Durham Ranch Wedding from Milou + Olin Photography + Bash Please
June 13, 2013
United States
ModernRusticRustic Weddings
On their own, Milou + Olin and Bash, Please are fabulous. No question. But combine their talents and it's a match made in blogging heaven. And with just one look at this ultra-chic black and white bash, you'll be singing the very same tune. It's modern romance at its finest with a wedding gallery you just can't afford to miss.
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From Nick...Jason and I met through a mutual friend and quickly established a rapport and comfort with each other that was unmatchable, equal parts best friends and partners-in-crime as we were romantic mates and loves of each other’s lives.  When we proposed to each other – long story, but my proposal to Jason was met with an incredible romantic counter-proposal involving the word YES spelled out in rose petals across the floor of our apartment – we knew we wanted our wedding to be comfortable and to reflect our style and character.  What mattered most to us was that we could throw a party that our family and friends would enjoy, and we kept that in mind at all times.

In touring wedding venues, we both immediately thought of our first vacation together, when we took a road trip up to San Francisco and Napa.  The first night we spent in Napa together, we walked outside and stared at the starry night sky in wonderment, and that Napa night sky held an almost mystical place in our hearts.  We headed up again to Napa to look at venues, and Durham Ranch was on our list, though as a likely “long shot.”  Durham Ranch was extremely remote.  On our drive there, after the umpteenth switchback on a narrow mountain road, Jason and I turned to each other and said, “unless this place is just incredible, I think we can cross this off our list.”  Of course, when we drove through the gates and entered the venue, we had found the definition of “just incredible.”  The natural beauty and remote location of the site was beautiful, but the impeccable style of the ranch house and the barn at Durham Ranch made us swoon.  We fell in love.

Paige and Kelly of Bash, Please were able to articulate our dreams, visions and style flawlessly.  As we worked with them, they helped us create a logo (a gentleman deer sipping coffee, in honor of the union of our last names, Dierman and Coffey) and they created for us a masculine tableau that read “traditional wedding” while also reading unique and artistic.  In honor of the Napa night sky, we chose to theme the wedding in navy blue and black.  Jason is allergic to many flowers, and we both loved the idea of a flower-free wedding studded with succulents, which lent the room a rustic and elegantly rugged air.  The beauty of a same-sex wedding is that there is no template and no required tradition, so throughout the process Jason and I tried to incorporate those elements of traditional weddings we loved (a first dance, a sit-down meal, a cocktail hour) while forging a path of our own.

Planning a same-sex wedding involved a few logistical hurdles (we legally married in the District of Columbia the week before our wedding day, for instance) and involved some gentle tweaks to a hetero-normative wedding industry, but at the end of the day we were planning an event based on the universality of love, and we were blessed to be around so many others who were so happy to be a part of our celebration.  That said, there are of course some questions we had to answer ourselves: could two grooms see each other before the ceremony on the wedding day? (We decided yes.)  How do you propose to another guy? (I decided with an “engagement watch.”)  Who walks you down the aisle? (Both of our moms and dads walked their sons down the aisle.)  Processional song? (“The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.”) First dance? (“Islands in the Stream.”) And we like to think that our friends invented a new tradition for weddings both same-sex and otherwise: the runway walkoff (granted, this is after several bottles of wine into the evening), where adventurous guests – including both of our mothers! – grabbed tablecloths, wigs, high heels and whatever else proved a last-minute accessory to strut down the aisle to Madonna’s “Vogue.”

We owe a multitude of thanks, of course, to our supportive families, our incredible friends, and Paige and Kelly (who we are now lucky to count among our incredible friends), and also to Caroline Winata with Tinywater (now Milou & Olin), who captured the spirit of the evening so fantastically and who radiates love with every click of the shutter, to Paula LeDuc Fine Catering, who just created an impeccable evening (and served an intoxicating tomato margarita we still talk about), to our gifted DJ The Flashdance who worked magic with his turntable, and to the other vendors who participated in and helped create the best day of our lives.


Photography: Milou + Olin Photography | Location: Durham Ranch | Event Planning, Flowers, + Stationery: Bash, Please | Catering: Paula LeDuc Fine Catering | Cake: SusieCakes | Music: The Flashdance | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals | Linens: La Tavola | Fashion Styling and Grooming: Art Conn | Nick's Suit: Yves Saint Laurent | Cufflinks: Ravi Ratan | Shoes: Harris Shoes Jason's Suit: J.Crew | Shirt: Brooks Brothers | Bow Tie: Tommy Hilfiger | Shoes: The Generic Man | Wedding Rug: West Elm