Our wedding trailer (I will be posting the full-length feature soon):
Derek and I met on a snowy day in Lake Tahoe over New Year’s Eve almost seven years ago. We grew up minutes away from each other in the same hometown, attended the same high school and even had handfuls of mutual friends – yet somehow we never met until that weekend at his family’s lake house. From the moment we met, both of us felt like we had known the other forever. Derek was living in San Diego at the time, where I was preparing to move to in just a few weeks for work. Talk about fate! He was my New Year’s kiss, and we have been together ever since.
Derek proposed to me at sunset at the same place he took me on our first date in San Diego, overlooking the water at a magical little harbor in Seaport Village. It was the happiest moment of my whole life. Until the moment when we said “I do!”
We made a decision right when we got engaged to make wedding planning a fun and stress-free experience, with time to spend together outside of our busy schedules! We made mini-vacations and day dates out of “ordinary” tasks and meetings with vendors (a weekend of wine tasting to pick out the vino for our big day, an overnight escape at a fun hotel after a tasting with our incredible caterers). Turning an already fun check-in with our florist into a beach day or breaking out our record player with a bottle of champagne to fill out the music map for our DJs made wedding planning one of the most memorable experiences in our relationship.
We knew the hilltop of Chateau Le Dome at Saddlerock Ranch was the perfect place for us the second we stepped foot onto it. We wanted our wedding day to feel like an intimate gathering, elegant yet organic. A local, farm-to-fork dinner served family style at long tables covered with lush greenery and textured blooms. Lights, candles and chandeliers twinkling everywhere. Our family and friends kept saying it felt like a scene from a fairytale and that they had never been surrounded by so much love in one place. That really meant the world to us!
I always say “love is in the details.” Our wedding was full of little details that came together to create the softest and most romantic day. We picked every piece, from the rose gold flatware to the sparkling rosé toast, to create a warm and heartfelt atmosphere. Many things were custom created or handmade, which made them all the more special to us. Derek has a love for creating music and I have a passion for writing. Toss cones rolled from vintage sheet music and old romance novels were the perfect way to blend those two things into our wedding day. While I was visiting for my bridal shower, my mother-in-law gave me the most special gift—Derek’s grandfather’s wedding band, which was engraved by his grandmother “My love forever.” I sewed a piece of lace from my gown around the ring and snuck it into a tiny pocket in Derek’s suit jacket, so that his grandfather would be there with us and close to his heart on our wedding day.
My wedding gown was custom designed by Galia Lahav. I have never felt more beautiful than the moment Derek opened his eyes and saw me in it for the first time—I will never forget the smile on his face or the joy I felt in that moment, knowing that I was about to marry the love of my life.
My biggest piece of advice for current and future brides (besides to enjoy your engagement!) is to create a dream team. Find people who you love to be around and will love working together. This was one of our highest priorities when picking out our vendors, and we cannot imagine our wedding day without a single one of them.
Though our wedding was beautiful, what we will always treasure most are the words and love from our family and friends that day. We asked Derek’s Dad, who means the world to us both, to officiate our marriage. It was the most heartfelt ceremony I could ever imagine, and it meant so much to have someone so special to us stand by our side as we read the vows we wrote for each other. Our guests are still telling us to this day they wish that they could go back and live our wedding day over and over again, and we feel the same way.
You can see more photos of our wedding on Style Me Pretty and Carats & Cake, as well as in this issue of Tulle Mag! For an even closer look, take a peek at the sweet words from Galia Lahav, Jana Williams, and Mon Voir about our special day.
Planning & Design: Anna Joy Design | Month-of Coordination: GATHER Events | Photography: Jana Williams | Beauty: Team Hair & Makeup | Custom Gown: Galia Lahav | Reception Dress: Hollie by Grace Loves Lace | Veil: Monique Lhuillier | Shoes: Christian Louboutin and Jimmy Choo | Videography: Ampersand Cinema | Linens & Ribbon: Silk & Willow | Calligraphy, Custom Stationary & Signage: Mon Voir | Music: Dart DJ | Catering: Little Nelly by Whoa Nelly
Please feel free to leave any questions in the comments below!