We love a wedding full of personal touches, especially when its done this well. With the help of Platinum Wedding by Kerrie and Vanessa Noel Events, this bride put together a thoughtful wedding with intention behind every detail from the music to the burgundy hues in the bouquets from Panacea. The folks from Studio Castillero took some beautiful pictures of the day. For more take a peek at the full gallery here.
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From The Bride..Daniel and I didn’t have a specific “first time we met.” In fact, I don’t think either one of us can remember first meeting each other. We’ve just always been in each other’s lives.
Daniel’s younger sister, Toni was my childhood best friend. Most of my memories of summer vacations, sleep overs, birthday parties, and milestone events include her. And because Toni and Daniel lived 4 blocks away from me, he was always around. In high school, my brother and Daniel also became inseparable, making my existing crush even more intense. Though it was each other’s siblings that brought us together, we often found ourselves finding reasons to spend time alone with each other.We bonded over music, books, and movies that were so delightfully dark and intriguing to our burgeoning adolescent tastes. I used every opportunity to seize private moments with Daniel and he searched for the chance to impress me. I remember being at their house for a sleepover with Toni when Daniel walked in her room where we were buried in Seventeen magazines. He interrupted our gossip session for some inane reason that, at the time, seemed legitimate. With an exaggerated cough, Toni pointed out Daniel’s excessive use of cologne at 9 PM on a Saturday at home. Of course, to me, his interruption was the best kind of magical.
Despite years of building emotional intensity, our first kiss didn’t happen until my first year of college on a weekend when I was home from school. If it’s possible to have all the passion of 18 years course through a person at one breathtaking moment, it happened with that kiss. It happened after several episodes of South Park and microwave popcorn—there was nothing particularly romantic or sophisticated about the moment, except for the years of adoration that led us to it.
As dumbfounded as we both were after that magical moment, distance and impetuous youth led to the demise of our relationship after only a few short months. We went in different directions, both embracing our early twenties in our own ways, and didn’t speak for over 3 years. When Toni’s high school sweetheart proposed, she asked me to be her maid of honor.
On the day of Toni’s wedding, I was shaking with nerves, for so many reasons: my best friend was getting married (try not to ugly cry), I was the MOH (try not to fall on your face), and I was going to see Daniel after more than three years (try not to look stupid, effected, nervous, jealous, etc.) He was an usher at the wedding and was standing in the foyer of the church when the bridesmaids and I walked in to take our places for the ceremony. I looked at him just as he turned to look at me and I silently mouthed, “I’m so nervous.” It might seem an odd thing to say to an ex that you haven’t seen in so long, but it was a testament to our relationship—beyond romance or complications. With comforting familiarity, he replied, “You look beautiful; you’ll be great.” That was the moment we first met; at a wedding where we both brought dates, 16 years after I became his sister’s best friend, and 3 years after our first kiss.
Daniel and I love riding bikes together and we aren’t talking about the flashy spandex, clip in shoes kind of biking; we’re talking a beach cruiser, nowhere to be, let’s get lost kind of ride. It was May and I had just taken a job in San Diego, which meant that we were going to be long distance. After my first week in my new job, I came home to visit. Because May is such a beautiful month in Central California, we decided to spend some quality time with our beach cruisers and the bike path.
After about 2 miles, we stopped at the park for our picnic lunch. We spread out a blanket under a large tree, then Daniel began to pull out all the goodies he had packed—never letting me reach into the basket myself. I remember him being particularly amorous, and as an affectionate person myself, I just soaked in the sweetness. After about an hour and a surprise visit from his brother and cousin who happened to also be out on a ride enjoying the breezy sunshine, Daniel got very quiet. He reached into the basket behind him one more time and pulled out a little forest green box and set it in my lap. A million thoughts rushed through my head, but what came out, through brimming tears, was “Shut up! If I open this and it’s a pair of earrings, I’m going to feel really stupid.”
