Although Makenzie Hallett and Andrew Shepherd met the day before he left for Barcelona, their undeniable chemistry remained even after his return. “I remember knowing right away how special Andrew was,” she smiles. “When he came over and introduced himself to me, I was immediately overcome with giddiness and butterflies.” Years later, Andrew proposed in Sedona, Arizona, one of their favorite locations. “It is the place where Andrew and I fell in love in October of 2012. Exactly four years later, on October 28, 2016, he proposed in that same location,” she smiles.

Throughout the planning process, Makenzie knew she wanted to exchange vows in the Southern California region she knows and loves. “I was born and raised in Orange County, so I grew up going to Huntington Beach and Newport Beach every summer. I always dreamt of getting married overlooking the ocean,” the bride reveals. Although they recited identical vows in front of their guests, they recited their personalized vows to each other during their “first look.” “Instead of reciting our handwritten vows in front of all of our guests, we decided to exchange our vows in a much more personal setting,” she explains. “It could not have been more romantic and intimate.”

Another romantic element of the soirée was the lovely floral décor designed by Flowers by Cina, which perfectly paired with the couple’s light palette of ivory, blush, gold, and taupe. “The rotunda at [the venue] was adorned with a floral crown using seasonal blooms in blush and ivory tones mixed with greenery,” Makenzie tells. “We also had white boxed aisle hedges filled with ivory and blush blooms, which were relocated to the reception and placed in front of the entertainment stage.” Among the arrangements was a sophisticated floral chandelier, which was suspended above the dance floor as everyone moved to the sounds of the live band. “I have been a dancer my entire life, so everyone knows I love a good dance party!” she beams. “For me, there was no wedding without hiring the best band in town, and I can proudly say we did just that.”

Like many other brides, Makenzie encourages engaged couples to absorb every aspect of the process. “The best planning advice I received was to not sweat the small stuff and just enjoy every moment, because soon enough, it was all going to be over.”