I want to become a society lady Rockin' a new rock?!

Ari and Rolan’s story, which started under the night sky in Haiti, is “deeply rooted in friendship, love, and fun” and their personalized wedding day at Roaring Camp Railroad was befitting of their romance. The couple enlisted Nicole Presley to help them bring their vision to life with a rustic barn ceremony and reception filled with greenery chandeliers, equine-centric touches like the groom’s custom leather suspenders and a gluten-free donut wall by Melinda’s Gluten Free Bakery as a focal point in honor of the bride’s favorite treat. Kristin Lin was behind the lens and captured the details and the adorable couple’s love in these images.

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What made the wedding special and unique?

I really loved that all of our vendors were people we knew and felt comfortable with. With the exception of our photographer (who soon became a friend anyway), everyone who was working on our wedding made it feel like a big family party where everyone was helping out. Another one of my favorite parts of the wedding were the dances. This really felt like a joining of families, and it was so special. My dad had passed when I was 16, so getting to dance with my husband’s dad (to the song I danced to with my father when I was little) was so sweet, and pretty emotional for everyone who got to see. As far as decor, we had an incredible donut wall set up! This was my favorite creative part of the wedding, and Nicole did an incredible job of making it come to life. We had hanging hoops of greenery decorating the station, a beautiful wooden wall, and three kinds of donuts– gluten free of course!

Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!

My gown was simple, but so elegant. I had gone shopping with my family all day, and by the fourth store it was just my mom and I left feeling tired and ready to go. We only stopped by this second hand bridal shop because it was in a town we rarely go to, but it did not disappoint! All day I had been looking for a sweetheart, strapless, bohemian feeling dress, until I saw this dress hanging on a rack at Second Summer Bride. It was unlike anything I had liked, so I tried it on first. I fell in love right when I saw it, and found myself comparing all of my other options to this one. I wasn’t even expecting to buy a dress that day, but when I looked at my mom with tears in her eyes I knew we had found the one. We celebrated with the assistant who was helping us, picked a gorgeous handmade belt to go with it, and ended up leaving with the dress that night. That dress made me feel simply beautiful.

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal? 

Our favors were a little piece of us given to our guests. It was a cute little brown paper bag with a stamp on the front that said “besos” and our names. Besos means “kisses” in Spanish, which is my family’s language, but is also what Rolan and I would say while bidding goodnight to each other while we were dating. The paper bag held a handmade chapstick, that was made and assembled by a sweet friend. The donuts were another thing that made our wedding personal, because I only eat gluten free foods! Gluten free donuts are some of my favorite things ever, so it felt like we were sharing a special treat with our friends and family, and it was something we could all enjoy together. Our first dance song made my heart melt, and we actually chose it for this reason: the first line is “You came like a resolution, under a starry sky…” (My Lover – Birdtalker). Rolan’s and my story started under the night sky in Haiti, on a mission trip, so stars bring us back to our early days of blooming love.

What was the most memorable part of the day? 

After the ceremony we took family and bridal party photos, and then Rolan and I got to sneak away to take pictures alone. We got to be removed from the craziness of family portraits, away from our beloved (but 200) guests, and outside of the production of the wedding, and it all just sunk in. Our photographer did a really great job of celebrating with us for a second, but also just letting us be natural together and show affection. When I look back to that pause in the day I well up with tears thinking about how excited we were for our life together. We got to talk about how we felt, laugh, and kiss a little, as we prepared for the rest of the fun that was ahead.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

