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Durham Ranch Wedding from Milou + Olin Photography + Bash Please

On their own, Milou + Olin and Bash, Please are fabulous. No question. But combine their talents and it’s a match made in blogging heaven. And with just one look at this ultra-chic black and white bash, you’ll be singing the very same tune. It’s modern romance at its finest with a wedding gallery you just can’t afford to miss.

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Spring
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Ranch

From Nick…Jason and I met through a mutual friend and quickly established a rapport and comfort with each other that was unmatchable, equal parts best friends and partners-in-crime as we were romantic mates and loves of each other’s lives.  When we proposed to each other – long story, but my proposal to Jason was met with an incredible romantic counter-proposal involving the word YES spelled out in rose petals across the floor of our apartment – we knew we wanted our wedding to be comfortable and to reflect our style and character.  What mattered most to us was that we could throw a party that our family and friends would enjoy, and we kept that in mind at all times.

In touring wedding venues, we both immediately thought of our first vacation together, when we took a road trip up to San Francisco and Napa.  The first night we spent in Napa together, we walked outside and stared at the starry night sky in wonderment, and that Napa night sky held an almost mystical place in our hearts.  We headed up again to Napa to look at venues, and Durham Ranch was on our list, though as a likely “long shot.”  Durham Ranch was extremely remote.  On our drive there, after the umpteenth switchback on a narrow mountain road, Jason and I turned to each other and said, “unless this place is just incredible, I think we can cross this off our list.”  Of course, when we drove through the gates and entered the venue, we had found the definition of “just incredible.”  The natural beauty and remote location of the site was beautiful, but the impeccable style of the ranch house and the barn at Durham Ranch made us swoon.  We fell in love.

Paige and Kelly of Bash, Please were able to articulate our dreams, visions and style flawlessly.  As we worked with them, they helped us create a logo (a gentleman deer sipping coffee, in honor of the union of our last names, Dierman and Coffey) and they created for us a masculine tableau that read “traditional wedding” while also reading unique and artistic.  In honor of the Napa night sky, we chose to theme the wedding in navy blue and black.  Jason is allergic to many flowers, and we both loved the idea of a flower-free wedding studded with succulents, which lent the room a rustic and elegantly rugged air.  The beauty of a same-sex wedding is that there is no template and no required tradition, so throughout the process Jason and I tried to incorporate those elements of traditional weddings we loved (a first dance, a sit-down meal, a cocktail hour) while forging a path of our own.

Planning a same-sex wedding involved a few logistical hurdles (we legally married in the District of Columbia the week before our wedding day, for instance) and involved some gentle tweaks to a hetero-normative wedding industry, but at the end of the day we were planning an event based on the universality of love, and we were blessed to be around so many others who were so happy to be a part of our celebration.  That said, there are of course some questions we had to answer ourselves: could two grooms see each other before the ceremony on the wedding day? (We decided yes.)  How do you propose to another guy? (I decided with an “engagement watch.”)  Who walks you down the aisle? (Both of our moms and dads walked their sons down the aisle.)  Processional song? (“The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.”) First dance? (“Islands in the Stream.”) And we like to think that our friends invented a new tradition for weddings both same-sex and otherwise: the runway walkoff (granted, this is after several bottles of wine into the evening), where adventurous guests – including both of our mothers! – grabbed tablecloths, wigs, high heels and whatever else proved a last-minute accessory to strut down the aisle to Madonna’s “Vogue.”

We owe a multitude of thanks, of course, to our supportive families, our incredible friends, and Paige and Kelly (who we are now lucky to count among our incredible friends), and also to Caroline Winata with Tinywater (now Milou & Olin), who captured the spirit of the evening so fantastically and who radiates love with every click of the shutter, to Paula LeDuc Fine Catering, who just created an impeccable evening (and served an intoxicating tomato margarita we still talk about), to our gifted DJ The Flashdance who worked magic with his turntable, and to the other vendors who participated in and helped create the best day of our lives.

Photography: Milou + Olin Photography | Location: Durham Ranch | Event Planning, Flowers, + Stationery: Bash, Please | Catering: Paula LeDuc Fine Catering | Cake: SusieCakes | Music: The Flashdance | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals | Linens: La Tavola | Fashion Styling and Grooming: Art Conn | Nick’s Suit: Yves Saint Laurent | Cufflinks: Ravi Ratan | Shoes: Harris Shoes Jason’s Suit: J.Crew | Shirt: Brooks Brothers | Bow Tie: Tommy Hilfiger | Shoes: The Generic Man | Wedding Rug: West Elm

J.Crew is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. La Tavola Fine Linen Rental, Milou + Olin Photography and Paula LeDuc Fine Catering are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
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Spring Inspired Love Shoot from Charmed Events Group + Gladys Jem Photography

Call me crazy, but I kind of wish I could live right inside this styled shoot. It’s a dream wedding come to life with details to take any blogger to a place of bliss. Factor in a team of ah-mazing vendors like Gladys JemCharmed Events Group and Poppy’s Petalworks, and we’re left with a collection of the prettiest inspiration images ever. You’re going to want to clear your schedule because this gallery, my dears, deserves every ounce of your attention.

