While chatting on campus one day, Jorina Aguiluz and Ian Paulino realized that fate brought them together. “[I discovered that] we lived less than a mile away from each other, he used to work with my first cousin who I lived with at the time, and he would regularly deliver car parts to the mechanic that I always went to!” Jorina muses. Despite transferring to different universities, their relationship stayed strong and blossomed into an eventual engagement at their favorite beach in Santa Barbara.

“We wanted to get married in a place that had special meaning to us,” Jorina says. “We really wanted this day to be special and we wanted to put the guests in our shoes and take them on our romantic journey that started over 13 years ago.” Rather than pursuing an official theme, the lovebirds focused on their soft palette of peach and blush hues for their Santa Barbara nuptials planned by Tessa Lyn Events. “We mixed in white in various parts of the décor [like] florals and ceremony draping, and we accented elements with gold hardware to keep everything balanced,” Jorina reveals. The plethora of blooms beautifully enriched the organic ambience of the locale. The duo was also excited to have one of their favorite musicians, YouTube star Gabe Bondoc, perform at the ceremony. “Gabe was really famous in the college-music circuit at the time, and his music played a prominent role in the early years of our relationship,” she tells.

The intimate celebration continued with an indoor reception. The décor mimicked that of the ceremony while also showcasing candlelight and centerpieces of varying heights. In lieu of favors, guests received slices of the couple’s blush-toned cake and plenty of memorable photos from the photo booth. “We instead opted to treat our guests to a very high-quality photo booth experience. This was a huge hit [and] we kept getting rave reviews, during and after the wedding, about how our guests have never taken better photos!” Jorina confides. They even put a unique twist on the bouquet toss. “We called all couples to the dance floor and as they danced, the DJ would ask anyone who has been together for one year, five years, ten years, et cetera, to leave the dance floor until we were left with one couple. I then gave the last couple my bouquet,” the bride explains.

Remembering the details of her special day, Jorina encourages engaged couples to enjoy each moment before it passes: “Enjoy the entire process, from the small planning details to the actual wedding day itself! You’ll only do this once in your life, so savor every moment.”