Hi! Im Aundrea Patrick (sooo crazy to finally say that ahhh), 25 married to the love of my life and best friend Mason Patrick. Living in Rancho Cucamonga CA with our two fur babies. My husband works for LA City Fire and I work in an Emergency Room as an EMT.
Our Love Story
Well it all started with “Oh youuu whoo over here!” no joke… that was the very first thing I said to him in our high school computer class and from there its history, just kidding. It wasn’t exactly love at first sight but we thought each other were cute. So we started talking, went on a couple “dates” and after one of them he asked me out for the first time and I told him no I wasn’t ready, but I knew I really liked him. He was different than most guys and so funny. We kept talking and hanging out, a few weeks later in the school parking lot he asked me out for the second time… I said no he needs to do it in a cuter place. I wanted to see if he actually liked me, I didn’t want a stupid little relationship. At this point I was thinking that im stupid and he’s not going to ask me out again but March 3, 2011 we were at his moms house and he made us a little candle lit picnic in the living room with a movie and he asked me out for the third time. This time I said sure, why not and from there we have been together.
Ahhhh it was soo darn cute! Nothing fancy but so very special. March 5, 2016, a couple days after our anniversary we had a beach date planned. He was going through LA cities tower and our anniversary fell on a day he was there. I have been wanting to get engaged for the longest time and bugging him about it because I just wanted to be married to him. That morning he called me and told me he was on his way home and I needed to be ready when he got there and we would leave. I knew it would take him about an hour to get home with no traffic, he called a little later and said there was some traffic and would be a little late so I added half hour… I felt something was a little odd (in a good way), as a girl of course my mind went everywhere. I was thinking he was going to the ring store to get the ring… I was thinking he was going to call me and tell me to meet him at the Claremont village which is where the ring store is and he was ask me there. He comes home and we leave for the beach. The whole ride there I felt like I was talking so much and he was really quite and I couldn’t figure out why. At one point I asked him if he was going to ask me to marry him today and he told me no and I just need to enjoy the day. We get to the beach and eat at this little breakfast place in Newport beach that’s right on the beach, took a little walk on the board walk to the fun zone played games at the arcade for a while, we went to the little surf shop and ate lunch at our favorite pizza place. After lunch we walked down to the water and walked towards the car. Before we left to go to the car we laid our blankets down on the sand off of Coronda street. We sat there talking for a minute and he said he wanted to take a picture with the gopro… When he pulled out the camera it had died and he was so upset I couldn’t figure out why… He had told me to close my eyes because he had another gift to give me. When I opened my eyes he was holding the ring. All I could say was shut up. He was so nervous he didn’t say anything and was just holding it so I asked him what it was for… that’s when he asked if I would be his forever and of course I said YESSS! After that we left because we had reservations at a restaurant back home and he surprised me with an engagement dinner with my family and our close friends
Let’s Talk Wedding Planning
Wedding Date, Geographical Location, Venue
August 4, 2018, Newport Beach CA
This wasn’t just a random “venue” that we chose. It had so much meaning to it and that’s what we wanted for our wedding.
When we first started planning our wedding we actually were planning a destination wedding in Hawaii. We found the cutest house that had a little yard that backed up to a waterfall (Falls at Reeds Island). This place was so beautiful and perfect but we realized we had some older family we really wanted at our wedding and knew it would be difficult for them to travel so we started looking for places in socal.
We didn’t actually visit very many venues but emailed tonsss of venues but everything was too expensive for us.
We started thinking about what we like and the kind of people we are. I am a VERY sentimental person and he is very family oriented. We LOVE the beach and go to Newport Beach every year for vacation. So I thought maybe they would allow us to have our wedding on the beach… Nope not at an actual venue but just walking out onto the beach. We called the city and they said we could totally do it but we couldn’t have any large props and no more than 50 people. We didn’t need to have a permit or pay anything. It was FREEE!!! This was perfect for us. As much as we wanted to have a couple hundred people at the wedding we wanted to keep it small and sentimental with the closest friends and family by our side.
