Real Wedding // A Tropical-Inspired Wedding San Diego: Janelle + William


William and I met through my aunt at an Olive Garden. We re-connected six days later in San Diego, and in true “US” fashion we met at a favorite taco shop of mine. From there we headed to the Cabrillo monument to soak in the panoramic view overlooking La Jolla/Pacific Beach just as the sun set in the distance. The day flew by as we joined in transparent and authentic conversation about our past, present, and future desires for our lives.

I was impressed and found comfort on our first date in the way that William was able to remain relaxed and upbeat at the end of the night when the transmission on his 1975 El Camino, “Bella,” gave out—nobody wants that on a first date! Rather than getting upset, he was calm as we sat and talked until “Bella” decided to shift into gear.


I was captivated by the way in which Janelle shared her true self. Looking back, I wouldn’t say that we fell in love so much as we intentionally courted one another. We aspired to bring about the best in each other regardless if that was as partners, eventual spouses, or just as friends. I fell in love with Janelle before I asked her to be my girlfriend.

On the day we got engaged, we headed to out to where Janelle was under the impression we had dinner reservations at five pm. We walked along the bay front, stopping at a lookout point looking across the bay from Coronado onto the Downtown skyline. I handed Janelle a card that upon opening read “Congrats to the Newlyweds!” When she swung around I was down on a knee asking her to be my wife! 

In pure shock she uttered “Are you serious?” to which I asked again whilst trying to control the silent freak-out I was having as I underestimated the vulnerability I’d feel realizing she could say no!

We went to dinner, me leading Janelle down the ramp attempting to block the surprise that awaited. As the hostess opened the door to the patio, Janelle was met by her mother, aunt, sister and my younger brother who’d travelled from the Bay Area to help celebrate our engagement. She immediately burst into tears!


We picked Bali Hai for our wedding because we both loved the idea of getting married near the water. We loved the views on the bay, as well as the food and Mai Tais at Bali Hai, so it was an easy choice.

The pearl earrings, necklace, and bracelet I wore were my late grandmother’s, which was an awesome way to honor her and have her spirit present during at the wedding. My mom wanted me to wear a tiara, but I wasn’t into that idea, so we settled on a happy medium with the bejeweled headband.


Our ceremony was short and sweet. We felt it was important to maintain some semblance of a traditional ceremony yet wanted to maximize the amount of time we got to enjoy celebrating with our wedding guests. We selected Janelle’s aunt to be our officiant as it was only proper she be the one to lead us into marriage since it was by her doing we’d even come to know one another.

Words by the bride and groom, as told to Amber Marlow. Photos by Julie Ferneau for Let's Frolic Together.

 San Diego Tropical-Inspired Wedding janelle and wedding party in floral robes
  San Diego Tropical-Inspired Wedding bridesmaids adjusting bride's dress
  San Diego Tropical-Inspired Wedding watch and ring resting on small gift box
  San Diego Tropical-Inspired Wedding william and groomsmen holding up custom jerseys
  San Diego Tropical-Inspired Wedding first look laughing candid of william and janelle
  San Diego Tropical-Inspired Wedding close up of william's flower lapel and pocket square
  San Diego Tropical-Inspired Wedding bridesmaids' block heels with rose design on heel
  pSan Diego Tropical-Inspired Wedding portrait of janelle in garden
 San Diego Tropical-Inspired Wedding william kissing janelle's nose
  San Diego Tropical-Inspired Wedding portrait of william in garden
  San Diego Tropical-Inspired Wedding william leading janelle by the hand in garden, palm trees in background
  San Diego Tropical-Inspired Wedding candid of wedding party getting ready for photo outside venue
  San Diego Tropical-Inspired Wedding far shot of bali hai restaurant and palm-tree lined path
  San Diego Tropical-Inspired Wedding ceremony by the ocean
  San Diego Tropical-Inspired Wedding william smiling during ceremony
  San Diego Tropical-Inspired Wedding candid of janelle during ceremony
  San Diego Tropical-Inspired Wedding ceremony kiss
 San Diego Tropical-Inspired Wedding newly married couple walking up aisle hand in hand as guests clap
  San Diego Tropical-Inspired Wedding william kissing janelle's cheek in garden
  San Diego Tropical-Inspired Wedding wedding cake adorned with flowers and cake topper of bride lifting groom
  San Diego Tropical-Inspired Wedding couple on dacne floor with guests
 San Diego Tropical-Inspired Wedding couple hugging outside
  San Diego Tropical-Inspired Wedding william twirling janelle on outside path  
  San Diego Tropical-Inspired Wedding group picture of all wedding guests with bride and groom in middle
  San Diego Tropical-Inspired Wedding william on dance floor with groomsmen
  San Diego Tropical-Inspired Wedding janelle on dance floor with guests, lights blurred
  San Diego Tropical-Inspired Wedding couple kissing by dessert table with ocean and nighttime lights of city in background

 jasmine fitzwilliam let's frolic together wedding photography


The Let’s Frolic Together team is a crew of playful sass-machines based in Southern California. They're inspired by adventure, connection, wonder, and dancing their behinds off at every wedding. They believe that love is love, that representation matters, and that celebrating diversity of all kinds is incredibly important. They draw on their diverse backgrounds growing up in all corners of America and unique experiences in the fields of art, design, and event planning. They believe people truly matter to each other and work to reflect that, authentically telling stories about incredible, real magic and moments between inspired people.