This Bride and Groom took their wedding, which is special in and of itself, and crafted a day centered around a spot they both hold dear, their alma mater. Celebrating their love where they met, where they grew together as a couple; that’s the extra special sauce that makes this wedding stand out. And all the pretty garden details captured by Raya Carlisle Photography are the added bonus. They’re details like huge, garden blooms by Modern Day Design and a sparkling open air reception coordinated by Joy de Vivre that made the Bride’s vision of a “wildly-elegant” affair come to life. See even more right here in the full gallery.

From the Bride… The ceremony took place at the Shrine of St. Therese in Fresno, California and the reception was held at the Smittcamp Alumni House on the Fresno State campus. Both of these places have special meaning to us. Many of Vince’s family members were married at St. Therese. We were married by the same priest that married his parents almost 40 years ago! Vince and I are both graduates of Fresno State, and he has been a lifelong fan of Fresno State athletics. Having our reception on campus seemed like a perfect fit. I loved that this part of our wedding could reflect Vince, since so much of the day was all about what I wanted! I didn’t have a theme in the beginning, but as I began collecting pictures of other weddings I loved, a romantic, garden party theme seemed to emerge. From the start I knew I wanted an outdoor reception with beautiful, soft flowers and a chandelier or string lights. I wanted a relaxed atmosphere that seemed personal and effortlessly beautiful.

Our flowers were amazing! Words cannot express how much I love Camille Panzarello’s work. Our reception site was pretty much a blank canvas, so the flowers were super important to me. I knew they would transform the open lawn area into the romantic garden party I imagined. I always knew I wanted lots of peonies. They’re my favorite flower and I love all the different shades of pink they come in. Thank goodness Vince proposed in July so I had plenty of time to plan a June wedding! I also love garden roses, ranunculus, and dahlias. Camille had tons of great ideas and with her help I decided on a “wildly-elegant” look. The colors were ivory and a range of soft pinks, with pops of deep pink and spring greens. Everything was arranged loosely in an eclectic mix of vintage milk glass and mercury glass containers. In the end everything was absolutely gorgeous and Camille totally made my vision come to life! 

I wanted our wedding to not only be beautiful, but also personal, comfortable, and unique! Family is very important to us and I wanted to make sure they were included throughout the day. For my “something old” I wore a ring belonging to my Grandma on my right hand. My older sister Sarah wore this ring on her wedding day and I loved that I could carry on the family tradition. I also wore the same earrings my sister wore on her wedding day, so my “something borrowed” had special meaning, too. At our reception we had pictures of Grandparents that are no longer with us, and Vince and I used my Grandfather’s sword from WWII to cut the cake. While I’m sure it looked ridiculous to our guests, it was another family tradition I was excited to carry on!

My favorite DIY project was our escort card “doors”. This was another great idea from Camille. All of our friends and family have been to a million weddings, so I was excited to do something they hadn’t seen before. I found an ivory fabric similar to the La Tavola “Peony” linens we were using and my parents built the two doors. My mom laid sheets of cork behind the fabric so that the escort cards could be easily attached using pearl head pins. The day of our wedding my wonderful coordinator Joy carefully attached all the escort cards in clean lines. Camille draped a beautiful garland over the doors and arranged pretty potted plants on the ground to keep with the garden party theme. I worked really hard to make sure all the details worked together, and that they accurately reflected Vince and me. I loved our simple personal touches, like the wedding party walking into Ants Marching (Vince is obsessed with DMB) or the V and M letters that hung on our chairs. I wanted our guests to be able to say, “Yep, this is Vince and Madi’s wedding” and in the end, I think we achieved that.

Wedding Photography: Raya Carlisle Photography / Ceremony Venue: Shrine of St. Therese in Fresno, California / Reception Venue: Smittcamp Alumni House in Fresno, California / Floral Design: Modern Day Design / Wedding Coordination: Joy de Vivre Wedding Coordination / Wedding Cinematography: J. Master Photography / Wedding Catering: Pardini’s Catering / Wedding Cake: Sweet Dreams Cakery / Music: Haro Entertainment / Lighting: Light and Sound Solutions / Wedding Stationery: Aerialist Press (Invitations) + Lazaro Press & Design (Programs, Table Numbers + Menus) / Wedding Calligraphy: Little Miss Press / Linens: La Tavola Linen / Rentals: Walker-Lewis Rents (Tables) + The Linen Shoppe (Chiavari Chairs) / Wedding Dress: Amsale / Bride’s Shoes: Valentine by Grazia via my glass slipper.com / Hair: Stefanie Rodriquez