Newport Beach city allowed us to have 50 people, we ended up have closer to 60 oops but it was the perfect amount.
We really wanted a big wedding but couldn’t afford it so we had to narrow our guest list way down and how we did that was by only inviting immediate family, parents siblings, god parents/sisters/brothers, aunts/uncles and their kids (first cousins), grandparents, closest friends that we see all the time. It was really difficult to narrow down and we felt bad for not inviting everyone but we are going to have a reception where we will invite EVERYBODY
Best advice I could give is make a list of everyone you want to invite if you could invite everyone. Then from there highlight immediate family (If you have a really large family, highlight the ones that you are really close with and see/talk to all the time)
What was your wedding budget?
We didn’t really have a “budget.” Our parents gave us the option of using money they were going to give us for our wedding or use it for our home… We chose our home and it was the best thing its sooo beautiful.
With that we paid for the wedding ourselves. Because we had just bought our house and were doing a lot with that we didn’t have a lot of money for a wedding so we needed to do something really inexpensive. Our goal was to keep the wedding as inexpensive as possible.
Newport beach we didn’t need to pay for a permit or anything so it was free but that comes with not having a designated spot that you can block off
How did you prioritize your budget, what factors were most important to you?
Prioritizing where our money went wasn’t too difficult but at the same time it was. Because we were paying for everything on our own we just had to be mindful of what we could afford. We also spread our spending out so we didn’t just buy everything at one time so it wasn’t a big hit.
The most important things for the wedding which are probably the same for most brides were my pictures, this was the top of my priority list, especially because our wedding was on the beach and the lighting on the beach can be harsh so I needed to have someone who could take amazing beach pictures and that was Nicole Kirshner.
The next is kinda silly but my dress… it wasn’t about having a certain dress but actually having a “wedding” dress. I had a couple people telling me it wasn’t a “real” wedding (because it wasn’t grand) so I don’t need a wedding dress and I should just go to forever 21 or Windsor for my dress. Obviously there is nothing wrong with getting a dress from there but for me personally I wanted to feel like a bride on my wedding day and have a beautiful dress that made me feel beautiful but also not break my bank… sooo I found a dress that was under $1000 it was beautiful! I loved it so much it was everything I wanted… but it was 4 sizes too big, yes four! This is a whole other story that I will get into later. Having a dress was a priority. Other than those two things there wasn’t much that I had to have.
How did you ask your besties to be your bridesmaids?
This is where I wish I could have done a little different but because of having such a tight budget it was difficult to do what I wanted but what I did do what little boxes with their names of it saying bridesmaid or maid of honor, they then opened it and I asked them if they would stand beside me with a little bottle of wine, cute lacy undies and a ring pop.
How was your dress shopping experience?
Lets talk about bridesmaid dresses, this was way more simple. I wanted warm, moody colors because I wanted a contrast from the bright sun, light sand etc.. I found a picture on Pinterest that I liked and told my girls I wanted an olive green, burnt orange and mustard if they wanted and it had to be full length. Those were my only requirements because I wanted them to be comfortable and also feel beautiful in something that they bought. So they all picked out their own dresses and style and it worked out better than I could have imagined. A few of the girls found their dresses on Lulus, macys (under $50), and free people.
