How was your special day?
We're both from California, and our families and oldest friends are there so we knew we wanted to go back for our wedding! Jon and I met through mutual friends in San Francisco, where I lived for 5 years before moving to Nashville, so lots of our early dates were in the area and we ended up being able to incorporate some fun elements of those early memories together into our wedding. Our ceremony was outside (a risky move in January but it paid off- we had a 70 degree and sunny day, unusual for winter even in CA!). I already knew about the Redwood Amphitheater at Old Mill Park because I used to bike past it all the time- once we chose our setting that really drove all of our aesthetic decisions from our colors to my dress, the lighting, and even the music. One of my favorite elements of our wedding was our flowers, by Anne Rizoulis of Fleurish in Oakland- she did an amazing job giving them a very natural feel that blended with our forest setting but still with the pops of color I was looking for.
Our reception was at the Mill Valley Community Center- it was really a community effort to pull together- we borrowed as much as we could, and had friends and family contributing DIY elements, making appetizers, and putting up all of the decor. It was such a fun surprise to walk into the reception and see how they brought all of these things I'd planned over the past 8 months come to life. It was a real tangible picture of all of the love in our community! We catered food from Sol Food, a local Puerto Rican restaurant that was one of our favorite spots to grab food after a day of hiking. For a Tennessee element, we served cocktails made with Jack Daniels at our cocktail hour. We ended the night with a wild dance party complete with a CO2 gun- our one wedding regret was not scheduling an extra half hour for dancing!
Besides choosing our venue, picking my dress was one of the easiest decisions of the planning process! I visited three boutiques in Nashville, each visit gave me a better idea of elements I liked in my dress but once I tried on my dress at LVD I knew it was the one. I remind brides to factor in alterations to your budget (mine ended up being much more than I anticipated- about $600 just for hemming, shortening straps, bringing in the waist, and adding cups). Also, if you choose a backless dress remember to figure out your bra situation sooner rather than later! I waited until the last minute and ended up hacking together something with my mom in the week before the wedding which worked out but was unnecessarily stressful! But all around have fun and don’t stress each little decision. O, and definitely hire a month of coordinator!
Photographer: Abbey Jo Photos