As a wedding planner, I am asked for advice on a multitude of wedding-related decisions, but one recurring theme is: “what should we do for invitations?” Two decades ago, the answer would have been simple and straightforward: have them designed and printed in a stationery store. Period.
Obviously, that has changed – there is now so much more to choose from! In recent years, many of my clients have opted for online invitations (an unthinkable breach of etiquette still not too long ago…) which have become attractive and very convenient AND increasingly accepted. Be it Paperless Post or (my favorite) Greenvelope – the option of including all necessary information and even photos and music into a wedding invitation, and to integrate RSVPs and meal choices in that same process, is definitely attractive.
But even clients who choose printed invitations have a decision to make – and that is: custom or template?
Honestly, the foremost consideration here is price. Custom invitations are expensive – no wonder, considering how much talent, creativity and work go in there! Here are a few examples from previous weddings of mine and from styled photoshoots.
Custom table numbers for clients from Southern China, showing classical painterly motifs from their native country, by A Day Like No Other
So, now you see the whole range of custom invitations – from traditional to modern, from romantic to whimsical… Is it possible to achieve a similar effect with online templates? You will be surprised – even I as a real “design purist” have to admit that YES, it is possible to achieve something quite unique and beautiful by using premade designs and customizing them. My all-time go-to website for this purpose is minted.com with its myriad options, some of which I will show you in the following – real ones that have been used for previous weddings that I designed. (And the best thing: you, the clients, can get discounts at minted.com as well!). Here we go:
Well… impressed? I hope that’ll give everyone a lot to think about, AND a lot to choose from!
Lately, I had to travel to the San Francisco Bay Area for work and needed a hotel to stay. Someone recommended Canyon Ranch in Woodside, and to my great embarrassment, I had not heard of it before despite the fact that I had lived close by for fourteen years. I decided to give it a try – and I am so happy that I did!
Canyon Ranch is different from any hotel I have known so far – it is actually a wellness retreat, geared at the relaxation of body and mind. Hidden behind a dark, solid metal gate, you would never guess what’s beyond: a true oasis of peace and tranquillity with all the creature comforts you can imagine.
The entrance to the hotel already sets the tone: a grey, three-story siding-clad building that literally melds into the surrounding Redwood Forest, respectful to undisturbed nature; a modern, streamlined water feature displaying the hotel name, accompanied by the gentle sounds of splashing water – nothing fancy or frilly that might distract from the simplicity and tranquillity that is the guiding principle of this experience.
My room was located in one of several “tree houses” – small cabin-like structures built right into the forest, some clinging to a steep incline, supported by stilts (like mine) which house two units on top of each other and balconies hovering among the tree tops.
You really feel you are in a tree house. All you hear is birdsong and the rustling of the wind in the leaves. Peace and quiet.
My room itself was an interior design marvel illustrating just that – peace and quiet. Simple shapes, balanced proportions, quiet colors and top-notch materials: all came together to form the perfect cocoon to calm down and relax.
As a designer myself, I was delighted. Every little detail was – just right. A joy for the eye as much as for the soul.
A backdrop of an enormously enlarged wood slice, a comfy bed with down pillows, bedding of all natural materials, a dimmable bedside lamp, a juxtaposition of textures (stingray skin and glass top on the bedside table!) – I could go on and on. I also had a beautiful leather sofa with a cuddly sheepskin cushion – again, clean lines, great comfort and a contrast of textures. The same for my bathroom with a big soaking tub, modern, minimalist fixtures and oh-so-fragrant toiletries…
In the words of Apple founder Steve Jobs: “Simplicity is the utmost sophistication.”
Wrapped up in the most comfortable and soft hotel robe, I did my work lounging with a view of the forest. It was as close to the full retreat experience as I could get!
Then it was dinnertime. Did I already mention that all meals are included? So easy – a short walk to the dining room and terrace in the golden light of the sunset…
Meals are served either on the terrace or in the adjacent dining room; either at a table or while sitting around a fire table (in this case, you’ll dine from a wooden tray on your knees – they’ve thought of everything!) – whatever you feel like. And while I am on a continuous strict diet, I had to relent while at Canyon Ranch: their food is just heavenly, and it would have been a sin not to enjoy it! Food is a big part of the “feel good” experience, and mealtime brings together the guests for leisurely conversation.
