Real Bride #11 ~ Angie Bradshaw
Photographer: JP Kloppers and Kaitlin Yapchaian
Where did you get married and when?
July 25, 2012 Fillmore, CA, on the ranch of a friend’s family, about one hour north of Los Angeles
What was the best moment of the day?
So many! But I think seeing Steve when I walked down the aisle stands out. Everyone was there, and I was just so excited to be marrying him. It felt surreal. I was so happy, in fact, that when I finally got to Steve, we hugged… and then we kissed! Everyone gasped, and then laughed! When it came time for the ‘actual’ kiss, our minister said, “And NOW you may kiss!”
What was the most memorable moment of the day (different than the best- maybe something funny, someone fainting, bad toast, etc)?
Our families had been in town for a week or two in two houses, our out-of-town friends had stayed together in a big house on the beach, we had a karaoke night instead of a rehearsal dinner, most guests camped out on the ranch the night of the wedding, and we spent a few days post-wedding with friends and family from overseas at a friend’s cabin up near Yosemite. Add that all up, and there were so many funny stories from that time.
One I didn’t hear about till the day after the wedding was that my husband’s car began to overheat on the steep dirt road into the ranch. The grasses started smoking, and considering it was dry and hot, it was a big fire risk. The groomsmen were apparently racing down the hill to help put out the brush fire. I didn’t hear a thing till the next day when the story came out, but it did explain why Steve had mysterious dirt spots on his suit jacket.
If you could do it over again, what would you do differently (if anything)?
The feeling of the overall day was pure joy and having our friends and family there to share it with us was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
As for details, the number one I’d change would be our vows. Steve and I had planned to write our own, but then we both started feeling like nothing we were writing was quite right, and so we just went with traditional vows. However, my best friend got married last year, and her ceremony was one of the most moving I have ever seen. I immediately wished I could go back in time and do something similar with our vows. So I’m sharing it here in case someone else wants to take inspiration from what they did!
Their minister had been in touch with two close friends (not in wedding party) of each of them, asked them to describe their friend, and then read back a list of things–silly and serious–about each of them. Then they each wrote their own vows and read them to one another. They talked about three things: why they loved the other person, what they imagined their life together to be like, and what they promised to be for the other person. So in this way, their vows totally synced up and followed a bit of a format, but they also felt entirely fresh, personal, and special.
What was the most stressful part of the planning?
The most stressful part was also the most amazing part. We held our wedding on a friend’s ranch, and we had to bring in everything: electricity, water, port-a-potties, dance floor, tents for camping. We got married four months after our engagement, so it all happened quickly.
Despite the unusual problem-solving issues, it was worth it to have our wedding in such an intimate, beautiful place where we were given free reign to do whatever we wanted. In the end, it was amazingly cool and memorable, and I’m forever grateful to my friend and her family for offering up their property.
What were you thinking while you were walking down the aisle?
Well, apparently I was not thinking, “don’t kiss yet!” I was focusing on getting my dad to slow down his walk/run down the aisle and thinking about how surreal it felt.
Did you do anything special to get in tip top shape?
No, just was really busy! I continued climbing and took Pilates lessons from my friend (and bridesmaid, Kristen Matthews) who is an instructor.
What is your advice for choosing bridesmaids?
I didn’t have to deliberate too much at the time over who I wanted to be a bridesmaid, and I’m not sure how to give advice on that, except to say do what you want!
My advice would be that friends who aren’t your bridesmaids still want to be helpful. So many people stepped in to help us and offer support, and it nice to feel love from everyone, bridal party and guests.
What was your first dance song?
Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon,” sung on acoustic guitar by Eric Kufs who is a busker we had always liked who plays in Santa Monica’s Promenade and downtown LA. He also provided the music for our ceremony and cocktail hour, and I really enjoyed the chill touch he lent to the day.
What shoes did you wear and were they comfortable?
They were incredibly comfortable–I still wear them. They’re off-white leather sandals with tie-around ankle strap from BCBG. I needed something flat b/c we were outside on uneven terrain. They were really simple, but it took ages to find them! And then I changed into light pink Converse late at night.
Were you able to enjoy the reception or did you feel that you needed to “work the room?”
I enjoyed myself. Until the ceremony, I was still on a schedule but once that was over, I was just floating. I was ready for the fun and to eat the Mexican asado–I was so nervous I had barely eaten since the night before!
We didn’t really formally work the room–so maybe we didn’t do a good job –but we danced till the wee hours with everyone and had a blast.
What is your best “day of wedding” advice?
Stick together. People are trying to pull you in every direction and it’s easy to lose each other in the crowd. I often was engaged in a conversation (or a few times, into logistical issues…) and then would lose Steve in the crowd. So, don’t do that, all you brides-to-be! One of the other brides interviewed in this Q&A gave (and followed) this advice, and I really agree with her.
Did your relationship feel different after the wedding?
I wasn’t expecting it to, but it did. We starting talking about the future not as an ‘as if’ thing, but as a real thing to plan for, together.