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Rainy Halloween Wedding in California

Halloween is here and and we’ll be staring at this wedding all. weekend. long. A hauntingly beautiful fete snapped by Tanja Lippert that has got us dreaming bigger than costumes and candy. A gallery that proves to be more treat than trick, every moment is spiked with some seriously chic deets. From the Bride’s open back gown to the prized fall decor, it’s raw elegance one can see fully in THE VAULT!

From the handsome Groom… On Halloween 2013, I, nervous as I could be, forgot to get down on one knee as I opened a pumpkin instead of a ring box. I’m somewhat lucky rather than smart, though, as Ellie said yes anyway, and we got married exactly one year later.

I proposed in October because no other time was right—when she was in high school, Ellie set up haunted houses on Halloween, and we’ve put together distinctive costumes every year. Ellie’s also a champion pumpkin carver. Every year, we hang twenty-seven hand-carved pumpkins in our front yard as our Halloween display.

When we looked for venues, we looked for magic. Nestldown was the first venue we visited, and nothing else compared. It was whimsical and magical, with a fantasy garden, a dragon’s nest, and an awe-inspiring grove of trees that serves as a chapel. However, come our actual wedding day, nature didn’t quite comply with Ellie’s and my plans. It poured all morning, the first time it’s rained on Halloween in the Bay Area since 2000.

As the rain settled, fog descended, ethereal and wispy, and Ellie and I got married in a grove of hundred-foot redwoods across from a lake shrouded in mist. Ellie’s pumpkins dotted all of Nestldown, tucked into corners, atop hearths, and peering out from staircases, and we and our wedding party changed into costume. To match our cake topper, the first piece of the wedding we found, I became a demon, complete with horns and sword, and Ellie, my demon bride.

I think every groom feels that his wedding was magic, and I’m no different. My wedding truly was magic.

Photography: Tanja Lippert Photography | Cinematography: Weddings on Film | Floral Design: Asiel Design | Wedding Dress: Vera Wang, Beverly Hills | Cake: studio cake | Stationery: Wedding Paper Divas | Bride's Shoes: Valentino d'Orsay | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Donna Morgan | Catering: The Other Woman | Hair + Makeup: Maria Chang At PMA | DJ: Big Fun DJs | Groom's Attire: Hugo Boss Red Label | Groomsmen's Attire: Ties that don't suck | Officiant: Marriages By Veronica | Transportation: Corinthian Transportation | Wedding Venue: nestledown | Accomodations: Toll House Hotel | Bride's Nails: Krush Salon | Groom's Tie + Pocket Square: Alexander McQueen | Limo & Shuttles: Corinthian | Sent Already: Sent

Romantic + Playful California Winery Wedding Inspiration

California Wine Country is one of my favorite places, and weddings there are just stunning. Take this Los Gatos inspiration shoot from the amazing Ashley Slater. Inspired by the California sunshine and cheery kumquats, this inspiration shoot is full of romance and beautiful details. To answer Ashley’s question, “Doesn’t it make you want to grab a glass of wine and a citrus dessert and sit in the California sun?!” Yes, it most definitely does. See all the pretty here.


From Ashley SlaterCalifornia sun and darling kumquats inspired this winery wedding shoot. While preparing for this shoot we knew we wanted to capture some fun elements for the romantic set up. Kumquats came to mind, as a play on the famous California oranges and it took off from there. Sarah Seven provided a darling draped gown that was light and perfect for a mid-summer vineyard event. To keep the bride classic, Camille Monique did a soft updo and fresh, light makeup. Kaitlin Parisho Designs hand painted the invitation suite to match the kumquat theme and thin, romantic calligraphy adorned the menus, place settings and chair swag. Natalie Bowen Designs used pops of orange, peach and blush peach to carry the fresh theme throughout. Of course, our set up wouldn’t have been complete without rentals from Pieces by Violet—a vintage window pane provided the backdrop for the cake table where simple white buttercream cakes by Sweet Tooth Confections were displayed. Stylist Michaela Noelle went simple with the greenery on the cakes and let the kumquats really stand out. We love how pops of orange can really be classy and romantic while remaining fresh, modern and fun. Doesn’t it make you want to grab a glass of wine and a citrus dessert and sit in the California sun?!

Photography: Ashley Slater | Floral Design: Natalie Bowen Designs | Wedding Dress: Sarah Seven | Cakes: Sweet Tooth Confections | Hair And Makeup: Camille Monique Beauty | Venue: Regale Winery | Calligraphy & Signage: Kaitlin Parisho Designs | Event Concept & Styling: Michaela Noelle Designs | Event Styling & Coorination: The Bloom Workshop | Film Processing: Indie Film Lab | Rentals: Pieces by Violet

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Rustic Glam Santa Cruz Redwood Forest Wedding

Some of our favorite weddings here on SMP are a study in opposites. Ball gowns on the beach, sequins in a barn. And this wedding, set amongst the Redwood Forest is the very reasons why we believe wholeheartedly that opposites really do attract. With images by Melissa Fuller Photography, this wedding is all about love, laughter and a little bit of bling. And there is so much more right here.


From the beautiful Bride… Eric and I met about 7 years ago, right after college through mutual friends. We instantly bonded over our love for animals and nature, which has become a huge part of our lives together and also played as a major theme on our wedding day. A few years into our relationship, we started our own company called LVR, an eco-friendly yoga lifestyle line that gives back to animal rescue and to a local women’s shelter. Working together with Eric everyday has been such an amazing experience. His dedication to helping others and commitment to running a green company inspires me daily. When he asked me to marry him I knew there was no one I would be prouder to spend the rest of my life with.

Once the wedding planning started, we both fantasized about exchanging vows under giant redwood trees surrounded by our friends and family including our fur baby, Barkley. When I found Nestldown LLC. on Pinterest I couldn’t believe my eyes. It was the most gorgeous venue I had ever seen complete with a replica Snow White house, stunning barn, 100 year old redwoods, an apple orchard, a mini train for guests to ride, and much much more. Visiting the venue took our breath away. We felt so close to nature and knew this magical place was exactly what we had dreamed of.

Once we had the venue, we decided our wedding should be simple yet elegant. We chose white and gold as our wedding colors which we felt really complimented the rich green tones of the lush forest. Our amazing florist, Svenja from Chestnut and Vine, did a spectacular job adding romantic touches to our ceremony using asymmetrical arrangements using shades of whites, soft silver greens, apricot blush, and golden accents. My bridesmaids and I wore different shades of gold and silver adding to the magical energy to the day. The way the girls sparkled in the forest was incredible!

More than anything, we really wanted our guests to really feel the love we have for each other which is why were honored to have our best friend Cait Hubbard officiate our wedding. She’s known us both for a long time and has seen our relationship grow to what it is now. Her words to us were full of so much soul and really embodied the very essence of us. She led us in a series of om chants that spoke to our spiritual connection to each other and our environment. She even made a large macramé where we finished two knots individually symbolizing our union. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect ceremony.

After the day was over, what still remains most in my memory was my husband’s beautiful vows to me, how it felt to say I do to the man of my dreams, my mother and father dancing the night away, all the dogs that joined in on the fun (yes it was dog friendly of course), the tear jerking toasts, and just how magical it all was. It was truly a dream.

Photography: Melissa Fuller Photography | Videography: Billy Kessler Films | Catering: Thomas John Events | Ceremony Music: Elite Intertainment | Wedding Venue: nestledown | Chestnut And Vine Flowers: Chestnut & Vine Floral Design | Desserts And Cake: Pretty Please SF

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