I absolutely love this beautiful wedding – it’s got so many special touches, not to mention these beautiful photos from Nancy Ray. I especially love the private sweetheart dinner that the bride and groom enjoyed before joining their guests at the reception – what a nice way to really take everything in after saying your vows, to just be together as brand newlyweds, and to actually eat something!

SEE THE GALLERY FOR MORE PHOTOS FROM THIS NORTH CAROLINA WEDDING BY NANCY RAY.

Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink
Camp Eseeola Wedding by Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Camp Eseeola Wedding by Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink

 

Did you do any DIY projects?  With a 20-month engagement, I had a lot of free time before starting graduate school, and one of the projects I took on was to draw a map of events, which I first painted as a Save the Date postcard. The image was later used as a weekend itinerary, rolled up like an old-fashioned map, and tied onto Cheerwine bottles with red-and-white twine. I also designed custom napkins, koozies, and cups using a twig-themed monogram. I made the escort cards and table numbers on Zazzle. For our friends who rented houses, we lined baskets with Spanish moss, and filled with goodies from the local Mast General Store, as well as Krispy Kreme Coffee. Finally, my friend’s sweet mom helped me design a personalized needlepoint belt for one of Dex’s wedding gifts. I was surprised how little time I had for the wedding once school began, and I am grateful for all that I accomplished at the beginning.

 

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Are there any special details you’d like to tell us about?  In honor of Dex’s father, his mother mailed me monogrammed buttons from an old sports coat, which I wanted to secretly sew into Dex’s suit coat. The day of the wedding, just an hour before the ceremony, I finally located the button, and Dex’s cousin quickly led me to the suits. It was later that we realized that I had sewn the button onto the wrong jacket (which should have been obvious, as it was made for someone 6’10″!). It’s the thought that counts, right?

 

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Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink
Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink
Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink

 

The Ceremony

“The first time Dex brought me to his grandparent’s mountain home in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, it was our senior year of college, and we had not been dating very long… at all. The first thing Dex showed me was the bark-shingled chapel directly across the street, and I told him that I wanted to get married there one day, quickly adding, “to anyone!” Over countless trips, I never faltered that it was the perfect place to get married… and it is equidistant from our home states of Pennsylvania and Alabama. Five years later, my dream came true!”

 

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Your ceremony in three words. Rustic, quaint, sweet

How did you go about planning your wedding ceremony?  All Saints Episcopal Church is a historic, sacred space. Designed by Henry Bacon over one hundred years ago, we are honored to be allowed to marry there, and followed the traditional Episcopalian marriage ceremony procedures, including vows from the Book of Common Prayer.

Who officiated your ceremony?  Luckily, the visiting officiant during the month of August was the former Bishop of Alabama, whom Dex’s family knew and rightfully admired. We planned our ceremony over phone calls and emails, but Bishop Parsley felt like an old friend.

 

Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink
Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink

 

Did you include any traditions in your ceremony?  We did not want a large wedding party crowding the tiny chapel. Therefore, we only had four people in the conventional bridal party – our sisters, a cousin, and an oldest friend – to stand beside us. To honor special friends, we had eight friends each proceed down the aisle and sit in the choir pews, facing us. Not only did it free up space, it really helped us focus on each other, which is the point after all!

What was your ceremony music?  With such a small, intimate chapel, we opted for a string duo, both violin and cello. The ceremony music was classic, from the processional through the declaration. Our only two requests were to end the prelude music with “Carolina In My Mind” (by James Taylor,) and to play “God Only Knows” (by The Beach Boys) for the recessional.

What were your ceremony readings?  Having met during our senior year at UNC, it was fitting that both of our readers were our college roommates. The first reading was from Song of Solomon (Song of Songs), followed by Living in Love by Dr. Gerald May.

 

Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink
Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink

 

What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony?  Before the ceremony, our bridal party and family gathered in the backyard of Dex’s grandparents’ house. With such a small chapel, some guests stood in the lawn, and I got to see so many of our favorite people from the house all the way to the altar.

Is there anything else that you’d like to share about your wedding ceremony?  We have already been back to Linville twice since our wedding, and it is so wonderful to wake up in Dex’s grandparents’ house and see “our church” across the street before the day even begins. It is something we will cherish for many years to come.

 

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Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink

 

The Reception

“Following pictures on the golf course, we drove directly to the boat house, which is downhill from the Camp. A private dinner was waiting for us, and as we sipped champagne and enjoyed our first meal as a married couple, we could not only see, but hear, our most loved people all in one place!”

