Today’s Bride on the Brink is just 25 days away from her stroll down the aisle, and it promises to be something to sea! Her groom is an active-duty naval officer in San Diego, so the wedding will have touches of Navy here and there. In fact, as an officer, he’ll be wearing his dress white uniform, and they’ll have six ROTC Navy swordsmen, not only ushering guests into the ceremony (including both moms,) but they’re also going to do a traditional sword arch the newlywed couple will walk through to enter the reception! How incredibly cool is that!

NAME: Nicole Garcia

LOCATION: La Jolla, CA

DATE: August 28

THEME: Beachy Military

COLORS: Black, White, shades of blue and yellow

GUESTS: About 50

Q. Swords and sailors, huh? You and your guests should feel quite safe. Tell me about your ceremony! How long ago did you start planning?

A. We’ve been engaged for almost a year and a half. We’ve been planning since we hit the one-year-ahead mark and worked towards our goal little by little. The ceremony will be at Cuvier Park in La Jolla. It’s a small, grassy area overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Our theme has been a combination of beachy, casual, untraditional and military. Our bridesmaids will be in tea-length, black dresses with light-blue sashes. The wedding aisle will be covered with light-yellow and cream-colored flower petals.

Q. Sounds lovely. You’re only days away from the big moment. What’s the most important thing on your mind right now?

A. Making sure we stay true to ourselves. More specifically, making sure we do things for the wedding that fit us and our personalities/style. This includes making sure we’re still having fun—both in the planning process and on the wedding day!

Q. Any stress at all?

A. I wasn’t stressed for the most part. When I started to feel it creep up, my fiance has been a great source of support. His sarcasm and sense of humor definitely shakes me out of my anxiety. (Take note, brides! If you don’t laugh about the bumps in the road to your wedding day, you’ll surely cry about them, so don’t take them so seriously! It all works out in the end. Ed.) So far [the most stressful part] has been planning the bridal shower and bachelorette party. All my girls are either in different cities and states or are pregnant. It’s been a difficult process trying to get in contact with the girls and coordinate schedules.

Q. Other than your shower and bachelorette party, things seemed to have gone pretty smoothly. Did you use a wedding planner? Are your plans complete?

A. I wanted to hire a wedding planner for the whole process! Unfortunately, it was too expensive for us, but we did end up hiring a “day of” coordinator who has been wonderful in organizing our vendor contracts and staying in touch with us. All of the big things to do are done. We’re just waiting to get more RSVP’s and phone calls from family and friends about the big day.

Q. Did you forgo anything in your wedding planning because of the economy?

A. We both decided right away to have a small wedding. We didn’t want to have a big wedding with people that were merely acquaintances or long-lost friends who we haven’t kept in touch. By cutting our guest list, we have saved a LOT of money. We also went through a lot of independent wedding vendors. We found our photographer on Craig’s List and contacted a small, independent florist referred to us by the Reverend.

Q. Knowing what you know now, would you have done anything differently?

A. [We would have] made the wedding date sooner! I don’t think we realized how quickly and early we would get all our planning done.

Q. What’s been the most rewarding part of all this?

A. Getting closer to my fiance. We took our first dance the other night, and it was so exciting! Just being in his arms and looking into his eyes made me super-excited to be his wifey! Every so often I catch glimpses of him that make me realize how lucky I am to have such a supportive and caring husband-to-be. (NOTE: We think he’s pretty lucky to have found you, too! Ed.)

Q. Have you learned any life lessons from planning your wedding?

A. To be patient. No matter how quickly we plan the wedding day, it won’t come any sooner. Being anxious will only make you stress, which will affect your relationship.

Q. So what advice would you give your friend who was planning her wedding?

A. Do a LOT of research! (NOTE: That advice comes up a lot from our Brides On the Brink. There must be something to it! Ed.) You don’t have to settle for the first vendors you see. There are plenty of resources available to you if you put in a li’l elbow grease! It will save you money in the end! Oh, and be sure to have fun! You’re getting married! (Well said, Nicole! Ed.)

Watch for the next edition of Brides On the Brink…30 Days and Counting! It’s for brides, it’s about brides, and most importantly, it’s by Brides On the Brink who are one month away from walking down the aisle.

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