Words by Reina

I proposed to Gailey in Iceland in October 2017. I knew that Iceland was the ideal location for the proposal because we were both equally excited about exploring the country and couldn’t wait to possibly witness the Aurora Borealis. The trip was initially planned for October 2018 and that gave me enough time to save and plan for our future. However, we decided to move it up a year, and I didn’t want that to stop me from proposing because I knew Gailey was the woman I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. 

At first, I wanted to propose under the Aurora Borealis, but I wasn’t even sure if we would see it and so I decided to propose at the Bubble, an igloo hotel. I knew it was the perfect proposal because it was located in a secret location in the woods where we both enjoy spending our time and it would be very intimate, which is what Gailey always mentioned. 

It occurred on the second night of our trip, so we were able to fully enjoy our 2-week vacation with bliss.

Our engagement was a year and a half. We were in no rush and wanted to take our time planning and thoroughly enjoy being engaged. Since we got engaged in October, we decided to enjoy the rest of that year being engaged and start planning in 2018.

Planning the wedding was a fun experience that we truly miss, honestly. We would have coffee dates to work on wedding things and we weren’t stressed at all. I think the most stress we felt was caused by the weather days leading up to the wedding.

We knew we wanted an outdoor wedding. Gailey envisioned a small intimate wedding, while I wanted a big wedding so we compromised in having a destination wedding. We initially thought of having a wedding overseas, specifically in New Zealand but found that it would be stressful. 

Gailey found YMCA Camp Campbell through a wedding blog and loved the idea of getting married under the redwoods. We scheduled a few venue tours around Santa Cruz but the moment we drove onto the YMCA lot, we knew it was it. We fell in love with redwoods and the camp style venue.

With the venue we had, the theme spoke for itself – a woodsy/nature feel. Because it was already so scenic, very limited décor needed to be done. We wanted our family and friends to experience the beauty Mother Nature creates and have them understand why we love it so much and what better time to do it, then our big day.

 On thing we knew going into the wedding was that we didn’t want to spend too much on the dress. Gailey did her shopping online and found one she liked from Hues of Vintage. Very simple and flowy and within the budget she wanted. She didn’t go to any bridal fittings and didn’t care for it. Luckily when it arrived, it was exactly what she expected. I, on the other hand, did go to a couple of bridal fittings since my bridesmaid helped and booked appointments for me. This worked out great since I didn’t know what style I wanted until I tried them on. I was able to find the dress for me at BHLDN, which I absolutely loved because it was simple and classic.

We absolutely loved our wedding day. It was everything that we had hoped and imagined. It was literally the best day of our lives. Both our ceremony and reception were planned to be outdoors; however, that weekend there was a very good chance of rain. It rained the day before at our wedding rehearsal and we had to decide if we were going to move both events indoors. We decided that we would keep the ceremony outdoors since we expected it to be short and we wanted to get married under the redwoods and we moved the reception indoors. 

The morning of the wedding there was rain and thunder but as the day progressed the sun came out just before our ceremony. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect.

In addition, my favorite moment was when Gailey and her college dance friends performed a surprise dance number to “End Game” by Taylor Swift during our open dance floor. Gailey had danced throughout her childhood until she graduated college and I have never seen her dance choreography. Gailey had a dream when we first got engaged about her dancing to Taylor Swift on our wedding day [I am a huge Swiftie since her country days] and since that dream I have always joked about her surprising me, but she was very adamant about it not happening. So when it actually did I was in total shock and it made our wedding day so much more memorable.


Photographer Lex and the Lotus
Cinematographer Two4Tea Weddings

Cake WholeFoods
Catering YMCA Camp Campbell
Decorative Elements Woodworm Wedding
Desserts Icing on the Cake
DJ AmpCALI Productions
Event planner OneFourThree Events
Florist OneFourThree Events
Gowns Hues of VintageBHLDN
H&MU Jazmyn Co, Leeanne del Rosario 
Photo Booth BoothBus
Rings Diamond Connections
Stationery Paper Culture
Venue YMCA Camp Campbell