 

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Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink
Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink

 

How would you describe your reception?  We really wanted our guests, who came from so far, to experience the Linville we love – including a bluegrass band party on Friday, hiking and a picnic lunch on Saturday, and a poolside brunch on Sunday – for their entire visit. The epitome of the mountain weekend experience, however, is always an evening at Camp Yonahnoka (also known as The Camp at Eseeola Lodge,) where you have a panorama of Grandfather Mountain, and an expansive view of the stars. With a gorgeous view of the mountain reflecting onto a lake, the Camp itself is a wooden, open-air pavilion, with a centralized floor plan, encouraging everyone to mingle and join in on the dance floor.

What was your first dance song? Father/daughter or mother/son dance?  Our first dance was to “You Are the Best Thing” by Ray Lamontagne. We took lessons and surprised people with a choreographed dance. My father and I danced to “The Way You Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra. Dex and his mother danced to “Mack the Knife” by Bobby Darin, a favorite of Dex’s father who passed away.

What was your wedding menu?  The Eseeola Lodge serves the most decadent and rich Southern food! There were buffet stations for flexibility, yet assigned tables, so people could sit and enjoy. The stations served shrimp and grits, pork tenderloin, butternut squash souffle, mac and cheese, fried green tomatoes, grilled summer vegetables, salad, and corn bread with various sauces. The only perk of going to school the Monday after your wedding is having delicious leftovers in your lunchbox all week!

What type of cake or dessert did you serve?  Instead of a large cake, there was a simple cake for us to cut (almond with fresh strawberries and buttercream frosting,) and four cupcake flavors for our guests: cafe au lait, raspberry lemonade, red velvet, and chocolate-peanut butter ganache. My father works for Krispy Kreme, so we also served warm doughnuts. There were mini boxes of doughnuts for favors. I did not know until the pictures arrived that Dex was carrying trays of doughnuts around the dance floor!

Please tell us about any other special details or moments from your reception.  For the entrances to the restrooms, I blew up and framed black and white photos of both of us at about 5 years old. In typical fashion, I was dressing up as the prim and proper bride, while Dex was barefoot, with a wrinkled tie and an untucked shirt. Some things never change.

 

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What was the best advice you received as a bride?  No one knows what you had in mind. If something is forgotten or goes awry, no one will know what could have been!

What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding?  I was so lucky to have such an opinionated groom, which was helpful, as my parents refrained from any opinions. I would suggest finding ways in which to get grooms excited and to feel important in the process, which makes for fun teamwork. We really let this be our idea of our perfect weekend.

If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently?  I wish we had entered the reception to House of Pain’s Jump Around, but did not think of that in time. Hopefully another Tar Heel couple will take note!

Is there anything else that helps tell the story of your wedding?  We truly made our wedding a weekend affair, with events from Thursday to Sunday, thanks to the help of many hosts, hostesses, and helpers. Housing worked out wonderfully, with friends and family on every corner, as we took over the little mountain community.

 

Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink
Photographer: Nancy Ray Photography / Event Planning & Design: Viva L’Event NC   / Reception Venue: Camp at Eseeola in Linville, North Carolina / Church: All Saints Episcopal / Dress: Allure via Victorian Rose / Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Bridesmaid Dresses, Ties: J.Crew / Jewelry: Mikimoto / Cake: Hallmark Cakes / Catering:  The Eseeola Lodge  / Floral Design: Callista Designs / Hair, Makeup: Hair 101 / Stationery: Opus 1 Weddings / Ceremony & Cocktail Hour Band:  Summit Strings  / Reception Band: The Voltage Brothers / Grooms Attire:  Martin Greenfield Clothiers
SEE THE FULL GALLERY
  • Camp Eseeola Wedding in North Carolina by Nancy Ray

    24 November 2014
  • 5 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Real Weddings, Some Favorites

    There are a few venues that I fall in love with every time I see them, and Serenbe is one of them, especially when it’s the backdrop for such a magical wedding. Designer Jessica Sloane did such an incredible job with all the details, photographer Jessica Lorren captured it beautifully… and I mean really, listen to this:

    “A few months into dating, Daniel and I realized that his parents’ and my parents’ anniversaries were both in June,” says Melanie. “Okay, that’s pretty cool, we thought. But then we realized both anniversaries were on June 25th… Then we realized they were both married on June 25, 1988. Um…what?! Is that even possible? We knew if we ever got married, we would have to choose June 25th because, really, how could we not? After he proposed to me, we started planning our wedding for our parents’ 26th wedding anniversaries.”

