The pop of turquoise from these bright bridesmaids’ dresses took me by surprise… in the very best of ways. They were the perfect backdrop to some beyond beautiful bouquets by Natasha Kolenko, taking center stage at this rustic and romantic wedding at Holman Ranch, all captured on camera thanks to Clane Gessel. See the blushing Bride and more right this way!
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From Clane Gessel Photography… These two college sweethearts from Florida married at the elegant Holman Ranch in Carmel, CA, in April 2015!
They met the usual way. Boy meets girl. Girl gets blindfolded. Boy takes advantage of girl giving her commands. Left, LEFT! Her mind races as she tries to obey his commands. Now right, a little slower, ok good. Just little further… aww dang it. It went in the hole. Both, were devastated by the fact that they couldn’t get past the second hole in the phone app, Labyrinth.
From that day on their love never flourished beyond that, because there was none. Their only relationship: fraternal brothers. Nothing grew further because he thought she was too bossy. Fast forward two and half years, a Miami Ultra festival, and a “Game Of Thrones” episode later… and they finally had their first date.
David, at the time, had been trying to look for a true friend. Someone who didn’t just think of him as “Blanzy” the over the top, never serious, jokester. A mutual friend had told him to hang out with Kathy, despite what his previous opinions were of her. On a random day David decided to drop by Kathy’s house to check up and hang out with another friend, but she wasn’t home. Out of pity, she invited him to hang out and run errands together. On that unassuming day, they laughed and bickered like an old couple all day. From then on, David was smitten. It came at a time where he thought love didn’t exist. She was supposed to be this bossy, arrogant woman. What exactly made her so intriguing? He needed to spend more time with her to find out what these weird feelings he felt meant.
For Kathy, those feelings didn’t start until a few weeks later when they went apartment hunting for David. They drove around and around, house after house. Anyone who knows David as a prankster, knows that at any random moment while driving in a car, he will grab the passenger’s leg and scream bloody murder at the top of his lungs, scaring the crap out of them. Kathy was the victim that day. While she was looking outside of the car, reading signs and enjoying the Florida scenery, he made his move. She let out a shriek in unison with his, but who knows whose scream was more girly. It was like two teenage girls at a Justin Beiber concert. After that she burst into nonstop laughter. It was so infectious he couldn’t help but laugh with her for the next five minutes. It was one of those types of laughs where you can do nothing but continue to laugh. From that moment on, she started to have mixed feelings. He had all the qualities she wanted in a guy: sweet, funny, lighthearted and yet responsible and trustworthy. Her mind said otherwise. He was too old and he had a past. She was so confused that she didn’t let a peep out about any of her feelings towards him.
It was only after being dropped off that she realized she didn’t want their day together to end. She was sitting in her house as he was driving away she couldn’t think about what to do before he got any further. She quickly called him and asked, “I have to go to the pet store, you wanna come with me?” His response…”Sure!” And THAT was the beginning.
From the Bride… At the time I had moved back to my hometown of San Francisco and David was still living on the other side of the United States. On a visit to San Francisco in February of 2013, David decided this was the time. Not wanting the engagement to be expected on Valentine’s Day, he did it later instead. I’m a habitual planner be it large events or date night. So, David told me I needed to take a break from planning and to relax and he would plan our outing for a change. The first stop was lunch at Absinthe Brasserie and Bar. As we were enjoying our meal a gentlemen came by and asked if David could take a video. His girlfriend was in the bathroom at the time and this was his moment to set everything up. To be a little inconspicuous we had started to record and set the phone down. A few minutes later the gentlemen got down on his knee and proposed to his girlfriend. She squaled “Yes!”
As we left lunch walking down Hayes Street, we talked about how cute it was that the couple was getting engaged. David said that they would just have a stroll around the rest of Hayes Valley for a little bit before they headed to Ocean Beach. As they passed by a small park, we saw another couple getting engaged. What are the odds of seeing so many couples getting engaged! It was a weird feeling.
We then headed to Ocean Beach to end the day with a bonfire and watch the sunset. It was a pretty windy day but sunny at least. After we had started the bonfire, someone came by and asked if I could take a picture of them. He said this in a regular voice, but then in a lower tone asked me to take a video instead because he was going to propose to her. I did as I was told and counted “1…2….3!” He then got down on his knee and asked his girlfriend to marry him. At this point I was feeling so elated to have been a part of and witnessing so many engagements all in one day. Then all of a sudden David said, “Hey, while we’re at it, maybe you can do one for me too” I was utterly confused by this statement. David got down on his right knee in the sand brought out the ring box and asked me if I would marry him. I was so confused that it wasn’t until the moment I saw the ring that I understood what was going on. I started to cry. David, seeing my tears felt uneasy. After a long pause I squealed just as the first girl did and said “Yes!”
In the midst of crying and feeling overjoyed, I congratulated the couple on their engagement also. David chuckled and said “They didn’t really get engaged, they’re just here for us.” I was even more confused at this point. How could they not have really got engaged. I saw it with my own eyes. The stranger then said “No, we only pretended to get engaged. This was all a setup.”
It was all so clear now. David fessed up to me. The people they ran into getting engaged was no coincidence. David had contacted a friend and tasked him to find friends I probably didn’t know and help set up these engagements all around town. It was a whole day of engagements leading up to the one true main event. The engagement of Katherine and David on February 18, 2013.
For both of us, our fondest wedding moment was our vows. It is during this time that the words you say to each has the most love, power, and meaning. Behind each word you say to each other the more bound you are together. It made our marriage solidified.
All of our vendors were absolutely amazing, but the real stand outs were Clane Gessel Photography, DP Weddings, and Paradise Catering. Doug from DP weddings and Clane Gessel have such a keen eye on the best scene to capture. Clane’s ability to make people feel comfortable gives him the opportunity to get those natural and candid shots. With Doug, his videography skills can make a simple moment seem magical. Our guests came up to us throughout the night raving how good they thought the food was. From the setup of the stations all over the venue to the quality of ingredients like fresh basil plants on hand to rip straight into the soup before handing it off to a guest.
For future brides, I recommend getting a coordinator to help you along with the process. It may cost you money, but that money is well spent for you to have your sanity throughout the planning process and for you to enjoy your wedding. Don’t forget to eat! Food is an important thing to me because I love cooking and I’m a foodie. Our wedding was such a whirlwind of doing this and that and going here and there that taking the time to enjoy the food was an important aspect of the wedding for me.
Photography: Clane Gessel Photography | Floral Design: Natasha Kolenko | Wedding Dress: Galia Lahav | Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Wedding Venue: Holman Ranch | Wedding Venue: Holman Ranch | Wedding Coordination And Design: A Day Like No Other