As a competitive runner, former collegiate track athlete, fitness coach and fitness tester for Fitbit, it is only fitting that our real bride Leanna met her now husband Sam on the track field at SF State. She was on the Track & Cross Country Team and he was the assistant coach. Although a crush developed immediately, it was only after Leanne quit the team and some time had passed before she decided to ask him out! “From that first date, we were nearly inseparable. As cheesy as it sounds, I knew within a week that this was something different. He was something different. After about 9 months, he proposed while we were sitting in a tree, on a branch that extended out from a cliff overlooking the ocean at sunset (perfection!). Of course I said yes!”
Continue reading to follow Leanne’s journey through her dress shopping & wedding planning experience as well as her words of advice for future brides!
THE DRESS – HOW DID YOU CHOOSE YOUR WEDDING DRESS AND WHAT MADE IT “YOU”?
“I was never the girl who fantasized about her wedding - I didn't really even think I would get married til I met my husband. I'm athletic and almost never wear dresses, so the idea of wearing a big white dress didn't seem natural. After looking around online, I knew I wanted something sheath-like or column-shaped, nothing poofy, and thought adding in some beading and natural elements might be nice. I couldn't find exactly what I wanted, so I decided to mix-and-match with separates. I had my top custom made from lace I found at Britex - it was pearl and beaded, but not floral. The pattern reminded me of wavy tree trunk rings. To compliment it, I wanted a skirt that was soft, light, and flowy with some volume without being puffy, and the (Lace & Liberty) Muse skirt was exactly that!”
“We had our wedding in San Francisco at the Forest Hill Clubhouse. His family is from the Seattle, Washington area, and mine is from the Monterey Bay area, and we debated if we should have our wedding up north or stay local, but we decided to have the wedding where we live because as it was to be a summer wedding, it would be a great opportunity for our families to travel to San Francisco!
Sam and I researched locations for a while, but the Forest Hill Clubhouse was the first place we visited in person and we fell for it right away. We were considering having our wedding in Golden Gate Park, or somewhere woodsy, but we wanted an indoor space as well, and twinkle lights, if possible. The clubhouse had all of those things - it had a brick courtyard surrounded by towering trees for the ceremony, and plenty of indoor space for the reception. The clubhouse was built in the early 1900's, and it had a lovely vintage, woodsy feel, with lots of natural wood and exposed beams in a vaulted ceiling. And there were twinkle lights! We added in floral arrangements with burgundy flowers and lots of ferns and greenery, and added in a lot of DIY decorations like lanterns with moss, wood planks, and and a lot of pearls and glittery tealights. Overall, the ambiance was like a warm and cozy enchanted forest, and it was exactly what we were hoping for! (Thanks mom for your handiwork! Crafting Queen!)
ADVICE TO FUTURE BRIDES
“The most challenging part of the planning was simply doing it all myself - or, ourselves. My parents, hubby, and sister helped tremendously, but having a wedding planner would have alleviated so much stress and would have allowed us all to enjoy the day so much more. Regardless, we all had fun and it was such a wonderful memory, so it is totally possible. If any future brides out there do intend to plan their own wedding, my advice is to start early!! I can't imagine doing what we did in less than a year - it does take time, and being able to space out tasks and having time to do your research is crucial. One benefit of planning your own wedding though, is that it is such a great feeling of accomplishment and joy to see all of your planning come together, and to see your family and friends celebrate and be happy together as a result of it!”