Daniel chuckled and just shook his head. As I opened the little green box, I saw a beautiful 1920’s antique replica that I absolutely adore. I looked up at him through my tears and his as he said, “will you be my wife?”
First and foremost, we wanted our wedding to look and feel personal. It was important to me that it feel comfortable and have handmade elements, but not look too artsy-craftsy. As an assistant for Platinum Weddings by Kerrie, I have seen some beautifully lavish details and know that the sky is the limit when it comes to decor. With that and our budget in mind, I set out to create a personalized, romantic, and elegant event. I often said that I wanted the reception to look like a dinner party that your grandmother might throw—if your grandmother was incredibly classic, tasteful and romantic.
We decided on pinks, grey and gold for our color palette. I love the romance of pale pink, but also wanted to be seasonally appropriate. I decided to balance the lightness of blush pink with a slightly deeper mauve and grey in the fabrics and worked with Corinne at Panacea Flowery to bring in deep burgundy and Boudreaux in the flowers. I told Corinne that I wanted nothing to feel structured; I wanted every centerpiece and bouquet to feel wild and organic with lots of greenery and freedom. She delivered beautifully!
For over a year, I collected interesting pieces to use as vases and centerpiece items. I incorporated vintage bottles, my grandmother’s teacup collection, books that were painted gold and a lot of mercury glass elements to elevate the elegance. All of the mismatched “girly” items were grounded by dark grey linens that brought a moodiness to the reception area. For the head table, I wanted mismatched chairs, but not in an overly rustic way. Daniel and I spent countless hours scouring thrift stores for chairs that could be repurposed. After we found chairs with lines that we loved, we sanded, painted, glazed, and reupholstered them for our wedding party and their guests.
I wanted my bridesmaids to feel beautiful and love what they wore so I gave them a color and let them run with it. For the guys, we wanted to make sure that no one had to go out and buy a brand new suit on our behalf and the thought of rentals horrified me. So we took a similar approach with the guys: we told them to wear a white shirt and grey pants, and Daniel’s gift to them was the tie and suspenders that they wore. By abandoning uniformity—with the bridesmaids’ dresses, groomsmen attire, head table chairs, and centerpieces—we really achieved a personal look and feel.
Tiber Canyon Ranch sits on 40 acres of live oak, Manzanita and olive trees and is incredibly peaceful. We were able to have the property for the entire weekend, which made set-up so much fun. Everyone was involved in hanging chandeliers, setting up chairs, and candles. This helped to keep costs down and also gave us so many special memories.
My advice is to consider abandoning the way things have always been. I am somewhat of a traditionalist, but never did anything because “that’s just what you do.” Simply take a moment to stop and think about the decisions you’re making and really reflect on why. Have you chosen $400 bridesmaids dresses at a bridal shop because “that’s what people do” or do you really, with all your heart, love them and can’t imagine your girls in anything else? Thoughtfulness will translate into a very beautiful, meaningful, and special event.
Photography: Studio Castillero | Coordinator: Kerrie Underhill, Platinum Weddings by Kerrie | Florist: Panacea | Bakery: Two Little Birds Bakery | Invitations: Delphine Press | Shoes: Aldo | Jewelry: Swarovski | Officiant: Brent Cummings, Shafter Mennonite Brethren Church | Hotel: Oxford Suites | Bridal Salon: Lili's Bridals | Caterer/Bar Services: Mama’s Meatball | Hair Artist: Antonia Petrina | Linens: La Tavola | Music: Ceremony: Peter Estes, Warren Dobson, Jim Bullock | Music: Cocktail Hour: Shafter Big Band, Gary Ingle, Warren Dobson, Alison Groves | Music: DJ (Reception): LSM Entertainment | Planning/Design/Décor: Vanessa Vierra (the bride), Vanessa Noel Events | Private Ranch: Tiber Canyon Ranch | Rehearsal Dinner: Rooster Creek Tavern | Rentals: Unlimited Events | Tuxedos: Astor and Black