California Outdoor Wedding

After visiting both Tahoe and Yosemite, we ended up really loving Nestldown (in the Santa Cruz Mountains). It was directly in between our home in San Jose and Matt’s family beach house in Santa Cruz. Instead of choosing a theme or colors, we decided to just let the venue guide us and choose things that felt authentic to the atmosphere.When choosing vendors we went with people who understood our desire for a laid-back and organic affair. Nestldown really set the stage for the day – it was rustic, warm, natural and full of energy. This in turn helped me finally select bridesmaid dresses (why are all the normal options still so generic!?) … And I ended up with mint green flowy Tibi midis for the MOH’s and short bright yellow Nanette Lepore’s for the Maids. Matt ended up choosing the floral ties from a designer on Etsy and the suits came from Eli Thomas. Baylor from Lila B was just amazing on the florals. She came up with an amazing wild and woodsy array that enhance our already beautiful surroundings.

There ceremony was probably my favorite part of the day. Since we’d had a little practice, everything went off without a hitch. Our officiant, Father Ray Allendar, was a teacher at Matt’s high school – so he knew Matt very well and spent a lot of time with the two of us getting to know us as a couple. He also had us each write a letter to each other about why we ‘choose’ the other person to spend the rest of our life with. He pulled excerpts from our letters to read during the ceremony – which made it so personal and special. We did say traditional Catholic vows, but Matt worked with Father A to incorporate a special line into the end – which was a wonderful surprise for me.

 

After the ceremony, we really wanted the rest of the day to feel relaxed and fun, like a glorified summer party, where all your favorite people show up and you eat excellent food, imbibe on endless wine and cocktails and just enjoy each other. Windy Hill Bluegrass kicked things off and really kept the energy alive during the cocktail hour – where our guests played bocce, croquet, and rode the train through the peach and apple orchards. We wanted dinner to feel like a big family style feast, close quarters with everyone passing food, talking and sharing. From there, we just wanted a great party – and we got one.

 

Looking back, July 14th was a culmination of thoughtful loving preparation by so many wonderful people, with details that matched the spirit of the day. We had ultimate confidence in the vendors we chose, which allowed us to have a completely worry free and amazing day. Matt’s says, energy, warmth, contentedness and smiles were the essence of the celebration. :)

Photography: Nancy Neil Photography // Venue: Nestldown (Brooke Greene) // Coordination: Cassandra O’Gara – Downey Street Events // Florals: Baylor Chapman – Lila B. Design // Stationary / Table Runners: Jen Garrido – Jenny Pennywood // Hair & Make-up: Katie of Katie Nash Beauty  // Catering: Vanessa Silveira – Thomas John Events // Videographer: Chad & Drew – Shade Tree Films … A cut of our video // The Band: Windy Hills Bluegrass // DJ: Andrew – Sound in Motion (http://www.simsdjs.com) // My Dress: Monique Lhuiller (Fall 2011) Amaranth (Bridal Galleria)

Tags: , , , ,

01.25.13 / Featured, Real Weddings Blog

Winter Wedding Tablescape

A beautiful winter wedding tablescape from Honey of Thousand Flowers paired with a gorgeous winter wedding invitation from Meagan Tidwell. Doesn’t this pairing of creatives make for the prettiest winter wedding collaboration?

Tablescape Photography: Leo Patrone // Flowers + Styling: Honey of Thousand Flowers // Invitation Photography: Rylee Hitchner  // Invitation: Meagan Tidwell

Tags: , , , , , ,

01.23.13 / DIY Wedding Blog, DIY Weddings, Featured

Love Vs. Design

If you’re still looking for that perfect stationer or you just got engaged and need to send out save the dates, look no further! We’re bringing to you Love vs. Design – a wedding stationery house that focuses on non-traditional wedding invitations, save the dates, and more. Love vs. Design works with a team of talented designers and photographers from around the world to create unique designs to fit the personality and budget of every couple.

And, guess what?!? They’re giving you, lovely readers, a super deal- free samples and 15% off any order! Read on for more details. To take advantage of their special offer, use code ONCEWED to receive 15% off your order and enter 3FREE for your samples. The offer ends January 30th over. Hurry on over and check out Love vs Design!

LD_Imagelayout

01.23.13 / Featured, New Sponsor Blog

Italy Inspired Rustic Wedding

Our inspiration came from Ryle Hitchner’s travel photos of Monterosso, Italy. Many of the creative team members have traveled to the region, so we created a wedding design that payed homage to the culture, exquisite light, faith and importance of gathering with friends and famiglia. We chose an organic color palette, rich in texture, embracing the dusty greens and soft yellows found in the olive groves and lemon orchards. The wonderful food styling by Caitlin Van Horn, allowed us to reveal the hidden world of wedding preparations; a production in Europe that is quite sacred. Combined with humble details, expressive calligraphy and the authentic adoration of our couple, our ‘ode to Italy’ is intended to encourage couples to seek inspiration in the traditions and beauty of their surroundings.

Photography: Rylee Hitchner // Design and Styling: Ginny Au // Flowers: Amy Osaba // Paper and Calligraphy: Meagan Tidwell // Food Styling: Caitlin Van Horn // Table Garland, Olive Branch Arrangement & Wreaths: Cloth of Gold // Hair Styling: Joanna Ballentine // Makeup: Molly Stilley // Cakes: Dreamcakes Bakery // China, Linens and Flatware: At Home Furnishings // Brides Dress: Lanvin // Brides Shoes: Chloe Ballet Flats // Engagement Ring & Earrings: BHLDN // Bridesmaids Dresses: Bella Bridesmaids // Chairs: Market 46

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

01.22.13 / Featured, Real Weddings, Wedding Ideas Blog