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Santa Cruz Wedding at Nestldown

A chance encounter led to this couples’ seriously fabulous love story, and ultimately to their seriously fabulous wedding. Designed to perfection by Events Of Distinction with florals from Michael Daigian Design so pretty I could cry, every image snapped up by Paco And Betty will be treasured by these two forever and ever – and you can sneak a peek of their pretty day here.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Railway
Styles
Romantic

From Events of DistinctionCraig grew up just outside New York City, but became a diehard Boston Red Sox fan while attending college at nearby Tufts University. After graduating, Craig relocated to Northern California to pursue a career in hi-tech. Following a visit back to Boston, he boarded an Amtrak train bound for New York. The train experienced a major delay in route, so Craig headed to the Bar Car, where he noticed a lovely young lady, glued to her laptop screen while sipping a glass of wine. He also noticed that Shari was streaming the Yankees-Red Sox game on her computer, so he bravely approached her with a not-so-classic pick-up line. “You’re a Yankees fan?” he asked. “I’m so sorry.”

Yes she was a Yankees fan, but despite their conflicting baseball loyalties, the two struck up a most pleasant conversation, and the inconvenience from the train’s delay suddenly vanished. After the train resumed and approached its destination, Craig demonstrated his hi-tech expertise by quickly inputting his contact information on Shari’s laptop. Three long weeks passed by, and just as Craig was beginning to think he had struck out, Shari worked up enough nerve to call him.

The rest, as they say, is history. After a year’s worth of funny flirty text messages and late-night phone calls, Shari moved to San Francisco to be with Craig. And when Craig was ready to pop the question, and he knew just where to propose – he chose a train running from San Francisco to Silicon Valley to present his sweetheart with a family heirloom diamond ring!

When Shari & Craig chose Events of Distinction to design and plan their wedding, they wanted to have a celebration that expressed their unique personalities. Once we heard the story of their railway romance, we immediately focused on the couple’s train travel experiences to express the design concept.

Shari and Craig’s selection of Nestldown for their wedding location was the perfect choice. A spectacular setting in the Santa Cruz Mountains of Northern California, Nestldown is a forested sanctuary that features a miniature railroad encircling its beautiful trees and gardens.

After developing a color palette of Shari’s favorite orange and Craig’s favorite green, grounded with a slate gray, we devised an attention-grabbing Save the Date card to get their guests on board for the festivities. We followed that up with a captivating “Wedtrak” invitation, designed to resemble a train ticket.

On the wedding day, guests arrived at Nestldown to experience a wonderland of lush landscapes and towering redwoods. An earth and wood stairway meandered down a forested hillside to the ceremony area. In this flagstone-paved setting, guests were greeted with a selection of “Mango Melody” and “Citrus Quencher” beverages.

As they gracefully descended into the ceremony area in their slate gray dresses, the bridesmaids carried hand-tied bouquets which included parrot tulips, dahlias and roses. Shari, escorted by her parents, glided magically down the rows of neatly arranged chairs, carrying a bouquet of viburnum, parrot tulips, cymbidium orchids and green ranunculus. The guitarist played one of the couple’s favorite songs, “In My Life” by The Beatles, while Craig waited adoringly for his lovely bride.

The ceremony featured a special guest as the officiant. Dan Fogelman, a Hollywood screenwriter of many well-known comedic movies (including Cars, Crazy Stupid Love, Guilt Trip and Last Vegas), was a good friend of Shari since grade school. Needless to say, he delivered a hilarious yet heartwarming script about love and marriage, weaving touching stories about Shari & Craig into his “sermon.”

Experiencing wedded bliss, Shari & Craig slipped away for some photos together, while guests were graciously directed to the cocktail lawn adjacent to Nestldown’s “railway.” Upon arrival, guests were offered a signature “Sidecar” beverage, and two festive food “stations” provided a thematic touch. Paying tribute to Shari’s New York roots, the “Grand Central” Station was designed to reflect the classic architecture of this Manhattan landmark. The “Orient Express” Station featured the couple’s favorite Asian dish, Pad Thai.

After Shari & Craig completed their post-ceremony photos, they made a spectacular entrance to the cocktail hour aboard the Nestldown train. As the train whistle blew in celebration, guests gathered around the disembarking couple to offer their congratulations. The train then took guests on joyrides around the property for the remainder of the cocktail reception.

To direct guests to their dining destination, Craig used his computer smarts to create an electronic display on his big-screen TV resembling the old-fashioned “solari boards” that were once commonly found at train stations. This display listed the guests in alphabetical order, along with their assigned “Station” and “Platform” location.

