Not only is this wedding a drop dead gorgeous riverside soiree, it’s also the wedding of two high school sweethearts! Their wedding planning began shortly after the groom proposed on a swing in their hometown and if that wasn’t romantic enough, they had identical swings installed at their wedding site. Oh how I love this adorable couple and their sweet, personalized day. Myrtle & Marjoram snapped up all the fabulous details and there’s so much more to see right here.
From the Bride… Very few people know about the California delta, located just outside Lodi, California. It is probably one of the best-kept secrets in California, and I had the great fortune to spend my childhood summers picking blackberries and swimming here at my family’s property, Little Venice Island. When my high school sweetheart, Mario, proposed on two swings in the hometown we grew up on, I knew Little Venice Island would be the perfect place to have a sparkly, tented, country wedding!
Having a wedding in the country is a daunting task, and add to that a wedding on an island, and it becomes even more of a challenge. Luckily, we had an amazing team of supportive family members and an incredible wedding planner to help us pull it off! We wanted to treat guests to a very special day that was as beautiful as it was personal and unique to both Mario and me. Because we’ve been together since we were 16 we have a lot of stories, and we had fun incorporating little details from our lives together. The lace on the escort shipping tags, for instance, was handmade lace bought at a button shop on a backpacking trip in Luca, Italy, a few years ago. The swings you see in the pictures were actually a surprise from my dad, who tracked down the Carolina swing maker of the swings Mario initially proposed to me on in our hometown and had an identical pair installed at the island. And because Mario is Italian and comes from a big Italian family, I had fun wearing many Italian-made items, such as my gown and shoes.
I grew up on on the water, so I wanted to make the river part of the fun. To start off the day, our 125 guests were ferried in on a vintage wheelhouse riverboat playing Sam Cooke. We tied the knot in an outdoor ceremony with a string quartet under a garden arch filled with English roses. I can’t explain how special that moment was! This was followed by a flower-filled reception inside a bistro-lit Sperry tent. Mar and I are nuts about good food, so we featured organic, local food from Niman Rach Farms and Happy Boy Farms and specialty cocktails named after our two cats, Marley and Zelda. We also made sure to pay homage to our local Delta surroundings. Blackberries were in my bouquet, on (and inside) the wedding cake my Aunt Kathy made for us, on the program cover my Aunt Candy made for us made of plantable flower seed paper, in the groom’s boutonniere, the welcome gift berry tills, and on all the customized wine labels featuring local Lodi wine from a neighboring winery. As a nod to the nautical we used Manila rope to tie the draped linen tent curtains, as well as nautical “monkey knots” for the table markers. My lovely bridesmaids wore dresses by Amsale in a soft French blue to reflect the water surrounding Little Venice. The evening capped off on a high note to vintage swing from a five-piece, 1940’s-style swing band.
But beyond the unique island venue, what made the day wonderful is ultimately our story. Mario and I first fell in love at 16 years old and have stayed together ever since. Our wedding took many hours with the glue gun and a lot of help from talented family and friends, but I couldn’t have asked for a more lovely way to celebrate with the person I love most in the world, surrounded by our closest friends and family. We will never, ever forget it.
Wedding Photography: Ingrid Nelson of Myrtle & Marjoram / Wedding Venue: Little Venice Island in Stockton, California / Event Design: The Bride / Wedding Planning: Jennie Janzen of MAP Events / Floral Design: Elyse Litt of Willow Floral Design / Catering: Bronson Macomber of Macadamia Events and Catering / Wedding Cake: Kathy Murphy (An Aunt) / Wedding Stationery + Calligraphy: Bianca Mascorro of Little Miss Press / Print Designs: Candice Woo (An Aunt) / Lighting: Monkey Glue / Tent: Zephyr Tents / Wedding Dress: Domo Adami via Jin Wang / Bride’s Shoes: Something Bleu / Bride’s Hair Fascinator: Serephine / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Amsale / Linens: La Tavola Linen