Saying "I Do" Surrounded by Majestic Redwoods
March 21, 2018
RusticBarnSummer Weddings
This celebration goes from redwoods to elegant barn and sweeping hilltops without skipping a beat. Each spot has its own unique vibe but all fall into the "Crazy Gorgeous" category. Planned by Allison Weddings, with florals by Christine Cater Floral, and stunning images by Sylvie Gil, see how this elegant affair incorporates the beauty of Santa Lucia Preserve with a cultural pop of red.
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From the bride...We wanted our wedding to feel elegant yet playful and meaningful but also light hearted. The biggest compliment someone gave us afterward was, “your wedding was so Sarah and Mike.” The Santa Lucia Preserve was the perfect location - we got married under a dreamy fairy ring of majestic redwoods reciting personal vows and then danced the night away in a barn under a hanging garden of greenery, fueled by s’mores and other desserts from my favorite childhood bakeries. We laughed, we cried, and Mike took my breath away when he surprised me with a love song that he composed.

The nod to our heritage and families made the wedding feel extra special as we made sure to incorporate Chinese candy in our welcome bag, an Asian family style menu and pops of red, a color that plays a vital role in Chinese weddings, made a consistent appearance among the otherwise natural color palette of the wedding. Emily Asher, our stationary designer, even included red wax seals on the invite and menus!

The personal elements of the wedding were the most fun to work on and we loved weaving in details that reflected us, such as table names with investing terms, a fun fast-paced first dance, and a groom’s cake replica of a laptop featuring a “Marriage Merger Model.” One of my biggest learnings during the wedding process is that there is no “typical” wedding – everything you do to personalize your wedding will make it that much more meaningful. As an example, I asked my brother to emcee and speak at the wedding. He has been my best friend for 25 years and his hilarious and moving speech was one of the biggest highlights.

We thought the most important part of our wedding was our ceremony and making this feel like us. We invited Mike’s childhood pastor to officiate our wedding as he had known Mike for over 15 years and he and his wife had led our premarital counseling sessions in the months leading up to the wedding. Our personal vows were a quirky mix of light-hearted humor and heartfelt promises to each other. In case of heat, Allison’s team set engraved Chinese fans on all the chairs before the guests arrived. While I walked down the aisle, I asked a dear friend to sing the song that I used to listen to on repeat when I first met Mike. Hearing Colbie Caillat’s You Got Me was a walk down memory lane as we took the next leap in our relationship.

Finally, a consistently packed dance floor was one of the things that Mike and I both knew we wanted. We had a neon light sign made with our hashtag, #WangDingParty, to set the tone, and surprised our guests as we turned our slow waltz into a choreographed hip hop and salsa dance. When we opened up the dance floor immediately after, the energy was already high. We were ecstatic when our DJ Jon Belmont told us afterward, “I’ve never seen a wedding dance floor last that long!” To keep the party going despite strict noise restrictions, we turned the party into a silent