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Wedding: Sandra and Tito Gutierrez

For most of the guests attending the nuptials of Tito and Sandra Gutierrez, theirs was a destination wedding in San Diego. But the couple has lived in Bonita for the last year and a half.

“We only had three people from San Diego,” said Sandra, who was born and raised in Calexico. “It was a nice getaway for our guests, who came from Imperial Valley, San Francisco, New York City, Mexico and Europe. We have family and friends in all those places. We’re glad they came to celebrate with us.

“I was worried about the weather, because people were saying February’s a rainy month in San Diego. But we had really nice weather. No rain. Perfect.”


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Tito, who is from El Centro, and Sandra met in Calexico. They moved to San Diego for his job, Private Client Advisor at J.P. Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. Sandra quickly secured a position as an administrative clerk at the Charter School of San Diego.

“We wanted an intimate wedding,” Tito said. “We both come from big families and wanted everything to be more personal than most big, formal weddings. We only chose 100 people — people we truly communicate with, not just Facebook friends.”

Tito also wanted his proposal to Sandra to be intimate. In late December 2014, the couple planned to spend the holidays with family in Imperial Valley. Instead of popping the question then, he arranged a gondola ride in Coronado right before their trip.

“Sandra is very analytical and likes to know about everything that’s going on,” Tito explained.” I had to kind of misguide her. She thought she would be meeting my boss. She got all dolled up. I told her we’d won a gondola ride so we’d do that before going to dinner. On the gondola, we had a violinist, and I gave her roses. She figured it out then.

“I got down on one knee — kind of — because I didn’t want to fall in the water. I still tease her that she didn’t say yes until she saw the ring.”

Sandra admitted hesitating, but she had a good reason.

“He’s making me sound bad!” she exclaimed with a laugh. “I didn’t respond fast because I was actually scared he’d fall into the water.”

Because of the elaborate proposal’s location, the couple chose Coronado Community Center on the peninsula’s Glorietta Bay for the wedding. For another romantic touch, they picked Valentine’s Day. The ceremony and cocktail hour were held outside, but the reception was in the center’s event room. San Diego Linens decorated the venue.

“It was beautiful,” Sandra said. “My cousin did the flowers. We had hydrangeas, roses and orchids. Because it was Valentine’s Day, I used purple, red and hot pink for the wedding colors.

“I had worried about the bridesmaid dresses being different colors and styles. I had seen it on Pinterest, but translating a Pinterest idea to reality sometimes doesn’t work. I told them any style as long as the dress was floor-length, and I gave them each an exact color of dress. When they came together, it created a beautiful color palette.”

During the cocktail hour on the patio, Mariachi Real de San Diego performed while guests munched on bruschetta. The reception was catered by Bekker’s Catering, which offered a buffet of southwestern cuisine. To save money on the cake-cutting fee, they asked Daisy Manzanero Cakes to provide individual cake-cups, arranged in tiers.

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7 things to remember when searching for the perfect wedding dress

The first time I decided to go and try on wedding dresses I wasn’t even technically engaged.

My boyfriend had asked my father for his blessing, I knew he had the ring, and we even had a tentative date, so I figured it wasn’t that big of a deal.

Also I was going back to school and probably wouldn’t have the chance to look at dresses with my mom, so I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity.

This was my very first time ever shopping for this type of bridesmaid dresses online, and I was as excited and nervous as a professional football player before a big game.

I had my team with me, and we were ready to go.

However that first experience definitely did not go as planned, but I did learn some very important things that would have been good to know beforehand.

So here are some of my takeaways, and things that eventually led me to find my dream dress; and hopefully it will help you find yours.

Finding the perfect wedding dress is not all fun and games. Read my list of 7 things I wish I had known when finding my dream dress. (DepositPhotos)

1. Come well rested, groomed and fed

Finding the perfect dress takes a lot of time and energy.

For most people it involves trying on multiple heavy, but lovely giant gowns.

Looking your best and feeling your best will definitely help with the overall experience, and make you feel as gorgeous as you should in your beautiful gown.

2. Do your research, but have an open mind

I was definitely one of those brides who knew EXACTLY what I wanted my dress to be like, and I let the saleswoman know.

At the same time, when I tried on what I thought I wanted, I realized it might now work with my height and body shape.

So definitely know what you like, but also be open to try new things that might surprise you.

3. You might get frustrated

Because I had an idea of what I wanted, I got pretty frustrated when I realized that I might have to change that idea.

Also when the people you bring are giving you their thoughts and ideas, it might become frustrating as well.

But take a deep breath, understand that you can always come back another day, and just have fun with it.

4. Take your time

Most bridal places will let you make appointments lasting an hour or even longer, so don’t feel rushed in finding a dress.

Finding your dream dress can take time and effort, and it is time and effort that will be well worth it on that special day.

If you don’t find a dress that you are totally in love with that first time you go dress shopping, it’s totally ok. Go back as many times as you want, go to different shops, and do some more research.

5. Compromise, but also don’t give up on your vision

Like I said before, I had an exact vision of what I wanted my dress to look like, and I wasn’t willing to give up on it completely.

The good news was that although it took more time and a lot of looking, I was able to find something that fit my dream as well as having it look and feel fabulous on me.

So although your dream dress might have to be tweaked slightly, don’t give up on what you want completely.

6. Don’t be afraid to look online

The online world of wedding dresses is getting incredibly larger and more beautiful, so don’t be afraid to look online for dress options.

I would definitely recommend going and trying on dresses in real life as well, just to see what fits and what you like. But I have had many friends who have successfully ordered gorgeous dresses online, and at super great prices.

7. Your mom might not be there

I know every girl has the dream of having their mother there when they finally find “the dress,” but honestly because of work, distance, or school there might be a chance she’s not there. But don’t let that hold you back!

Because of technology your mom can always be there in spirit, and you will still be able to find the perfect wedding dress.

As I found, finding the perfect wedding dresses australia can be quite a quest, but one that is worth the struggle. When you see the face of the man you love light up at the sight of seeing how amazing you look, you will know every second was worth it.

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