Hi I’m Amber!
A little bit about me, I’m 24 years old & I’m a designer for Privacy Please for Revolve clothing. I’ve been married for 8 months to my husband Timmy!
Our Love Story
We were dating for 3 years before we got married. We met through mutual friends in a group setting which was perfect for us because we hate getting set up (even though my friends were secretly setting us up). He’s a professional baseball player for the Toronto Blue Jays and is gone for 7 months out of the year so it made wedding planning difficult in some ways but with the help of my family and his parents we were able to pull of an unforgettable wedding that I’m excited to share with you!
October 8th, 2016 – Hawaii
Let’s Talk Wedding Planning
Wedding Date, Geographical Location, Venue
Since my husband is a professional baseball player we were forced to choose a wedding date between September to Janurary. We ended up with October 6th, 2017 at. I went to about 6 different wedding venues before deciding on the final gem, Coyote Hills Golf Course in Fullerton CA. My main criteria were that there needs to be A LOT of greenery, I can have both ceremony & reception outdoors, & that they would allow in-n-out! Coyote Hills checked all of these off of the list for me! The main feature that sold me was the giant wooden pergola covered in greenery that covered the site, it felt like you were in a lush secret garden & not at a golf course at all.
Everyone says that putting together the guest list was the hardest, & let me tell you, putting together the guest list is the hardest. My family on both my mom & dad’s side are huge and we are close with my cousin’s cousin’s, aunt’s sisters, and the list just goes on. My husband has a really big family on his moms side, so to have a small intimate wedding wasn’t in the cards. I was fine with having a big guest list for partying reasons but not financially. We could have easily invited 300 people but we had to cut down to 175. We only allowed immediate family, and we cut plus ones but only if the guest had other friends there.
What was your wedding budget?
My mom & dad are so incredible & they funded 99% of my wedding. The initial budget was $25,000 & after everything from the dress, dj, invitations, videographer etc. they spent around $30,000! We kept a spreadsheet to keep track of all of the finances which really helped visually to see where you can move/cut money.
How did you prioritize your budget, what factors were most important to you?
I prioritized the venue, photographer, videographer & flowers. I was lucky enough to have my friends do the photography, videography & flowers, which is normally where a lot of the budget goes to, so I was lucky enough to be able to save in those three categories!
How did you ask your besties to be your bridesmaids?
I invited them over for brunch and made little goodie bags for them filled with a notebook, bath bomb, color pop lipstick & a customized wine bottle! The girls loved it, especially the rosé.
How was your dress shopping experience?
Dress shopping was THE BEST. I went to 5 different places; it was like I was playing dress up! The hardest part was finding something in my budget of $2,000. Sometimes I would see an amazing dress on the hanger, check the price, then move right along. It is shocking in some stores of how little your options are with that budget (even though that is SO much money). Luckily those over priced dresses led me to the one. I found my dress at Love & Lace Bridal in Irvine CA, & the designer is Made with Love. I had a very cliché moment because when I put it on I knew it was the one. I didn’t want anything that I’ve seen before & this dress was like no other. The non cliché part was that when my sister & mom saw me come out of the dressing room there wasn’t a huge reaction from them because I had just tried on that dress with a different lining so it wasn’t a huge shocker. Once I put the veil…that’s when there were cliché tears. It was a beautiful moment to share with my mom & sister.
As for my bridesmaid dresses I was lucky enough to be able to design my own!!! I am a designer for Revolve clothing and my boss is such a sweetheart and gifted me the budget to do so! To be honest I cant help but pat myself on the back because my bridesmaids STOLE THE SHOW.
What was your overall vision or theme?
My overall vision stayed the same for the most part. From the beginning I wanted all white flowers, then for a quick second I wanted super saturated florals. I quickly went back to the all white vision, & filled my colorful floral crave with my bridal shower décor.
If you had to describe your wedding style in one word what would it be?
I found myself using that word every time someone asked me the theme. Just about every guest came up to me saying how timeless it was! Which made me very happy to hear!
How did you find your vendors?
I only used a few outside vendors, Great Dane Bakery (recommended by venue), AJordan Company for videography (friend), Sister House Photo (friend) & In-n-Out! My venue included all décor & food. Any other vendors I needed my venue had a list of recommendations. So luckily for me, since I didn’t have a wedding planner, I didn’t have to juggle around vendors and attend a ton of meetings.
How did you design your table layout & decor?
