“Remember to feel the love. Be in the moment. Getting married isn’t just the day of the event, it’s the entire process. If you don’t enjoy it, what is it all for anyway?” Kayla’s advice to other brides couldn’t more true and the joy that she and Nathan felt on their personalized wedding day couldn’t be more apparent in these beautiful images by Heather Selzer. Planned by CES Weddings & Events, the celebration was held Gale Vineyards and filled with bohemian and rustic details for the Redwood-loving couple. The florals by M Creations Floral Design were stunning and included an eclectic gathered bouquet, ceremony arch and greens dressing up the many reception focal points. We’re especially love the gift display of mugs that the couple hand-selected for all of their guests—a perfect representation of a couple that’s figured out how to find the joy in the journey.
What made the wedding special and unique?
We originally wanted to get married in the redwoods. We love hiking near our home in the Bay Area and our favorite places all have large dense redwood forests. We found some of that for our special day (the first look), but wanted to also incorporate nature into the invites. So, trees were the theme. Our engagement photos were taken in Redwood Regional Park in Oakland, which were used for the save the dates. For the invites, we took a photo from a log pile in our backyard, and used it as the background. We designed the ideas behind them and Kayla brought them to life using her own calligraphy skills.
We did a rehearsal brunch instead of a dinner to save money and give us the evening to chill with family, friends, and each other. That also meant Friday night was free for us, so we organized a yoga class with the entire bridal party and their partners. Two of our friends are yoga teachers and they lead the 1.5 hour class. It was awesome!
Additionally, many of the guests (and the couple themselves) do not drink alcohol. So we made sure to have tasty alternatives and NA beers.
The reception was held at Gale Vineyards in Durham, California just outside of Chico. We chose this location for both the natural beauty it offered as well as the functionality of having the ceremony and reception at the same venue. Gale Vineyards was filled with tall trees and great space to accommodate the guest count. Hidden off to the side was the bar and boho lounge space the couple designed – equipped with a vintage Italian leather couch, blue velvet lounge chairs, accent rug, and wooden table made by the our close friend. On the other end of the reception space was an open space that served as both the buffet space early in the evening, and the dance floor after dinner.
What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?
We were very close to my grandmother June who passed away a little over two years ago. She was the matriarch of the family. So I created a banner that was hung at the reception with one of June’s quotes to remind everyone that she was there with them on their very special day.
Often brides will create gift boxes for the bridesmaids, but I wanted to also do something for all the mamas in the family. I hand dyed organic cotton robes, shibori style. Included in their box were a custom robe, lip gloss, facial mask, bath salts, and a handwritten card. This made all the mothers and grandmothers feel loved and a special part of the big day.
The officiant was a close friend and the vows were said under a handmade copper altar which we designed and a close friend made for us. We wrote our own vows, and a close friend also came up and read a poem by Rainer Marie Rilke. All of the small, personal details made the reception extremely personal and special.
The takeaway gift was a coffee mug. We went around to various thrift stores, antique stores and shops, to find over 150 mugs that were unique. It’s something that we do in our own home and wanted to share some of that joy with our guests.
Tell us about the dress and how/where you found it.
Initially, I purchased a dress online by Grace Loves Lace. But, when it arrived it didn’t really meet the expectations I had about it. With only 2 months before the big day, I panicked. Luckily, living in the Bay Area, there are plenty of options for last-minute finds! My MOH & I went to San Francisco the next day to hit as many stores as possible. Luckily, we found the perfect dress at their first stop, Glamour Closet. It was much more simple and more of my style. It matched the vintage/bohemian style of the wedding. Love at first sight!
What was the most memorable part of your day?
At the end of the night, the DJ announced the last song. Kayla ran over to Nathan and hugged him. A friend saw this and came up to hug both of them. Then everyone from the wedding started to join in, surrounding the couple in a huge group hug in the middle of the dance floor. They all swayed back and forth laughing and smiling and enjoying the last moments of a beautiful day together. It was magical.
Tell us how you met and became engaged.
We met in college. Nathan was a roommate to one of Kayla’s close friends. She had a crush on him for a while and one day worked up the courage to ask him out over text – he said yes!
The first date was a cold December night in Chico. The plan was to get coffee at Naked Lounge, but Kayla was starving so upon Nathan’s arrival she asked if they could go eat. They walked around the corner to Upper Crust and sat down with some soup and chili. Between the corn bread and coffee, the school talk and the shared interest in standup comedy, the time flew by. Little did they know, this meal was the start of something special. They had found their partner, their person.
One of Kayla’s favorite places in Chico, where we met, is called Monkey Face. It’s a rock formation in Bidwell Park that looks like the face of a monkey. When you climb to the top you can see the entire canyon and the city of Chico stretched out before you. Nathan took her for a hike up there and popped the question in September 2016.
What advice do you have for brides planning their wedding?
Maintain collaboration with your partner throughout the entire planning process. It’s very important to discuss the details with your significant other to ensure that your ideas are both reflected on the day of your wedding. And, make sure you pick the best MOH and BM for the job. There will be times when you really need to lean on them to help you through it all.
Remember to feel the love. Be in the moment. Getting married isn’t just the day of the event, it’s the entire process. If you don’t enjoy it, what is it all for anyway?
Photographer: Heather Selzer // Planning: CES Weddings & Events // Florals: M Creations Floral Design // // Calligraphy: Letter After Letter // Venue: Gale Vineyards // Dress: Sarah Seven // Wedding Dress Boutique: Glamour Closet // Shoes: Charlotte Stone // Brides Ring: Aura Jewelers // Hair Stylist: Lucy Keene // Makeup: Powder Room // Groom Attire: Baroni Suits / Formal Education // Grooms Shoes: Aldo // Handmade Details: The Creative Crow // Catering: Bacio // Desserts: Upper Crust // Linen Rentals: We Do Designs // Specialty Rental: Heirloom Fox // Music: Clearcut Entertainment // Film Lab: The Find Lab