When Alexa Romero and James Adams met on Bumble in November 2015, they had an instant connection. Their chemistry was so strong online that they wanted to see if it measured up off. Even though the exact location of their first date is up for debate, one thing’s for certain—they both felt the spark. “If you ask me, I will say that our first date was at a sushi restaurant in Westwood in LA, but if you ask James, he will say it was at a Justin Bieber concert,” Alexa recounts. “His friend, who was eventually our groomsman, had free tickets from work, and James thought it would be a funny way to impress me. The rest is history!”
Five years later, the pair was in the middle of planning a trip to New Zealand when a global pandemic threw a wrench in their travel plans—and James’s plan to propose. Instead of jetting overseas, they decided to take a road trip from Santa Cruz to Los Angeles. “James was adamant about wanting to take sunrise pictures in Big Sur, and I could tell he was acting weird,” Alexa recalls. “He was asking me what I planned to wear, said we had fancy breakfast reservations after the photos, and kept checking his backpack religiously.”
Once they stopped at the site James had been raving about, Alexa noticed a woman with a professional camera taking photos. “I thought to myself, ‘This is the secret spot? There’s already someone here!’” she remembers. “I sped up to joke about it with James, but he was walking too fast for me to keep up.” Once Alexa finally caught up with her boyfriend on top of the hill, she saw a picnic basket filled with Champagne, donuts, and flowers. “Everything clicked in that moment, and the photographer from earlier was triumphantly snapping photos of us as James got down on one knee,” she reflects. “It was the most magical, romantic moment. And that early in Big Sur, it felt like we were on top of the clouds.”
After basking in that extraordinary occurrence, the duo started dreaming up their big day. Of course, planning their nuptials during a pandemic had its fair share of challenges, such as constantly amending their guest list to keep up with their venue’s ever-changing capacity limits. However overall, the couple thoroughly enjoyed the process, the creative outlet it gave them, and the memories they created. “All that time at home afforded me the space and opportunity to connect with the creative side of myself,” Alexa notes. “It was much more therapeutic and fun than I’d thought it would be. Sure, it was planning a wedding, but I think we actually learned a lot about ourselves and each other during the process.”
On September 25, 2021, Alexa and James swapped vows in front of 65 guests at The Ruins by Landmark Event Co. in Seattle. Keep scrolling to reveal all of the stunning details from their nuptials, which was planned by It’s Your Day Events and photographed by Jacqueline Benét.
Although the pair didn’t follow a cohesive theme, they had a certain vision in mind that spoke to them as a couple. “I wanted the ceremony room to feel like The Secret Garden meets Versailles, and the reception to feel like The Great Gatsby meets Cinderella,” the bride shares. “Maybe the theme seems all over the place, but it made so much sense to us.” For their color palette, Alexa and James played off of their vibrant venue. “Our scheme was somewhat muted with lots of creamy neutrals with touches of blush, gold, and olive green,” she remarks. Alexa gave guests a glimpse into her wedding design by gluing pressed flowers to her lush invitations, wrapping them in chiffon ribbon, and affixing them with a wax seal.
Alexa spent the morning of her wedding day getting ready with her bridesmaids. While the bride sported a white pajama set tied with sky blue ribbon, her squad donned silk pajamas in shades of pink and rust. After the rehearsal dinner, the group got their nails done for the special day. “I opted for white gel for something simple and classic,” she says.
This felt like it was made for my body.
Alexa found her A-line gown with a floral corset top and tulle skirt while dress shopping at Netta BenShabu’s trunk show with her mother. “I knew the moment I put it on,” she gushes. “Every other dress had been beautiful but maybe unflattering for various reasons. This felt like it was made for my body.” The experience was even more special because the designer made an appearance at her trunk show. “It was so exciting to meet and talk with the designer,” Alexa conveys. “I’m really into fashion, and like many others, I’ve been dreaming about my wedding dress forever. So this was one of those ‘Is this my life or a movie right now?’ moments.” For her own personal touch, the bride added a sparkly underlay to the dress.
No dress is complete without accessories, and Alexa didn’t skimp on the extras. The bride strapped on blue heels with silver floral accents by Something Bleu. “My shoes were a big hit,” she mentions. For jewels, Alexa wore pearl drop earrings from EandEProject from Etsy, a nod to her mother’s pearl wedding dress. Her diamond ring also made an appearance.
To prep her skin for the wedding, the bride got a hydrafacial and a lymphatic face and body massage. Alexa wanted a natural beauty look, so she chose airbrush makeup for a flawless complexion. “I don’t wear a lot of makeup normally, so I wanted to recognize myself–just a bit more elegant and romantic,” she expresses. A coat of Charlotte Tilbury’s Pillow Talk lipstick and a spritz of Nostalgia Eau De Parfum finished off her look. For her hairstyle, Alexa went with loose waves fastened with a crystal hair pin from BHLDN. “I wanted something timeless and elegant that also showed off my long hair,” she explains.
The bride’s favorite detail? The engraving of phrases, such as ‘Truly Madly Deeply,’ ‘Soulmates,’ and ‘Mi Amour’ on her dress. “I went out searching for a dress with subtle writing all over it, knowing that might be impossible, so I was stunned when I found this dress,” she reveals.
After Alexa changed into her attire, she shared a first look with her bridesmaids. Each member of her bridal party channeled an olive green gown in the style of her choice. “It was really important to me that my bridesmaids felt comfortable and themselves in their outfits,” Alexa expands. “I love, love the way it all turned around. It looked cohesive, but everyone also looked so good on their own.”
We knew that we couldn’t do this big moment without checking in on each other first.