A few delicious examples:
Corn ravioli in an artistic presentation…
Maitake mushrooms with greens and nuts…
… everything served in beautiful ceramic bowls in the soothing soft shades of grey that dominate the whole property. Talk of design!!
Next morning, my breakfast was just as fantastic…
I chose the freshly pressed orange juice (best juice I ever had!), coffee and blueberry pancakes…
… outside on the patio, with a glorious view. What a way to start the day! The other guests (the ones who did not have to work!) went off to nature hikes, yoga and massages or headed to the state-of-the-art gym. I allowed myself 30 minutes of hard swim in the spectacular pool – after all, I had to work off all those delicious calories, right?!
In short – I loved it. I will definitely be back – but in addition, this would be a fantastic location for an intimate wedding, a quiet bachelorette party, a “Mini Moon,” a spa day (and night) for bride and bridesmaids, and a wonderful place for wedding guests to stay. With 43 guest rooms, Canyon Ranch can definitely accommodate enough out-of-town guests and the newlyweds themselves – with regenerating activities for everyone. Meditation, yoga, painting, fitness, kayaking, Tai Chi, Ikebana – guests will be entertained and at the same time achieve perfect relaxation. There are patios with views of the forest which would be the perfect spot to say “I Do” in an unforgettable setting. The food would be equally spectacular. There would be a wedding cake and dancing. What else could you desire…?
So now you understand why I am calling Canyon Ranch my personal discovery of the year. Do go and experience it yourselves. You will come back a believer, I guarantee it!
Taylor and Sheldon are a busy professional couple, living out of state – and for planning and designing their wedding, they enlisted the help of my company, A Day Like No Other. They had chosen a venue close to where the bride grew up and where her parents are still living: Thomas Fogarty Winery in Woodside. Simply perfect for the garden-themed summer wedding the couple was envisioning, elegant and romantic in ivory and lilac hues, with a few metallic gold accents.
Their invitations set the tone:
The bride and her bridesmaids were getting ready at the house of the bride’s parents, with hair and makeup services by Aqua Beauty Lounge.
Meanwhile, the ceremony area had been set up, officiant Chris Thielen had arrived, and DJ Paul Burchfield of Big Fun Disc Jockeys had the music going as guests began to arrive (via shuttles from Corinthian Ground Transportation). It was the perfect summer day, warm and sunny under a cloudless blue sky, and with a slight breeze.
The ceremony lawn offers endless views, from the San Francisco skyline all the way to Silicon Valley.
And here comes the bride, on her father’s arm.
After her father formally “gave her away” to Sheldon, Taylor joined him and officiant Chris Thielen for the ceremony.
… and “You may now kiss your bride!”
Just married!! And off to many more photos and video …
… while guests enjoyed Fogarty wines and hors d’oeuvres (all food and bar services by Melons Catering) on the open Deck at Fogarty Winery.
Disclaimer up front: we are only allowed to show you the beautiful details of this wedding celebration – not the couple, not their bridal party, family or guests. The couple are very private people, and we have to respect that, so all names on signage and stationery are redacted, and we cannot share photos showing recognizable faces. BUT there is still a lot to see!
While planning her wedding with the support of my company, A Day Like No Other, the bride gave me clear directives for my design process: the color scheme – the whole spectrum from periwinkle, light and dark blue to purple hues, accented with a small dose of metallic silver – and the overall style of the event – everything classic and feminine. What a brief to work with! Have a look how all this turned out:
The bride had her invitation suite and most of her wedding day stationery custom-designed (by Momental Designs), based on watercolor artwork showing the beautiful venue and its surroundings and accented in her chosen colorway. It was the perfect way to set the stage for what was to come!
For her bridal bouquet, the bride had specified a “hand-tied, symmetrical, contained” design – and here it is in all its beauty (all florals by PlanDecor):
The altar arrangements were a reflection of both the natural beauty of the venue and of the bride’s preference for classic wedding flowers in her favorite hues.
