Ashlie and Alex’s summer wedding was everything they wanted: intimate and personal in an outdoorsy yet elegant space.

The couple, who first met four-and-a-half years earlier in downtown Walnut Creek, married in front of 120 guests in a formal ceremony and reception at Villa Florentina. The Tuscan-inspired venue boasts lush, natural greenery. “We loved the natural beauty of the venue, surrounded by rolling hills, tucked away by the American river, on a gorgeous olive tree farm,” says Ashlie, who chose a simple and fresh light grey and white color scheme.

They had a 10-person wedding party, plus the couple’s dog, Ace, who wore a greenery wreath. “Last minute we decided we couldn’t have the wedding without him,” says Ashlie. “He walked down the aisle with my brother.” Ace had such a good time that he ended up staying with the couple and their guests throughout the whole reception.

Alex was surprised by how smooth everything went on the wedding day. He says seeing Ashlie for the first time was his favorite moment and felt both relieved and excited to see his bride. She remembers feeling secure and confident when she first saw Alex. Ashlie’s favorite moment came during their last song, “when Alex and my brother lifted me up on their shoulders and everyone circled around us,” she says.

The couple is from opposite sides of the country, Alex from New Jersey and Ashlie a native Californian, so they incorporated their East Coast and West Coast influences into their big day. Their signature drinks included a Manhattan for Alex and a Cali Spritzer for Ashlie.

The newlyweds gave guests olive oil favors—the bride’s favorite wedding detail. “We made them on our own,” she says. “They were little olive oil bottles with a tag that said ‘Olive Our Love’ with the date and our names.”

The wedding weekend didn’t stop at the reception—an after-party ensued later that night, as did a farewell brunch the next day. This gave the couple more opportunities to talk with their loved ones and spend quality time surrounded by their guests.

When it comes to sharing tips for fellow brides and grooms, Ashlie advises, “roll with the punches,” while Alex encourages couples to “be compromising with wedding planning.” 

—Kristen Castillo