Planning a wedding is somewhat like buying a house... the idea of it is exciting, the process quite challenging, you will most likely not check off everything on your wishlist, but in the end, it's the happiest day ever. Having gone through both experiences before, if there is any advice I can impart on you: choose your top three. The three things that you cannot do without. For me, it will always be blooms, backdrop (venue) and photography. Today's fete from onelove photography and Nancy Liu Chin fulfills every single one.
From the Bride... After Frank and I got engaged, he handed me the reins on creating my dream wedding. As much as I wanted to stick with my 6 year old's original plans, I wanted Frank to help decide the big questions. He chose to keep things close in San Francisco, and because he loves the heat, he wanted a summer wedding. With those two things in mind, I took off to the races with my Pinterest board!
I wanted our wedding to reflect our love for the City as well as Frank's heritage in the country. I hoped to be a princess bride but without too much effort. We decided on keeping things classic with a white, gold, light pink theme, showcasing greens, country roses, and dahlias, and bringing a little bit of homeliness to a vintage ballroom.
The flowers were top of mind. I loved working with Nancy Liu Chin for the floral arrangements. When I told her I wanted to keep things clean with whites, pinks, and peaches, she knew exactly how to plan it out. She used the 3 large fireplaces at the Julia Morgan Ballroom to showcase the flowers.
She lined the white isle (which was a MUST for me) with the table arrangements that would be moved. Also, because the ballroom is dark wood, we had a white dance floor that popped. Lastly, she worked with my Mom behind the scenes surprised me by wrapping my bouquet in material from my Mother's and Grandmother's wedding dresses.
My best friend, and bridesmaid, gave me the best advice... When planning a wedding with an opinionated mother, have 3 decisions that are yours that will not be changed. Everything else can can go. This saved me, and my Mother, a lot of arguments, and kept things easy throughout the process. A very amazing wedding planner like Julie Dunn didn't hurt either!
1. I always knew that I wanted to see my fiance at the top of the aisle, and not a second before. Seeing that surprise on his face when I walked down the isle was a moment I will cherish my entire life. Having my father walk me was just icing on the cake.
2. A cherished cousin of mind surprised our guests with a reading from Game of Thrones at the ceremony. Frank and I have read the books, seen the entire series, and dressed up as characters last Halloween, so having a reading that reflects us was important.
3. Last minute I changed the song for our father daughter dance. Instead of a slow crooner, I switched it to a Meatloaf song that my Dad and I have been singing together since I was 5 years old. The energy, dance moves, smiles, and tears flowed when the song came on. He was so happy. The crowd loved it just as much too.
4. Most of my amazing bridesmaids have been friends with me since kindergarten. They requested "Hold On" by Wilson Philips when the dancing started, and we 9 took the dance floor to belt it out. It was truly special.
5. My father's 1937 Packard made a special appearance at the wedding. It was parked at the entrance for guests to see as they entered, and Frank and I took the most magical pictures in it. As a little girl I told my Dad I wanted it at my wedding, and with the help of my Uncle, it was there.
6. Last but not least were our vows. We wrote them ourselves and they were read from the heart. I am so happy we can relive the readings through our videos, because I never felt so loved than at that moment.