There’s nothing like a first look. Whether it’s a quiet moment made for two or a grand entrance down the aisle, it’s the one thing that gets me weak at the knees every. single. time. But this first look, my loves, is special. It’s some of the sweetest emotion I’ve seen, so perfectly captured by the pros of Next Exit Photography. And while that alone is enough to send me swooning from here to Timbuktu, the entire wedding designed by Kristeen LaBrot Events is, in a word, magical. See it all for yourself right over here.
From the Bride…Like many couples, our wedding theme and colors metamorphosed throughout the engagement process. What started as elegant with carnival fun morphed into modern vintage and netted out somewhere around modern-fun with a vintage flare. We also love arrows, as they symbolize direction and leading; when lost, an arrow points you in the right direction. We used them when appropriate (on the hospitality bags, directional signs, escort cards, bridesmaid necklaces, in the feathered centerpieces, and crossing through our wedding cake).
The location wasnt significant in a historical sense; we fell in love with Saddlerock Ranch because it was the rare combination of a winery and working ranch. The grapes were full on the vines as zebras, horses, buffalo and peacocks greeted guests on the approach. At night, hanging twinkle lights adorned the weeping willows, creating the illusion of an enchanted forest. It really is a magnificent location, unlike any other we visited.
Upon arrival, guests were greeted with cool Izzes filled with fun paper straws. To encourage conversation, we had a directional sign pointing to landmarked locations in our lives, noting the distance to each site (where we were born, went to college, currently live, etc.). Guests were also invited to sign our guest book: a working antique typewriter set on a vintage dresser featuring flowers spilling out of the drawers. Since the wedding was on a working ranch, we wanted to take advantage of the picturesque surroundings. After the ceremony, guests were welcome to play a bean-bag-toss game that had each of our silhouettes painted on opposing boards. (The game is often called cornhole, but seriously, who came up with that name.) My sister worked with an artist in San Francisco to paint the silhouettes. We worked with our fabulous wedding planner Kristeen LaBrot to have individual Pink Lady apples house each of the guests escort cards. Guests were then encouraged to use the apple to feed our four-legged wedding guests (mainly the horses). My sister worked with another San Francisco artist to design, create and paint a mock kissing booth, which was filled with Hersheys kisses for fun photo opportunities.
Upon arrival at the reception site (approx. 50 yards from the ceremony site), ladies were encouraged to change into comfy slip-on Mary Janes (to prevent heels sinking in the ground) and offered shawls for evening chills (with a sign that read: Shawls, Yall!). One of the best and unique parts of the wedding happened about halfway through the reception. My sister (MOH) and Robs best friend (Best Man) gave beautiful speeches as dinner was wrapping. When the band-leader got back on the mic, in a moment of bridal nightmare, she announced that the band was having technical difficulties. Just as my inner Bridezilla prepared to unleash, my parents and 18 of their closest friends reported to the dance floor with a full, choreographed flash mob set to Taio Cruzs Dynamite. We later learned the choreography was the result of a summer spent in Arthur Murray dance class (six weeks!). Hands down, it was one of our favorite moments of the weekend.
Around midnight, the band switched over to a DJ as a taco cart began serving up street tacos filled with chicken, carne asada, and veggies. When the evening came to a close and the DJ started to pack up, the Top 40 hits were soon replaced by chants of Same Time, Next Week! from our friends.As guests departed, we offered a coffee and hot chocolate station (complete with all the fixins, of course) for a hot to-go beverage. And, to prevent any next day fallout, we offered hangover helpers complete with Advil, Starbucks Via packs, and Altoids. It was an extraordinary day for which we will always be grateful.
Photography: Next Exit Photography | Cinematography: DP Weddings | Floral Design: Krista Jon | Event Planning + Graphic Design: Kristeen LaBrot Events | Ceremony + Reception Location: Saddlerock | Invitations: Urbanic | Desserts: Sweet & Saucy | Vintage Rentals: Archive Vintage Rentals | Rentals: The Korman Group | Arrows: Fletcher & Fox | Band: Elan Artists | DJ: DJ RKade | Catering: Huntington Catering Company | Tacos: Rasta Taco | Linens: La Tavola | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Makeup: Makeup Therapy