Pair a gorgeous DIY-ing bride with a breathtaking setting like Casa Real At Ruby Hill Winery and this is the result: vintage-inspired lovely as far as the eye can see. Now add in a fabulous team of vendors (think Nicole Ha Designs, Aimee Lam and Caroline Tran) and an amazing group of friends and family and you can bet your bottom dollar this gallery is a complete must-see. Join me there for all of the pretty.
And a sweet film from Lovespun Handmade Wedding Films for even more pretty…
From the Bride… Jason and I met through our mutual friends, Jimmy and Lily, and we had our first date in Lisbon, Portugal – Really! Jimmy and Lily were recent newlyweds and were kind enough to invite the two us individually to join them on their honeymoon to Portugal and Spain. Leading up to the trip, we would hear tidbits about each other, but only briefly met a few times. At first glance we seemed so different from one other, that I didn’t see anything past a good, fun loving friendship. But that quickly changed. Immediately landing in Portugal, I saw how caring and protective Jason was. He swept me off my feet with his kind and caring heart and we share the same love for life, travel and adventure. We had a wonderful time together on that trip and we’ve since added Greece, Italy, New Zealand, Australia, Hawaii, New York and other domestic destinations and road trips to our list of travels together. Four years later, he proposed during a Christmas party we were hosting. Posing as neighborhood carolers, Jason’s friends from his old church rang the doorbell and sang some holiday jingles. We all piled out onto the porch decorated with string lights and candles when they began singing “Marry Me” by Train which is one of my most favorite songs. After the song finished, Jason got down on one knee and the rest is history. I was completely surprised and elated! It was the perfect proposal since we were surrounded by our family and friends.
Of our travels, we completely fell in love with the romance and quaint gardens of Tuscany, Italy so we knew we wanted the ceremony to be outdoor in a garden setting. We envisioned our wedding to be personal, vintage, and romantic with a touch of glam. Casa Real Winery was the perfect choice since it had a bit of everything with their charming Sun Garden and elegant Grand Ballroom where we held the reception. We had a power team of vendors, including our floral designer, Nicole Ha, who created different looks by using vintage elements for the ceremony and adding just the right amount of sparkle to glam up the reception in the evening. She even added hops and malts in the boutonnieres and bouquets to incorporate Jason’s passion for craft beer. 1000 Fine Events and Fantasy Sound Events provided warmth and elegance by dressing up the ballroom with romantic chiffon drapery, enchanting chandeliers and personalized gobo lighting. The color palette was an easy and obvious choice since I love all things lavender. I added mauve, ivory and other blush and pastels to complement the vintage look and create an overall soft and romantic feel.
I LOVE to make and craft things and I have always loved event planning – the little details are what make it so special and personal! I made the framed table numbers, designed the paper elements, and hand-crafted all of the rustic burlap decor and props like the ring pillow, bunting flags, sachet bags filled with lavender buds, and signs. For the escort cards, we enlisted the help of our amazing bridal party to pot all of the succulent cuttings and tie name tags onto the jars. The most difficult part was probably watering the jars one by one and keeping all of the succulents alive and healthy for seven weeks! To save on cost, I also created the burlap mason jars, lace vases and floral centerpieces for the head table and cocktail tables. Both Jason and I have a serious sweet tooth, so in addition to the Gelato Cart, Jason’s friend Antoine baked four kinds of our favorite cookies as a late night treat for our guests. All this seemed daunting at first without a wedding planner, but I had so much fun thinking up and creating all the details which made our wedding feel intimate and personal despite the large guest list. If you are also a DIY bride, one word of advice is to commit to a design/theme and start early! In order to keep the stress level low, I started crafting a few nights each week six months prior to the wedding. It felt great to cross things off the list and with each completed project, our excitement grew.
Our wedding day was everything we hoped for and more. The weather was perfect, all of the details came together perfectly, and our friends and family had a wonderful time. The day was packed but the events flowed beautifully with the help of the Casa Real staff and our good friend Philip who emceed the reception. Jason and I even snuck out from the reception for a few minutes to enjoy some newlywed alone time and watch the magical glow of the sunset over the vineyards. (We highly recommend this!) I have a lot of favorite parts, but I’d say the first look was by far the highlight of the day. We initially hadn’t planned on one, but our photographer, Caroline Tran, advised us of all the benefits and tender moments of a first look. Aside from the logistical reasons and allowing more time for photos, it gave us quiet and raw intimate alone time amongst the craziness of the day to take in what the day was really about – committing ourselves to each other and sharing our love for one another with our family and friends. It was so amazing to see each other for the first time without the worry of tripping down the aisle. The moment was so sweet and the feeling indescribable. Jason even got teary eyed and he NEVER sheds a tear!
We were delighted to hear from our guests throughout the day that the wedding really reflected who we were individually and together as a couple and from our vendor friends that they learned so much about us from our personal vows. Leading up the wedding, I was a bit anxious since I had broken my foot and had the cast prematurely removed 3 days before the wedding. The heels unfortunately made a (very) short cameo, but all of the love and happiness that surrounded us erased the pain and we were able to relax and enjoy the day. We loved every moment and wished the day didn’t have to end!
Photographer: Caroline Tran | Videographer: Lovespun Handmade Wedding Films | Floral Design: The Bride | Floral Design: Nicole Ha Designs | Wedding Dress: Sottero & Midgley | Wedding Cake: Just the Frosting | Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Donna Morgan | Hair and Makeup: Aimee Lam | Lighting: Fantasy Sound Events | Groom's Suit: Top Man | Groomsmen Attire: Banana Republic | Bridesmaids' Robes: Singing Slowly | Chalkboard Program: LBF Studio | Drapery and Rentals: 1000 Fine Events | Gelato Cart: Sweet Springs Rental | Linens: Napa Valley Linens | Vendor: The Bride's Aunt & Grandmother | Winery: Casa Real At Ruby Hill Winery