My table layout was very simple, no décor, or frames, just white flowers & a few tea light candles. I gave my friend a few photos from Pinterest and she took off with it!
How involved was your fiancé in the planning process?
“Whatever you want” that’s what I heard the entire process. Which was nice at times but could be very frustrating because I genuinely wanted his opinion. Later in the process I realized I really just wanted to have conversations with him about the wedding and to see if he liked my ideas, because I found myself saying “Hey which one do you like, A. or B.” and he’d say “A.” then I would say “yeah but I’m kinda thinking B.” haha! Another huge thing for us was that he was gone for baseball season from February to September so he physically wasn’t able to help sometimes because he was playing every single day! The only things he wanted the final say on was what the groomsmen wore (which ended up being my suggestion of a picture I showed him haha). He also really wanted In-n-Out, & let me tell you that wish was gladly answered yes.
Did you use a wedding planner?
I did not have a wedding planner! I did a lot by myself & I also had my AMAZING mom help me with so much of the planning! The most helpful thing I did with planning was to be very specific with my inspiration, in the beginning I had so many pictures, some images had center pieces with rectangle dinner tables & some with round, some alters had an arch, some with just a table with a vase on it. You have to be very specific because when its time to discuss or order a specific item you’re not deciding on the spot or have too many thoughts in your mind of what you want.
Did you have a Day-of Coordinator present on the day of your wedding?
Luckily my venue provided a coordinator up until dinner. I do wish that I paid someone (even if it was a family member or friend) to help with reception timing. It would have been nice for someone to tell the DJ to move to the next event at a specific time or set up the send off (my mom had to scramble to grab the ribbons to place by the exit).
Did you guys do a “First Look”, or did your fiancé see you for the first time walking down to aisle?
We did not do a first look, we went back & forth if we wanted it or not. At first I thought it would be really cool to have it on camera & then Timmy thought it would be a good opportunity to get rid of any nerves and it could be intimate moment between us. At the end of the day we love tradition & thought it would be so cool to share that special moment with everyone we love! We did pray together before and it was a perfect way to settle our nerves with focusing on God and the true reason why we were there that day, to dedicate our lives to each other before God.
What would you recommend as “must have pictures” for future brides?
All of my favorite pictures from the wedding are all candid & silly. One of my favorite photos of our wedding is of Timmy & I walking with our bridal party and we’re all just smiling & it captured such a genuine moment!
Did you have a videographer?
Videography was my number one priority. I loved my Videographer, his name is Adam Knowles and his company is AJordan Company. He has great prices for the quality you get!
Escort Cards or Seating chart?
We did a seating chart, it was very simple & clean looking. Someone at my moms work put together a template, all we had to do was fill it in and print it out on a nice quality board. It turned out SO cute!
What song did you choose for your first dance?
Our first dance was so special! We both adore Ed Sheeran and so we chose “Perfect”. The words were so precious and we were just singing it to each other while we were dancing. My favorite is when it plays randomly at a store or restaurant and we both just smile and look at each other remembering that amazing moment.
Buffet or sit down meal?
We did 3 tray passed appetizers & buffet for dinner! We catered In-n-out and hada fry & salad bar. Our first priority was to stuff our face with a double double, which we were very happy we did because everyone always told us that couples rarely eat. Only thing didn’t each much of were the fries and the salad.
Live music or DJ?
We had a DJ. I created my playlist all by myself & from what I can tell, it was a hit!
Cake or Desserts?
We had a mini cake for us and a ton of random desserts like, cheesecake bites, fruit tarts, cake pops & donuts!
Did you provide transportation for your guest or valet parking?
We had a very large parking lot at our event and we had a golf cart available for guests to go from the parking lot to the ceremony site. It was a very nice feature for the elderly.
Top 3 most memorable moments of your wedding day?
The entire ceremony, our pastor gave such an amazing message, my dance with my dad was really special because he’s not one to show emotion but when we were dancing I had my head on his chest and I could hear him getting choked up and I looked up and he had tears in his eyes. I was the only one who knew he was crying & my prayer with Timmy before the ceremony.
One thing that made your wedding unique or something special and personal you added to your day that stands out from other weddings.
One thing that stuck out from our wedding was the IN-N-OUT. We’re not ones for a fancy meal, so dry chicken & a fancy salad didn’t sound appealing to us. So we gave the people what they want, and gave them a Double-Double.
Also my talented sister handmade all of our wedding signs! She has now started her own business for handwritten, customized lettering for home decor + events! @project.script
Total months planning?
