Romantic Bohemian-Black-Tie Secret Garden Wedding

Boho San Diego Wedding

Arabelle + Josh’s garden wedding was an absolute blast for us to receive because Arrabelle, the bride, has been a fan of GWS for a long time! We’re so excited to share her wedding, the gorgeous result of years of inspiration + self-proclaimed “GWS stalking” – ha! Today, it’s her turn to be a bit of inspiration for you, and we think you’re gonna love it. It’s black tie, it’s bohemian, it’s completely dreamy, and it features a Who’s Who of some of the most talented artists ever to grace the pages of GWS. Here’s what Arabelle had to say:

Josh and I started dating 9 years ago when I turned 21 and he was 23. I had been secretly following GWS’ website/IG for years before the thought of marriage came to fruition, just waiting my turn to create something awesome for my own wedding day. Shortly after the shock of our engagement wore off I remember thinking, “Hell yes! Wedding planning time! Eeeekkk!” My GWS stalking-for-ideas-and-inspiration went into overdrive starting that night.

Josh and I knew we wanted something unique and fun that fit the season of autumn, so with the help of our​ wedding planner, Aly Schengel of Luna Wild Design, we chose the colors slate blue and apricot. ​Such a strange pair but in a weird way, it worked so well.

A+J called on Studio Castillero to capture their day at Twin Oaks Garden Estate in San Marcos, California, formerly schoolhouse circa 1891. The grounds and the wedding are equally breathtaking! Let’s have a look, shall we?

blue wedding invitation

When creating our invitations, I knew we had to work with Taryn of Twinkle & Toast. I was already following her on Instagram and was obsessed with her work. She created this badass macrame-inspired invitation suite which we carried over into our wedding, including our dip-dyed escort cards, menus and programs.

peach floral bouquet

This bouquet…just heart-breakingly beautiful! And designed by one of our FAVES:

The first thing I felt was crucial was the florist. I went on your ‘find a vendor‘ link and found Jill of Layered Vintage. I loved her and her style, so wild and beautiful, and everything she does seems like magic. We booked her right away.

Bridal Style

Flora Bridal dress

Isn’t she a vision?! Arrabelle wore the Melanie by Flora Bridal, a long-sleeved open-back gown she found at The Dress Theory.

show me your mumu bridesmaids

And the ladies were dressed in our all time favorite boho bridesmaid gowns: the Caitlin and Amanda by Show Me Your Mumu!

The Secret Garden Venue

Boho San Diego Wedding

We started looking at venues and I knew I wanted something dreamy, and a little boho. We found Twin Oaks Garden Estate. The yellow school house still stands and has since been converted to a beautiful garden wedding venue. From the first time Josh and I visited the venue, I was in love. It was so green, vibrant and extremely private. Instead of one big space, there were little corners and areas to get lost in and you were surrounded by so much foliage. It literally felt like walking into your own secret garden.

antique rose bouquet


The men were the definition of “black tie” in Hugo Boss Aylor Herys Tuxedos!

The Bride + Groom

Boho San Diego Wedding

In-lieu of favors, A+J brought in The Photo Bus, a 1960s VW Bus photo booth! And, as a fun detail, hung a handful of their own photo strips on bus door.

Boho San Diego Wedding

Boho San Diego Wedding

Boho San Diego Wedding

Aren’t they so sweet? Totally loving this secret garden vibe…super romantic!

The Ceremony

Boho San Diego Wedding

macrame backdrop

Macrame + florals…a classic GWS backdrop that always looks amazing!

We did a fun DIY if you’re feelin’ crafty, and here’s a roundup of some of our favorites on Etsy!

Boho San Diego Wedding

Boho San Diego Wedding

Boho San Diego Wedding

YAY! The best moment ever!

Boho San Diego Wedding

Our Advice To Those Planning Now

My advice for brides would include the most obvious: have fun! I remember getting this piece of advice from my married girlfriends and I wasn’t going to let a strict schedule stop me. We didn’t do a montage or money dance (which is usually common in Filipino cultures) because we wanted more time to just dance! We also didn’t like the idea of everyone stopping to watch us cut our cake, so we did it privately with our photographers. So many people told me they had no time to drink on their wedding day, so we made time. Drink the liquor you paid for!

Another piece of advice: stay calm if things don’t go your way because nothing is perfect. For example, during Josh’s dance with his mom, the song skipped and out of nowhere and they did a 6-minute choreographed dance mix. To be honest, I was absolutely horrified! Josh knows my dislike for any type of choreographed dance at weddings, but his love for his mom and her desire to do this dance with her son outweighed my wishes at that point. Things may not go as planned, but just go with it! It’ll be fine. The pictures came out and the guests loved it!

The Reception

boho lounge

Boho San Diego Wedding

Boho San Diego Wedding

You guys…THIS SPACE. Ultimate garden dining, is it not? And the dip-dyed details are a perfect boho touch to the formal decor!

Boho San Diego Wedding

Boho San Diego Wedding

Yes, yes, yes to the chandelliers!


Aly at Luna Wild Design even found mini-macrame key rings to go with the apricot napkins!

Boho San Diego Wedding

Aly and I knew we had to bring in Witty Rentals and they provided the most beautiful furniture that fit the dreamy boho look we were going for. Especially the bride & groom chairs, which made us feel like Beyoncé & Jay Z.

dance floor vinyl

Our Favorite Memory From The Wedding

A memorable moment from our wedding was our bouquet and garter toss. We loveeee when people go for it and hate when people just stand around just because they’re obligated to be there. Josh’s sister, Leah, caught the bouquet. She was telling me all week she was going to catch it and I didn’t do her any favors but she caught it! She pointed at her long-time boyfriend, Ariel, and he was jokingly doing the sign of the cross. Our friend, Peter, caught the garter and hugged his girlfriend Shiella. We are happy to say both couples are now engaged!

Boho San Diego Wedding

Hey There, Cupcake! created a minimalistic, boho 4-tiered cake that looked right at home in front of the XO donut wall!

donut wall

Audrey Alba Films shared the sweetest preview of their day which, as expected, is beautiful, fun, and has us officially in love with Arrabelle + Josh!

Arrabelle, we’re definitely a fan or yours and are so thrilled to be a source of inspiration for your gorgeous wedding to Josh! Thank you for letting us share your day, and wishing you both all the best in your marriage!

photography: Studio Castillero // venue name: Twin Oaks Garden Estate, San Diego, California, USA // event design: Luna Wild Design // florals: Layered Vintage // wedding dress: Flora Bridal 'Melanie' // wedding dress boutique: The Dress Theory // bride's shoes: Steve Madden 'Carrson' // bride's ring: Private Jeweler // bridesmaid dresses: Show Me Your Mumu 'Caitlin' and Show Me Your Mumu 'Amanda' // hair stylist: Stacey Triplow // makeup artist: Stacey Triplow // groom attire: Hugo Boss Aylor Herys Tuxedo // groom's shoes: Hugo Boss Highline Oxford Dress Shoes // groom's ring: Private Jeweler // videography: Audrey Alba Films // paper goods: Twinkle & Toast // calligraphy: Twinkle & Toast // handmade details: Twinkle & Toast // catering: Twin Oaks Garden Estate // cake: Hey There Cupcake // furniture rentals: Witty Rentals // music: Pacific Entertainment // photo booth: The Photo Bus