I met Rolan at the first Cru event I went to. (Cru is a Christian college ministry, that is on a lot of big college campuses.) We were getting boba with a huge group of people and he walked up next to me and introduced himself. I ended up getting pretty involved in Cru, and through that Rolan and I got to develop a sweet friendship. He was someone that I naturally felt comfortable with, and I’ve always thought he was hilarious. He’s someone I always enjoyed spending time with, and looked forward to seeing. I remember towards the end of that year we were doing an outreach with Cru and I was telling Rolan I was bummed that I couldn’t grab coffee before I had work on campus, and after about 30 minutes into work, Rolan stopped by with a big (also nervous) smile and a coffee in his hand for me. That was when I started looking at him with hearts in my eyes. That summer was soooo much fun with our friends, and Rolan and I were just smitten. Dating didn’t work out for us heading into the next year, but fast forward a whole year of crushing and we found ourselves on a mission trip to Haiti. I’ll never forget the night Rolan and I got to sit under the stars and talk about what the past year had been like for us. We got to share our hearts and agree on how hard that year was, but also got to end with the sweet conclusion to *finally* date. After about seven months of dating, I remember being at our favorite coffee shop in Santa Cruz, and Rolan asking where I was on the thought of marriage. Long story short, we started to talking to parents, pastors, and friends shortly after that conversation, and at the eight month marker we were getting engaged! Rolan’s proposal to me was the most thoughtful, in our beloved Santa Cruz. He had a timeline of pictures laying out our story and an empty frame at the end. He told me he loved me for the first time (a commitment we made to save for our future wife/husband), said he had loved making all of those memories with me. Then he asked to make another one, and got down on his knee. Our friend that captured the moment described “the rich roots and branches [of the tree behind us] as a great stage,” and I can’t help but to agree. Our story is deeply rooted in friendship, love, and fun, and would not have been possible without God’s faithfulness.

Coordination/Calligraphy: Nicole Presley // Photographer: Kristin Lin // Venue: Roaring Camp Railroad // Gown: Stella York, Second Summer Bride Sacramento // Handmade suspenders: Kenny Wong // Donuts/Cake: Melinda’s Gluten Free Bakery // Rentals: Alexis Party Rentals // DJ: Scott Bolin // Catering: Rubio’s Mexican Taco Catering // Ring Box: The Mrs. Box

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La Quinta was Alexa and Nate’s first vacation spot so it only makes sense that they would have their wedding at their special getaway location! Alijah at Boutique Event Planning knew from the first meeting that the couple’s celebration would be the “perfect wedding—a classic California affair with none of the pomp and circumstance: a first look, a guacamole bar, an outdoor reception, churros instead of cake and spending the most time with friends and family.” Highlights include vibrant florals by FlowerAllie, a the courtyard ceremony at La Quinta Resort and some serious couples’ style including Alexa’s Grace Loves Lace  gown and Nate’s adorable floral patterned tie. Lucky for us, the duo enlisted the expertise of Kir2ben to capture all their special moments.

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Photography: Kir2ben // Day of Coordination/Planner: Alijah Boutique Event Planning // Floral: FlowerAllie // Invitations: Minted // Venue: La Quinta Resort & Club La Quinta Resort // Wedding Dress: Grace Loves Lace // Beauty: Amanda Wedding Beauty Co // Lighting: Lights for Nights // Shoes: Badgley Mischka // Jewelry: Sarah Leonard // Bridesmaids Dresses: Show Me Your Mumu // Videographer: Mallory Harrison // Tux: The Black Tux // Dance Floor: Signature Party Rentals // DJ: DJ Chris Paul | Palm Springs Wedding DJ

Vanessa and Justin celebrated with a wedding in Mexico that “felt like a vacation with all of our favorite people!” The Cape, one of our favorite Cabo venues, offers views of downtown and El Arco, with a chic, contemporary vibe. Lynette Dow with Amy Abbot Events planned the day which included modern florals and decor that enhanced the stunning views and atmosphere of the venue while personalized details like graphic letterpress invitations by Hyegraph Invitations & Calligraphy, a short and sweet ceremony by the sea and fireworks made the night that much more special. See all the details in these stunning images by Ana & Jerome.

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What made the wedding special and unique?

Mexico is a special place for us and we loved that our wedding felt like a vacation with all of our favorite people!  The rooftop of The Cape has views of downtown Cabo San Lucas and El Arco, making it a stunning and unique place for a wedding.

Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!

I went to a dress shop by myself while out of town and fell in love with the gown’s Josephine embroidery and silhouette. The designer is Atelier Pronovias.

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?

We were really detailed when picking the music and that made the ceremony and reception feel personal. The DJ was awesome and we didn’t leave the dance floor all night long! Instead of traditional centerpieces and the standard wedding look, we wanted modern flowers and decor that would enhance the stunning views and atmosphere. Our florist totally captured our vision – the orchids and succulents were the perfect compliment the beautiful venue. Having our favorite snacks as late-night food was also a fun personal touch!

What was the most memorable part of the day?