We got engaged October 8th, 2016 and our wedding day was October 6th, 2017, so we had a whole year to plan which was so nice and very much needed. I started planning about two weeks after the engagement searching for venues and booked appointments to try on dresses. The craziest time for me was 3 months before the wedding, that is when everything should be finalized & ordered.
What was one thing that you had difficulties with during your planning and how did you overcome it? & What was one of the easier things for you to plan?
I found it difficult to finalize our guest list. We had so many people we wanted to be there but the guest list was so high it was very expensive. We had to make a difficult decision to cut anyone who wasn’t immediate family (i.e my cousin’s cousins or aunts/uncles other side). Then we cut plus ones for guests who haven’t been together with their gf/bf for a long time but only if they had friends coming to the wedding.
One thing you wish you knew when you were planning your wedding?
My advice would be to have everything planned at least 3 weeks before the wedding day. We were still doing last minute planning a week before and it was very stressful. You need the list 3 weeks to get rest and just relax for your big day!
Anything you would have done different?
One thing I wish I cut was the 2 hours of open bar. At the end of the day people will pay the $7 for the vodka soda. For me, going to a wedding I don’t expect open bar, & I know a lot of my guests did not expect that either since not everyone who came to my wedding were drinkers. So it’s better to have the guests cover their own drinks and they’ll end up spending around $25 bucks for a few drinks, which isn’t bad given that they had a free meal & party!
One thing that helped you stay stress free throughout your planning and on your wedding day?
Timmy always helped me with focusing on the core reason behind all of the craziness of planning. Since he was away & didnt really have to deal with all of the madness (lucky for him) he was able to remind me everyday that choosing ivory over white linen was not going to affect the main purpose of this wedding, to start our lives together.
Did you go on a honeymoon? If so, where to? Did you go right after the wedding or wait?
We went on a mini moon to Palm Springs and we could not believe how exhausted we were, all we wanted to do was sleep. We barely could get ourselves to go to a casino (something we LOVE to do haha). We couldn’t imagine getting on a plane and having to deal with travel with the amount of energy we had. Timmy & I booked our honeymoon to Playa Del Carmen at Ocean Riviera Paradise end of November (due to baseball of course) and I felt that was a little bit too long after our wedding because all of our wedding money went to rent. So I recommend maybe 2-3 week after the wedding that way you still have your wedding high!
Last but not least if you could give ONE piece of advice to a bride-to-be planning her wedding what would it be??
This may sound harsh but….be considerate of everyone’s time and money. I’m hearing of some horror stories where the bride wants to go to an exotic place for her bachelorette (which is fine if everyone can afford it) and wants $300 bridesmaid dresses but no one is stepping up to tell them they can’t afford it because they’re scared!!! You don’t want to be that bride. Yes “it’s all about the bride” and what she wants but you also want everyone along the ride to have the BEST time with you.
Amber & Timmy’s Happily Ever After
About 2 months ago I left my job as a designer at Revolve that I was so beyond proud of because I worked my tail off to get, I was in a position to where I was able to design which was my dream since childhood. I left to be able to experience God’s design of marriage with my husband in person & NOT over FaceTime. It was such a tough transition for me because I realized during my last 2 weeks that I placed a lot of my identity in this job because it was such a cool job to work at. Not to be dramatic but without this job I felt like I was going to be worthless & there wasn’t going to be anything special about me anymore. But I’ve been reminded that my goal is for my identity to be found in Christ alone. I understand that God knows the desires of my heart & will provide for me as he always does! I’m so excited to be a full time cheerleader for my husband in this crazy baseball life & I cannot wait to meet all of the amazing women along the way…. & p.s I will still be posting like EVERDAY about @privacypls because my designs will still be coming out until Fall & I’m a proud momma of my babies.
Venue & Catering: Coyote Hills Golf Course // Wedding Dress: Made with Love Bridal purchased @ Love and Lace Bridal Salon // Hair & Makeup: Hair and Makeup By Sydney // Photography: Sister House Photo // Videography: AJordan Company // Florals: Aimee Sorek // Calligraphy & Signs : @project.script // Bridesmaids Dresses: Designed by Amber available now with Privacy Please (unfortunately Amber’s color is one of a kind, but comes in Navy & Mauve)
Keep Scrolling for more stunning photos of Ambers’s Wedding and be sure to follow her journey with baseball, fashion, and wifey life @ambrlopes !
Congrats Mr. & Mrs. Lopes!