The next wedding in our lineup is courtesy of the fabulous Orbie Pullen Photography and my oh my do we have a total gem on our hands. It is such a wonderful mix of pretty, rustic details and a beautiful easy-going style… one of those weddings that doesn’t take life to seriously. Case in point, every guest at the wedding received a faux mustache to don for the group photo. Love it! See even more of this oh so fun day in the gallery.

see the FULL wedding here!

From the beginning, Ben and I knew that we wanted an outdoor wedding. As California natives, we live for sunshine and fresh air. When we found Chateau LaJoye, we instantly fell in love with the property and its owner, Joanne. The venue is in an intimate, natural setting, nestled between the rolling hills of the northern California coast. Confident in Joanne’s experience and hands-on personality, we moved our wedding up 8 months so we could get married in October, the most beautiful time of year in this part of California. Most important to us was creating a day where we could celebrate and have fun with our closest friends and family. We did not want a cookie-cutter wedding and much of our focus was on adding elements that reflected our personalities. Our unconventional side made its first appearance when our two-year-old labs, Duke and Duchess, came down the aisle as our ring bearer and flower girl. Duke wore a bowtie and carried the rings (the real ones!) on a pillow of Kermit mums strapped to his back, while Duchess wore a collar made of flowers. A close friend played our favorite song, “Tonight, Tonight” by the Smashing Pumpkins, on an acoustic guitar alongside a violinist and cellist for our processional. After the ceremony, we wanted to set the tone for the reception with some light-hearted fun: fake mustaches for the group photo!

The main color was teal, a salute to our favorite sports team, the San Jose Sharks. Ben and I added a little more Sharks flare into our attire – peacock feathers in his boutonnière and in my hair, as well as teal shoes for me. The table names were, of course, Sharks players. The secondary color was a dark crimson to tie in with the rustic feel of the venue. The florist, Alena Jean Whiting, added some of her own out-of-the-box ideas, incorporating succulents, berries, and pods to the flower arrangements. The centerpieces were garden-esque to add to the earthy, backyard feel. My brother hand crafted the centerpiece boxes to coordinate with the candy wall, which he also built for us. The candy wall harbored the wedding favors – a collection of all of our favorite sweets. We opted for a playful and whimsical “mad-hatter” style cake to complement the candy wall. If that was not enough to satisfy every sweet tooth, guests could make smores by the fire pit (we love camping, too!). We were also able to include a little English and German heritage into the day. I sewed my Grandma’s handkerchief from England into the underside of my dress. Ben’s family surprised us with a German tradition – the bride and groom have to successfully drink a glass of champagne from a special cup, while the groom proposes on his knee. Luckily, we passed the test. All in all, it was a day filled with love and laughter. Our ideas for creating our perfect day came to life with the help of our family and friends, and we couldn’t have asked for a more memorable way to mark the beginning of our marriage.

Photography: Orbie Pullen Photography / Flowers: Alenas Designs / Ceremony and Reception Location: Chateau La Joye / Officiant: Lucinda Martin / Cake: Cindee Prader 209-617-2343 / Violinist: Michele Walther / Caterer: Patti Schwartz Special Event Catering & Party CO. 650.726.1555 / DJ: Dave Gillis / Dress: Martina Liana dress bought from Gabrielle’s Bridal in Campbell