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A Royal-Inspired Wedding Weekend With Filipino Traditions – Brides

10 minutes, 35 seconds Read

For Rizza and Josh, it all started with a wedding. The duo met at a mutual friend’s nuptials in 2016, and Josh insists that he knew Rizza would be the one he eventually married that very night—but it wasn’t until two years later that he worked up the courage to actually ask her out. And a few years later, he started working up the courage to get down on one knee.

Luckily, he had the perfect opportunity to propose already built into the calendar. The couple enjoys traveling to Hawaii annually, so when Josh booked a trip for his birthday, Rizza had no clue what was in store. On June 5, 2021, Josh convinced Rizza to join him on the beach before dinner to catch some sunset photos on his new phone. They were taking some selfies when a stranger (who was actually their proposal photographer moonlighting as an eager student) stopped them and offered to take their photo. As they posed for a few sunset portraits, Josh got down on one knee—and the pair spent the next few hours posing around the island, basking in the moment.

Rizza and Josh had always dreamed of a tropical destination wedding during their anniversary month, September. They initially wanted to host their wedding in Hawaii as a nod to their proposal, but they were uncertain whether travel restrictions would hinder their plans. Instead, they chose to invite their 200 guests to The Holly Farm in Carmel, California, which offered a tropical oasis vibe closer to home. The couple had the family-owned estate to themselves for four days over their wedding weekend, which kicked off with a traditional Catholic ceremony with Filipino traditions on September 1, 2023, followed by their main wedding event the next day.

Inspired by The Princess Diaries and Bridgerton, the couple had a slogan of “The Dodson Diaries” for their wedding weekend. They worked with Emily Gaikowski with Heartthrob Events to marry the royal theme with the tropical setting. Read on to see the details from Jenny Quicksall Photography.

Photo by Jenny Quicksall


Photo by Jenny Quicksall


Photo by Jenny Quicksall


For Friday’s celebrations and the pair’s Catholic ceremony, Rizza wore a white off-the-shoulder Monique Lhuillier gown with a detachable cape and billowing sleeves as a nod to traditional Filipino attire. She held a delicate bouquet of roses, lisianthus, and orchids and wore a Riki Dalal veil for photos. Josh chose a traditional Filipino barong with khaki pants from Bonobos. The couple hired a luxury car for their trip to Carmel Mission Basilica, where the service took place.

Photo by Jenny Quicksall


Photo by Jenny Quicksall


Photo by Jenny Quicksall


The ceremony began with the wedding party’s processional, which included the couple’s god-daughter and friend’s son as their flower girl and ring bearer. Rizza walked down the flower-lined aisle with both of her parents by her side before the couple exchanged traditional vows; the ceremony incorporated a few Filipino wedding traditions, such as the wrapping of a ceremonial cord around the couple in a figure-eight pattern to symbolize their eternal bond. 

Photo by Jenny Quicksall


Photo by Jenny Quicksall


That evening, Rizza—in another Monique Lhuillier number that spoke to her first gown—with and Josh hosted their rehearsal dinner. Josh’s mauve suit, which he accessorized with a white t-shirt and sneakers, complemented his wife’s ensemble. The couple’s guests wore white, allowing the couple to stand out in the crowd.

Photo by Jenny Quicksall


Photo by Jenny Quicksall


Rizza and Josh’s wedding stationery, presented in navy booklets, featured a gold and dusty blue color palette. They included a custom map of Carmel and used floral lined envelopes as the finishing touch. For their wedding party, the couple included an additional invitation to stay at the venue with them that weekend. 

Photo by Jenny Quicksall


Photo by Jenny Quicksall


Rizza got ready for the main event in an ivory silk loungewear set and robe by Honey Birdette. “I loved the silk floral appliqué lace and sparkle details of the look,” she says. For her big-day beauty, she kept the words “regal” and “natural” in mind. She also wanted to try out a few different hairstyles throughout her wedding events, so she left it down with soft waves for Saturday’s ceremony.

