Romantic California Estate Wedding at Kohl Mansion
June 13, 2014
RomanticEstate WeddingsSummer Weddings
One look at Kohl Mansion and it's as if you're transported back to a time when elegance and glamour were the everyday norm. And folded into that stately elegance is a wedding with romance built into its very fiber. Captured by Bokeh Photography with design and florals by Nancy Liu Chin Designs, this day is dripping in moody blooms and candlelight. See even more right here.
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From Nancy Liu Chin Designs....As a wedding vendor, there is an instant connection when your bride picks the same venue that you once got married at. My husband, Kevin, and I picked Kohl Mansion for our wedding because it was this grand, charming, English manor just a short 30 minute drive from urban San Francisco. We always thought of Kohl Mansion as this hidden gem in the Bay Area. Samantha and Gene also fell in love with Kohl Mansion's equally beautiful landscaped grounds set against its brick facade. It's the ultimate venue for a couple who want their wedding to be romantic with an old world vintage charm.

Feeling like she could trust me, Samantha let me run with a few of her style ideas. One of the first things I remember from our meeting was that Samantha truly wanted her wedding to feel timeless in a dramatic way. Though she used the word "goth" and "vamp" to describe what she wanted, she meant moody in that romantic moody way. Together we landed on antique blushes, soothing creams, deep chocolates, ebony blacks and vintage brassy golds. Flowers that she loved included the luxurious 'Cafe au Lait' dinner plate dahlias, dark smoke foliage, creamy mop head hydrangeas, white anemones with black centers, and other romantic flowers and textural elements. Blushes have been quite popular as of yet but for our bride, Samantha, she wanted to balance the pastels with deep and dark hues that fit the wood interior of the Kohl Mansion's grand ballroom which is a refreshing update to blush and nude hues.

Samantha was a very wonderful bride because she had no fear. Tackling decor projects were exciting for her and she utilized her creativity but designing her own invitation suite. Even the paper flowers for the aisle was a task that she was more than willing to take on. Though I am not a DIY fan, I knew in Samantha's hand, she would make sure they were done like a professional.

One of my favorite floral details was the asymmetric floral arrangements design for their ceremony canopy. Being that Samantha wanted nothing that was the standard or typical, she wanted the flowers to be off balance which made the canopy more interesting. I'm so lucky to have a bride willing to try a different style from the norm because she's so right --- it made for a more interesting look.

One trend that I like this year is white with black. Her gown with that black ribbon was just enough to make it interesting. Together with Gene, they looked so classy as her gown against his clean tuxedo was perfection. Even though Samantha and Gene dressed to the nines, they didn't take themselves too seriously and had fun which is the most important thing about one's wedding day. You have to enjoy the process and the day because times flies when you are having a blast.

From The Bride....My husband and I started dating as freshmen in college and have been together for almost 10 years – this wedding was a long time coming! We always knew we were going to get married but never really discussed the type of wedding we wanted. All we knew was that it had to be convenient for our family and friends (so local to the Bay Area), true to us as a couple, and tons of fun.

Kohl Mansion was one of the first venues we saw and we absolutely fell in love. Just pulling into the parking lot, we knew that it would offer the breathtaking and memorable affair we dreamed of. It definitely set the tone for the rest of the planning process. And since we were tackling everything on our own, we knew we had to choose our vendors carefully and wisely.

My husband was the sounding board as I created the day. Design was very important to me and I wanted our night to be beautiful. I was most inspired by my Wedding Dress made by the impeccable Vera Wang (you’ll swoon after reading her “Behind the Dress” blog post), and florist, Nancy Liu Chin. I imagined romance, modern and classic elements, with some dark enchantment and mystery running throughout. My favorite part of the planning process was bringing this vision to life through DIY projects such as designing the entire invitation suite and paper goods from scratch, and making bouquets of paper flowers from lovely Italian and German crepe paper.

When the day finally came and ceremony music was cued, everything just fell into place. Sure it was a hectic and bumpy road getting there, but the ceremony couldn’t have been more perfect. The sun was shining, everything looked beautiful, and our favorite people in the world surrounded us. It was surreal. The night continued with free-flowing cocktails in the courtyard, dinner in the romantic, candlelit Grand Hall, dancing, and a decadent dessert bar full of macarons, cupcakes, cakes, donuts, and homemade goodies by my Aunt. Our favorite moment had to be the wedding party introductions which was just so much fun!

We could not have done any of this without the help of our amazing vendors and many family and friends. Thanks again to our loved ones for giving us the most memorable night of our lives!