I bet I’m not the only one who could use a little energy on this hump day, so I think it’s only fair that we all treat ourselves today. Let’s run off to the Golden State for a full day of California celebrations, starting off with this elegant-meets-rustic wedding captured by the uber talented Josh Gruetzmacher and Uforia Films for us all to enjoy. Settle in and get comfy, we have a fun day ahead, starting off right here!
From The Bride… Lucky Number 13. Most people say that the number 13 is quite unlucky. For us, it’s just the opposite.
Brian and I attended the same middle school; we even had algebra class together. After eighth grade, however, it would be 13 years until a Match.com date would bring us together again. We are complete opposites (and the speeches given at our wedding definitely highlighted this fact). I am organized; Brian is not. Brian is spontaneous; I am not. He is an accountant; I am an English teacher. When we reconnected in 2010, we were exactly what the other person needed at exactly the right time. Brian’s proposal was very “him” — he pretended he had lost his keys and had me frantically engaged in a search for them until I ended up reaching into my coat pocket to find a ring. Oh, and it was April Fool’s Day.
We knew that we wanted to have our reception at Mayacama because it is a very special place for us. The venue is beautiful on its own, with Tuscan vibes, gorgeous views, winding walkways, and neutral stone composing breathtaking architecture. We wanted the beauty of the venue to speak for itself, our love to be the theme and the day, and the personalities of our family, our wedding party, and our guests, to be the most important “decoration.”
We chose a neutral color scheme of grays and blushes to complement Mayacama’s ambiance. We had visions of mercury glass and candles adorning the tables, so I set out on a hunt for all the mercury glass I could find (thank goodness for West Elm, sale prices, and teacher discounts).
Our florist – Cathy Cowman, owner of The Bud Stop in San Francisco – understood the vision right away. She promised peonies for the bridal bouquet, no matter what lengths she had to go to in order to get them in the middle of July. Her eyes lit up with inspiration when she first saw the fountain in the middle of the courtyard that we wanted full of candles and floating flowers. We asked that the table bouquets be simple but full; the different sized mercury glass vases were perfect details.
I knew I wanted long bridesmaids dresses from the start, but I had to find a style that worked for bridesmaids ranging in age from 13 to 34. A local wedding shop, Bella Bridesmaid, had the perfect Joanna August dresses in a beautiful shade of gray.
While we chose traditional over contemporary for some things — we did not have a “first look,” for example, and we were married in a church with a full Mass service, we did choose the non-traditional route for some things. I processed into the church to a piano rendition of Adele’s “Hometown Glory” as a nod to our shared history together; and we walked out as man and wife to The Lumineers’ “Ho Hey” on piano. We opted for miniature bite-sized bundt cakes for dessert; guests sampled three different flavors throughout the night. We also chose a DJ over a band and hand selected the playlist, knowing exactly what our friends and family wanted to hear after asking for requests on our wedding website. It was a success — most guests did not leave the dance floor until the lights came on.
The gentlemen in attendance particularly enjoyed the selection of scotch and cigars outside overlooking the golf course beside the fire pit as the night progressed. Our signature drink was a John Daly, and my priority was to keep champagne available to all throughout the night.
And we, the bride and the groom, enjoyed a few stolen moments of our own, our favorite at the end of the night alongside the fountain, at which all of the table arrangements, candles, and bouquets had been arranged for guests to admire as they departed. It was exquisite.
We were married on July 13, 2013. A very lucky day for us.
Photography: Josh Gruetzmacher Photography | Videographer: Uforia Films | Wedding Coordinator: Covenant Coordinating | Floral Design: The Bud Stop - Cathy Cowman | Invitations: William Arthur Fine Stationery | Ceremony Venue: Our Lady Of Perpetual Help Calistoga | Reception Venue: Mayacama | Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Joanna August | Hair And Makeup: Sophia Coyne Of Painted Ladies | DJ: California Mobile DJ | Bride's Dress: Carolina Herrera | Ceremony Music - Piano: Dan Zemelman | Ceremony Music - Vocals: Carol Menke | Dessert: Nothing Bundt Cakes | Rentals: Wine Country Party