If you follow me on Instagram, then you saw that we were in Yosemite a few weeks ago for Morgan (Spreading Lovely) & Dave's wedding. Two days before their wedding we hiked up to Taft Point to do a pre-wedding shoot. We somehow lucked out and it wasn't busy at all AND we had the most amazing light. I adore these two, and Adam and I are so thankful to have been able to shoot their wedding weekend!
Venue: Majestic Hotel // Wedding styling: Spreading Lovely // Wedding coordination: ETC Events // Hair & makeup: Kelly Jones Makeup & Hair // Floral design: Michelle Lywood // Wedding dress: Rue De Seine from Lovely Bride // Video: Arroyo Films // DJ: Sound In Style // Chair rentals: The Chiavari Guys // Linens: La Tavola // Tabletop rentals: Frances Lane // Paper goods: Peanut Press Creative //
Since Morgan is a wedding planner herself (Spreading Lovely), I asked her to give some advice and overall ideas about her wedding to help all of you:
Planning and designing our wedding was insanely fun and so incredibly rewarding to create a day that felt so perfectly "us". An exercise that I have all my clients do when I'm providing design services, is to figure out the essence of their relationship - how they describe it, how others would describe their partnership, and what are the most important aspects for their day. I use that information to translate into tangible design elements. For our own wedding, we chose the words "Emotion", "Uniqueness" and "Adventure".
Our venue filled our need for adventure - we wanted an entire weekend with all our guests, not just one day (it goes by too fast!), and hoped to get our guests into a new mindset, away from their work and just be able to focus on the moment in a beautiful location. We wanted our guests to get a mini vacation out of it by taking time to go on adventures up to waterfalls and walks through the valley surrounded by massive granite cliffs. Uniqueness - we fulfilled this through utilizing a design that felt all our own; from my Rue De Seine dress, our teal velvet linens, custom table numbers and laser cut seating chart, a handmade ceremony backdrop by my husband's best friend, to thoughtful consideration of our venue and location by incorporating wood elements, lots of greenery, textures and Native American inspired patterns, we felt we created a day that felt completely unique to ourselves, like our own little world. Finally, emotion - we focused a lot of time and energy on our ceremony and utilized one of Vow Muse's ceremony templates to get a great base structure to further customize into our own, adding unique things about our relationship throughout, paired with a meaningful reading by a friend and one that incorporated a verse for all of our siblings and our officiant who was there from the beginning of our relationship. Our vows were the most important part of our day, and I think the time and love we poured into them was evident and set the stage for the rest of the party -- our guests could feel the deep emotion we had for each other, and I think having a strong ceremony to lead into the rest of the day really set a beautiful tone for the evening, we had countless guests tell us how there wasn't a dry eye. We cried happy tears and smiled through the ceremony and laughed and partied our way through the night with our 101 guests, it was absolutely perfect for what we wanted.
Advice for other brides:
GO WITH YOUR GUT! This is definitely the best advice I can give. As a planner (and a Type A person in general), I tend to exhaust all my options, and then make what I think is the best, most thoughtfully considered decision. But when it came to being a bride, going with my gut served me so much better than going through too many options. So often, my original instinct was what I truly wanted and what I ended up with! (My dress, our linen choices and my wedding band, to name a few). If you find something you like that fits with your overall aesthetic (or doesn't, and you just feel you have to have it!) then go for it! It is your day, and there is no right way to do it, but there is a wrong way - trying to make everyone else happy and straying from what feels most "you"! Go with your gut and stick to your guns!
Another piece of advice I can offer is this: Don't be afraid to ask for help! My mom was my primary sounding board. Maybe its a bridesmaid, or your childhood best friend, pick someone (not 10 people) who understands you and has great style (my mom is an interior design, and totally get's my visions, and understands how to help me hone them in). I had her help me with things like flower girl outfits, bridesmaid dresses and accessories, looking for groomsmen ties, and deciding between two colors for our table names (how small right?? I just couldn't decide!), etc. If you are going to ask for help, you also can't micromanage them, but offer suggestions and review what they find so you can make the final call. There are A TON of decisions when it comes your wedding, and in the final weeks you can definitely hit a point of decision paralysis when you don't want to think about making another choice, so having someone you trust to help you with those last minute things (like color of the laser cut writing on your table names) is always great to have!
Venue: Gardener Ranch // Wedding design: The bride, One Fine Day // Videography: Adam of Danielle Poff Photography // Floral design: Milsom & Bloom // Coordination: Coastside Couture // Hair & makeup: Kelly Jones Makeup & Hair // Catering: Paradise Catering // Bar: The Bar Cart // Cake: BTTRCRM // Custom wedding dress: Sandhya Raj Designs // Tabletop rentals: Chic Events // Linens: La Tavola // Invitations: Mandana Ansari // Invitation envelope & moon stickers: JJ Kun // Velvet ring box: Beloved Fine Jewels // Mr. & Mrs. geometric place cards: Jenn & Jules Designs // Guest place cards: Ichimy Love // Macrame backdrop: The House Phoenix //
Check out their SF engagement session!
Venue: K Venues // Wedding planner: Jessica of So Eventful // Floral design: Michelle Lywood // Hair & makeup: Bay Area Beautiful // DJ: AMS Entertainment // Band: Clerical Estate // Bakery: Pretty Please Bakeshop // Catering: Elaine Bell Catering // Rentals: Encore Rentals // Invitations: Minted // Videographer: Reel Eyes Media // Wedding dress boutique: Kinsley James // Film scans by Photovision //
Check out their Livermore row boat engagement session!
>> Their wedding was featured on Green Wedding Shoes!
From the bride:
Our love story started in the beginning of summer 2009, but soon after meeting I was moving to Italy to study abroad. So, Andrew and I became pen pals (on facebook messenger of course) for months after first meeting. That whole summer reminds us of how our love grew from such an innocent summer night to now, 8 years later, 2 dogs and so many travels together. We wanted to recreate that feeling of love, sunshine and playful innocence; making sure that each guest laughed, danced and felt a little bit of that same magic.
Since Andrew and I fell in love in the beginning of summer, and when we think back to that time we can still feel the warm summer air and how innocent life was. That's exactly what we wanted to give our guests - a warm summer evening filled with magical experiences that made you feel like a kid again. We found this whimsical farm tucked away in the golden hills of Sonoma county, home to tons of donkeys and horses and mini ponies - it brought the perfect touch of fun & playful elements to the elegant white barns & flowers that surrounded the property... but one thing was missing, something different and unique, something that made you remember what it was like to have butterflies - a Ferris Wheel.
We wanted our guests to feel whisked away to a different time and place. SO they started the day on School Buses just like when we were kids, except they'd be going to a surprise destination. Once they arrived they were greeted with warm sunshine, lavender lemonade and flowers lining the white barns scattered around the property. It was important for us to make sure that same love and innocence was felt by everyone, so nothing seemed more sweet than a ride on a Ferris Wheel with the one you love. Then being treated to specialty twinkies paired with a good cocktail, and an acoustic duo playing renditions of the Lumineers & Mumford and Sons. Once cocktail hour ended, we invited guests into one of the small barns we turned into a dinner hideaway, filled with beautiful bright florals, twinkle lights and glowing candles - the barn even had vintage large brick flooring which reminded us of our travels back to the East Coast where I grew up - mix that with those big white barns and it felt perfect. After dinner everyone joined us on the brick patio with bistro lights strung above to dance the night away under the stars.