Garden Wedding with Orange and Maroon Accents by Pierre-Olivier Photography: Shandi and Michael

Shandi and Michael met at their workplace and became friends; however, it took a year for them to start dating.  When Michael knew he wanted to be with Shandi for the rest of his life, he pulled off a romantic proposal on the beautiful island of Bermuda under the legendary Bermuda Moongates.  The Bermuda Moongates are supposedly good luck for newlyweds, and Michael believed proposing to Shandi beneath it was a fitting way for them to start the rest of our life together. He was right indeed. This lucky pair had a beautiful garden ceremony on bright sunny day, which was followed by a chic reception at the Rancho Bernardo Inn in San Diego, CA.  The day was planned and executed perfectly by  Oh So Chic Events, and the amazing images are the work of Pierre-Olivier Photography. This wedding has been shared with our partners at Plus more coverage in the full wedding gallery here.

  • Bride: Shandi Johnson
  • Groom: Michael Johnson
  • Date:  9/9/12
  • Location: Rancho Bernardo Inn, San Diego, CA

How They Met

Michael moved from New York in 2008 to work for a San Diego-based investment management firm and we met a year later, in 2009, when I coincidentally also moved from New York to work for the same firm. We worked closely within the firm but in separate departments for a year before beginning to date. We dated for a year before he proposed.

How He Proposed

Michael proposed on the beach at a resort in Bermuda as he told me the legend of the Bermuda moon gate that we were standing beneath. Bermuda moon gates are supposedly good luck for newlyweds, and he ended his tale of the legend by saying that he thought that our standing beneath it was a fitting way for us to start the rest of our life together. I agreed!

Description of Event

We tried to be strategic about the planning process and looked to lock in the “biggest” items first. We translated big as being items that would be forever memorialized in photos. So that included the photographer, location, and dress…and the wedding planner that would keep us sane while we searched for them! Challenges associated with the wedding included: 1) finding a venue that was the "perfect" compromise between the theme of elegance that Michael was looking for while embracing the somewhat rustic California Spanish style that I loved and wanted to show friends and family traveling from afar, 2) selecting vendors that were artists in their own right, while remaining true to our basic vision, and 3) accepting that there was only so much that I could actually plan for and there would still be some details on the big day that would catch me by surprise.

Incorporation of Culture

We were honestly a little torn on this one. He was open to incorporating the African-American tradition of jumping the broom, but didn’t feel strongly about incorporating it. But in thinking about the origins of that tradition, I wasn’t comfortable incorporating into our wedding a tradition that had roots in a time where we would have been considered less than human and our union wouldn’t have been recognized by all for the beautiful and sacred miracle that it was.

The Most Memorable Part of the Day

So hard to pick just one! The most memorable part of the wedding day was more a feeling than an event. More specifically, it was the feeling of anticipation and elation that we most remember about the day, which were strongest: 1) at the beginning of the ceremony as we looked forward to declaring before our friends and family that we were dedicating our lives to each other and at the same time felt the gravity of what we were doing and 2) at the end of the evening when the wedding was officially a party and the feelings of love and happiness felt by everyone who was there to celebrate with us was virtually palpable.

You Make Loving You So Easy

From the groom...There’s a carefree quality that’s required in order for someone to dance like there's nobody watching…he most loves the way that I can sing and dance down the aisle of a grocery store because it makes me happy without regard for whether there might be other people there to witness it or for what their reactions might be.

From the bride...From knowing who he is and who he isn’t without apology to having a strong sense of right and wrong without a thought to what the rest of the world might be doing, his candor and honesty are incredibly attractive and admirable, and I love that about him.

View the more images in the full gallery here.


  1. @loveinthed

    Lovely wedding! I love that reception dress and the bride’s hair. The flower petal patterns on the aisle are so pretty.

  2. DeShai Roberson

    Such a beautiful wedding and couple! Thank you for the feature! Looking forward to more in the future. You are a gorgeous publication!


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