The Second Look: LaToya and Julius Look Back on Their Wedding Day

Fitness trainer duo LaToya and Julius shared their wedding loves and regrets with Zola, so we transformed them into the best advice for couples planning their weddings.

By Alexis Ferguson

The Second Look: LaToya and Julius Look Back on Their Wedding Day
Photo by Haley Garces

Welcome to The Second Look, where we ask married couples to take a look back at what they may (or may not) have changed about their wedding day.

We’re sharing couples’ biggest wedding day regrets and highlights as tips for others still planning their own.

Today: A couple from Los Angeles, CA look back on their 07.29.22 wedding.

Juice and Toya second Look 1 Photo Credit // Haley Garces

Couple: LaToya (she/her) & Julius (he/him)
Wedding Date: 07.29.22
Location: The Hilton Santa Barbara Resort, Los Angeles, CA

1. Plan moments that are just for you–like the First Look!

“We’re glad we chose to have a first look. That moment to ourselves felt so special. The pictures showed such raw emotion from seeing each other for the first time that day.” - Juice & Toya

In the thick of mailing invites, making and remaking seating charts, and all the other details that go into planning for 50-100+ guests, it’s easy to forget your wedding is mainly about you. Setting aside intimate moments at your wedding is a great way to bask in the love, joy, and a million other emotions you and your spouse-to-be are feeling in real time.

LaToya and Julius, like over half of recently married couples, chose to have a First Look before their ceremony, and it was a great choice in more ways than one. “It also allowed us to get a lot of our pictures out of the way,” they shared as a great time-saving tip. “More time to enjoy cocktail hour with our guests!”

2. Make the most of your rehearsal dinner.

“We didn’t think a big dinner was necessary. But it would’ve been nice to have our family together the day before our big day!” - Juice & Toya

Of all the fun wedding planning events couples throw into the mix, rehearsal dinners are often the most overlooked. Usually hosted at your venue the night before the ceremony, they ensure your wedding party and vendors know all the info needed to pull off the ceremony without a hitch.

But they can be for more than just practicing the ceremony. For LaToya and Julius, not taking advantage furhering the celebration was one of their biggest regrets. “We allowed people to leave after going through the ceremony. It would have been nice to have all of our family together the day before our big day!” You and all your loved ones at that time will undoubtedly be jittering with excitement for the big day to come, and depending on the vibe it’s almost natural to lead into a celebration to usher in the main event. Keep this in mind as you plan.

Juice and Toya second Look 2 Photo Credit // Haley Garces

3. Splurge and/or save on what matters most to you.

“We made our own centerpieces and used the flowers from our ceremony arch for our sweetheart table. We saved $$$!” - Juice & Toya

There are so many tiny details that go into planning a wedding, and depending on who you ask, each of them will or won't be a priority. One of the most important things that go into making a wedding budget is knowing what things are most important to you. LaToya and Julius were happy to spend more photography and videography for their wedding and got crafty with their florals. “Instead of floral centerpieces, we made our own," they shared. "We also used the flowers from our ceremony arch to decorate our sweetheart table.”

4. Don’t let stress get in the way of enjoying your wedding day.

“We felt absolutely loved and supported.” - Juice & Toya

Couples and vendors alike will tell you, planning a wedding is not for the faint of heart. It takes a village to pull off a wedding of any size, and each is no stranger to its fair share of hiccups leading up to the day.

Acknowleding ahead of time the possible hurdles you'll face while planning goes a long way to reduce the ammount of stress you may feel when things don't go exactly as planned. When those moments come, it's important to remember you're not alone. Your loved ones, your vendors, and your fellow couples can all be there for you as parts of your wedding planning community. From mental and emotional support, to lending tips and guidance, don't be afraid to reach out when you need it most!

Juice and Toya second Look 3 Photo Credit // Haley Garces

5. Focus on building a life filled with love and happiness.

“We hope to be surrounded by the same love and support we felt at our wedding.” - Juice & Toya

Getting married is undoubtedly a huge milestone for many, but it’s not the end-all of what it means to get married. Picking a person to spend the rest of your life with means doing your best to ensure your days are better together. And you don’t have to do it alone. Much like LaToya and Julius shared, being surrounded by loved ones extends beyond just friends and family attending your ceremony. Sharing this moment with them and being supported marks the beginning of a new chapter in you life. Keep this in mind as it may be your greatest tool to help get you down the aisle.

Let Zola help you plan all the days along the way.

It’s easy to look back on your wedding planning journey with little to no regrets when you have the right tools and experts to help you every step of the way. From sharing the news via your wedding paper and website to cherishing every memory through wedding gifts and albums, we’re always looking out for you.

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