in your wedding countdown). That being said, engagement is one of the most charmed times of your relationship - so don't let planning get in the way of that! Have nights that are solely dedicated to you two, celebrating this exciting phase in your lives together. Not getting mad because your soon to be hubs won't look away from the game to tell you his thoughts on menu card font color. 

Also, it is OKAY to be on a budget! Don't compare your wedding to other peoples. Weddings are expensive, and it was important to us not to go into debt for our special day. Do your best to pick and choose things that you need or things that you can do on your own. Consider your network and resources, as you may know someone who can help by giving you a deal. 

I said it prior, but it was really important to us that our guests had fun. We wanted them to celebrate this day with us, and always remember that they were a part in making it so special. This meant putting our hands into every aspect of the process from music selection to table placement. It took more time on our end, but was so well worth it in the end. The other important thing was that we did it TOGETHER which can be difficult! Although napkin colors might not have been important to Mike, I found out that other things were and it was important to have his input on that. 

We highly recommend NOT choosing between either videographers and photographers, and instead investing in having both. Allie and Le Reve had worked together prior, and we LOVED seeing how the photos and video told a very seamless story. 

Another thing not to skip: A PLANNER! Mike and I both work full time, and people are not joking when they say wedding planning can be a full time job. Michelle was INCREDIBLE at walking us through the process, giving us expert advice, and lets face it, calming me down when I'm trying to process how many decisions we still had left to make. 

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Photography: Allie Lindsey Photography | Ceremony Venue: Temecula Creek Inn | Reception Venue: Temecula Creek Inn | Wedding Planning: Michelle Garibay Events | Floral: soiree floral design | Menu Cards: meldeen | Videography: le reve Films | Wedding Cake: Laura Marie's | Rentals: Jake Duke Studios | DJ: C squared events | Hair: StATIC Salon | Makeup: Daryl Rene | Bridal Salon: Mia Bella Couture | Photo Booth: C squared events | Invitations: Minted | Laser Cuts: Happily Ever Etched | Wedding Dress: Mia Bella Couture