It’s really hard to choose what was most memorable but we both loved the fireworks and the dancing. Justin had forgotten about the fireworks so that was a really fun surprise for him!  The ceremony is a special memory – it was short and sweet and made us both laugh and cry. We also have great memories of the heartfelt speeches from family and friends. The service at The Cape was excellent and we will always remember how special they made our guests and us feel that day.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

We were set up on a blind date by a mutual friend. We didn’t know anything about each other and no pictures were exchanged beforehand so neither one of us knew what to expect but it ended up being a great first date! As far as getting engaged, Justin made big plans for our 1-year anniversary – drinks at the same place we had our first date, followed by dinner at a secret location, and a proposal at the end of the night. But things didn’t go according to plan. The day before the planned proposal,  Justin took the ring out of his safe and it started “burning a hole in his pocket” so he drove over to Vanessa’s house and jumped the gun by proposing out of nowhere. It was definitely a spontaneous proposal!  We celebrated our engagement with a vacation to Cabo!

Photography: Ana & Jerome // Wedding Planner: Amy Abbot Events Lynette Dow // Floral Design: Pina Cate // Venue, Catering and Cake: The Cape // HMUA: Blanc Bridal Salon // Invitation Suite: Jacques Oskanian, Hyegraph Invitations & Calligraphy // Printed Material: Bells & Whistles Design // Dress: Atelier Pronovias in Sacramento // Rentals: Del Cabo Events, Pina Cate Warehouse Rentals // Cocktail Entertainment: Smart Music Francisco Alatorre (guitar & violin) // Dj  Entertainment and Lighting: Alex Alanis

 

“I want to be your husband forever, will you marry me?” Matt popped this exact question on the night of Amanda’s parent’s 40th wedding anniversary party. Amanda—of course—said yes, and the couple said “I do” the following spring at McGovern Centennial Gardens.  Keely Thorne Events planned the garden celebration with details in white including: florals and installations by Events In Bloom, a stunning cake by Jody Cakes, and an elegant tented reception. The vegan menu included vegan liquid nitrogen ice cream and giant vegan cinnamon rolls as party favors for everyone to eat for breakfast the next day. Lucky for us, the couple enlisted the expertise of Mustard Seed Photography who captured all the details in these bright and cheery photographs.

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What made the wedding special and unique?

The indoor/outdoor venue was truly amazing for our ceremony and reception. We were able to enjoy the natural beauty of Centennial Gardens and even had a butterfly join in on our photo shoot. The gardens are wonderful because they are so beautiful and calming to experience. Sharing this location with our friends and family was icing on the cake. At the end of the night in the pouring rain we had a great dance and exit and will remember those moments for the rest of our lives.

Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!

The gown is made by Michal Medina. I found it at Now and Forever. I was the first bride to wear this design. I honestly never thought I would choose a dress like that. I felt like the most beautiful bride and wish I could wear that dress every day. I especially enjoyed spinning in my dress and having it lift off of the ground!

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?

Our wedding cakes and much of the food were vegan. Everyone especially enjoyed the vegan liquid nitrogen ice cream! We also had giant vegan cinnamon rolls as party favors for everyone to eat for breakfast the next day.

What was the most memorable part of the day?

Every part of our wedding day was memorable, but some stand out moments were our first touch photos, walking up the aisle to the Jurassic Park theme song played by a string quartet, our choreographed first dance to “You are the Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne, and spinning in my dress out in the grass in front of the hill with Matt after our ceremony.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

We met through a mutual friend and watched Edward Scissor Hands at a movie watching party. I knew he was the one from the moment I saw him and he knew that I was there to see him. For our first date we went to Tea Shop in Chinatown followed by some Bahn Mis. We were engaged 4 and a half years later at my parents 40th anniversary party at my brother’s house, it was the perfect opportunity as all of many of our friends and family were already there. I was completely surprised and the conversation that ended with him on one knee started with me saying “Man, I really wish we were engaged already” and him saying “I don’t have a plan, but are you ready now?”. He had the ring in his pocket the whole night and everyone else was pretty much in on it but me. He got down on one knee and said “I want to be your husband forever, will you marry me?”

