An Outdoor DIY Wedding at Bommer Canyon in Irvine, CA

California, Real Weddings

Natasha and Cody have been making waves together since they met in college in 2007. "My friend and I were dying to surf," says Natasha, "and we stored our boards near Cody's dorm room. He heard us getting our gear, and came running out to join us." Cody later told Natasha that he'd been waiting for an opportunity to "casually" bump into her, and he finally had found his moment. The duo's surf dates became more and more frequent, and they became an item a few months later.

Just before Christmas in 2012, Cody took Natasha out for—you guessed it—a day on the waves. "The surf was awful, and I wasn't having any fun at all," remembers Natasha. "To top it all off, Cody had been acting strange all morning." When it seemed things couldn't get any weirder, a lifeguard called the couple in to shore, saying he'd found some of their property. "He handed Cody a box, saying he believed it was his," says Natasha. "As I told him he must have the wrong people, Cody grabbed the box and got down on one knee!" The ocean-loving duo were still wearing their wetsuits as Cody asked Natasha to marry him.

Natasha's "something blue" was a hard-to-miss pair of royal blue peep-toe pumps. Her protea, rose, and baby's breath bouquet was hand-tied—by the bride herself! "We bought the flowers from a local florist, and the day before the wedding my bridesmaids came over so we could arrange our bouquets," she says. "They turned out beautifully!"

Natasha wore a sleek mermaid gown with layers of lace by Maggie Sottero. "I wanted something simple and form-fitting," she says, "and I fell in love the second I tried it on."

Her six bridesmaids wore mismatched light peach dresses, each choosing a dress that fit her body and budget. Natasha made sea-glass macramé bracelets for them as their gift.

Cody's uncle constructed the rustic driftwood trellis altar. Bunches of baby's breath added a soft touch.

"Bommer Canyon was the perfect venue for us," says Natasha. "I loved getting married under the trees, with a slight warm breeze." She was so glad to have both her grandfather and her mother there to escort her down the aisle. "When I saw Cody at the end of the aisle, I was so excited that I almost toppled over!"

The couple ended their ceremony with a sand ritual. They poured together jars of sand from the beach where they met and the one where they were engaged.

Cody kept his look light with a soft gray J.Crew suit. After the ceremony, Natasha swapped her veil for a crystal headband.

The wedding party, in summery sand-washed hues, embodied Natasha and Cody's rustic-beach theme.

In addition to a barbecue dinner and dancing, guests were treated to a bonfire, beanbag toss, and delicious DIY s'mores.

"We wanted our guests to be able to relax and hang out during the reception," says Natasha of the outdoor celebration. Baby's breath, succulents, and burlap runners created a casual, yet refined, atmosphere.

Cody's uncle cut wood for the table numbers, and built boxes for the succulent centerpieces. Jars, wrapped in burlap, were filled with coral blossoms. The couple spent months collecting tablecloths from consignment and thrift stores, then cut burlap runners to match. "My favorite detail was the strings of lights that we hung from the trees," says the bride. "We assembled so many pieces ourselves, we started calling it Our Handmade Wedding!"

After dinner, guests turned to a dessert table overflowing with sweets. In addition to wedding cake, there were cake pops, macaroons, and fruit tarts.

"My sister-in-law made our cake," says Natasha. "She used layers of fondant to create waves, and topped it with a piece of white coral."

The easy-going couple had their first dance to "Unchained Melody" by The Righteous Brothers. And they're loving married life as much as they loved their wedding day. "It's so cool to start and end our days together," Natasha says.

She recommends that couples keep that focus in mind as they plan their weddings. "There will be stresses and mishaps, but those may end up being the funniest memories if you choose to look at them in a positive way."

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Bommer Canyon || Bride's Wedding Dress: Maggie Sottero, from Mariposa Bridal Boutique || Shoes: Enzo Angiolini || Jewelry: Tiffany & Co. || Headband: Jolie || Hair: Elisa K. || Makeup: Elizabeth Root || Groom & Groomsmen's Suits: J.Crew || Boutonnieres: Briana Maxson || Catering: Stonefire Grill || Cake: The Sister of the Groom || Photography: LK Griffin Photography


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