A Cheery California Wedding with the Prettiest Sunflowers

Even though Ciera and Bruce’s wedding plans were changed by COVID-19, they still wanted to honor their original date with a small wedding made up of their closest family and friends.

Captured by Lisette OC Photography, their wedding day was rustic and gorgeous, and clearly they weren’t going to let the pandemic rain on their parade. They even had sunflowers to make sure that didn’t happen.

More from their photographer, below:

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“Ciera and Bruce may have had to alter their wedding day plans, but they kept their wedding date and made the best of it! After getting ready, they decided to do a first look, which was made even sweeter with love letters they read out loud to each other. They were still able to have their church ceremony and included live streaming services for guests who were not able to attend.

After a portrait session with their family and bridal party, they headed over to Ciera’s parents’ house for a backyard reception. After the dinner, speeches, dancing, and cake cutting was over, it was time for epic sunset photos at the Fullerton Panorama Trail before they left for their honeymoon.

I absolutely loved how effortless and joyful the day was. The rustic theme brought that out with the sunflowers Ciera chose for her florals, conveying such a carefree and happy vibe, along with her yellow Converse! The splashes of blue in the bouquets and bridesmaid dresses perfectly complemented it, too. One unique feature I loved was the puzzle pieces that were signed by guests with a sign that said, “Without you, our puzzle isn’t complete.” It was obvious how important to them their families and friends were from the love that was shown and the heartfelt speeches.

One of my favorite quotes that really summed it all up was from Ciera’s brother’s speech. From the book Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows he quoted:

Ginny – ‘Seems silly, doesn’t it? A wedding. Given everything that’s going on.’

Harry – ‘Maybe that’s the best reason to have it, because of everything that’s going on.'”

How adorable is that? Read on to see their gorgeous photos, and hear from bride Ciera about how the wedding day came together.

Tell us about your wedding! What was the inspiration behind your day?

I wanted our wedding’s color scheme and style to be cheerful and happy…it is a joyful occasion!!! We had a simple rustic vibe with dusty blue, navy and sunflower yellow accents. There were touches of burlap and natural woods, but a lot of white and casual elegance throughout.

How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the reception? Was any part of the decor DIY?

We kept decorations pretty simple. The main focal point was a rented ivy wall and large “B.” We added wood carved name tags for each family member in attendance. We had sunflower centerpieces and our guest book puzzle.

What were the florals like in your wedding?

I knew what I wanted but couldn’t find any inspiration photos online. With the information I had in my head, our florist Kevin Reeder created the most beautiful pieces. The traditional bouquets with a few sunflowers made for a cheery and summery look.

Did you personalize the day in any way?

A month before the wedding, we sent out original guest list (200+ people) a puzzle piece and a piece of paper. We asked that they return the paper with words of advice and well wishes and return the puzzle piece signed for our guest book. It was awesome having everyone “there” at our reception in some way. We read the marriage advice on our mini-moon and can cherish the letters for many years to come.

Let’s talk fashion. How did you both choose your wedding day look?

My dress was from Love & Lace Bridal in Irvine, and Bruce’s tux was from Friar Tux. I wanted an A-line wedding gown that would dress up well for our church wedding yet dress down for our reception. The 90 inch Cathedral veil added a more dramatic look. We wanted the men to wear a deep navy.

How did you meet? Tell us about the proposal!

How they met:

Bruce & I met at work actually! He was in the marketing department and I was in sales. When he saw me in the hallway for the first time he literally stopped dead in his tracks! A few days after our first encounter we officially met at an office happy hour. One hiking date later and the rest was history!

How he asked: 

On a trip to Alaska (where Bruce had lived for a number of years before moving to California) we were out on a hike in the middle of the Alaskan Tundra when Bruce got down on one knee as he said how special it was to have the girl he loved in a place he loved and then asked if I would marry him. I was so surprised and shocked, I actually said “Oh my gosh, No way!” first. “No” probably not the first word he wanted to hear from me, but my next words were, “YES, OF COURSE.”

Looking back, what was your favorite moment?

Bruce’s dad was unable to make it to our wedding due to the pandemic. He surprised us and filmed a rehearsal dinner speech that played the night before the wedding. At our newfound small reception dinner, nearly everyone gave a speech or toast. With less people and pressure, our families were able to share which led to many years and hearty laughs!

What advice to you want to share with other brides on their wedding day?

COVID wedding planning is hard…it’s just the truth. However, our day was so special and we appreciated every moment because we worked hard to get there. Don’t get discouraged and remember what is most important about the day.


Planning: SoCal Virtual Weddings//Cinema and Video: Storytime Motions//Invitation Designer: Pop Fizzle Gifts//Cake Designer: Pacific Patisserie//Caterer: Craftsman Pizza//Equipment Rentals: Create A Party Rentals//Beauty: Divine Bridal Beauty//Tuxedo and Mens Attire: Friar Tux//Dress Store: Love and Lace Bridal Salon//Dress Designer: Wtoo by Waters//Floral Designer: Kevin Reeder Wedding Flowers//Ceremony Location: St. Angela Merici Catholic Church//Photographer: Lisette OC Photography

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