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Real Wedding: Candice & John

Candice Hurley, a 35-year-old executive assistant, met her groom, 45-year-old detective John Hurley, on a blind date in 2009. It had taken a month of convincing from friends, but the couple finally met for a date that included a run on the beach and Italian food. After an intimate, at-home proposal on Memorial Day, the couple got hitched at a beautiful ranch in Carlsbad.
—By Michelle Wilson

real wedding: Candice & John


Flower Country

In Candice’s bouquet were succulents, blushing bride protea, café au lait dahlias, Sahara roses, pink pieris, Japanese carnations, and Rosalind garden roses.

Pretty Rustic

Burlap, lace, horseshoes, mason jars, and candles created a warm country glow. John’s Irish family crest, printed Irish blessings, country song quotes, and family photos dating back to the 1900s connected the couple’s present union with the past.

Snapback Surprise

Part of the best man Cesar’s speech included a re-enactment of how he and John used to practice long snaps for football. The ball was passed around for guests to sign as a surprise gift for the bride and groom.

Wild West Wear

No sky-high heels here. “I love cowboy boots,” Candice says of her bridal footwear. “Besides, there was no way I was going to prance around in the dirt in heels!”

Gnomey Touches

Candice and her best friend turned an inside joke into a humorous homage to the wedding’s Irish theme by including gnomes as unexpected, decorative accents.

Bold in Backless

Candice wore a daring backless dress for the ceremony. She says it was the “perfect combination of Cali girl in the front… and a little bit country in the back.”


Country Meets Emerald Isle

The wedding combined Candice’s country-girl-at-heart style and elements of John’s Irish heritage. The bride was inspired by John’s family crest and country music, which is “the best way to tell a love story,” she says. “I draw a lot of feeling from those songs. I wanted a country wedding that would create those same feelings for our guests.”

Officiant Extraordinaire

The couple met officiant Mike Mitschke through a referral. “He was the only one we talked to, but we knew he was the one. Mike was so helpful through the whole process. He has been married to the same woman for 65 years. That really resonated with us and showed us he knew a thing or two about marriage.”

Pass a Pint

“Pub hour” replaced the traditional cocktail hour. “John is Irish and I am Scottish, so we wanted to incorporate parts of our heritage into the wedding— so Hurley’s Pub was born,” Candice says. Stocked with top-shelf Irish whiskey, the bridal party met at the bar for a shot during their grand entrance.

Birds of a Feather

Over a hundred resident peacocks roam free on the ranch. “We couldn’t not invite them—that would have just been rude,” Candice says with a smile.

Backyard BBQ

What country wedding would be complete without country fare? Guests enjoyed BBQ in the outdoor reception area.



[box title=”Leo Carrillo Ranch, Photography by SheWanders Photography”][nggallery id=332][/box] [box title=”Get Their Style”] [/box]

One Response

  1. Brides By Brittany Friday, April 5, 2013 Reply

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