I want to marry this next wedding. Seriously. I want to marry this wedding and live happily ever after together. It’s just that beautiful. Which doesn’t come as any surprise considering the photographer behind the lens was Tanja Lippert who always sends us the greatest weddings ever. The kind of weddings that make you cringe with jealousy and cheer with delight at the exact same time. And this one, just might be her best one yet. And there is SO much more in the gallery.
We married on a warm summer day at my grandparent’s house on the lake where I grew up. The day was old-fashioned, personal, and full of love.
During the day, guests played bocce ball, croquet, horseshoes and badminton, which were set up around the property with handpainted wooden signs marking the areas. One of my favorite details was using one of the antique wooden badminton racquets from my childhood to decorate the sign post. A string quartet, who were friends from my grandmother’s days in the local symphony, played a mix of classical, swing and motown tunes, followed by a hip young backwater blues band that kept the party hopping till midnight. Our 100 guests enjoyed summer cocktails with quirky names, a menu of Spanish tapas selected by the groom, a Spanish professor, and buttercream-frosted chocolate-and-raspberry and carrot wedding cake.
Under a driftwood arbor I built with my dad, a close friend officiated, using words which described not only our love, but the meaning of bringing friends and family to this place filled with so much history and meaning. My father also built the long farm tables, the bar, and helped with the extensive restoration of the property, which had fallen into neglect since my beloved grandfather’s death. My wedding was a tribute to my grandpa, my most-loved role model, and his love of gardening and of literature. In the year before our wedding, we grew the lavender as well as nearly all the wedding flowers used for the tables and bouquets. We planted over 80 Grosso lavender plants around the ceremony arbor. I recommend doing this more than one year in advance, however!
Before the wedding, I was lucky enough to spend an entire week with my maid of honor, my best friend since third grade; she helped me prep the flowers as I arranged bouquets, centerpieces and aisle flowers. I letterpress printed our four-color save the dates, invitations, and signage seen around the ceremony and reception. It took 50 hours at the old platen press, but was well worth it. I made a lifelong friend of my letterpress mentor, Robert Johnson. Part of the letterpress design included a drawing of a mason jar hanging from a branch by a ribbon, and I knew just where to mimic that—from a twisted oak branch hanging over the ceremony area.
While I was never one to fantasize much about my wedding as a child, I did always have a favorite “wedding” book: A Frog Went A-Courting, so I used illustrations from the book as backings on our program fans. To celebrate my mother, a children’s librarian, we included a reading based on The Runaway Bunny. Marrying near the willow trees was appropriate because I used to beg my grandfather to plant one so I could get married beneath a willow “just like in Frog Went A-Courting.” He was adamantly against it, saying it would block the view of the lake. But about six years before he died, he planted not one but four willow trees, sprinkled around the lakeshore. He wanted to fulfill my dream.
Style Me Pretty was a huge source of inspiration for me. I truly enjoyed designing our wedding from scratch on an affordable budget: collecting vintage jars from antique shops, beverage dispensers, café lights, apothecary jars and other décor second-hand; handmaking eyelet lace candle holders, birch wood centerpieces, calligraphy drink name tags which we hung on a magnet mirror, and spending hours crafting eyelet candy favor boxes and other DIY projects.
I have since helped several friends with their letterpress, floral and design needs. Thus my event planning and design business was born, Clementine & Clover, based in Southern California. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you are planning a wedding and are in need of a swift sidekick, a deft day-of designer or a fiesty florist!
Wedding and Floral Design: Elizabeth Nixon of Clementine & Clover / Catering: Chic le Chef / Wedding Dress: Melissa Sweet / Wedding Hair: Danielle’s Dream Salon in Lakeport / Bridesmaid Dresses: David’s Bridal / Menswear: Jos Bank / Wedding Cake: McKee Somerville in Kelseyville / Graphic Design: Bellew Creative / Letterpress Printing: Clementine & Clover / Band: Quinn De Veaux and The Blue Beat Review / Photography: Tanja Lippert