Traditional Catholic Ceremony + Sweet Reception in California

Lizette and Jason
Photographed by: Peterson Design & PhotographyLocation: Walnut, California, United States

After a coincidental online meeting through a mutual friend, Lizette Aguilar and Jason Jimenez first laid eyes on each other during a crowded music concert. “We both unexpectedly had a great time [even though] we both were not that familiar with the artist playing,” Lizette recalls. After hitting it off, the two struck up a romantic relationship, which soon prompted Jason to consider marriage. During the holiday season of 2015, he decided that he couldn’t wait to start their lives together. “My husband was trying to be very cute and get into the holiday spirit, so he suggested we go Christmas tree shopping and decorate together at home,” Lizette muses, and despite her exhausted state, she agreed to go along. “While we were decorating, he handed me the last ornament to put on our tree – it read ‘Will You Marry Me?’ and I turned to face him and he was already down on one knee.

During their nine-month engagement, the bride relied on the opinion of her sister, who’d hosted her own nuptials earlier in the year. Though she emphasizes that future brides and grooms “shouldn’t stress” over the smallest of details, she admits there was one aspect of the process that she did not expect. “Receiving RSVP responses has to be the most annoying part about wedding planning,” she reveals. “All they have to do is reply and mail it!” Despite any pre-wedding struggles, before the pair knew it, the time had come to take a stroll down the aisle.

Attendees gathered in a beautiful Catholic church in Southern California in anxious anticipation for the vow exchange. Following close behind her bridesmaids dressed in mismatched blush ensembles, Lizette seemed to float through the space in a striking ivory trumpet gown and a veil falling gracefully behind her while she clasped a cluster of white orchids and roses with hints of greenery used to give the bouquet a fuller look. Jason, sporting a navy suit with a pink tie to match the ladies’ gowns, was overtaken with emotion at the sight of his bride and began to cry. “We did not see each other before the ceremony,” Lizette tells. “We took pictures separately prior to the wedding and waited until I walked down the aisle to see each other. I loved that!”

Following the traditional Catholic service, the bridal party excused themselves to snap photos outdoors while the rest of the couple’s friends and family headed to the reception. “We wanted to be practical and considerate about people going to both our locations,” the bride says. “We had a church ceremony and then the reception at a different location, so we tried to factor in drive time and traffic for our guests.” Finally, when everyone met at the secondary location, the festivities could begin. Revelers found their seats at simple tablescapes featuring a color palette of pink and navy with touches of gold. “I wanted to use colors that would blend together with the ‘pre-fall season’ here in California and the summerlike weather we still had at the time,” the bride shares.

After enjoying a plethora of delicious fare, guests were hungry for something sweet, and though the cake with the custom topper looked scrumptious, the newlyweds had something better in mind. “The main dessert was our donut [display]. We had three stands out with a sign that read, ‘Glazed & Delicious from the new Mr. & Mrs.,’” Lizette gushes. “That was a big hit since there were a variety of donuts to choose from!” As they danced the night away, the duo couldn’t help but admire their choices. “Our main focus in planning our wedding was that our guests enjoyed great food, an open bar, and were dancing the whole night with us. And that’s pretty much what we got!”