Cocktail arrangements and centerpieces played up the same theme – it was all one perfect harmony of design and colors across all decorative elements.
The dinner setup in the open Pavilion came together beautifully, and heat lamps ensured the comfort of the guests.
Linen and napkin colors as well as the silver chargers were the “supporting actors” in our design scheme…
… and even the table numbers were following along!
Guests found their seating assignments on a board that OF COURSE kept to the blue and lilac hues and floral motifs we already know…
The couple was busy taking post-ceremony photos with their photographer extraordinaire, Megan Reeves...
… while guests were indulging in hors d’oeuvres (all catering and bar by Continental Catering) and Fogarty wines.
Finally, the newlyweds rejoined their guests at dinner, presiding from their Sweetheart Table. After that came dancing, dancing, dancing!!!
So – have I promised too much? The design and decor of this wedding celebration were so cohesive and beautiful… I hope you’ll all get inspired!
Liz and Doug engaged my company, A Day Like No Other, early on to support their planning for their wedding day, actually, more than a year in advance. It felt like a long time! Little did we know what would be happening… among other things, buying a house, renovating it, moving in, all the while working full-time AND working on wedding planning! When we first met, the couple had just decided on their wedding venue: Thomas Fogarty Winery, high up on a mountain ridge overlooking a good part of the San Francisco Peninsula – on clear days, the views encompass the San Francisco skyline to the north all the way to Silicon Valley in the south. It is absolutely spectacular.
A fantastic starting point – and especially bride Liz was not to compromise on everything else, either! Every single vendor and every single decor element were thoroughly researched and chosen with care. The result? An unforgettable celebration where simply everything was just right.
It started with Liz’s wedding dress…
… diaphanous – and as romantic and feminine as the bride herself.
Here are Liz’s “princess slippers”…
… and here are the wedding rings!
Liz had had her hair and makeup done by Christina of Makeup by Quis before arriving at the venue. There , Liz got dressed with the help of her Maid of Honor …
… and very obviously, she is already having the time of her life.
Meanwhile, groom Doug was getting ready as well.
Ready for their First Look – both of them! Photographer Danielle Gillett captured every precious moment of the day.
The grounds at Fogarty winery offer so many romantic spots for photos – it is hard to decide where to go first.
Liz’ bridal bouquet (all flowers by Poppy’s Petalworks) reflected her romantic, feminine style and were the perfect fit both for the beautiful garden setting and for the springtime event.
A whole profusion of flowers then adorned the unconventional “arch” the couple had chosen – a perfect golden circle which would be the backdrop for their vows.
It does not get more beautiful than this!!
The ceremony on the lawn was officiated by a family member, and DJ Woody Miraglia of Big Fun Disc Jockeys together with a musician friend of the couple provided musical accompaniment.
” I Do!”
The moment they had been waiting for so long: “Just Married!!”
While their guests were invited to cocktails and hors d’oeuvres (all catering by michi’s) and had fun with the Night Owl photo booth, the newlyweds still had more photos to take. “Stars of the show” were, of course, their adorable flower girls:
Aren’t they looking like delicate porcelain dolls?
And more couple’s portraits, of course…
Meanwhile, both the caterer team and my production crew had been busy putting the finishing touches on the dinner setup in the open Pavilion.
The simple-elegant place settings were accentuated with just one delicate Eucalyptus sprig.
Of course, the gorgeous floral centerpieces were the focal point of each table.
After dinner, an incredible dessert buffet (from La Vie Douce) was awaiting the guests, and in addition to that, a beautiful wedding cake.
The couple performed their official first task as husband and wife – the ceremonial cutting of their wedding cake (also from La Vie Douce) – with joy and with bravura!
The same could be said about their First Dance which they had practiced tirelessly, and it showed!
This opened the dance floor to an epic dance party…
Before it was all over, the newlyweds stole away for a quiet moment out on the patio, overlooking the beautiful landscape.
Wishing you romance and beauty for the rest of your shared life, Liz and Doug!