Alexa also savored a first look with her soon-to-be husband. “We are each other’s best friend,” Alexa illuminates. “We knew that we couldn’t do this big moment without checking in on each other first.” Their first look ended up being the perfect way to decompress before the ceremony. “It calmed our nerves just being able to see each other after such a hectic morning.”
For his attire, James sported a black velvet tuxedo jacket by Valentino, black trousers from Paul Smith, and black tuxedo shoes from Common Projects.
After their first look, Alexa and James had some extra time before the ceremony, so they snapped more photos in the venue’s library. “I’m a librarian, so to do a wedding photoshoot in a library was an absolute dream,” the bride exclaims. “By that point too, our nerves had started to settle, and we were getting excited for the rest of the day. I think you can tell in the photos.”
An aisle lined with pillar candles and greenery led to a fireplace altar, which the couple had decorated with an eye-catching floral arrangement. “I wanted the flowers to look almost wild or unkempt, like you’re walking straight into an indoor garden,” the bride describes. A grand chandelier covered in vines hung above the space.
James’s groomsmen all donned classic black tuxedos from The Black Tux. They accessorized with black bow ties and eucalyptus boutonnieres with bunny tail accents to match the groom.
The bride carried a cascading bouquet of dahlias, roses, orchids, lisianthus, baby’s breath, Queen Anne’s lace, cosmos, and bunny tail in light and airy tones. Her bridesmaids’ arrangements of blooms were smaller versions wrapped in silk ribbon.
A string trio played “God Only Knows” by The Beach Boys while James made his way to the altar. During his procession, both of his parents stood on either side of him.
For the bride’s entrance, Alexa linked arms with her father. He honored his heritage by wearing a barong, the traditional Filipino shirt for men. “Isn’t She Lovely” by Stevie Wonder filled the room as they walked down the aisle.
During the ceremony, the twosome recited personal vows that reflected their relationship. “We made a lot of promises to each other that were filled with inside jokes, like adopting a house full of dachshunds and never throwing away a leftover burrito,” Alexa reminisces. “We still bring up these promises today!”
The couple also customized their ceremony by incorporating Filipino traditions. During the veil and cord ritual, the duo’s godparents draped a wedding veil over their shoulders to symbolize being dressed as one entity. The candle lighting ritual represented their union and the blending of their two families. “We even used the veil, cord, and unity candle holder from my parents’ wedding in 1991,” Alexa shares.
After sealing their marraige with a kiss, the newlyweds recessed to “Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles.
To switch up her attire for the reception, Alexa added detachable bows to her shoulder straps. The detail gave her gown an ethereal touch.
As a tribute to their honeymoon destination, friends and family wrote congratulatory messages in The Monocle Book of Italy, which served as their guest book. The pair also had loved ones sign Seattle postcards to honor their wedding setting.
Since the bride works as a librarian, it was only fitting that she assembled library-inspired escort cards. “I searched up and down the internet for a reasonably priced catalog drawer for the cards to live in,” Alexa says of her DIY escort card display. “I then used fake flowers and a foam board to fill the empty space in the catalog drawer to give that romantic, Cinderella-type feel.”
Another DIY project that Alexa tackled was designing all of the day’s signage, including her drink menus. “I loved the look of different gold frames for signage,” she notes. On the bar sign, Alexa hand-drew a picture of the couple’s dog Arlo. They named their spicy margarita signature drink after their beloved pet. The wooden drink stirrers even featured their furry friend.
The moment I saw a photo of the ballroom at The Ruins, I knew it was the place right away.
“I remember the moment I saw a photo of the ballroom at The Ruins, I knew it was the place right away,” Alexa recalls. “We loved how eclectic, colorful, and unique it was. It felt like a sophisticated fun house, which sounded like the perfect environment to bring our friends and family together after two years of Covid. I can’t tell you how many guests said, ‘This venue is so you.’” Since the room was covered in hand-painted murals, the newlyweds selected minimal décor to let the space speak for itself.
Each table housed floral centerpieces, white votive and taper candles in gold candle holders, and deckle-edged table numbers to complement the venue.
The bride and groom had their sweetheart table decorated with more taper candles and draped in greenery and white orchids.
For the main entrée, guests chose braised beef short ribs, pan seared salmon, or polenta triangles for the vegetarian and vegan option. They also noshed on sides, such as a house salad, roasted fall vegetables, and herb roasted fingerling potatoes. During dinner, the couple shared a few words of gratitude to their guests.
For dessert, Alexa and James selected a three-tier white cake covered in colorful pressed flowers and topped with a gold cake topper that showcased their new last name. Inside was ube cake with ube filling to honor the bride’s Filipino culture, and vanilla cake with strawberry filling.
The duo spun around the dance floor to “My Favorite Part” by Mac Miller and Ariana Grande for their first dance.
Kitman from Integral DJs played a soundtrack that set the mood for the evening. “It was great because he’d play music for who was on the dance floor,” Alexa explains. “At one point, it was all my girlfriends, and he played, ‘Miracles Happen,’ ‘Say My Name,’ and ‘Wannabe’ all in succession. It was truly a moment I’ll never forget.
“The last dance of the night wasn’t meant to be just James and I, but it ended up that way,” the bride remarks. “Our DJ played ‘All My Life’ by K-Ci and JoJo, which James loves to joke serenade to me. So, that’s exactly what happened–just the two of us on the dance floor, laughing and joke singing, basically forgetting anyone else was there.”
For the happy couple, their special day was pure bliss. The reason why? They focused on the big picture instead of getting lost in the minute details. They advise that other couples planning a wedding follow suit. Alexa reveals, “My husband and I have so many amazing memories from our wedding, but most of them revolve around experiences and laughter with friends rather than the color of the linens or the amount of flowers.”