    SEE THE GALLERY FOR EVEN MORE IMAGES FROM THIS ROMANTIC SERENBE WEDDING BY JESSICA LORREN.

    Jessica Lorren, Serenbe | Snippet & Ink Jessica Lorren, Serenbe | Snippet & Ink
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    Tell us about your beautiful dress.  Being in the wedding industry, I see so many wedding details and so many dresses. I was very picky when it came to certain aspects of the wedding, one of which was my dress. I wanted something custom, but also something that wasn’t going to break the bank. I was referred to Miss Tashina by a friend and it was one of the best decisions I made. After going back and forth with pins and ideas and inspiration, I sketched out my final design and sent it to her. She brought my vision to life in a way that I could never have imagined. I threw in my idea for a custom veil super last minute, and once again, she worked her magic. Everything was absolutely perfect! A dream come true.

     

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    Any special details?  Daniel wore his great great grandfather’s pocket watch. It was such a special heirloom to carry with him on such a special day! Also, the week before the wedding, while packing boxes for our long drive from south Florida to northern Georgia, my parents gave us their toasting glasses to use for our toast. It was so sweet and so special to use those glasses on their 26th anniversary!

     

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    The Ceremony

    “We chose our pastor for a very special reason,” says Melanie. “He had been my husband Daniel’s mentor and big brother figure for over 10 years, and it was so special to have him be such a big part of our day. When he introduced himself and explained his relationship to Daniel to our guests, he also took a second to describe Daniel’s character and choked up mid-way. I cried my eyes out. We let him have control of the order of the ceremony and what he wanted to say, but we knew we wanted him to share the gospel with our guests, the picture that marriage represents in the Bible, the deep and powerful meaning of love, and to pray over our marriage. It was the most beautiful ceremony I had ever heard. He did an absolutely perfect job!”

     

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    Ceremony Music: We were so blessed to have my cousin Matthew play the music for our ceremony. All of the music was instrumental, played on acoustic guitar. Simple and beautiful.
    Processional, bridal party: “Ho Hey” by The Lumineers
    Processional, bride: “Marry Me” by Train
    Recessional: “Best Day of My Life” by American Authors

     

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    Your ceremony in three words. Romantic, Intimate, Heartfelt.

    What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony?  Melanie: My favorite part of our ceremony, and one of my favorite moments of the day, was our vows. we chose to write our own. To me, it was so much more intimate and heartfelt. Pouring out my heart to him. Listening to him pour his heart out to me. Our dearest friends and family there witnessing what we were promising to each other. I’m pretty sure there wasn’t a dry eye there. The two of us, our bridal party, our parents, our photographer, our guests… everyone was crying. But when you’re promising something that deep and that important, it’s hard for those words not to reach in and grab hold of your soul. When we finished our vows, my father-in-law uncontrollably let out a shout “I just love everyone!” // Daniel: My favorite moment of the day was the moment our officiant pronounced us man and wife, because at that moment, she was finally mine.

    READ MELANIE AND DANIEL’S PERSONAL VOWS RIGHT HERE.

     

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    The Reception

    “We wanted a small, intimate wedding so that we could really focus on each other and be able to enjoy the day. We knew a destination wedding would be a great way to do that, but didn’t want the stress of coordinating a wedding in the typical destination wedding locations such as Europe or the Caribbean. Serenbe was such a quaint location with the perfect feel, and it was easy to incorporate our wedding inspiration.”

     

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    What inspired you when you were planning your wedding?  Our wedding was inspired by us! Our planner did a fantastic job of breaking down what our top five values were as a couple so that we could be sure that we made our wedding about us and our story. Our top values were: romantic, honest and heartfelt, simple and clean, organic, and elegant. She then took those values and helped me tie them into the vision I had for a French Provençal wedding, since Provence is one of our favorite places in the world!

    What was your favorite moment or part of the day?  Melanie: I have so many favorite moments, but one of the ones that sticks with me the most was our first look. I was all dressed up, walking toward the person I would spend the rest of my life with, my very best friend in the entire world. With butterflies in my stomach, it was all I could do not to burst into tears and just run into his arms! The moment he turned around, he smiled, wrapped me in his arms and with tears in his eyes he whispered, “You look like a princess.” And the world just stopped. In that moment, it was just us, holding each other close. It was everything I dreamed it would be.