Artistic talent runs in both Beth’s and Rob’s families. Beth is an accomplished vocalist and music teacher. Rob’s mother is an exceptional painter. But there is more: both Beth and Rob are nature lovers – small wonder then, that they chose Nestldown as their wedding venue. Hidden in the Redwoods of the Santa Cruz Mountains, this wedding venue on 36 acres has it all: a natural “chapel” in an ancient Redwood grove for romantic ceremonies, rustic-elegant event spaces (think gardens with pergolas and fire tables, a “barn” illuminated by an enormous crystal chandelier) and whimsical touches galore – from a life-size train, a fairytale cottage and a sand sculpture to transportation by authentic London taxis!
After more than a year of planning, the big day had finally arrived, and it was just perfect: warm, sunny, blue skies and a slight breeze. For Beth, the day began with hair and makeup by Carly Wise who brought out the bride’s delicate features with a feminine updo and artfully-near invisible makeup. Beth was positively glowing!
Next: flowers! Beth did not want “traditional” wedding flowers – she wanted wildflowers! Loose, organic blooms in a riot of colors. Only problem: wildflowers are notoriously fragile and would not stand up to the rigors of a wedding day; they would wilt in a matter of half an hour. What to do? Enter florist extraordinaire Janelle Jacky-Litt of Green Petal Designs: she created bouquets and arrangements that look exactly like wildflowers (Beth LOVED them!) but were actually based on hardier varietals. Here is one of the bridesmaids’ bouquets.
And here she is, carrying her bridal bouquet:
Isn’t she gorgeous?!
Groom Rob with likewise getting ready…
Beth and Rob had made it a point to have as many pre-ceremony photos taken as possible – to have more time with their guests after the ceremony – so that’s where they were headed. Photographer Megan Reeves and assistant captured every precious moment – for example, the couple’s First Look.
There were also many bridal party photos on the program…
Eventually, the newlyweds arrived by train and joined the party.
Meanwhile, dinner on the Main Lawn had been set up…
… with a Koi Pond as its backdrop.
While all guest tables were splendid with elegant place settings…
… with hand-painted menu cards (like all other wedding stationery and signage, designed by the Mother of the Groom) and vibrant “wildflower” centerpieces…
… the Head Table, of course, received special treatment.
Tables had not been numbered, but named after bird species – the groom is an ornithologist, after all! For entree choice markers, the couple chose various wildflower species, true to style!
And so that guests would not get lost among all the birds, the Mother of the Groom had also created an artistic map showing the location of each table.
Needless to say – the name of each table was displayed as a beautiful painting of the bird it was named after.
Over dinner, dusk began to fall, and the myriad twinkle lights installed in the tall Redwood trees surrounding the main lawn began to sparkle – it was truly magical.
Once dinner and toasts and speeches were done, guests were invited into the Barn for desserts and dancing. Again – never ones to simply follow tradition, the couple had opted for their favorite fruit pies (a huge table full of them!) over a typical wedding cake, and their guests really “dug in.” Then it was time for Beth’s and Rob’s First Dance, accompanied by more of their musician friends. Watching these two gently twirl underneath the giant crystal chandelier was a truly unforgettable moment.
Then the bride danced with her Dad and the groom with his Mom…
and after that, the dance floor was opened to an epic dance party.
with all-time favorite tunes (yes, ABBA, for example!) and glow sticks for everyone… and in the end, nobody wanted to go home! The newlyweds were whisked away into their married bliss by London Taxi… keep dancing, singing and watching birds in perpetual happiness, Beth and Rob!
Gianna and Kyle had something like a whirlwind romance – Kyle proposed just a year and a half into their relationship, and a month later, the two had brought my company, A Day Like No Other, on board for their wedding planning. Their dream venue – Nestldown Estate in Los Gatos – was booked, and off we went on a yearlong endeavor to make their wedding celebration truly special, memorable, and above all, uniquely theirs.
Last October, the big day had finally come. Bride and groom were getting ready at Hotel Valencia in San Jose …
…. and the bride and her bridesmaids enjoyed hair and makeup services by stylists from Wowpretty Salon.