We also want to add that there were many many personal touches we added to this wedding, but a few more notable ones were the giant lanterns, dog treat party favors, koozies that said “our humans are getting married”, and our hash tags “lettucerejoice” and “itsjusttheveganing”. All the furniture and the array of tables, couches, bar highs, and pillows, coffee tables, and stools that could be moved or used as tables added to the elegant, but comfortable and relaxing atmosphere we wanted to have! This was the best day of our lives and we wish we could do it again and again! Everyone had such a wonderful time and it was so great having everyone enjoying it with us! Dog treat party favors courtesy of Cody and Lacy, our two beautiful furry children that we could not live without!

Photographer: Mustard Seed Photography // Planning: Keely Thorne Events // Florals and Event Decor: Events In Bloom // Paper Goods: Pendance Studio // Venue: McGovern Centennial Gardens // Dress: Michal Medina // Bridal Boutique: Now and Forever Bridal Boutique // Cake: Jody Cakes // Hair and Makeup: Sunkissed and Made Up // Band: Doppelgänger // Videographer: Bear Hands Media // Musicians: Divisi Strings // Shoes: Kate Spade // Ring Box: The Mrs. Box

 

Gina and Ronson’s wedding is a true vision in white. It’s romantic, happy and filled with elegance that dazzles against the stunning backdrop of Montalvo Arts Center. A garden-chic sensibility underlies the details designed by Natalie Choi Events and absolutely shines in the soft, white and green blooms in the installations and arrangements by April Baytan. We’re especially loving the illustrated timeline by Chasing Linen that kept all the guests informed in the most adorable fashion. And, of course, the four-tiered white cake by A Spoonful of Sugar topped with fresh, white florals is a perfect final touch on the loveliest of days and lucky for us, the ever-awesome Amanda Wei Photo was on hand to capture all of it!

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What made the wedding special and unique?

Everything. The wedding was special because it truly represented us. We shared the same vision from the food, dessert, colors and invitations so it was really special and amazing to see our vision come to life on our wedding day.

Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!

The Cruz gown by BHLDN was everything I wanted: crepe, modern lace, a beautiful train and revealing back. Before I found The Cruz, I tried dresses at other bridal shops and tried on at least eight other dresses. The stylist pulled dresses I pinned on Pinterest but those styles did not look the way I imagined. At my third appointment, I went to BHLDN and the stylist asked what I was looking for and pulled out the Cruz. At a first glance, I don’t think I would have picked this off the rack because of the halter. I tried it on anyway and once the stylist clipped the halter, I instantly knew it was the one. I do believe it when people say you’ll just know when it’s the right one. You’ll feel it and you’ll know.

What was the most memorable part of the day?

The ceremony. I remember we were looking at each other the entire time while my dad walked me down the aisle. We both remember holding hands at the altar, waiting until Lili pronounced us as husband and wife. Our ceremony was shorter than others, but we were like, “What is taking so long?” Once we were pronounced husband and wife, it was amazing seeing and hearing our family and friends, celebrating this big moment with us. We’re so grateful to have our family and friends all in the same space, celebrating and sharing the moment with us.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

The Story — We met during our sophomore year in high school and quickly became good friends. After high school, we dated for a little bit then realized the timing just wasn’t right. Gina moved to Los Angeles for college and Ronson stayed in San Jose. They separated and went off to do their own things.

Three years later, we ran into each other at the gym. Out of all the places, right? We went to Yardhouse to catch up and spent more and more time together. We realized that even though so much time has passed by, not much has changed between us. Talking to each other was easy. There was obviously something still there between us. We are very happy our crossed paths again and gave love a second chance.

The Proposal –We went hiking for my birthday weekend hoping to see some wildflowers. We were hiking along and I remember saying, “It’s so peaceful out here.” It was quiet and there was no one else on the trail. Ronson was trailing behind so I thought he was getting some water. He kept saying, “Honey, honey” so I thought he wanted me to turn around for a picture. I turned around and I saw Ronson, on bended knee holding a ring! He asked me to marry him and of course I said yes! I was very surprised and had no idea he was going to propose that day. He did such a great job surprising me.

Photographer: Amanda Wei Photo // Coordinator: Natalie Choi Events // Florist: April Baytan // Paper Goods: Chasing Linen // Venue: Montalvo Arts Center // Dress: BHLDN // Hair & makeup: Makeup by Quis // Cake: A Spoonful of Sugar // Catering: Catered Too // Linens: La Tavola Linen // Vintage Rentals: One True Love Vintage // Photobooth: Chroma Photobooth