    Please tell us about any special details from your wedding.  Our wedding gifts to each other were special in their own ways. I had a family crest designed by our calligrapher, Signora e Mare, and then had it hand painted on a guitar pedal as a surprise to my musician husband-to-be. In his letter to me the morning of our wedding, he wrote that his gift to me wasn’t something I could unwrap and that I would have to wait until later to find out what it was! I love surprises, but the suspense almost killed me. In the busyness of the day, I had completely forgotten about it, but just after our toasts, I was asked to take a seat and the groomsmen were scurrying around the dance floor. I had no clue what was happening until the instruments came out and my husband started singing a song about our love story. The lyrics included our parents’ wedding day in 1988, the day he proposed to me, our wedding day finally being here, and the chorus “Love comes and takes away what we thought was a dream.” And he was right. It was our reality. The start of our new lives together.

     

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    Dessert Buffet:  Lavender Shortbread Cookies / Salted Caramels / Espresso Madeleines / French Breakfast Puffs / Lavender Créme Brûlée / Mini Lavender Tarts / French Macarons / Mini Almond Croissants / Chocolate Wedding Cake with Vanilla Espresso Bean Buttercream

    Signature Drinks:  Lavender Lemonade / Peach Basil Cooler / Blackberry Clove Spritzer / Rosemary Cardamon Sparkler

    First Dance Song:  “What Can I Do” by Joy Williams. I still get tears in my eyes when I listen to the words of that song!

    What was the best advice you received as a bride?  I received two crucial bits of advice before my wedding day. The first was that things won’t go perfectly, but at the end of the day you’re married to your best friend and that’s all that matters. We had so many crazy things happen to us… we had to change our venue just three days before the wedding, our coordinator woke up with the flu on the morning of our wedding, our flower girl had an eye infection, some of our rental items arrived late so everything ran behind, the sparklers never arrived, I had bugs in my dress, one of my bridesmaids tore her dress at the zipper… Everyone expected me to freak out, but I knew that at the end of the day, I was going to be married and that was all that mattered to me. Which brings me to my second bit of advice. Your attitude as a bride affects your guests attitudes. They feed off of you. If you’re upset because nothing is running smoothly, they will be upset. If you’re angry, they’ll be angry. If you act as if everything is perfect and you’re so, so happy because it’s your wedding day (!!!!!) they’ll be so, so happy for you. It’s important to remember this because it’s how your guests will remember your wedding day.

    What advice do you have for other brides?  Don’t skimp on your photography! Those precious images will be what you have to remember your wedding for years and years to come. What you hand down to your children and grandchildren years from now. It is such an important and essential part of the wedding day! I am so grateful for our photographer and the irreplaceable gift that she’s given us in those images.

     

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    Jessica Lorren, Serenbe | Snippet & Ink Jessica Lorren, Serenbe | Snippet & Ink
    Photography: Jessica Lorren / Event Design, Styling, Bride’s Bouquet: Jessica Sloane / Venue: Serenbe Farms in Palmetto, Georgia / Floral Design: Amy Osaba / Dress, Veil: Miss Tashina / Shoes: Chloe flats, BHLDN heels / Crown: Carlee Sizemore / Earrings: BHLDN / Suit: Express / Bridesmaid Dresses: Asos, Macy’s, Nordstrom / Groomsmen Attire: H&M / Stationery, Calligraphy: Signora e Mare / Catering: Sun In My Belly / Desserts: Earth and Sugar / Bouquet Ribbon: Frou Frou Chic / Videography: T&C Photographie / Hair, Makeup: Amanda Agros / Rentals: Goodwin Events
    SEE THE FULL GALLERY
  • Romantic Serenbe Wedding from Jessica Lorren

    14 October 2014
  • 10 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Real Weddings, Some Favorites

    To really experience the best parts of any wedding, you have to be there. But if we’re lucky, brilliant photography (I’m looking at you Nirav Patel) and thoughtful write-ups from the couple (thank you Lacy and Drew) can help tell the story and make us feel like we were there. Or at least make us wish we were! This is one of those weddings that I just get the grins about every time I look at the bride’s face full of joy, or read what the groom wrote about how they found their venue.

    And yes. These two totally went surfing together the morning of their wedding.

    SEE THE GALLERY FOR EVEN MORE IMAGES FROM THIS PLAYFUL BOLINAS WEDDING BY NIRAV PATEL.

