From the Bride… Since the venue was so lush and magical of its own accord, we didn’t have to do too much decorating of the space. We had the ceremony and reception all on one big lawn surrounded by towering old oaks, sycamores, and other trees native to the San Joaquin Valley. There were also orange trees, which were perfect since we had a citrus theme to the wedding to reflect my family’s citrus ranching heritage. It was only natural, then, that our colors were lemon yellow and orange, and we had apothecary jars filled with lemons, tangerines and kumquats decorating the main tables. The guest tables each had a vintage citrus label from packing houses in the towns near where I grew up, including my grandfather’s company, Kaweah Citrus from Lemoncove, which my grandmother gave to us (she still sells vintage fruit labels). Our florist, Anne Lang (who grew up locally with my dad), put gardenias and stephanotis in the bouquets, boutonnieres, and table settings to resemble the look and smell of orange blossoms (one of my favorite scents). The boutonnieres also contained kumquats, lavender, and lemon verbena to reflect local flora, and one of my nephews, the “flower bearer,” threw lavender on the aisle before I walked down since that is another of our favorites. Our baker is also a family friend and she put yellow and orange dahlias, roses, and kumquats on the cake along with white gardenias. I asked her to make a chocolate groom’s cake to surprise Andy that had seashells on it to reflect his love of the ocean. We wanted to include both our families in the feel of the wedding too, so our mothers provided portraits of their weddings, as well as a photo taken of my grandparents at their wedding in the 1930s and my mother’s grandparents wedding from the early 1900s. It made our day feel special and yet a part of a larger tradition.
Andy is a native Californian as well so we were really shooting for a warm, California feel to the wedding — as much as we could having it outside in October! It was a challenge to get the trees, flowers and climate just right for what we were going for — a warm day with citrus and wildflowers ‚ but I think it all turned out beautifully. I think the most seminal moment for me was right before I walked down the aisle on my dad’s arm and the music started for the wedding party’s entrance (the theme to Edward Scissorhands by the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra — eerie but so beautiful). The sun was just starting to set and the rays slanting through the trees were just amazing and made everything glow. I hope I don’t ever forget that moment and the feeling I had watching all the people who had come and were waiting, watching us about to get married…
Many other people helped us too that I don’t want to exclude: Andy’s cousin created our save-the-date by replicating the vintage Gateway citrus label (that was on the signature book table) and replacing the contents with our names and date of the wedding in the same font — I loved it! My sisters-in-law helped with the decorations and the signature cocktail — Whiskey Sage Lemonade — and my second cousin who owns a local fruit and confection stand, “Cairns Corner” in Lindsay, donated sweets as wedding favors for those who traveled from out of town. My one and only first cousin married into a wine-making family, so we purchased all the table wine from their winery in Sonoma (Mauritson Winery). I also asked Maisie (Clement) to use her lovely handwriting to write the names of the wedding party for the head table as well as the names of cheeses for the cheese plate on the appetizer table, which was cute. Andy loves cheese, so we purchased all our favorites ourselves for the plate, and it was scraped clean by the end! We asked friends to sing and play music for the ceremony and reception, including Andy’s friend Steph who sang, my college friend Antja who plays the fiddle (and sings), and my high school friend Nick who has a bluegrass-ey band. Finally, the vintage 1929 Cadillac coupe that we left in belongs to a family friend who restored it and let us use it for our getaway ride. I wanted our departure to be memorable for so I bought three-foot long sparklers for everyone to hold as they arranged in two lines going down either side of us and bid us adieu!
Wedding Photography: B Wright Photography / Wedding Venue: Victorian Garden in Visalia, California (Owner: Leda Inchcliff) / Floral Design: Anne Lang of Anne Lang’s Emporium / Catering: Sue Sa’s Creative Catering / Wedding Cake + Cookies: Kristy Alves of Exeter Hometown Emporium / Rentals: Details Party Rentals / Wedding Fiddler: Antja Thompson, Friend of the Bride / Wedding Singer: Stephanie Mumma, Friend of the Bride / Cocktail Hour Music: The Whiskey and the Devil Chaplain, Friends of the Bride / DJ: AMS Entertainment / Wedding Dress: Junko Yoshioka “Christina” via Glamour Closet / Reception Dress: Jenny Packham via Glamour Closet / Bride’s Shoes: Bruno Magli