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Spring
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Vineyard

From Charmed Events Group…We were inspired by the romantic colors and textures of spring and there is no better place than beautiful Napa, California to showcase love and romance!  Lavender and Sage, both the colors and the plant themselves, were a huge inspiration and driving force for our love shoot.  We wanted to show the range of emotions that can be evoked through this color palette and wanted to showcase a rustic romance love story through subtle but detailed touches.  We loved the balance of being modern and rustic at the same time and brought this out through vintage furniture matched with modern geometric prints.  We brought in rattan chargers to bring in the element of nature and contrasted it with amethyst colored glassware and softened the entire look with natural sprigs of lavender.  We even had lavender  sprigs and crystals hanging about the table to give the setting a whimsical feel.  All of the stationary that we brought in was simple and clean, accented by corrugated paper that we found from V. Sattui Winery.  One of our favorite stationary accent pieces were the ceremony programs that had a lavender toss incorporated in them.  For the desserts, we wanted to do something that infused sweetness and charm so we opted for a country, fruit inspired spread of a blackberry country cake, blackberry cupcakes and lavender meringues. 

Photography + Models: Gladys Jem Photography | Event Planning, Design + Stationary: Charmed Events Group | Floral Design:  Poppy’s Petalworks | Venue: V. Sattui | Hair + Make Up: Vanity Pham | Vintage Rentals: One True Love Vintage Rentals | Rentals: Hartmann Studios | Cake + Desserts: Sweet Luna Desserts | Dress: Sarah Seven via Bella Bridesmaids

Charmed Events Group, LLC and One True Love Vintage Rentals are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
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Sonoma County Wedding from OneLove Photography

Oh, this wedding. It’s filling me up with so many wonderful emotions, I could just hug these two lovelies and never let go. Their wedding was 10 years in the making, and when that day finally came, they did it oh so right (and on a budget). Each of the stunning, light-filled images from Onelove Photography are worthy of a frame and the prime spot on the mantle – so join me in soaking up every last gorgeous bit of this love-fest right here.

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Vineyard
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Casual

From one of the Brides..My wife and I kept waiting and waiting for marriage to become legal for gay couples. After 10 years, we were tired of waiting for the laws to catch up with our love, so we decided to have the wedding of our dreams and have it “sanctified” by those nearest and dearest to us. We are both native Californians and met during college in the San Francisco Bay Area. Even though we now reside in Chicago,  we really wanted to have our ceremony outside and in our home state. For a few months, it seemed that nothing in the Bay was in our budget until we found Vine Hill House, a working apple orchard and vineyard located in Sebastopol (Sonoma County). The space really represents the natural beauty that is so unique to California..plus the owners are so amazing about letting you craft the wedding of your dreams.

Our two goals were to create a day that didn’t feel forced and come in at a budget of $20,000. To achieve that we first decided to not compete with the venue’s natural, rustic elements and to do what we could ourselves while relying on key vendors to give certain areas a more polished look.  I sewed oversized linen runners in different colors to get a casual, yet coordinated look (sidenote: I even got my wife to sew a few!). We made our own save the date cards and invitations (the seal on both envelopes was round cork since we were in wine country). My mom made the centerpieces from round galvanized pots with an herb variety. At the last minute, we added apples from the venue’s orchards. The table numbers represented the number of years Maria and I have been together. And one of my favorite elements was our place cards. Since I’m a librarian, my bridesmaid Nicole designed the place cards from old library catalog cards. We decided to send Guatemalan coffee (my wife’s family is from Guatemala) with our thank you notes in lieu of wedding favors.

Our vendors went above and beyond to work with our budget without compromising any design. Mina, the owner of Arjan Flowers and Herbs, truly got our vision and created arrangements that were native to the area, including adding berries and apples. We hired RoliRoti Gourmet Rotisserie to cook amazing food all sourced locally. The pies were from a local bakery that used local fruit, including apples from Vine Hill’s orchards.  After being with the person I love for more than 10 years, I never imagined that a single day could have such a big impact. Everything from the people attending to the venue, ceremony, and reception told a story about us as individuals and as a couple.

Photography: Onelove Photography | Floral Design: Arjan Flowers and Herbs | Event Design + Planning: The Bride | Ceremony + Reception Location: Vine Hill House | DJ: DJ St. Patrick of Golden State Productions | Cocktail Hour + Staffing Catering: Trends Catering | Dinner Catering: RoliRoti Gourmet Rotisserie | Wedding Cake: Pies from Mom’s Bakery featuring apples from Vine Hill House | Linens: La Tavola | Table runners: DIY |  Invitations: DIY | Wedding Dress: BCBG Max Azria | Shoes: Valentino | Bolero: Carol Hannah

La Tavola Fine Linen Rental and onelove photography are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
La Tavola Fine Linen Rental

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onelove photography

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