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    The Location

    “We searched the state, from Cayucos to Mendocino, before finding an incredible location nearby to San Francisco in Bolinas,” says Drew. “A coastal town had always been our first choice, and this place is an incredibly beautiful hamlet with natural beauty, beaches, surfing, hiking, and even an honor system farm stand. We surf in the area most summers, and on every trip we marvel at how beautiful it is and how much we’d love to move there! But after all those trips we hadn’t found a wedding venue, so after a few calls and emails we had basically given up. Then, on one of our surf trips, we stumbled into conversations that led us to the wonderful private estate that the two of us immediately decided was the perfect wedding venue.”

     

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    Doesn’t Lacy has the greatest wedding day happy face of all time?! Her joy is absolutely contagious!

     

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    The Ceremony

    “We worked with our good friend Adam (who also officiated the ceremony) to write our wedding ceremony,” says the groom. “Adam has a knack with words and was so helpful in structuring a ceremony from scratch that worked really well. We tried to incorporate as many friends and family as possible so we could have a personal, intimate, yet approachable ceremony. We chose readings that channeled the unique setting of the ceremony and fit our personalities.”

     

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    Your ceremony in three words.  Playful, Intimate, Majestic.

    Did you include any traditions in your wedding?  We tried to incorporate traditions while making them our own. We wanted to break the glass but liked the idea of each of us stomping our own. We weren’t totally keen on a processional until we decided that each of us would enter the ceremony to our own piece of music. We had a first dance but cut it short, breaking into an impromptu choreographed dance routine with our families.

    What was your favorite thing about your ceremony?  We enjoyed our take on the Seven Blessings, where we prompted different friends and family to interpret seven themes – generosity and gratitude, love, laughter, health, adventure and outdoor pursuits, curiosity and creativity, and finally, community, family and friends – into their own (mostly short!) blessings for us. We didn’t know what everyone would say or do until go time; the blessings were unique, beautiful, and a wonderful opportunity for Lacy and me to sit back and appreciate our closest loved ones.

     

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    The Reception

    “When we were planning our wedding, we knew we wanted the weekend to have a few focal points,” shares the groom. “For one, we wanted to highlight the California coast, which we absolutely love and where we spend almost every weekend surfing together. Also, we wanted our wedding to be more than an afternoon – we wanted to find a destination our friends and family would be excited to visit, far enough from San Francisco so we could draw people away from their busy lives and into a mellow weekend by the beach. Finally, we wanted our wedding to be focused on celebrating natural beauty, enjoying great food, dancing to good music and having everyone we love together in the same beautiful place.”

     

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    What was your favorite moment or part of the day?  We both loved the moment we entered the barn to cheers from our guests; we paused a moment to take in the sounds and sights; and then we sat down at a beautifully decorated table full of our favorite people.

     

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    Please tell us about any special details from your wedding.  Looking back on the event, I think the details we really appreciate now are manifold – the custom watercolors on the escort cards by our friend Jon, and Drew’s mother’s calligraphy; Katie’s bountiful and delicious food; our insistence on surfing the morning of, even in the pouring rain (no one will forget the incredibly unusual September rain shower that cleared brilliantly an hour before the ceremony); Nirav and Fer’s willingness to hang with us all day (they’re the coolest); Svenja’s subtle, earthy, and creative touches; Rebecca’s reassuring calm and capability; the venue’s surreal ability to blend itself into the natural setting around it. But beyond the details, for the two of us and our families, just thinking about the wedding makes us smile, for which we’re so thankful.

     

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    What was the best advice you received?  Your wedding doesn’t have to follow some kind of template – incorporate the traditions that feel meaningful to you, and make up the rest. That, and make sure to spend time with each other on the day of the wedding. It’s amazing how quickly it can all fly by.

    What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding?  No matter how much or how little planning you do, your wedding will be tons of fun for you and your guests. The details you focus on should be the ones you personally enjoy. We spent more time thinking about and tasting food than probably anything else — and made searching for a wedding location into a series of weekend vacations! We recommend finding creative ways to keep the stress out of all the planning.

    Is there anything else that helps tell the story of your wedding?  One particularly unique aspect of our wedding was the housing situation – there are no hotels within 30 minutes of our venue, so everybody at the wedding was staying at one of an eclectic collection of beautiful coastal homes. Although facilitating this was stressful for us, it was wonderful to have everybody together in town all weekend, mostly within walking distance.