Photo by Jenny Quicksall


Photo by Jenny Quicksall


Photo by Jenny Quicksall


Her A-line gown from Lihi Hod featured romantic lace detailing, a corset bodice, a flared skirt, and a slit. Rizza customized the gown with a longer train, detachable off-the-shoulder straps, and sparkle embellishments on the floral appliqués; it fit the bill for her Bridgerton vision. “I just kept thinking about how Josh would react seeing me walk down the aisle in this custom beauty,” she adds.

She accessorized with a matching Lihi Hod veil, pearl and diamond stud earrings, a tennis bracelet by D.Louise that was a gift from a bridesmaid, and Jimmy Choo floral lace sandals. Rizza’s bridal bouquet consisted of earthy green and ivory shades of garden roses, ranunculus, and lisianthus. They pinned a charm of the couple’s late dog, Mimi, to her bouquet to ensure she was with them on the big day.

Photo by Jenny Quicksall


Photo by Jenny Quicksall


Photo by Jenny Quicksall


Rizza and Josh wanted to save their first look for the aisle, so the bride shared had this moment with her dad and bridal party, instead. As a nod to her favorite movie, The Princess Diaries, they covered her face with her baby photos. Her dad cried after the big reveal, and even more when she passed him an embroidered handkerchief.

Her bridesmaids stepped out in dresses of various styles; all the gowns referenced the wedding’s color scheme of cinnamon, light pink, champagne gold, and pastel blue. Rizza’s bridesman, Raffee, donned a rose pink suit from Stitch and Tie

Photo by Jenny Quicksall


Photo by Jenny Quicksall


Photo by Jenny Quicksall


Josh and his groomsmen (and groomswoman!) got ready at a home near the venue. He gifted them custom whisky glasses with their portraits painted on them, along with cigars, liquor, and small luxury colognes. He enlisted his barber of 16 years to join them in Carmel to give him and his groomsmen haircuts the morning of the wedding.

As for his own big-day look? Josh wore a white Bonobos tuxedo jacket with a white shawl collar paired with black pants. He chose a Parfums de Marly cologne and had it engraved with their wedding date. Josh’s groomsmen wore classic black tuxes, while his groomswoman, Vivon, wore a tuxedo inspired backless dress Rizza found. 

Photo by Jenny Quicksall


Photo by Jenny Quicksall


The couple created a custom royal mailbox for wedding cards which featured a life-size cardboard cutout of Rizza’s dad. The family wasn’t able to celebrate his retirement from the post office at the end of 2019, so the couple thought it was a fun surprise to have him in his mailman uniform at the guest book table. “He loved it and our guests loved it, too,” she says.

They also set up a vintage audio guest book in addition to a physical one. Knowing they wouldn’t be able to talk to every guest on the wedding day, they were excited to play back everyone’s voicemails. “The messages were so funny and sweet!” the bride says.

Photo by Jenny Quicksall


Photo by Jenny Quicksall


Photo by Jenny Quicksall


Photo by Jenny Quicksall


Rizza envisioned a mirrored aisle that mimicked a river, and Hensley Event Rentals pulled through with a custom aisle and stage. Lush florals were made to look as though they were naturally growing from the ground; blue floral fans were placed on the chairs.

The bride surprised Josh by hiring a live painter, Stephen Popdich, to create an image of them at the altar. “It is such a beautiful piece that is now hanging in our living room,” Rizza says.

Photo by Jenny Quicksall


Rizza’s younger brother, Webster, was the couple’s “flower man.” He carried a basket filled with petals and mini bottles of alcohol that he handed out to guests along the way. “He was the best flower man! He is funny and charismatic,” the bride says. “At the end of the aisle, he did the ‘Salt Bae’ sprinkle with some of the remaining petals.” 