Gianna had chosen a very feminine, romantic wedding dress.
Photographer Melissa Floriano and videographer Sean Kurtela joined the bridal party to capture all the precious moments – AND the gorgeous details!
As avid “stargazers,” bride and groom chose a celestial motif for their invitations – a glittery starry sky, actually, and the bride’s earrings reflect the same “heavenly” taste!
Bride Gianna got into her dress with the assistance of her bridesmaids …
… while in a suite at the other end of the hotel, groom Kyle and his groomsmen were likewise dressing up.
Time to transfer to the venue (via Corinthian Ground Transportation) for the couple’s First Look and many photos and video footage! As their First Look location, Gianna and Kyle had chosen the charming Fairytale Cottage onsite.
Next up: couple’s portraits and bridal party photos.
Gianna wore a star-studded hairpiece to complement her earrings, and for her bridal bouquet, she had chosen ivory and dark red blooms in an effortlessly feminine style (all florals by Lotus & Lily Floral Design). Dark red was also the color of choice for the bridesmaids’ dresses…
… while the gentlemen wore classic charcoal grey (with honey-colored dress shoes!).
And here is the whole impressive lineup of 8 bridesmaids and 8 groomsmen plus officiant!
Bridal party having fun!
In the meantime, the ceremony area in the “Chapel,” a dramatic redwood grove, had been set up and decorated with a circular arch, embellished with gorgeous flowers.
At the entrance to the aisle, little containers with bubbles waited for the guests, to blow bubbles on the newlyweds after the ceremony.
And here is the “aisle” – a dramatic stairway descending down a wooded hill into the Redwood clearing.
Soon enough, guests began arriving, greeted by a customized Welcome sign.
The ceremony, officiated by a close friend of the couple, began on time, with the processional of the groom…
… and HERE COMES THE BRIDE!
Los Gatos DJs provided beautiful wedding music (and for the groom’s entrance, a march out of “Star Wars!”)
“You may now kiss the bride!”
Just married! The parents of the groom walked out with the “guest of honor” of the day – the couple’s puppy dog “Muffin.”
While the newlyweds had many more photos and videos to take…
… their guests were treated to cocktails and hors d’oeuvres (by Eisenhauer’s Catering) and to musical entertainment and photo booth fun (both by Los Gatos DJs). When it was time for dinner, guests found their seating assignments on a pretty seating chart…
… on the way to the Great Lawn where dinner tables had been set up. There were also baskets with cozy blankets to keep everyone warm.
Dark blue and maroon, accented by metallic gold, set an elegant tone. The newlyweds presided over the whole “congregation” from their special Sweetheart Table, adorned (like all guest tables) with lavish floral centerpieces by Lotus & Lily.
As dusk was falling, the lights in the surrounding trees came on, and the atmosphere turned magical.
After dinner, guests were invited to dancing in the Barn, the central building at Nestldown. A “barn” only by architectural style, it is a truly unique and elegant event space…
… crowned by an enormous crystal chandelier. This is where Gianna and Kyle enjoyed their First Dance as a married couple…
When Jonathan (JC) and James (JJ) approached my company, A Day Like No Other, for help with planning their upcoming wedding for 250 guests, they had chosen their venue – Hangar One, a vodka distillery, in Alameda with views of the SF Bay – but were at a loss what to do next. The sheer amount of vendor decisions and details suddenly felt overwhelming. Plus, their wedding date was a mere five months away.
So we jumped right in! We were planning for a tent for dinner and dancing – a necessity, given the open site and the October date of the event. Since the two wished for a masculine design esthetic in line with the gritty-industrial character of their venue, we chose metal dining chairs and chargers that looked like weathered concrete, accompanied by matte-black cutlery. Then there was catering, ceremony decor, flowers, music, photo and video… and a thousand more details! Our five months of planning time went by in a rush – and then the big day had suddenly come.
The two were getting ready together at a nearby hotel…
No “First Look” necessary – just fun photos together! Photographer Anna Wu and videographer Allen Myers captured every precious moment.
