We’re back with our third installment of True Love Stories! Step behind the scenes of our Pasadena Courthouse wedding shoot and meet Julia and Mike — a charming, goofy duo who knows the importance of stress-free wedding planning, relationships rooted in honesty and humor, and the quirky accessories that help them feel their big-day best.
Growing up, were you into the idea of a wedding? Did you have any wedding-day daydreams, and how did they change?
I always knew I wanted a wedding, but also knew— even at as young as 5 years old— that I wanted something on the more alternative side. Now, back then I had no idea what “alternative” meant, and mind you this was YEARS AND YEARS before that whole “YouTube Viral Wedding Video” sensation was in effect, so I just knew I wanted something “different.” Then, Mike came in my life and changed everything I thought I wanted. I stopped focusing on the arbitrary details. Today, I just want a roof over my guests’ heads, an affordable price, and a dance floor for everyone to jam out into the night. We’re not closed off to the weirder locations like old west towns, science museums, trailer parks in the middle of the desert, or movie theaters — we just wanna feel like it’s a celebration of us.
What inspired your wedding-day style?
I’ve always been a fifties and sixties kind of gal, ever since I was 14. I’ve clocked a lot of hours elbowing my way through thrift stores and scouring through eBay. I knew I wanted to have that vintage flair reflected in my wedding dress, and very early on knew I wanted something tea-length and poofy. Let’s just say I’ve googled, “Audrey Hepburn wedding dress” a lot.
What was one wedding detail that was singularly ‘you’?
My glasses. Ever since I found out about Old Focals, a vintage eyewear shop in Pasadena when I was a teenager, I dreamed of owning a pair. Just last year, I treated myself and finally got them and when I put on my dress for the first time and saw how perfectly they matched together — I was in love.
Most fun or funniest moment of the day?
Just being with Mike and laughing every time the reality of us being MARRIED set in. We’ve always said that us coming together and deciding to “do this thang” was the easiest life math we could have ever done. Mike and I are probably always two beats away from a big, goofy laugh always — even at the DMV. ESPECIALLY at the DMV.
What’s the best date you two have ever had?
Our best date was on Father’s Day last year when we decided to go down to Disneyland, even though we didn’t have a way into the park. We holed up at the tiki bar there, getting buzzed and talking for hours. We both had our little notebooks out— his sketchbook, my joke book— and we riffed while he drew. After that we cruised over to the hotel pool and sneakily “broke in” pretending to be one of the hotel guests. We stood in line with children for the water slide, and laughed the whole way through. At the end of the day, we decided to see “Inside Out.” We both cried during the more emotional parts, pretending not to notice each other’s tears. We drove home feeling so fantastic that day, and talk about it all the time.
What do you value most about your relationship?
That I just feel SO at ease with Mike on every level: sense of humor, silliness, how we see the world. We can have really great serious conversations and then quickly riff about pop stars over 40 singing about “grinding on the dance floor” as if that’s a thing on their list of priorities. I love that he gets vulnerable with me, and I him. I love that he’s created that safe space, and I love, love, LOVE his hair and his baby blues. I could run my hand through it and stare into them all day (and holy crap, I totally get to!)
Any tips for those planning a wedding?
This was the first bit of advice I got, and the one I find to be most helpful: Figure out what you want; talk to your partner and discuss your non-negotiable wedding things, whether it’s to have a killer dance floor or an open bar. Then, talk about the stereotypical wedding things you couldn’t give a care about, and work from there.
Also — don’t let other people tell you what kind of ceremony or reception you need to do. Just make a quiet rule with yourself that you’ll be respectful to your family’s suggestions or requests, but ultimately it’s your decision. ALSO: just enjoy each other. Sometimes Mike and I will be going through stress, and there will be a beat of silence and one of us will shout to the other, “HEY I LOVE YOU.” Maybe that feels silly to constantly say, but it helps us go, “Okay, yeah. This is what’s important — NOT table decorations. We love each other and we have each other forever, and that’s the best thing in the whole world.”