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Rustic Elegant Santa Cruz Wedding

By combining their backgrounds (she Italian, he Mexican) and adding in their love for all things tasty, these two created a celebration that not only represented them perfectly but was one amazingly, delicious bash at the same time. Melissa Fuller captured the day, from the beautiful bridesmaids’ decked out in Weddington Way, Rent the Runway and more, to the Bride’s bouquet with the perfect pops of red thanks to Huckleberry Karen Designs. See this (and more!) in our VAULT this way!

Al Fresco

From the Bride… Ryan and I wanted our wedding to closely reflect the things that matter most to us in life – family and friends, food and lots of fun. I come from a big Italian family and Ryan comes from a large Mexican family. For us, having 40 people at Christmas dinner is the norm, so we wanted our wedding to feel like that. One big celebratory dinner to honor our families and closest friends coming together. So we had five long farm tables placed out on the gorgeous lawn amidst the Redwood trees in the Santa Cruz forest. Tables were adorned with olive branches and figs from my grandma’s garden. Gold chargers, gold-rimmed champagne flutes and gold flatware made for our perfect Tuscan dinner party, and don’t forget freshly baked bread and sea-salted butter!

Food was also a major source of inspiration for us. We cook together a lot at home, we even stated in our vows that day (without knowledge of one another’s vows) to always be the other person’s head chef and sous chef. Our caterer worked with us closely to create the perfect menu with lots of Italian/Californian farm-to-table flavors and details. We had an olive oil tasting bar with olives imported from Spain and it featured olive oils that Ryan and I had collected at local farmer’s markets and in wine country throughout the year. To keep with the dinner/food theme… even our invitations were printed on dish towels. I worked closely with our designer (Kim at Bright Room Studios) to create a map of the Bay Area that included all of the most important places to Ryan and me throughout our time as a couple. We printed our invitations on dish towels to remind people of how we like to cook and spending time in the kitchen together, hoping that one day the towel would be reused by our guests.

Fun radiated throughout the entire wedding day and the team at Nestldown, My-Dung in particular, helped us bring our vision to life that day! Some of the “fun things we did” – choreographed our first dance, we had four matching ring-bearers and one flower-girl carrying an oversized balloon, the bridesmaid’s sequin dresses, a Dr. Seuss reading, dragons, dwarf-cottages and a king’s throne, a custom Nor-Cal vs So-Cal corn hole set, bocce ball, custom beer koozies, a life-size train for people to ride around the grounds, the bride and groom being “Iced” by the best man, a vintage Volkswagen bus for a photo booth and glow sticks on the dance floor!

We spent most of our 14 months of planning brainstorming ways to make our guests feel like they were at the center of the celebration right along there with us. This is why we hired Melissa, our awesome photographer. We loved her photojournalistic style and knew she would help us capture all the special moments of our family and friends we might have missed so that we could re-live this special day for years to come. She did a fantastic job capturing all the details from our special day and our fun, loving group of family and friends – pictures really are worth a thousand words in this case! :)

Other standouts include: every detail was thought through to try to make the whole experience really reflect Ryan, me and the things we love in life. The table numbers reflected the different locations on our invite map, I hand-painted each and every sign, the drinks were called “La Sposa” (the wife in Italian) and “El Novio” (husband in Spanish), and we even poured wine from the small winery we belong to and spend many weekends at in Sonoma.

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Photography: Melissa Fuller Photography | Coordination: Nestldown Events | Event Design: Megan Klasila (Bride) | Floral Design: Petite Petal | Wedding Dress: Wine Country Bride | Invitations: Brightroom Studio | Bride's Shoes: Nordstrom | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Nordstrom | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Macy's | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Rent The Runway | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Weddington Way | Makeup: Priscilla Francine Makeup | Hair: Salon Mona Lisa | DJ: Los Gatos DJ | Ties: J.Crew | Groom's Attire: J.Crew | Groomsmen's Attire: J.Crew | Officiant: Father Peter Pabst | Venue: nestledown | Alterations: Custom Pronovias Via Novella Bridal | Bridal Boutique: Wine Country Bride | Bridesmaid's PJs: Forever21 | Cake + Bundtinis: Nothing Bundt Cake | Candy Bar: Suzi Tinsley | Catering + Rentals: Thomas John Events | Custom Beer Koozies: Rook Design Company | Custom Cornhole Game: Colorado Joes | Party Dress: Rent The Runway | Photo Booth: Kate Stoddard | DasBus | Robe: BHLDN | Signage: Megan Klasila (Bride)

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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 | 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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