Weddings Closer to Home

Read these tips from real-life brides who have "been there, done that" and have practical tips and advice to share with anyone planning a wedding.

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Hide CaptionShow CaptionThe Couple: Aaron and Natalie Parkington; The Location: Private, gated estate in Point Loma: San Diego, Calif.

All About

Natalie's Story: "Aaron and I were married at a grand, gated estate in Point Loma. Our wedding was a late afternoon garden ceremony with dinner at dusk, under the soft glow of luminaries and amber lights."


Her Tips:

Consider your wedding’s environment: "Ask yourself, how do I want my environment to feel? Warm and inviting? Cool and refreshing? Elegant and plush? Rustic and ecclectic? Ornate and royal? That will help you hone in on what you really want. For us, we wanted our environment to be a big green field in the fall with leaves and a crisp autumn breeze, all with a dash of elegance. We had to make some compromises to get that in San Diego and still be near the beach (for photos) but we were able to work it all out."

Comfort is key: "Choose a dress that you are comfortable in. Make sure it doesn't squeeze you too much, that you can walk, that you won't fuss over it at all; same thing with shoes. Make sure they're comfy. You don't want to spend your wedding day worrying about anything but the loved ones around you and the love between you and your fiancée. Same goes for the groom, he should be comfortable too. Get a tux, suit, kilt, whatever, that he will be comfortable in. He should be able to forget all about what he's wearing when his beautiful bride-to-be comes floating down the aisle."