Nestldown’s grand meadow provided a dazzling open-air setting for a delectable dinner. Different shaped glass vases and vintage-inspired china were used to make it feel like an elegant garden party from the 1920’s. Centerpieces featured tangerine orange flowers with accents of trailing greenery and succulents. Guests savored the California Mixed Greens with orange infused cranberries, crumbled goat cheese, candied pecans. Then they were faced with a deliciously difficult choice of entrée: Seared Mustard and Truffle Rubbed Rack of Lamb, Chicken Parmesan or Butternut Squash Ravioli.

As the sun began to set behind the towering trees, guests were invited into the “Barn,” a soaring glass and fir structure. While guests munched on scrumptious sweets, Shari & Craig made another grand entrance as the 9-piece band revved up the music. It was a standing ovation for their carefully choreographed first dance! A festive dessert display provided another highlight for the celebration, while just outside the barn, a Scotch Sipping Station gave guests a good kick in the caboose.

When the last song was over, Shari & Craig were sad to see their nuptial train ride come to an end. But they were elated knowing that their friends and family had jumped aboard the “Wedtrak Express” to celebrate their wonderful journey together.

Photography: Paco And Betty | Videography: New York Film Works | Floral Design: Michael Daigian Design | Cake: Icing On The Cake | Invitations: Union Street Papery | Catering: Thomas John Events | Hair: Dekko Salon | Beverage Catering: Bartenders Unlimited | Makeup: Nomi Day Spa | Music - Ceremony: Dan Goldfus Project, Booked Through Simply The Best Entertainment | Music - Reception: Double Funk Crunch | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals | Rentals - Linens: La Tavola | Transportation: Corinthian Transportation | Wedding Planning & Design: Events Of Distinction | Wedding Venue: Nestldown

La Tavola Fine Linen Rental, Michael Daigian Design and Events of Distinction 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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Michael Daigian Design

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Events of Distinction

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Modern Garden Wedding at Nestldown

After featuring her gorgeous work over the past several years, you can imagine our excitement once Diana Marie’s special day landed in our laps. Leo Patrone’s captures surpassed even our wildest expectations and it has everything to do with the bold hues, punchy patterns and beaming couple in every last snap. Blooming Floral Studio + Kae & Ales made the magic happen and a trip to the gallery plus Diana and Jame’s Twitter-initiated love story is well worth a read!

Colors
Seasons
Spring
Settings
Garden Venue

From The Bride…James and I met over twitter almost 3 years ago now when he tweeted at me on one of my features. At first I didnt reply but then I did with a direct message to say hi because we are both in the wedding industry. Myself as a photographer and James owns a wedding stationery company called OOXX Invitations in Toronto. That was the start of our 2 year long distance relationship. Me in Orange County and James in Toronto, Canada.

One day when I was visiting James in Canada, we went venue shopping with another friend who was getting married and they wanted us to check out some venues with them and when we found out there was only a few dates left for the following year, we decided on that day that we should probably consider looking for a venue for ourselves even though we weren’t engaged yet. A few weeks later we decided on Nestldown in Los Gatos, CA. We wanted it to be a destination wedding for both his family and mine. James proposed a couple months after we already put a deposit down.

Wedding planning was a real joy for me. I’ve shot my fair share of weddings and knew what I wanted. I wanted something classic, glamorous and timeless. The venue itself was so beautiful it didn’t need too much dressing up but we knew we wanted beautiful flowers, and a gorgeous reception. We brought in gold chargers, gold chevari chairs and cutlery. James did all the custom signage for us, my mother made the linens for the Kings table (James wanted patterns and this is where we brought it in) and we had a stunning runner of flowers down the center. We also had a camera station seeing that I was a photographer and wanted something that reflects that. It was all pulled together and styled by Kae and Ales, wedding stylists from Portland OR who we brought in to do it for us.

Photography: Leo Patrone | Videographer: Joel VanZ | Bride's Shoes: Anthropologie | Bridesmaids Dresses: Adrianna Papell | Catering: Toast Bay Events | Calligraphy: Patti Adair | Groom's Shoes: Zara | Groom's Suit: Burberry | 'Merci' Stamp On Favor Bags: Maple & Cotton | Bride's Dress: Allure Romance | Bride's Headpiece: Nicky Teo Bridal | Chalk Board Sign: The Juxtaposition PDX | Door Knob Table Number Holders: The Vintage Orange Jar | Florals: Blooming Floral Studio | Flower Girl & Ring Bearer Attire: Zara | Gold Table Numbers: Koyal Wholesale | Groom's Tie: QP Collections | Hankercheif & Bridesmaids Totes: Wedding Chicks | Luggage Tags: Of The Fountain | MUAH: Kat Park | Planning: The Bride | Rentals: Hartmann Studios | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals | Stationery + Event Signage: OOXX Invitations | Tea Bags: Celestial Gifts | Tea Favors: Benjamin Tea | Wedding Cakes: A Piece Of Cake Bakery | Wedding Styling: Kae & Ales | Wedding Venue: Nestledown