     

    Nirav Patel | Snippet & Ink Nirav Patel | Snippet & Ink
    Photography: Nirav Patel / Event Planning & Design: Be Hitched / Venue: Private Estate in Bolinas, California / Bride’s Dress: Vera Wang / Shoes: Steve Madden / Groom’s Suit: Crown Tailor / Escort Cards: Jonathan Fetter-Vorm / Surfboards: Jimmy Lewis / Catering: Katie Powers Catering / Rentals: Classic Party Rentals / Transportation: United Coach Tours / Dessert: Bovine Bakery / Floral Design, Hair Pieces: Chestnut & Vine / Band: The Floorshakers / Ceremony Music: The Joy Drops / Hair, Makeup: Rebecca Taff / Second Photographer: Fer Juaristi
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  • Rustic Bolinas Wedding from Nirav Patel

    24 September 2014
  • 2 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Real Weddings, Some Favorites

    Today’s newlyweds were originally planning on a 120-person wedding in their home town, but decided to change their plans and have an intimate wedding up the coast with just 45 guests. The day was lovely, full of vintage inspiration, streaming sunlight, and good food. Some favorite details from Carla and James’s wedding at the Olema Druids Hall: the back of Carla’s dress, the charming illustration on the welcome bag tote (see more pics of it in the gallery), the parasol light shades, and their impromptu first dance.

    SEE THE GALLERY FOR ALL THE IMAGES FROM THIS VINTAGE-INSPIRED OLEMA WEDDING BY NANCY NEIL.

    Nancy Neil | Snippet & Ink Nancy Neil | Snippet & Ink
    Nancy Neil | Snippet & Ink Nancy Neil | Snippet & Ink

     

    The Venue

    “James and I had driven through Olema and Point Reyes Station the year before on our way up to Mendocino where we got engaged. We found this area of West Marin to be so peaceful and fell in love with the beautiful countryside and nearby coastline. When none of the venues back home seemed right, we knew we had to do it in Olema. As for our venue, we decided to have our wedding at the Olema Druids Hall at the very last minute without ever having stepped foot inside. It couldn’t have been more perfect.”

     

    Nancy Neil | Snippet & Ink Nancy Neil | Snippet & Ink
    Nancy Neil | Snippet & Ink Nancy Neil | Snippet & Ink
    Nancy Neil | Snippet & Ink Nancy Neil | Snippet & Ink

     

    The Ceremony

    “Planning our ceremony was a challenge at first. We couldn’t quite agree on who we wanted to officiate. My husband wanted our ceremony to have a bit of weight to it. He had envisioned somewhat of a religious ceremony. However, neither of us attends church and I felt at the time it would be a bit hypocritical to have a religious ceremony. This was one of the first lessons in compromise as soon-to-be husband and wife. I knew he felt strongly about it and so in the end I agreed. James had stayed in touch with a friend of his who was a youth leader when he was in high school. He just so happened to now be the head pastor in our neighborhood’s church. Fortunately he was available to travel and officiate our ceremony. We met him four times for pre-marriage counseling which we thoroughly enjoyed. After the first meeting with our pastor, I was very happy we had chosen him to officiate and that he was available to preside over our nuptials. He was very helpful when it came time to plan the structure of our ceremony. He provided us with a template we lightly modified. We were able to chose three readings of scripture and write our own vows.”

     

    Nancy Neil | Snippet & Ink Nancy Neil | Snippet & Ink
    Nancy Neil | Snippet & Ink Nancy Neil | Snippet & Ink
    Nancy Neil | Snippet & Ink Nancy Neil | Snippet & Ink

     

    Your ceremony in three words.  Definitely Musical! Traditional and Beautiful.

    What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony?  One of my favorite moments from our ceremony was during our vows. James and I wrote our vows together, and there was a line James wrote that started with, “As imperfect as I may be,” that I always thought sounded a bit funny but chose to keep it anyway. During our ceremony after James said his vows, Pastor Lance began to recite my vows as I repeated after him. Well, he pulled a fast one on me and changed the line to, “as perfect as I may be,” which brought light and laughter to such a significant moment. Also, the fact that “gypsy music” from down the hill unexpectedly served as the soundtrack to our ceremony helped make it feel more lighthearted.

    Ceremony Music:
    Processional:Strawberry Swing,” Coldplay
    Entrance of Bride:All You Need Is Love,” The Beatles
    Recessional:We Have All The Time In The World,” John Barry

     

    Nancy Neil | Snippet & Ink Nancy Neil | Snippet & Ink

     

    The Reception

    “My husband is especially grateful that we left our wedding weekend feeling as though our small group had become like family,” shares Carla. “He hadn’t met much of my side of the family. By scaling down the numbers to just 45 guests, we were able to become quite close in just three days. Everyone got together immediately and mixed in as if they were old friends.”

