Headlands Center for the Arts Wedding by Ashley O'Dell Photography
July 24, 2012
United States
Simplicity is so underrated. And just happens to be a favorite style of mine, because that's when you see the real details start to shine through. The smiles, the emotion, the love and the thought behind every touch just seems to be magnified when simplicity is sitting at the head table. And when Ashley O'Dell is behind the lens to capture it all, that's when you get to see simple sophistication done oh-so-right. And boy was it done right at this pretty fête. You can see it all right here.
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From the Bride... Our May wedding was in Sausalito at the Headlands Center for the Arts, an amazing artist-rehabilitated military building that situated just north of the Golden Gate Bridge at historic Fort Barry. Will and I loved every minute of the day — our emotional ceremony, officiated by my brother-in-law, our walk through the rolling hills of the Marin Headlands and dancing to our crazy '80s cover band. Our goal for the day was to gather all of our loved ones in one place and to simply have fun. My husband and I have been together for 11 years, and we have such a phenomenal support system of loving, generous, outgoing, creative and hilarious family and friends that, although it was our wedding day, we wanted it to be about them too. We wanted everyone to have a blast and to also have an opportunity to spend quality time with each guest. We hoped for a relaxed, uncomplicated, and beautiful day, and that is exactly what we got.

When we first starting planning the wedding, we had no strong vision. Unlike so many people, I had not been planning my wedding since I was little. All I knew is that I wanted it to feel natural, simple and lovely — no crazy, high maintenance décor or day-of schedule. To do that, we choose shades of natural greens and a touch of pale pink in our flowers and decorations. I got the idea from a good friend’s wedding to use items other than flowers for centerpieces and other décor, and artichokes were the perfect choice to fit with our color scheme and natural, rustic theme. We bought bushels of fresh artichokes from Pezzini Farms in Castroville and used the vegetable all over the venue for decoration. We also found a cute artichoke rubber stamp (okay, it was a lotus flower stamp, but it sure looked like an artichoke) and with a team of my mother, father-in-law and gaggle of nieces, used small pieces of kraft paper and twine to create beautiful seating cards for our guests.

Our venue is one of the most amazing places I’ve been to, and it was very important to us to let its character and natural beauty shine through on the big day. We didn’t want to clutter it up with too many decorations, and we were able to find an amazing florist and day of coordinator who helped bring our vision to life. Natalie Bowen created abstract and unique centerpieces with various lovely greens, peonies and ranunculus and blew me away with my bouquet of pale pink peonies. Our wedding day was truly amazing, and I am so thankful to everyone who helped make it perfect. My one piece of advice to brides is to remember to stop, look around and take in all the amazing people, flowers, food and love that define your wedding day. It goes by so fast that you need to make an effort to take it all in and enjoy every minute.

Wedding Photography: Ashley O'Dell Photography / Wedding Venue: Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito, California / Floral Design: Natalie Bowen Designs / Wedding Day Coordination: be hitched event planning & design / Catering: Katie Powers Catering / Desserts: Food: The Final Frontier / Band: Pop Rocks / Wedding Dress: Carolina Herrera / Bride's Shoes: Kate Spade / Hair + Makeup: Fox & Doll