Time to transfer to the venue!
The bridal party in the barrel room – that’s a really impressive space…
… and it’s pretty clear why JC and JJ were so taken by this venue!
Then there was a little quiet time to spend with their groomsmen.
Guests began arriving for the ceremony, and each of them received a favor tote bag (filled with sunglasses, a fan and more useful little items for the evening) emblazoned with the motto “Love is Love.”
The ceremony site had meanwhile been set up by the venue staff, the catering staff and the florist crew (Green Petal Designs) – with chic translucent “Ghost” chairs, an angular arch with asymmetric floral accents and with floral arrangements on all chairs bordering the aisle. A live hedge formed a beautiful backdrop above which the San Francisco skyline rose in the distance. What a sight!
Sound in Motion DJs provided sound for the ceremony (and for the whole evening)…
And there, it’s happening – with over 250 guests in attendance.
Signing the marriage license…
… and: it’s official!
Guests were meanwhile treated to elaborate cocktails by Runway Spirits (including the vodka that is distilled onsite!), to hors d’oeuvres by Carrie Dove Catering, and to entertainment: The Booth Bus photo booth had set up and was open for (fun) business!
As the fog was rolling in as the sun was setting, Cocktail Hour concluded, and guests were invited to dinner. They found their seat assignments via custom-designed escort cards…
… arranged on a spectacular linen shot with metallic silver threads.
Then dinner was ready in the spectacular clear-walled tent (by Stuart Event Rentals – all rental items), with unobstructed views across the San Francisco Bay.
The decor (by A Day Like No Other) struck just the right balance between masculine chic, modernity and elegance, and the effortlessly overspilling floral arrangements (by Green Petal Designs) added a touch of playfulness, color and texture to the mix.
Dinner under twinkling string lights was not only delicious, but a decidedly fun occasion.
The next order of the day for the newlyweds: cutting the cake (by Sugar Butter Flour Bakery).
Not to forget: the official First Dance!
At the conclusion of the evening, guests got treated to whimsical favors – very special dice handpicked by the now-newlywed gaming enthusiasts…
… here serving as a very unique display for their wedding bands!
What a party… and when it concluded at Hangar One, an afterparty went on offsite. These two know how to celebrate! Keep partying, JC and JJ!
“J” and “S” are both very private people – so all we are allowed to share about the glorious summer wedding we at A Day Like No Other planned and designed for them are detail shots. Given how beautiful and unique their chosen venue – Nestldown – is, and given the exquisite decor and details of their nuptials, it’s well worth the effort! Photographer Stephane Leon and videographer Tony Castaneda captured every precious moment.
The bride spent the night before the wedding at the onsite guesthouse at Nestldown – an experience all its own! First order of the day: hair and makeup services by Wowpretty Salon.
The secluded patio at the guesthouse was the perfect location to capture her exquisite wedding dress.
True princess slippers – beaded and embellished – complemented this one-of-a kind dress.
Delicate mother-of-pearl jewelry, a hint of fragrance… and the bride was ready to get dressed, with the help of her mother and bridesmaids.
And here she is – ready for the ceremony! (The bride was adamant: no First Look! The first moment for her groom to see her would be at the ceremony).
A dramatic cathedral-length veil accompanied the dress – quite audacious, given the terrain at Nestldown!
Groom “S” was getting ready as well…
… wearing true classics, including monogrammed shirt cuffs – however, HIS way (no socks!).
The ceremony area had been set up in the “chapel,” a stunning natural grove of towering, centuries-old Redwood trees.
Lush arrangements of summer flowers (all floral decor by Green Petal Designs) lined the aisle which was covered with ivory rose petals. It was a gorgeous sight to behold.
This is the aisle at Nestldown for brides and grooms to enter the ceremony area – talk about drama!
While we are not at liberty to share any photos of the ceremony, we may show the beautiful dinner setup on the main lawn, with crossback chairs and classically-elegant place settings, summery centerpieces by Green Petal Designs, and the permanently installed twinkle lights in the surrounding trees which turned the scene magical as dusk was falling.