     

    Nancy Neil | Snippet & Ink Nancy Neil | Snippet & Ink
    Nancy Neil | Snippet & Ink Nancy Neil | Snippet & Ink
    Nancy Neil | Snippet & Ink Nancy Neil | Snippet & Ink

     

    What inspired you when you were planning your wedding?  The picturesque landscape of Point Reyes inspired us, as well as the slow pace of the town. We really wanted to spend quality time with our guests who had all traveled so far to join us in this tiny town for our wedding. Also, West Marin rightfully prides itself on its fine food and wine, and the meal was very important to us as we wanted to avoid the standard wedding fare. We had a few long tables set up without any place cards, and everyone sat down where they wanted and enjoyed a family-style dinner. Above all, our lovely friends and family served as the biggest inspiration. We had planned everything with them in mind. We wanted the feeling of the day to feel a tad bit informal. After the Best Man and Maid of Honor speeches, it kind of became an open forum. My mother and uncle got up to say a few words as did my father-in-law. One of our good friends also gave a completely unexpected and beautifully heartfelt toast. It felt really special.

    Please tell us about any special details from your wedding.  My husband’s family is from England where it’s a little more customary to read telegrams aloud during the reception from guests who were unable to attend. We also made sure to include the names of close relatives during our ceremony who had passed away but were clearly with us in spirit. I suppose we also started a tradition of celebrating an anniversary as our wedding fell on a year-to-the date of our engagement. In the eight years we have been together we have never celebrated our anniversary. Neither of us were ever sure of the date!

    Do you have any budget tips for other brides?  Be honest with yourself and your partner. Plan within your means. A wise friend offered sage advice to not “put it on a credit card”. And really think of the guests you have to have attend that day. Friends should be understanding if you can’t invite everyone. We were originally planning to have our wedding locally with roughly 120 guests in mind. When we shifted gears and decided to make it 45 guests AND out of town, suddenly a weight had been lifted and we actually got really excited!

     

    Nancy Neil | Snippet & Ink Nancy Neil | Snippet & Ink
    Nancy Neil | Snippet & Ink Nancy Neil | Snippet & Ink
    Nancy Neil | Snippet & Ink Nancy Neil | Snippet & Ink

     

    What was your favorite moment or part of the day?  It’s so hard to chose one! I’d have to say my favorite moment was our impromptu first dance. Our guests pushed the tables aside and our song began to play. The room was filled with so much love and warmth. You could really feel it. I remember closing my eyes and embracing my husband while we danced. As I opened my eyes, some of our guests had picked up the candlelit votives from the tables and were swaying along. It was truly one of the most beautiful moments in my life.

    First Dance Song: “Harvest Moon” Neil Young

     

    Nancy Neil | Snippet & Ink Nancy Neil | Snippet & Ink
    Nancy Neil | Snippet & Ink Nancy Neil | Snippet & Ink
    Nancy Neil | Snippet & Ink Nancy Neil | Snippet & Ink

     

    What was the best advice you received as a bride?  To try to enjoy every moment of the process. It will undoubtedly feel stressful at times and family drama will inevitably arise, but don’t allow any of that to take away from the excitement of planning. I look back at the week leading up to our wedding with such fondness. Since our wedding was out of town, we left a few days early. The moment we packed up the car and started making our way up north, we both looked at each other and let out a sigh of relief. The time had come to let everything go and just enjoy what was about to come. A night in Big Sur before your wedding is also highly-recommended if possible!

    What advice do you have for other brides?  Don’t get lost in the details. It’s really easy to lose sight of what you are actually planning. There is so much focus on the “little things” that you tend to forget about the bigger picture. It’s about you and the man you love making a lifelong commitment to each other in the presence of your loved ones. At the end of the day, the fact that your husband wore the shoes you begged him not to won’t matter.

     

    Nancy Neil | Snippet & Ink Nancy Neil | Snippet & Ink
    Photography: Nancy Neil / Event Planning: Molli Milner, Small Blue Planet / Venue: Olema Druids Hall in Olema, California / Dress: Elizabeth Fillmore / Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Veil: Erin Cole / Suit: J. Crew / Shirt: Nordstroms / Shoes: Banana Republic / Stationery: What KT Does / Catering: Rebecca Sterlin, Wild Onion Catering / Cake: Fat Angel Bakery / Hair, Makeup: Dionne Stevens / Music: Brilliant Strings
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  • Olema Druids Hall Wedding by Nancy Neil

    17 September 2014
  • 2 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Real Weddings, Some Favorites

    Lauren and Robert had a charming, low key wedding at a family home, accented with lovely blue details – I especially love the darling blue bouquets and the groom’s chambray shirt, and it doesn’t hurt that the setting is breathtaking.

