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Real Wedding: Shelby & Rich

This read wedding is our dear friends Shelby and Rich. Shelby’s non-traditional nature appeared when she spied a pair of flashy, wildly colorful Betsey Johnson shoes. “I loved the bling on the toes and the vivid colors matched my idea for the bridesmaid’s dresses and flowers,” she says. The five women in her bridal party wore lemon yellow dresses in individual styles from J. Crew and carried vibrant pink bouquets.

The bride’s favorite part of all? “There were so many great moments, but the most memorable was when my mother-in-law gave me an original Makoti hat,” Shelby says. René, a tenth-generation South African, grew up on a farm with many Zulu tribal members, and in their tradition, the bride is given a special beaded hat to symbolize marriage. In another nod to Zulu tradition, Rich’s uncle presented Shelby with two cows—small beaded ones, that is—explaining that when a Zulu asks for a hand in marriage, the family gives cows as gifts to the bride and her family. 

Ceremony, reception location and catering: Rancho Valencia. Flowers: Flowers Annette Gomez. Cake and groom’s cake: Groom’s mother. Gown: Ines Di Santo, M Bride. Shoes: Betsey Johnson. Hair: Brides by Blondie. Makeup: Melissa Rae. Bridesmaid dresses: J.Crew. Groom’s attire: Calvin Klein at Men’s Warehouse. Groomsmen attire: Men’s Warehouse. Wedding bands: Charles Koll. Officiant: Henrik Nielsen. Photographer: Natalie Moser. Guitarist: Jimmy Patton. DJ: Gary Kelley, iDJ San Diego.


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