plus size bride, plus size wedding dress, rustic wedding

Real Wedding | Rustic Backyard BBQ Wedding in San Diego | Captured Forever Photography

I love getting real weddings in that truly remind me of what I would love my wedding, well vow renewal now, since Jimmy and I have been married for almost 18 years. And let me tell you this wedding would be it for sure. One we love country music, and hello a backyard bbq wedding would be a no brainer for sure. So seeing this amazing rustic bbq real wedding literally made my heart skip a beat. I wish I could have gotten an invite because I would have had so much fun.

Nicole and David

TELL US ABOUT YOUR WEDDING : We are country-music-loving, casual people who love a backyard BBQ with our friends, so we basically wanted to have our wedding feel like an upscale version of that. We both wore our cowboy boots and encouraged our guests to dress comfortably as well, and David made corn hole boards and giant Jenga for the guests to play between the ceremony and start of dinner. We implemented as many personal touches as we could as well, from signs with lyrics to our processional, True Believer by Darius Rucker, lining the aisle, to a bar sign designed by me that featured our sweet dog Winnie (who we wish could have been there too!). Overall we just wanted the day to represent *us* as much as possible, and it did! In terms of style, our venue is truly beautiful and especially in the springtime! 

There are so many places to explore and pretty little spots with gardens and plants, including a lavender patch and wisteria hanging above the ceremony spot which were in full bloom. We originally were planning a Christmas wedding, but had to postpone to May due to COVID, so we embraced the beauty of the venue and changed our whole vision to include a color scheme of pastel lavender and lilac, white, ivory, gold, and lots of greenery. 

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WEDDING COLORS: Lilac, lavender, white, ivory, gold. 

HOW DID THE TWO OF YOU MEET? The old fashioned way – Tinder!

DESCRIBE YOUR ENGAGEMENT: David was in Hawaii for a military exercise for the summer, so I flew out and met him for a little vacation over the 4th of July. On our last day there, we went to dinner at a nice restaurant and walked back to our hotel on Waikiki Beach. and David asked some strangers to take a picture of us and proposed in that moment! 

PERSONAL OR HANDMADE DETAILS: We did a LOT of DIY. I (Nicole) learned graphic design during quarantine, so I designed all of our wedding stationary and signage. David is also very handy and loves to build things, so he made corn hole boards, giant jenga, and signs that lined the aisle that we put lyrics to our processional song on. 

DESCRIBE YOUR FLOWERS: Fully embracing all of the purple blooms at our venue, our florist designed bouquets using flowers in lavender and lilac shades as well as some white flowers and lots of greenery. We used rectangle tables for seating and went with garlands or eucalyptus with small pastel purple blooms, instead of traditional centerpieces. 

MEMORIES AND STORIES ABOUT THE DAY: We have a 2 year old daughter who completely stole the show, all day long. She did not want to cooperate as the flower girl, but mid-ceremony she ran up to give David the flower clip from her hair and check out the chandelier hanging above the ceremony spot. Then during the reception, she and her little best friend (our friends’ son) danced the night away and everyone couldn’t stop talking about how cute they were. 

YOUR FIRST DANCE SONG: All Time High by Jon Pardi

THE THING THAT WE WOULD HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY IS? Not stressed so much during the days leading up to and the morning of. The wedding was a long time coming (we’d already had to postponed prior to COVID even being a factor), and it turned out absolutely perfect and I can honestly say that every setback and obstacle we had to overcome during the planning process, had a silver lining and was a blessing in disguise. I would just go back and relax more about all of that, because it all worked out in the end!

YOUR ADVICE FOR OTHER PLUS SIZE BRIDES: Don’t settle for anything just because you’re plus-sized, especially in terms of the dress shopping experience! I was really nervous I wasn’t going to have a great time shopping for a dress because the nicer stores weren’t going to have samples I could try on. We went to a chain bridal store first and even though I was able to try on some beautiful wedding dresses, the experience was just not good – it was insanely busy even with an appointment, and it felt like they were just trying to get us in and out. We went to a more private, traditional store after that where I was convinced we wouldn’t find anything because they wouldn’t have anything for me to try on, and the experience was amazing. They had plenty of samples to try on and the consultant made sure to make me feel beautiful and special. It was a dream dress shopping experience, and I am so glad I went to that store even though I was anxious that my size would get in the way of it being what it should have been. 


WHAT HAS SURPRISED YOU MOST DURING THE FIRST FEW MONTHS OF MARRIAGE? Well, we got legally married over a year before our wedding (thanks COVID!) and had a 2  year old daughter by the time we had our wedding also, so not a whole lot has changed for us! 

PHOTOGRAPHER: Captured Forever Photography | VENUE: Willow Creek Ranch | BRIDAL ATTIRE: Allure Bridal from Prevue Formal and Bridal | BRIDESMAID ATTIRE: Birdy Grey | GROOM AND GROOMSMEN ATTIRE DESIGNER: Men’s Wearhouse | FLOWERS: Hey Clementine Floral Design | WEDDING STATIONERY: Designed by bride (Nicole) | HAIR STYLIST/MAKEUP ARTIST : Mobile Beauty Team | CATERER: Screaming Pete’s BBQ | BAKERY: Mary’s Donuts | Marquee Letters: Love Light Letters

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Shafonne Myers is a certified wedding and event planner who longed for bridal inspiration that looked like her. She has created a website and magazine that brings bridal inspiration to plus size brides. She does speaking engagements educating the world about plus size brides and self confidence.
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