this was the hardest part of the whole wedding process. First to all the soon to be brides out there start looking for dresses right away! No joke I didn’t find my dress until 3 months before the wedding but I was looking 6 months prior but I am the pickiest person and most indecisive. This is the biggest part of the wedding and I wanted my dress to be perfect. I knew I wanted a simple yet elegant dress with lace, I LOVE lace but am also extremely picky about it. I kinda wanted it to be “boho” and tight fitting. There is an Australian company called Grace Loves Lace and they have the most amazing beautiful dresses and actually have a showroom in LA. I found my dream dress there it was incredible and their prices are not crazy if you think about it because they make the dress for your measurements. The dress I fell in love with was going to cost 2500 but that is pretty much a handmade dress made just for me so not terrible at all buttt at that time I didn’t really want to spend that much. I went to so many stores and couldn’t find one that I fell in love with as much as I did with the Grace loves lace. Finally I went to a store near where I live and I found my dress. Everything about it was perfect, even the price except one major thing and that was the size. It was perfect but 4 sizes too big. My mother in law and I knew that we should not be buying a dress that big so we asked the owner if she could get it in a smaller size but she couldn’t and the company wasn’t even putting my size into production until the end of July which was not enough time but the owner offered to find someone who could alter it for us for a good price. Well she found someone who could alter the dress for $150… yes that is insanely low and that should have been a red flag for us but we were kinda desperate and I was so in love with the dress and over looking I wanted this one to work out so we went with this lady. The bridal store owner told us that this gal can do everything we needed so we trusted her. We took my dress to this gals apartment tried on the dress in front of her and told her everything we needed done and she said she could do it. She gave me a schedule of fitting dates and when I would have my dress back. For my second fitting I went in about 1 or 2 weeks later after I gave her the dress and all she did was make sure she pinned the dress right from when I first saw her. Third fitting she shortend the straps and added padding… Straps were uneven and WAY to much padding. Last “fitting” I went in to pick up my dress and this was 17 days before my wedding. When I walked in and saw my dress on the hanger I got this weird feeling something wasn’t right, it just didn’t look the same on the hanger which was odd for me because every time I had seen in on the hanger I got butterflies because I loved it so much. Note I was by myself for all these fittings except the very first one. So I put the dress on and instantly want to cry and take the dress off… my dress was “ruined” in my eyes but I kept it together and she said she still wasn’t done she had to cut more stuff and take in the bust, remember I was supposed to pick up my dress. I was beside myself and didn’t know what to do so I had her take a picture of the dress just so I can show my mother in law and mom. I told her she was doing great and left because I didn’t know what else to do, I was beside myself. Everything I had thought my dress would look like it didn’t and it was so close to my wedding I didn’t have time to find another dress and I had spent a lot on it and didn’t have money to get another one. What she did was not a lot for having the dress for almost 2 months. She ended up rolling the dress up.. yes rolling it under the bodest part making it look like I was 5 months pregnant and it was still too long and because she rolled it the lace panel was in a terrible spot that made it see through and you could see my underwear… The whole wedding process I was calm almost to laid back with everything but this I freaked out and went a little crazy bride and was hysterical . I called my mother in law hysterical telling her how terrible it was and I got to her house and she couldn’t believe it. We called the bridal shop told them what had happened and we called several alteration places and they all denied us because it was too close to the wedding. We picked up the dress from the gal and took it to the bridal store and told them they needed to help us figure something out. They gave me the option of returning the dress and I would get my money back… but if I did that I really wouldn’t have any dress and because we had previously went to so many stores and including this one we knew they wouldn’t have my size and would fit me. The second option was to have them find someone else to alter the dress. She found Sewcalpros, they were our last hope. The owner of the bridal store talked to them told them what needed to be done and they told her $500… still not expensive but for me that was a lot and im freaking out because I really don’t have that money and didn’t want to put it on a credit card so the owner offered to pay for half. We are about 15 days out now… Sewcalpros came out to our house which was so wonderful. Genesis started pinning the dress, asked me exactly what I wanted and needed, this took about an hour and when she was done I couldn’t believe how beautiful it looked just from pinning. During this session she couldn’t believe how much needed to be done because the owner of the bridal shop didn’t tell her exactly what needed to be done, she made it seem like little alterations here and there and didn’t explain that the dress has multiple pieces and needs to be taken apart in order to make it look right. At the end of the session we talked about price and my heart sank… it was triple the cost that they had said over the phone because so much needed to be done but I literally had no choice but just to pray that this time itll work out… Three days later I drove out to them (they will come out to you just have to pay a small travel fee ) and my dress was DONEEEEE! I fricken couldn’t believe it! It looked AMAZINGGGG, the last thing she needed to do was the bussel. Just over a week I had my dream wedding dress that fit be so incredibly perfect! We couldn’t believe it. Yes I ended up paying just as much as a grace loves lace dress but in the end it was worth it!
