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Colorful + Rustic Indian Fusion Wedding

These two cuties combined their talents and cultures to create a wedding that was 110% them. Mixing the Bride’s Indian heritage with the Groom’s Jewish background it was a celebration complete with a “chupdap,” creative vows and Bright Rentals’ fantastic pretty pieces – and thanks to onelove photography we have all the memories in our VAULT right this way!

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From the Bride… We wanted to honor our families and cultural backgrounds by melding both Indian and Jewish traditions in our wedding. The best way for us to do this was to write and create our own ceremony. Although we wrote the majority of the ceremony ourselves, Brad (our officiant and, conveniently, Ben’s dad) helped to put the finishing touches on the ceremony. The ceremony had a few important aspects that reflected Ben and I and our two cultures: first, we were married under a “chupdap,” a combination of a chuppah and mandap. In both cultures, this structure represents the home that the bride and groom will make together. Second, we took seven vows that mirrored the vows taken in a traditional Indian ceremony and also decided to alternate reading each of our seven vows. Ben and I wrote our vows together as a way to minimize day-of crying and to create promises and hopes for our marriage together. Lastly, we broke glass and clay as part of our ceremony, which have similar cultural significance in both Judaism and Hinduism. The breaking of the glass and clay signifies that our love will last forever and that we have the power to face any obstacles together.

Our friends are an important part of our lives and we wanted to honor their role on our wedding day. One way we did this was to have a large head table that included our wedding party and our closest friends.

Many of our family members and close friends offered their skills and talents to help us create our perfect wedding. One of the most memorable things is that Ben’s dad got ordained specifically to marry us! Having Ben’s dad perform our ceremony made it feel very personal and meaningful. Other contributions included Ben’s mom lending her green thumb to help us plant succulents for our centerpieces, Ben’s paternal grandmother designing hand-made clay vases to house our beautiful flowers, and Ben’s maternal grandmother designing and hand-painting our table number cards! Also, my mom made my bridesmaids and I look and feel beautiful by doing our make-up for the Saatek and wedding. My childhood hairdresser and close family friend, Misty Stevens, traveled from my hometown to do my and my bridesmaids’ hair for all the wedding events! Also, our good friend, Kevin Brown, designed the majority of our wedding stationery (several invitations, our menu and wedding program)!

Our wedding was extra-memorable because we held two events in the days leading up to the wedding. On Thursday evening, my parents hosted a Mendhi Night where the lovely and talented Hiral Shah adorned myself, my bridesmaids, and other guests with intricate henna designs! With so many guests traveling from all over the state, country, and world, this was a great way to kick off the wedding festivities. On Friday morning, my parents hosted a Saatek, an Indian ceremony meant to remove any obstacles and receive blessings from our families. This ceremony was so meaningful to Ben and I and it was encapsulated in the moment when all of our family and friends surrounded us to give their love, support and blessings. To pay homage to my maternal grandparents who are no longer with us, my grandfather’s handkerchiefs were used to wipe away my own and our guests happy tears.

Ben and I hand-made the majority of our decorations (thanks to Pinterest for the ideas and Benny for his carpentry skills)! Our favorite handmade décor were the escort card holders!

Some pieces of advice we learned through our planning process include:
1. Although we planned our wedding over 1.5 years, it flew by! Enjoy engaged life!
2. Spreadsheets and lists can be your best friend or worst enemy!
3. Number the back of your RSVP cards to keep track – not everyone fills theirs out completely!
4. Hire a wedding coordinator – Danielle and the Kai Squared team saved our sanity and helped us truly enjoy our wedding day!
5. Enjoy and savor every moment of your wedding day! When we reflect back and think about our wedding day, celebrating our love with family and friends was the most memorable part of our wedding!

• Ben and I snuck away from the reception for a few minutes to practice our first dance (for the first and only time, I might add). The best part – Danielle (our wedding coordinator) caught us and snapped an amazing photograph!
• Our first look – for both of us, having a private moment before we tied to knot was so special and helped to calm our nerves. Taking some photos together before the wedding also allowed us to join cocktail hour and spend more time with our guests.
• Dancing the night away with our friends and family was phenomenal! Ben’s grandmother stole the show with her dance moves!
• Entering the barn – we introduced our wedding party and they set the stage for an amazing, fun-filled reception with their entrances. Minutes before entering the barn, our wedding party choreographed unique dance moves for their entrances!