    SEE THE GALLERY FOR EVEN MORE IMAGES FROM THIS SOMETHING BLUE WEDDING BY A MUSE PHOTOGRAPHY.

    A Muse Photography | Snippet & Ink A Muse Photography | Snippet & Ink

     

    The Ceremony

    “There was a nasty storm that dropped inches of rain right up to the moment of our ceremony,” says Lauren. “We thought we would have to get married under the tent, but the clouds broke and we were able to have the outdoor wedding that we wanted. The best part was the sun breaking through the clouds just as we took our vows. It was ridiculously surreal.”

     

    A Muse Photography | Snippet & Ink A Muse Photography | Snippet & Ink
    A Muse Photography | Snippet & Ink A Muse Photography | Snippet & Ink

     

    Your ceremony in three words.  Short and sweet.

    How did you go about planning your wedding ceremony?  I researched a variety of ceremony templates online and picked and chose elements from various traditions. What was important to us was to have a ceremony that reflected the beauty of the surroundings and that was under 15 minutes so our guests wouldn’t melt under the sun! While we did not write our own vows, we did include a poem by e.e. cummings that both of us liked.

    What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony?  The person who first introduced us was also the person who married us.

    Ceremony Music: Here Comes Your Man by The Pixies

     

    A Muse Photography | Snippet & Ink A Muse Photography | Snippet & Ink
    A Muse Photography | Snippet & Ink A Muse Photography | Snippet & Ink
    A Muse Photography | Snippet & Ink A Muse Photography | Snippet & Ink

     

    The Reception

    “My father and stepmother got married in the backyard of their house, and I knew that I would also get married there one day. Luckily, Rob thought it was just as unique and beautiful as I did! We wanted the natural beauty of the scenery to take center stage and to inform the rest of the décor, and we made sure to create a relaxed backyard atmosphere.”

     

    A Muse Photography | Snippet & Ink A Muse Photography | Snippet & Ink
    A Muse Photography | Snippet & Ink A Muse Photography | Snippet & Ink

     

    What was the best advice you received as a bride?  The best advice I received was from a dear friend who saw how stressed out I was about two weeks from the big day. She told me to tell my parents, wedding planner, and Rob to give me a five day asylum from any wedding planning questions the week of the wedding. I took that advice and found myself able to see through to the big picture of getting married to the love of my life and how wonderful that was.

    What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding?  If it’s not fun, either change what you are doing or stop what you are doing.

     

    A Muse Photography | Snippet & Ink A Muse Photography | Snippet & Ink
    A Muse Photography | Snippet & Ink A Muse Photography | Snippet & Ink

     

    In lieu of a traditional guest book, Rob and Lauren used a beautiful cookbook and had a sign that read, “Please sign your name or write a note next to a recipe that you would like us to make. Hopefully we can share it with you someday soon!”

     

    A Muse Photography | Snippet & Ink A Muse Photography | Snippet & Ink
    A Muse Photography | Snippet & Ink A Muse Photography | Snippet & Ink

     

    Please tell us about any special details from your wedding.  Rob and I didn’t want a traditional wedding cake, so we had a variety of desserts including a few coconut cakes from Peninsula Grill shipped from Charleston. It is the best coconut cake you will ever eat!

    First Dance:  Little Trip to Heaven [On the Wings of Your Love] by Tom Waits

    Is there anything else that helps tell the story of your wedding?  Expect the unexpected.

     

    A Muse Photography | Snippet & Ink A Muse Photography | Snippet & Ink
    Photography: A Muse Photography / Venue: Private Residence in Charlottesville, Virginia /  Event Planning, Floral Design: Amore Events by Cody / Dress: Consignment via Twice as Nice / Bride’s Shoes, Bridesmaid Dresses: J.Crew / Suit: J.Crew / Shoes: Kenneth Cole / Stationery Material: Paper Source / Catering: Maya / Cake: Peninsula Grill / Macarons: Albemarle Baking Company /  Hair, Makeup: Moxie / Guitarist: Daniel McCarthy / Lighting, Rentals: MS Events / Tent: Gibson Tents
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  • Backyard Virginia Wedding by A Muse Photography

    16 September 2014
  • 1 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Real Weddings, Some Favorites