What was your overall vision or theme?
My vision for our wedding was semiformal, boho beach wedding. We are very simple people and wanted to reflect that but I also wanted to have a “formal” beach wedding.
If you had to describe your wedding style in one word what would it be?
How involved was your fiancé in the planning process?
He was as involved as he could be but there really wasn’t much for him to do since it was so simple and we was also extremely busy with work.
Did you guys do a “First Look”, or did your fiancé see you for the first time walking down to aisle?
That was one of the major things we wanted to keep traditional and I am so happy we did our first look walking down the aisle it was so special having that moment.
What would you recommend as “must have pictures” for future brides?
I would recommend the bride really looking at her wedding and see what means the most to them… for us our wedding was about having our closest loved ones celebrating with us so the major picture I made sure we had was a group picture of everyone and it was perfect.
Did you have a videographer?
We did!! I am so extremely happy that our friend video graphed our wedding it is perfect! I will be posting it on our one year anniversary
What song did you choose for your first dance?
Because we haven’t had our reception yet we haven’t had our first dance but I cant wait the hubby is so cute and has a song picked out.
Cake or Desserts?
My husband and his friend actually surprised us with a cake.
Top 3 most memorable moments of your wedding day
- Walking down the aisle
- Standing with my soon to be husband
- Eating our pizza
One thing that made your wedding unique or something special and personal you added to your day that stands out from other weddings.
Our whole wedding was extremely sentimental from our “venue” being a place that we grew up going to and the same exact spot he proposed to me at to our bon fire with pizza from the little pizza shop at the fun zone and smores. To honor our loved ones that have passed, I put feathers in my bouquet for my great grandpa and I had a turquoise necklace that my grandpa had given me around my bouquet (I was actually looking for it a week prior to leaving for the beach house and couldn’t find it and the night of the rehearsal dinner I was getting ready and part of the necklace was hanging out of my makeup bag… I had been going through that bag all week and never saw it… crazy). As a surprise for my father in law, brother in law and my husband, I wanted to honor their late grandma with something special… since her passing every time we see a hummingbird we say its her. My mother in law found small flat wooden humming birds and she made them into pins. During the ceremony we took a minute to honor them and pinned them on them (que the water works, they had no idea)
Total months planning?
We got engaged March 5 2016 and didn’t plan or do anything for over year because he had just gotten hired with LAcity fire, but I did start doing my research on venues right away. Once we decided on a date it was probably December. January was probably the most active month because we were trying to figure out exactly what we wanted and who we wanted and after that each month we did a little here and there
Anything you would have done different?
Honestly I would not change anything about our wedding, we were able to keep everything really low budget. But one thing I wish we did differently was have the wedding about an hour earlier so we would have had more time for pictures because we weren’t able to get pictures we really wanted and more time at the bon-fire
One thing that helped you stay stress free throughout your planning and on your wedding day?
I honestly don’t know how I stayed so relaxed it was weird but I think what helped the most is I have great friends and family that were so helpful but we had such a laid back wedding and there really wasn’t much to plan at least in my head. My mother in law was way more stressed than I was.
Did you go on a honeymoon? If so, where to? Did you go right after the wedding or wait?
We did not go on a honeymoon but we are planning a really big one for our one year. We wanted to do something really cool, like travel to different places for a few weeks or just go somewhere super rad. If any brides have ideas let me know!
Last but not least if you could give ONE piece of advice to a bride-to-be planning her wedding what would it be??
Enjoy every moment and don’t stress about the small stuff its one day that’s about you and the love of your life
Aundrea & Mason’s Happily Ever After
After the wedding we moved into our very first home together and have been loving married life!
For more pictures of this perfect barefoot so cal beach wedding keep scrolling!
Congrats Mr. & Mrs. Patrick! Cheers to year one and many more.