Real Weddings: A Pretty Summer Wedding

Shannon and Shawn took advantage of a beautiful San Diego golf course for their summer wedding.

A Simple Updo

About the Couple: Shannon and Shawn loved the naturally beautiful setting of the Amy Strong Castle at Mt. Woodson Golf Club in San Diego, California for their intimate wedding. Check out their beautiful budget-friendly California wedding.

Shannon knew that she wanted to wear her hair in a romantic updo. After spotting this vintage-inspired hair clip, she chose to ditch a tiara for this simple look.

A Dreamy Dress

Shannon instantly fell in love with this two-piece Maggie Sottero dress. The corset top highlighted her small waist and the full, tufted skirt gave the princess-like feel she was looking for.

Bride's Tip: Consider the comfort factor of your dress. Since this dress was designed in two pieces, it was a lot lighter than a one-piece dress.

Personalized Shoes

Shannon left her shoes up to her shoe guru: her sister. She transformed these ballet flats into a one-of-a-kind creation by adding jewels along the upper rim and topping off the look by writing "just married" along the backs. Shannon loved them and will treasure them forever.

Get the Look: Get creative with your wedding shoes. Whether you add jewels in your wedding colors or place a monogram across your toes, one-of-a-kind wedding shoes will make a lifelong keepsake.

Out-of-the-Ordinary Photography

Shannon and Shawn's photographer, Stephanie Fay of Tunnel Photography, took advantage of every angle of this unique location. When Stephanie told Shannon to hop up in the window of the castle, Shannon wasn't too sure -- but this unusual angle turned out to be one of her favorite shots.

A Monochromatic Bouquet

Since her dress had so much detail, Shannon wanted to keep her bouquet simple yet bold. She stuck with the rich red tones of deep burgundy calla lilies, red dahlias, and 'Black Magic' roses.

Get the Look: If you want to go with a monochromatic bouquet, ask your florist which flowers will look best together.

The Wedding Party

Shannon was set on having cranberry-colored dresses for her bridesmaids. But after trying that shade on her girls, it just wasn't right. She choose to go with this neutral gray dress from Anthropologie and accessorize with pops of cranberry in their shoes.

Bride's Tip: If you can't find the color of dress you desire, or it isn't the right shade for your bridesmaids, go with a neutral tone like gray or black. Then add your color scheme in with the flowers and accessories.

Loving the In-N-Out Burger

Taking advantage of a notorious California hotspot, In-N-Out Burger, Shannon's sister couldn't resist her cravings during their pre-wedding photo session.

Bride's Tip: If you are going to be taking pictures before the wedding, make sure to have plenty of snacks for your wedding party to munch on throughout the day.

Simple Rings

Shannon and Shawn chose very simple wedding bands; hers, a band of diamonds. His sports a touch of brushed silver.

A Pretty Ceremony

With the beautiful natural surroundings of the Amy Strong Castle at Mt. Woodson Golf Club, Shannon and Shawn didn't need much ceremony decor. They created an altar by draping a white sheet with a silver overlay. To add a dash of color to the altar, they added large sprays of cranberry and white flowers. Shannon had her florist sprinkle rose petals down the cobblestone aisle.

A Romantic Look

For their outdoor reception, Shannon and Shawn wanted to create a romantic ambience with a casual twist. They chose ivory tablecloths with cranberry napkins to stay in the scheme. Shannon wanted to play with the height of her centerpieces. Some were very tall like this arrangement of lilies paired with vases of floating candles and votive candles.

A Variety of Centerpieces

Another variation of centerpieces featured a vase with submerged orchids, a small rose arrangement, and a smaller vase with a floating candle. To add color to the centerpiece, their florist used dye to turn the water a rich shade of red.

Budget Saver: To save money on flowers, pair smaller arrangements with candles to create a beautiful glow during dinner.

Dessert Lovers

Shannon and Shawn absolutely love dessert so they went beyond the typical wedding cake by adding this chocolate fountain with a slew of goodies to dip. Since their wedding started at 6:30, they chose to skip dinner and feature heavy hors d'oeuvres with lots of dessert options.

Budget Saver: If you are having a later wedding, save big bucks by serving heavy hors d'oeuvres verses a full dinner. Just be sure to state this on your invitations so your guests can eat prior to your ceremony.

A Little Extra Light

Shannon and Shawn loved the lights that were strung over the reception location. It added an extra touch of ambience and set the reception location apart from the rest of the country club.

Get the Look: Ask your location's management if there are lights that can be added. There may be a charge for the extra lighting but it will create a nice glow for an evening event.

A Votive Glow

Shannon bought boxes of votive candles to surround the reception location. She asked a few of her friends to set them around the location to create a pretty glow.

Budget Saver: Votive candles are a very easy way to decorate and can be bought in bulk, helping your budget!

3-Layer Cake

Two layers of strawberry mousse cake and a layer of chocolate cake in the middle were topped off with buttercream icing. To incorporate their color scheme, Shannon had them use the deep burgundy calla lilies that were also featured in her bouquet.

A Little Alone Time

During their reception, Shannon and Shawn slipped away to get a few more shots together.

Bride's Tip: The times when you can just be together, enjoying each other and your wedding day, are the most memorable.

Vendor Guide

Location: The Amy Strong Castle at Mt. Woodson Golf Club;

Photographer: Stephanie Fay, Tunnel Photography;

Florist: Floral Works, Inc;

Caterer: Continental Catering;

Cake: It's a Piece a Cake;

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