On their way to dinner, guests signed magnum bottles of the couple’s favorite wine, to be opened on milestone anniversaries to come.
Blue Heron Catering served a delicious meal as the sun was setting beyond the treetops. Next highlight of the evening: a showstopper of a wedding cake by The Buttery, as delicious as it was pretty to look at.
Dancing (including a choreographed First Dance routine!) happened in the Barn, the central building of the Nestldown event space, under an enormous crystal chandelier, and to the tunes of Big Fun Disc Jockeys.
At the conclusion of the evening, the couple departed in true Nestldown style: in an original historic London taxi!
A wedding a full three years in the making – hard to believe! But like so many other couples, Roxanna’s and Clay’s planning got derailed first by the COVID pandemic, and then by an accident and surgeries… and all that added up to three years of planning and replanning. I was so honored that my company, A Day Like No Other, was chosen for this task, with Clay’s mother deeply involved in all design decisions – and she did a FABULOUS job! Finally, the Great Day had arrived, and Heavens literally smiled on Roxanna and Clay, with a glorious summer day at Nestldown Estate in the Redwoods of Los Gatos.
Roxanna and her bridesmaids had spent the night before together at the luxurious onsite guesthouse, so the morning of Wedding Day went off to a leisurely start with hair and makeup services by Fiona and team of Urban Beauty Loft.
While the ladies were being transformed into the most beautiful versions of themselves…
… all vendor teams were hard at work behind the scenes to make the couple’s vision a reality.
The Nestldown venue team was preparing the ceremony site and all the whimsical features that the venue offers – from the life-size train to the authentic London taxis – while orchestrating a multitude of vendor deliveries.
Florist Natasha from Golden Fields Floristry decorated the hexagonal arch the couple had chosen with a profusion of gorgeous summer flowers in their favorite shades of pink, mauve and ivory.
… which florist Natasha then decorated with lush green garlands, pink and ivory blooms and candles. Elegant place settings in gold and pink and laser-cut name “cards” completed the rustic-elegant look.
Then, of course, the catering team had to prepare food and set up the bars and and and…
All the while, our photographers (Bre Thurston and team) and videographer (Will Cook of Kindlewood Films) captured the preparations and then took the couple out into the Redwoods for their First Look.
For the time being, we only have a few preview photos from Bre in addition to our iPhone snapshots, but wait until you see ALL their photos and video!
Soon enough, guests began arriving, and our ceremony musicians – the Mersonacta string quartet under the leadership of Laura Jeannin – serenaded the guests as they were being seated in the “chapel” – an impressive natural Redwood grove.
Here comes the bride, on her father’s arm, to the sounds of Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love With You.” The ceremony was officiated by a close friend of the couple, with just the right mix of lightheartedness and gravitas.
And here they are – JUST MARRIED!!!
Off to many more photos, while guests were treated to drinks and delicious hors d’oeuvres.
For extra entertainment, the couple had booked The Booth Bus, an authentic vintage VW bus outfitted with a state-of-the-art photo booth.
Next up – dinner on the Main Lawn! Guests found their table assignments on the escort card table.
The newlyweds had a beautifully decorated Sweetheart Table all to themselves, overlooking the romantic Koi Pond and presiding over the long rows of guest tables.
DJ and MC “King” Raffi of Sound in Motion invited guests to dinner and took over musical entertainment from then on. BZC Catering served a delicious farm-to-table menu, toasts were proposed …
… and as dusk fell and the string lights in the trees surrounding the Main Lawn were coming on twinkling, the scene turned truly magical.
After dinner, guests were invited to the Barn – the big indoor event space at Nestldown – which had been set up with elegant lounge furniture (from Blueprint Studios) for dancing and desserts…
and, of course, for the cutting of THE CAKE…
… a true showstopper by BethAnn Goldberg of Studio Cake. What followed was the couple’s First Dance…
… a wild dance party to the sounds of DJ Raffi’s music …
… and a Grand Send-off to the London Taxi getaway car with guests waving LED sparklers.
What a party!! Wishing Roxanna and Clay a lifetime of happiness – keep celebrating!