Photo by Jenny Quicksall


Rizza and Josh waited to see each other until the ceremony, and Josh was asked to turn around when the time was right, as she made her debut to Boyce Avenue’s version of Rihanna’s “Only Girl In The World.” Rizza met her dad halfway down the aisle; they made the rest of the trip together. “It was such a cute moment when I met with my dad because the tempo of music picked up and we both ended up dancing our way down the aisle,” the bride says.

Photo by Jenny Quicksall


Photo by Jenny Quicksall


Photo by Jenny Quicksall


Photo by Jenny Quicksall


The couple exchanged personal vows they wrote for each other. Rizza added some levity by opening her vows by reciting a twist to Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” (Josh is from Stockton, California, near Eight Mile Road). “One of our favorite TV shows is Game of Thrones,” Rizza says. “So, as part of our vows, we included a popular quote from a wedding vow from the show when exchanging rings. ‘I am yours, you are mine. From this day, until the end of my days.’” The happy couple celebrated back down the aisle to Bruno Mars’ “Marry You” holding their Yorkie, Luli. 

Photo by Jenny Quicksall


Photo by Jenny Quicksall


The couple served a few signature cocktails with creative names: the menu’s old fashioned was a callback to Josh’s AOL screen name, while a fruity cocktail named “Miss Philippines” nodded to Rizza’s pageant experience. Lastly, they offered “The Duke and Duchess,” a gin and blackberry cocktail (and a Bridgerton reference). They also poured out a Champagne tower to get the party started.

Photo by Jenny Quicksall


Rizza always envisioned having an escort display inspired by her favorite luxury brands—so the couple hired Prim and Pixie to create a custom display of shopping bags with table assignments named after their favorite designers. Floral arrangements cascading out of Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Chanel bags anchored the signage.

Photo by Jenny Quicksall


Photo by Jenny Quicksall


Photo by Jenny Quicksall


Dinner took place outside, underneath bistro lights. Long tables with floor-length blue linens were paired with gold chairs for a regal feel. Place settings included ivory patterned dishware, bronze flatware, blush linen napkins, and blush goblet glasses. Low centerpiece arrangements in gold vases and candles in glass votives filled each table.

Photo by Jenny Quicksall


Photo by Jenny Quicksall


The couple and their wedding party made their grand entrance to the reception before kicking off the celebration with a family-style Filipino inspired meal, including lumpias, lechon, and chicken adobo. For dessert, they offered a warm churro station with toppings like ice cream, hot chili chocolate, and sprinkles. A live jazz trio provided entertainment as guests dined.

Photo by Jenny Quicksall


Photo by Jenny Quicksall


Photo by Jenny Quicksall


Rizza and John’s wedding cake, decorated with cascading florals and glass beads, included four tall tiers with intricate details. A cigar and whiskey bar, stocked with Josh’s favorite liquors, was opened during the dessert course.

Photo by Jenny Quicksall


Once the band started playing and the dance floor opened up, Rizza stepped away to change into her next bridal look of the night. She chose a Riki Dalal beige and gold gown with a plunging neckline and low back. “It fit the elevated tropical elements perfectly,” she says. The couple shared a choreographed first dance to Vitamin String Quartet’s “If I Ain’t Got You” from the Bridgerton soundtrack that transitioned into Justin Bieber’s “Lifetime.” 

Photo by Jenny Quicksall


Rizza changed into one last late-night party dress before the evening came to an end. She went with a one shoulder fitted gown from Lee Petra Grebenau. “I saw this online and completely fell in love with it,” Rizza says. “I tried it on and immediately fell in love.”

The bride concluded the evening with a traditional bouquet toss to her bridesmaids. To couples planning their own wedding days, Rizza recommends sticking to your vision. “There will always be things you can add, or you may need to cut some stuff because of budget, but for the most part, your vision shouldn’t be dependent on money—it should be dependent on what you as a couple want. Everything should revolve around that,” she says.

This post was originally published on this site

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