Stacey and Brett put their good faith into their dream venue—renovations at the Vista Valley Country Club were underway up until the day before their wedding! But it sure paid off and the couple celebrated at what had become their dream venue. John Schnack Photography was there to capture all the beautiful details of Stacy and Brett’s lovely, scenic wedding day.
What made the wedding special and unique?
Brett’s only request, the wedding couldn’t conflict with football season or Duke basketball. I wanted nice weather. So the month of May it was. That gave us 8 months and a lot of work ahead. The perfect location didn’t come as easily. We searched from Santa Barbara to San Diego in hopes of finding a spot that felt like us. Then we fell in love with a venue that was sure to break the bank. Heartbroken we didn’t know where to go next until our dream venue let us in on an unknown little secret. Nestled just below the place we fell in love with was the Vista Valley Country Club. It had recently been taken over by the owners of our dream spot and they were embarking on a renovation that was sure to turn it into a spectacular new location.
The clubhouse’s renovation schedule was tight in keeping with our date. Only 4 weeks stood between the scheduled end of renovations and our big day! But we plunged right in. Drawing inspiration from the gorgeous gates opening to the ceremony site, we took a vintage and rustic approach to our wedding, which coincided perfectly with the renovation plans. Because of the unique situation with the remodel and timeline, we were lucky to work extremely close with the contractors, interior designers and general manager of the club; which is something you usually don’t get to do when planning a wedding.
As the wedding day drew near, we were excited to see how the place was evolving and how our vision was all coming together. The venue purchased beautiful leather, studded dining chairs for the guest tables and a French settee was re-upholstered just in time to create a romantic dinner set up for the bride and groom. Vista Valley Country Club was sparing no expense in making this the most impressive wedding location we could ever imagine. They even surprised us a day before the wedding by installing custom 7 foot, wrought iron chandeliers in the reception room. I was beyond happy.
What were some touches added to make it personal?
As the location was taking shape, so was every detail of our big day. We did everything we could to add a personal touch to this incredible venue and make it truly ours for the big night. Custom designed and painted chalkboard signs and 3 foot giant balloons with fringed tassels in blush and gold were used to guide guests to and from our ceremony, cocktail and reception sites. We purchased a large vintage mirror and had guests names and table numbers designed to print on vinyl to adhere to the mirror for a unique seating chart display. One of the most time consuming, but well noticed details were the DIY place cards embellished with hand painted and glittered flowers, and the corresponding number of leaves which quietly communicated to the servers which dish each guest had selected. Guests sipped on cocktails adorned with gold chevron straws and blush sparkly flags. Even down to our monogrammed cocktail napkins, we didn’t waste any chance to add our own personal touch.
Instead of a traditional guest book, we purchased a unique collection of post-cards for guests to write a note and leave in a vintage suitcase. Sitting down to dinner everyone was welcomed by a personalized note of thanks and appreciation in lieu of a dinner menu. My friends and family even got involved in the design by creating a beautiful “T” initial for my new last name made of broaches they had each chosen and given to me at my bridal shower. Lastly, there were my two favorite additions, handmade marquees for the bar and above our sweetheart table. We purchased tin lettering for “Love” and “Bar” and my fiancé and Dad drilled the holes and set the lights themselves.
What was the most memorable part of the day?
Finally, our wedding day had arrived. Along with my 8 bridesmaids, I entered the bridal suite on the second floor of the club. We were taken aback by the gorgeous room! Chandeliers, salon chairs, settees, a vintage garment rack, and the most beautiful display hook for my bridal gown all set the stage for my special day. The girls hung their rose gold, sequined dresses chosen to match my custom-made rose gold ring on personalized hangers. The men had a room of their own. Complete with club chairs, whiskey and everything a groom could hope for. On display for my groom and his boys, were wacky socks, personalized mugs and beers from around the world. These “his and hers” suites were just the icing on the cake of such a perfect spot to get married.
As the nerves and excitement started to kick in, the guests started to arrive. And I slipped into my body hugging, lace and ruffled Lazaro dress. And as my maid of honor buttoned me in, my mom presented me with a gorgeous bracelet that included a clasp from the very jewelry she wore on her own wedding day. Finally, it was time to say “I Do.”
When our wonderful night final was coming to an end, all our guests piled out of the room, sparklers in hand, ready to send us off in the vintage Rolls Royce my parents had surprised us with! My rustic-vintage wedding was over. And I couldn’t have been happier. It was everything I had always dreamed and was truly the best day of my life!
Tell us how you met and became engaged.
It was 2 first encounters, 2 years of dating, 1 year of living together and 8 months of the most custom-made and hands on wedding planning one could ever imagine. Brett and my Los Angeles love affair had two beginnings. We met once, although I didn’t think much of it. But then on our second meeting, he got my number. I wasn’t sure I was ready for a relationship, but he was persistent. And as he likes to tell me, I was the first girl he ever fought for… and he won! Our romance moved forward as we moved in with one another, building a life and joining our friends and family. And exactly 1 year to the day after we moved in, he surprised me with the sweetest proposal. I wasn’t prepared; I hadn’t washed my hair that day! But that’s why I love him; he can always catch me off guard and sweep me off my feet!
Vendors: Photography: John Schnack Photography // Location: Vista Valley Country Club // Officiant: Carlos Sales // Cake Designer: Flour Power // Caterer: Jenna Mesic // Makeup Artist: Julia Frye Makeup // Photo Booth Equipment: Tap Snap // Cinema and Video: Tawny Alipoon // DJ: Tim Altbaum Productions