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Peruse more multi-cultural weddings here!

Photography: onelove photography | Event Planning: Kai Squared Events | Floral Design: Mission De Flores | Wedding Dress: Custom Pronovias Via Novella Bridal | Cake: Forget-Me-Not Cakes | Stationery: Wedding Paper Divas | Bride's Shoes: White Toms | Catering: Park Avenue Catering | Makeup: Joshna Patel | Hair: Misty Stevens | DJ: Chris AMS DJ/MC | Groom's Attire: Tuxedo Wearhouse | Transportation: Sonoma Sterling Limousines | Venue: Olympia's Valley Estate | Henna Artist: Hiral Shah | Photo Booth: Night Owl Photo Booth | Rentals: Bright Event Rentals

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Rustic Chic Ranch Wedding

There are few things I love more than a fab rustic wedding, but take the aforementioned and add in a seriously sweet duo, plus a whole host of furry friends and that’s an entirely new level of awesome. Think true love meets stunning blooms from Soulflower Design Studio meets a pair of deer making an appearance at the ceremony.  Head to The Vault for every beautiful moment captured by Melissa Fuller, then stay tuned for even more sweetness from Johnny B Films below.

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Rustic

From Melissa Fuller Photography… A rustic chic, daytime spring wedding proved the perfect combination for low-key brides Laura and Kim. The ceremony took place before acres of rolling farmland – deer even galloped behind the brides during their vows! Guests young and old enjoyed farm to table food, local beverages, and an incredible Motown band to round out their flawless day.

Photography: Melissa Fuller Photography | Cinematography: Johnny B Films | Floral Design: Soulflower Design Studio | Wedding Dress: BHLDN | Rings: Polly Wales/Lauren Wolf | Catering: The Oyster Girls | Catering: Metes And Bounds | Band: Harry & The Hitmen | Venue: Chileno Valley Ranch | Beverage Services: Lagunitas Brewing Co | Beverage Services: Kivelstadt Cellars | Event Producer: Dovetail Events | Event Production: K2 Ranch

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DIY Ranch Wedding

Combine beautiful DIY details and a fabulous ranch setting and the results are always amazing.  But add in a group of talented friends, the beauty expertise of The Makeup Dolls and a bride (aka, Heather Westcott of Feather West) who knows a thing or two about planning a wedding and it’s more than amazing… it’s extraordinary.  See it all captured by Cliff Brunk Photography right here.

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Summer
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Rustic Venue
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From the Bride… After a surprise (to both of us!) engagement (outside, next to a dumpster, in the rain I like to joke… but really: outside one of our favorite neighborhood restaurants, and it just happened to be raining on our walk home that night), we took our time getting around to planning the wedding. Jamie did surprise me many months later with a lovely engagement ring, however that evening after getting home we pulled out my great grandmother’s engagement ring and slipped that on my hand. (No, you don’t have to have a ring when you propose!) We later had ‘2011’ engraved on the inside of that same ring for the year we got engaged, which was originally engraved with the date ‘1906’!

I never had a “wedding of my dreams” in mind, so I formulated what my wish list was: I wanted it to be in Marin County where we spend lots of time cycling and running and I wanted it to be outside in the summer, we didn’t want to spend too much money, and we wanted to put our guests’ comfort and enjoyment of the weekend first.

From there we looked far and wide for that perfect venue… we even started looking in San Francisco when we realized hotels are not abundant in Marin and chartering busses is expensive – but nothing felt right and my huge spreadsheet of venue options was failing me! While Marin County is full of open space there is a surprising small percentage of state or national parkland, and an even smaller percentage of parkland that will allow you to host an event as large as the wedding we had in mind. We learned that most of the open space in Marin County that you see from the roads is privately owned by ranchers. From there I took a last ditch effort to find a ranch owner that would let us host a wedding on their land. This search was successful and finally landed us one Saturday morning at Chileno Valley Ranch, a very under-advertized venue, with no cell reception, where ranch owners Mike and Sally showed us around – we immediately fell in love with their property and decided this was the venue for us! While we had no intention of having a barn wedding when we started out planning, it turned out to be perfect for us. Neither Jamie or I grew up on a farm, but growing up in Ohio and southern Ontario, Canada, we both grew up with picturesque barns and active farmland all around us, so the scene was a familiar one. It was very special to us that this was still a working ranch, not just a wedding venue. You take your chances wearing high heels around there!

