What made the wedding special and unique?
The words/content of the day made our wedding special and unique My Dad (who is incredibly articulate) married us, we wrote our own vows, and my husband gave an amazing speech to thank our guests and family. His speech was a complete surprise. It was an awesomely authentic/real speech about what matters in life, living in the present, and how he struggled with defining success until now. He encouraged everyone to stop rushing through the present, “this is your life”, he quoted “putting things off is the biggest waste of life: it snatches away each day as it comes, and denies us the present by promising the future,” live immediately! Writing vows can be hard, but it was the best decision we made and it’s truly what made the day so special. We shared our love publicly with our friends and family.
One of my vendor’s email signature was “don’t worry, everything is going to be amazing!,” and she was right. As a bride you are thinking about the details of your big day (flowers, food, table decor, seating chart, music, etc). Remember to take a moment and notice the more important details like your family that are eager to help, your wonderful fiancé who loves and supports you, and your friends that want to celebrate you every step of the way. Dwell on these details. Another piece of advice, pick your florist early on! They help dictate decor (what’s on the tables, down the aisle, welcome area, linens, seating chart display, etc). We loved our florist; she brought our vision to life.
Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!
The dress is Bliss by Monique Lhuillier, and boy did it take forever to decide! After visiting 10+ bridal stores I finally found my dress at Bridal Galleria in San Francisco. When I told the bridal assistant it was the dress. she was very sweet and encouraging, and I said “it’s just a dress.” This caught even me off guard. As a woman you think about what your wedding dress might look like, and it was such a surreal feeling finally selecting one because I truly realized that it wasn’t important, it really is just a dress. I was searching for that “aha moment” and honestly I never found it, it wasn’t until the wedding day and now looking back that I really love my dress and how it reminds me of the vows I made to Andy.
What were some touches added to make it personal?
Andy and I wanted our wedding to be unique to us, sentimental, and fun for our guests. Because we love the outdoors, we went for a garden/outdoor theme with lots of greenery, wild flowers, potted plants, and a big beautiful tree under which we were married. People often ask what your colors are when you’re planning a wedding and we didn’t really have colors. We used every color and didn’t want things to be too matchy-matchy. I wanted the bridesmaids’ dresses to be different and feminine, it took me 20+ dresses to find the right floral print (not too girly, not too baby shower-ish). Neutral bridesmaid dresses were popular when we got married so I loved the floral dresses we found because the base was neutral/cream but the pops of wildflowers made them unique. Because the dresses had so many colors, we weren’t boxed into using one color for the flowers or decor. To make things personal we focused on things we love (floral, stripes, nature, Mediterranean food, BLT’s, mojitos, apple crisps, etc) and the talents of the people we love. My brother drew a picture of us hiking with the San Francisco skyline in the background and we used this for our invitations and made logos for the wine bottles, my mom learned calligraphy to make our save the dates, the best man made personalized wooden stir sticks, and my dad built wooden signs for the seating chart display. Some of my favorite decor elements of our wedding were the floral arch and the seating chart display. For the seating chart display, I loved the terra cotta potted plants, especially that they had a dual purpose (informative & decor).
What was the most memorable part of the day?
My husband’s speech and our vows!
Tell us how you met and became engaged.
Andy and I meet at a friend’s birthday party (at a bar!). Andy proposed at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. This was the spot where two years prior on our first date, I challenged him to “pretend propose” to empty the crowded room in the aquarium. He went along with the prank and from then on, we knew he was a keeper. For the proposal, Andy had set up this same room with mementos from our travels and meaningful items, which included a life size bear. He had to book a private tour, purchasing 25 tickets, in order to get in there after hours at the aquarium. After proposing he surprised me with a dinner at a small restaurant, Sociale in SF where friends and family were awaiting. I was overwhelmed and SO HAPPY. Andy’s mom and dad flew in from Colorado and his sister from Virginia. It was such a wonderful night.
Photographer: Sarah Kathleen// Design and Decor: 43Layers // Event Planner: CJN Event Planning, Jamie & Chris Neutill // Floral Designer: ADORNMENTS Flowers & Finery // Rentals: All About Events, Paso Robles, CA & Embellish Vintage Rentals // Makeup: Bluebird Salon, Amber // DJ: DJ Johnny Walker // Cinema and Video: Forrey Films // Dress Designer: Monique Lhuillier // Hair Stylist: Nine Zero One Salon // Caterer: Pacific Harvest Catering // Reception Venue: Spanish Oaks Ranch // Invitation Designer: Wide Eyes Paper Company // Wedding Signs & Art: Cullen Brown // Customized Stir Sticks: 43layers