Once upon a time, in a land not too far away, Tara and Josh decided to tie the knot in the most fairytale-esque way possible – a dream wedding at Mt. Woodson Castle. With stunning views and enchanting decor, this venue is a true gem in the San Diego area. As the sun sets over the mountains and the castle lights up, it’s easy to imagine a prince and princess whisking away into the night. Tara and Josh’s wedding will undoubtedly live up to every little girl’s fairytale dream, complete with a happily ever after that will last a lifetime.
How did you meet?
Josh and I met back in 2016. We both were living in Oceanside, CA and I was a waitress at an Applebee’s. I immediately thought he was very handsome and we were talking about where he worked. I said something along the lines of “It’s funny I haven’t seen you around before.” He responded, “What’s funny is how I don’t have your number yet.” I thought it was very cheesy but gave him my number and agreed to go out on a date. I almost didn’t go, but I had a gut feeling and a voice in my head telling me to just go. We went to Boomers in Vista for mini golf, and my heart skipped a beat when I saw him that day. I left that date knowing I needed to see him everyday for the rest of my life.
What is your proposal story?
Josh proposed November 2020 at the Oceanside Harbor. We took a trip back down to Oceanside just, what I thought, was to visit family. He had said we were going out to dinner with his parents that night so to be ready that evening. I had gone to breakfast with my mom that morning, and she suggested we go get our nails done (not a suspicious thing for her to suggest.) When we returned, Josh said we had some time to kill and suggested we walk down by the beach. We stopped to get coffee on the walk down and he mentioned how he really wanted to go over by a lifeguard tower. It was the same tower we had a beach picnic by on one of our first dates. He hugged me and told me how much he loves me and that he wanted to make me his wife. At this point I’m bawling my eyes out and didn’t even notice he had gotten a photographer to capture the whole moment! We had a mini engagement session and that night we had a surprise engagement party thrown by our parents with close family and friends!
Tell us a little a bit about your wedding
Josh and I wanted a simple but timeless wedding. We tried going for romantic and slightly rustic vibes (very much our two personalities.) Mt Woodson Castle in Ramona, CA was the first venue we visited and instantly fell in love. The castle was so beautiful and the ceremony location under the trees was incredibly dreamy and everything I had imagined for our wedding. Plus Josh and our dad’s loved that there was a golf course next door!
The stone and wooden details gave us that rustic feel. With the venue being so beautiful, I didn’t want a lot of distractions and stuck to simple decor and flowers. We decided to go with a dusty blue color scheme with cream/white flowers and a lot of greenery.
Tell us about your attire choices.
Josh and his groomsmen wore light grey suites with light blue ties while our dad’s wore a darker charchol grey with navy ties. our bridesmaids wore beautiful dusty blue dresses. i had them choose any style they wanted as long as it came in the selected color. My dress was an amazing Maggie Sottero ballgown (Mallory Dawn.) I had a veil covered in pearls which perfectly matched my single pearl necklace (which josh had given to me for christmas while he was deployed)
Our moms wore navy as well.
What was the most important to the two of you while planning? Was there anything that you chose to splurge on or skip?
While both Josh and I are from Southern California, we were living up in Monterey while planning our big day. Being 7 hours away, coming home to plan things was a bit difficult. Mt Woodson was an all inclusive venue, and while it was a bit more expensive than a DIY venue, we decided to spent the extra money for the connivence factor. Not having to worry about finding tables and chairs and having in house coordinators were a life saver.
Finding the right photographer was definitely one of the top things on our priority list. Not only were our pictures incredible, but working with Katherine was like working with a best friend. She made everyone feel so comfortable and was so much fun to have around.
What were your favorite parts of the day?
Josh and I agree that seeing each other for the first time and the end of the aisle was the best part of our day. We went the traditional route and didn’t see each other at all prior to the ceremony. I was told to stop at the start of the aisle so my dress could be fluffed as well as to take the moment in. Seeing my future husband on the other side and being surrounded by our closest loved ones is a moment that i will forever keep close to my heart. I tried very hard to keep my composure but the water works started flowing!
I will also cherish that my 89 year old grandma was able to attend our big day. I was very close with her and Her health had been declining during that time, we werent sure if she would make it. She passed away a few months later. Those pictures are some of my most special to me.
What did you do for favors?
We didn’t do individual favors, but decided to have a Cigar Bar for our guests. Josh and I attended a wedding with one in the past and ever since then knew hed want to have one at ours. My parents got the cigars, cutters, and lighters from Cigar Grotto in Oceanside, CA. I purchased wooden letters to spell out “CIGARS” and stained them a walnut brown.
Please describe any DIY, handmade, or personal details.
We decided to do a braided cross for our unity ceremony. My aunt is extremely talented and made our cross for us. We now have it hung in our very first home!
We also got a bible engraved that we use as our family bible.
Josh and I have a special tie to camping trailers, so I found a plain “camper’ birdhouse and decortated it to match our theme and use on our welcome table.
Did you include any family heirlooms or special traditions?
I wore my grandmothers blue ring that she used to wear everyday.
Josh’s parents passed down a coin that his grandfather carried with him everyday. Josh now carries it with him everywhere he goes.
Did any of your wedding pros deliver a standout experience?
All of our vendors were incredible.
I will be forever grateful for Katherine for capturing such beautiful pictures of our special day.
The coordinators at Mt Woodson were always on top of every detail
and the Food from personal touch dining is probably the thing everyone comments about. SO GOOD