Country Club Elegance and French-International Flair: Valerie & Andrew!

Valerie and Andrew are true citizens of the world Рthey met in New York City, and then they  lived in many different places all over the world: Paris, Denver, Vancouver and Toronto  only a few of them. And since they are the most kind and charming young couple you can imagine, they made a lot of friends wherever they were living. When it came time to get married, I had the pleasure and the honor of being their wedding coordinator.They chose a beautiful country club in one of the most beautiful landscapes you can imagine to celebrate their love with their extended families and with all those friends, many of whom had come from Canada, the East Coast, even Europe.

And where is that magical spot where the two ultimately said their vows?

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Inland of Monterey – the Pasadera Country Club, an exclusive golf club whose Clubhouse is actually a Spanish-Mediterranean estate dating centuries back. Impressive architecture, original wood beams, frescoes, antique furniture and cobblestone courtyards surrounded by mature trees and the lush, rolling landscape of the Monterey Peninsula combine to transport you to another place and another time.

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front door resizedThe wedding celebration began with the ceremony under the iconic Big Oak Tree behind the mansion…

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The bride, resplendent in a one-shoulder trumpet dress

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with cathedral train and veil, and in hair and makeup by Jonathan Reisfeld, walked in on her mother’s arm,

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preceded by the couple’s two doggies, Pastis and Milo. Valerie and Andrew were officially married by a longtime friend of theirs, under a gauzy “chuppah” of organza draped across the branches of the oak tree.

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They came dancing down the aisle as “Mr.” and “Mrs.” and were immediately whisked away for photos, photos, photos – by another longtime friend and artistic photographer, Prof. Matthias Geiger.

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Their guests meanwhile enjoyed cocktails in the romantic courtyard with a whispering fountain in the middle… and white camellias gently floating in the water. It doesn’t get much more romantic than this!

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With the evening chill rolling in, guests gathered inside the artfully furnished mansion…

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and nibbled on hundreds of delicious handmade sweets – dozens of trays filling a whole table, a labor of love of the Mother of the Bride, until it was time for dinner and dancing!

In accordance with Valerie’s elegant color scheme of eggplant hues and silver, the dining tables were adorned with tall arrangements of gladiolus, curly willow, and hydrangeas, all artfully created by her closest family members. Talk about everyone contributing!

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Dancing began right away with the Hora Dance to the rousing melody of “Hava Naguila”- with the newlyweds being hoisted high up in the air on chairs while the wedding guests were dancing around them, picking up speed (and joy) by the minute!

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And dancing continued throughout the evening – expertly paced by DJ Kevin O’Scanlon from Sound in Motion.

The only little break the new husband and wife took from visiting tables and from dancing was – cutting the cake! The cake – an exquisite confection by the local Parker-Lusseau bakery, airy, moist, and intensely flavored – a true revelation!

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And here is why I love my job so much:

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Congratulations, Valerie and Andrew, and many happy years together!

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The Dogs in our Lives – and our Weddings!

Dear Canines, I have to offer you my sincerest apologies. I have shamefully neglected you lately, writing about your humans only. Which is not right – among other things because of the name of this publication: Wedding Woof!

So here’s to the “woofs” in Wedding Woof – and especially to those who were or will be stars in my weddings at A Day Like No Other! After all, I am the only wedding planner in all of Northern California specializing in dog-friendly weddings… so, now I’ll finally live up to that reputation and give all my readers a glimpse of how my couples have included (or will include) their beloved companions in their weddings.

Let’s start with Natasha and Fabian. They had a very traditional wedding with a full Catholic Mass for their ceremony, followed by a huge celebration for close to 250 guests. Their beloved boxer girl wasn’t allowed at the Church (of course not…) nor at their venue. But the two found a way!

Natasha and FabianThey headquartered in a beautiful dog-friendly hotel very close to their reception venue – and that’s where they spent the night before their wedding, the morning of their wedding day and later on their First Night (Inn at the Presidio). That way they had their pretty canine with them most of the time (and for the photos, of course!) – and while they were away, she was lovingly being taken care of onsite, just waiting for her humans to return to her at the end of the day, “just married!”

“Lucky” was even luckier! Her people (Peggy and Jose) got married outside, so their rambunctious puppy was allowed to stay onsite – but the waiting time until finally she was allowed close to her master and mistress again, stretched to near infinity for her…

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Now it’s time for a walk – off to married bliss!

Next up: Pastis and Milo! They were allowed to accompany their humans (Valerie and Andrew) all the time at their very dog-friendly wedding venue (Pasadera Golf Club, now Jack Nicklaus Golf Club, in Monterey). They even were the pro-forma ring bearers…

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Now come – two Cody’s!

Cody no. 1 is living with Amy and Tec who will get married in San Francisco in August. I happen to know because I am their wedding planner! And Cody happens to know, too – he actually mailed the “Save-the-dates:”

Amy Tec CodyIsn’t that cute?!

And here’s one more cutie: Cody no. 2. He is living with Pamela and John, and he will definitely be the star at their wedding in July:

Pams furbaby codyHis humans went to great lengths to find a totally dog-friendly venue so he could be with them all the time. Diablo Ranch in Walnut Creek proved to be the perfect choice for a wedding celebration equally kid- and dog-friendly, with a carnival theme and lots of fun for everyone.

Last but not least there is Buzz, an Australian Shepherd, without whom his Master’s wedding would have been – unthinkable! So Philipp, his loving Dad, and Michelle, his Mom-to-be, went on a quest to find an elegant but dog-friendly venue. On a hot day in August, they and their constant companion Buzz visited and instantaneously fell in love with Stonepine Estate in Carmel Valley. Said the groom, “Buzz used the first moment we were distracted to escape and jump into the reflecting pool – to emerge dripping and dirty, shaking vigorously, a total mess… Michelle and I were sure that that was the end of our wedding dreams at Stonepine! They would never let us come back. In a word, we were heartbroken. But – miracles still happen! Instead of being shocked, someone appeared with a stack of fluffy white bath towels for the canine visitor’s convenience… needless to say, that’s where we got married, with Buzz in attendance!”

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Please share your story – jutta@daylikenoother.com