The reception would be in the barn, since its Northern California after all and it always cools off in the evenings, but we still had to decide where to have the ceremony itself – by the creek, on the hill, in the barn, in the orchard, in the rose garden? What a great venue to have to make those sorts of decisions! Just one week before the wedding we finally decided to have our ceremony in a field behind the barn that had never been used for ceremonies before – the barn on the west side protecting us from the coastal winds, and the iconic golden hills of California on all sides and behind us as our ceremony backdrop. The Chileno Valley Ranch owners were a wealth of knowledge and were happy to share with us successes and failures from past weddings on their property to help us make sure ours was as successful as possible.

Once the venue was finalized the pieces all fell into place. The date was selected so our families could travel in the summer after school was out and make a vacation of it, and the lodging was booked in the adorable nearby Dillon Beach. Since I am an architect and interior designer for my day job, I started right in with an inspiration board and wanted to do everything myself. I wanted the event to feel classy (the men per my husband’s choice were going to wear tuxes – I love his style!) to contrast with the rustic surrounds we were working in. I hated people asking me what my colors were going to be, so I said none, and decided to use as much white as possible.

Then I started calling for favors – please no gifts we told everyone! Instead, we asked people who felt the need to celebrate with a gift to make a donation to several charities we selected. Fortunately I have always been surrounded by wonderfully creative people. One college roommate is a graphic designer, who designed all of our print material custom for me to letterpress (a convenient side hobby I picked up!). Another college roommate is a fashion designer, and designed and hand-made my wedding dress! The year leading up to the wedding was blessed with lots of trips to NYC to visit this creative duo. My infinitely talented mother took cake decorating classes and made and decorated for us our entire dessert table! My dad took all of my strange requests in stride and worked tirelessly painting, nailing, and stringing lights as soon as he arrived in town to get our venue event ready. I selected my bridesmaids to represent a person from each stage of my life – Julie was a childhood friend, Susie a college friend, Rachel a San Francisco friend, and Maria my sister-in-law. The four of them rallied around my do-it-yourself approach to the wedding and did all of the floral design (buying all of it for only $250 at the SF Flower Mart!) as well as taking care of the day of coordination. They woke up early with me and we shared coffee and pastries as the sun rose at the ranch Saturday morning. We met all of the vendors as they arrived and moved tables and umbrellas and chairs into place. Then, as we had agreed, at noon on the dot they made me go inside, shower, and relax, and they pulled all the final details together before the guest arrived. I couldn’t have asked for better help and I loved being a part of the energy that morning.

Oh, and did I mention the guests all arrived via school bus? Cheapest and cutest charter busses around! Because neither of our families lived in the area we knew that many people would not be able to make it, so one of our special handmade details was a photobooth wall decorated to look like a vintage living room wall with framed wedding photos of family members, some who were there and many who were not able to make the trip or who had long passed away. It was a memorable gathering point for our families to reminisce on past family gatherings – and we now have many photos we never otherwise might have seen! Small receptions in both Ohio and Ontario, Canada later in the year meant we got to share our day with many more friends and family too.

In true Northern Californian style, all of the food on our menu was local sourced and the wines were from nearby Lambert Bridge in Sonoma Valley where my husband has been a long time wine club member. Live music was enjoyed all day – the band started as a duo as guests arrived slowly adding musicians until the evening ended with them transformed into a six piece band for the reception.  We couldn’t have asked for more of the day! Sally and Mike who own the ranch we can now call friends and were able to celebrate our wedding with us, and we got to show our midwestern families a side of Northern California that none of them would have otherwise gotten to experience. The whole thing was so successful that after much encouragement from friends I have opened my own creative event company – FeatherWest – to help other brides have as special a day as I did.

Photography: Cliff Brunk Photography | Event Planning: Heather Westcott Of Feather West | Flowers: Flora Organica | Flowers: San Francisco Flower Mart | Dress: Friend Of The Bride (Nancy Friedman) | Wedding Cake: Mother Of The Bride (Donita Singerman) | Invitations: Meghan Eplett (Friend Of The Bride) | Catering: Pam Ferrari Catering | Makeup and Hair: The Makeup Dolls - Airbrush Makeup and Hair Artistry | Band: Americano Social Club | Tuxedos: Black Tie Tuxedos | Transportation: Michael's Transportation | Venue: Chileno Valley Ranch | Rentals: JRB Event Services | Vintage Furniture Rentals: Archive Rentals