Classic Wedding among the trees at Nestldown

This wedding totally reminds me of something out of a fairytale. A wedding blanketed by a canopy of trees and the quiet, magical surroundings of Nestldown. With flowers by Sweetness And Light that seemlessly blend with the beauty of the natural surroundings, coordination of the classic details set in the middle of the forest by Caitlin Arnold Weddings And Events and imagery that we could get lost in for hours captured by Pictilio, this is a true gem and you can see even more right here. Then, settle in to watch and hear their own special hand-written vows filmed flawlessly by OneDay Pictures.


Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Forest
Styles
Al Fresco
From the Bride… Gabe proposed over my birthday weekend at my favorite winery in Napa with our parents and close family members in attendance. Since we are both extremely close to our families, they were our focus when it came to planning our wedding. It especially became more important when my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer 4 months before the wedding. Her diagnosis was a shock to our family – we immediately turned all of our attention on her treatment. This really put wedding planning in perspective – and at the end of the day, I just wanted to my mom to be there to watch me marry my best friend. During our engagement, despite already having gone through several aggressive rounds of chemotherapy, my mom didn’t skip a beat with helping me plan the wedding – she joined us on no less than 17 venue tours, countless dress fittings, catering tastings and even helped me assemble over 100 favor boxes and ribbons. Gabe and I wanted the wedding day to feel very personal – from keeping our guest list to our closest family and friends to hand-embossing and creating each invitation and save-the-date; we knew the wedding day would be reflective of us. Our official theme for the wedding was “A Love Story” and we emulated the theme through creating our programs as “books” and making each table at the reception a Chapter in our story from our first date thru to the wedding day. We especially wanted the ceremony to be meaningful to our relationship and unique to our friendship. We decided to write our own vows and dedicated the ceremony to our parents. At each place setting at the reception, we included thank you cards to each guest letting them know we donated to the American Cancer Society in their name and in honor of my mom. Gabe and I came up with the overall look and design and were able to really create everything we had envisioned with the help of our amazing vendor team (all of whom we now consider our good friends!) We are drawn to neutral palettes so gray, ivory and blush seemed like the perfect combination to compliment the already beautiful venue of Nestldown. Gabe and I are both very classic in our style so having very simple, elegant and traditional elements were important to us. Since we were living in San Diego at the time, we asked Honeycomb Design and Events to help us create both the main invitation design and a logo of the San Francisco skyline – as a tribute to Northern California, where we are both grew up. We ended up using the skyline logo throughout the rest of the wedding including the signage and our cake topper. Gabe and I are both really creative and wanted to personalize as much as we could. We hand-painted (with the help of some of our bridal party!) all of the wooden signs including the Mr. & Mrs. signs that hung on the back of our chairs at the reception. We also made the rest of the paper goods and signage including the programs, thank you cards, escort cards/boxes, bar signage and menu’s. We also had signature cocktails served with each of our favorite drinks – mine was the champagne cocktail and Gabe’s was the Irish Mule. Our wedding day was our absolute dream come true. From my dress, to the flowers, to seeing both sides of our families in one place, everything was just as I pictured. I feel especially blessed that my mom, now on the road to recovery, was there – from helping me into my dress to dancing until the DJ played the very last song. Gabe and I will forever be grateful to everyone who took part in making the day so special. Our wedding day truly was the best day ever.

Photography: Pictilio | Floral Design: Sweetness And Light | Wedding Dress: Vera Wang | Ceremony Venue: Nestldown | Reception Venue: Nestldown | Shoes: Manolo Blahnik | Bridesmaids Dresses: Little Borrowed Dress | Catering: Cafe Primavera | Hair: Colleen Moore Wright | DJ: Ron Grandia | Officiant: Rev. Irene Pak | Accomodations: Toll House Hotel | Alterations: Nordstrom Wedding Suite | Beverages: Beverages & More | Dessert Table, Invitation & Logo Design: Honeycomb Events And Design | Event Design And Coordination: Caitlin Arnold Weddings And Events | Flower Girl Dresses: The Precious Girl | Linens: Napa Valley Linens | Maid Of Honor Dress: Jenny Yoo | Makeup: MAC By Grace Colindres | Men's Tuxedo's: Vera Wang | Signage, Paper Goods And Design: DIY From The Bride & Groom | Transportation: El Paseo Limo | Video: OneDay Pictures

Jenny Yoo is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. Jenny Yoo and Pictilio are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
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