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.

Nirav Patel | Snippet & Ink Nirav Patel | Snippet & Ink

 

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.”

 

Nirav Patel | Snippet & Ink Nirav Patel | Snippet & Ink
Nirav Patel | Snippet & Ink Nirav Patel | Snippet & Ink
Nirav Patel | Snippet & Ink Nirav Patel | Snippet & Ink

 

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

 

Nirav Patel | Snippet & Ink Nirav Patel | Snippet & Ink
Nirav Patel | Snippet & Ink Nirav Patel | Snippet & Ink
Nirav Patel | Snippet & Ink Nirav Patel | Snippet & Ink
Nirav Patel | Snippet & Ink Nirav Patel | Snippet & Ink
Nirav Patel | Snippet & Ink Nirav Patel | Snippet & Ink
Nirav Patel | Snippet & Ink Nirav Patel | Snippet & Ink

 

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.”

 

11-nirav-patel-snippetandink-lacydrew 11-nirav-patel-snippetandink-lacydrew
Nirav Patel | Snippet & Ink Nirav Patel | Snippet & Ink
Nirav Patel | Snippet & Ink Nirav Patel | Snippet & Ink
Nirav Patel | Snippet & Ink Nirav Patel | Snippet & Ink
Nirav Patel | Snippet & Ink Nirav Patel | Snippet & Ink
Nirav Patel | Snippet & Ink Nirav Patel | Snippet & Ink

 

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.

 

Nirav Patel | Snippet & Ink Nirav Patel | Snippet & Ink

 

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.”

 

Nirav Patel | Snippet & Ink Nirav Patel | Snippet & Ink
Nirav Patel | Snippet & Ink Nirav Patel | Snippet & Ink
Nirav Patel | Snippet & Ink Nirav Patel | Snippet & Ink
Nirav Patel | Snippet & Ink Nirav Patel | Snippet & Ink
Nirav Patel | Snippet & Ink Nirav Patel | Snippet & Ink

 

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.

 

Nirav Patel | Snippet & Ink Nirav Patel | Snippet & Ink

 

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.

 

Nirav Patel | Snippet & Ink Nirav Patel | Snippet & Ink
Nirav Patel | Snippet & Ink Nirav Patel | Snippet & Ink
Nirav Patel | Snippet & Ink Nirav Patel | Snippet & Ink

 

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
1 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Real Weddings

I absolutely love how playful Kelly and Carlton’s wedding was! As photographer Kristi Wright shares: “The two of them got dressed together – something that doesn’t happen nearly enough. Kelly walked down the aisle to 100 kazoos humming Here Comes the Bride. There were pretzels from Easy Tiger and wood fired pizza from Bola Pizza. They wanted to spend time with their friends and family, no fussing over traditions. Just a gorgeous day together. It was awesome – a breath of fresh air to photograph.” Not to mention it took place at a wonderfully unique venue, during the beautiful Texas springtime…

SEE THE GALLERY FOR EVEN MORE IMAGES FROM THIS SPRINGTIME TEXAS WEDDING BY KRISTI WRIGHT.

2-kristi-wright-snippetandink-kellycarlton-plant-at-kyle 2-kristi-wright-snippetandink-kellycarlton-plant-at-kyle
Kristi Wright, Plant at Kyle | Snippet & Ink Kristi Wright, Plant at Kyle | Snippet & Ink
Kristi Wright, Plant at Kyle | Snippet & Ink Kristi Wright, Plant at Kyle | Snippet & Ink

 

Another playful detail? The guest book table had a doodle book, colorful pens, and a sign that read: Do you doodle? Find a page you like and let the book take you where it may. Don’t worry if you can’t draw or aren’t sure what to do. Just have fun with it.

 

Kristi Wright, Plant at Kyle | Snippet & Ink Kristi Wright, Plant at Kyle | Snippet & Ink
Kristi Wright, Plant at Kyle | Snippet & Ink Kristi Wright, Plant at Kyle | Snippet & Ink

 

The Venue

“We got engaged in November and wanted to get married in the spring,” share Kelly and Carlton, “so our venue options were limited. I remembered the Plant from planning a bachelorette party a few years prior, and it was the first and only venue we visited. We knew immediately it was the place where we wanted to get married. The property is so unique and visually stunning, but what surprised both of us was how tranquil it is. As soon as you arrive all of your stress just evaporates.”

 

Kristi Wright, Plant at Kyle | Snippet & Ink Kristi Wright, Plant at Kyle | Snippet & Ink
Kristi Wright, Plant at Kyle | Snippet & Ink Kristi Wright, Plant at Kyle | Snippet & Ink
Kristi Wright, Plant at Kyle | Snippet & Ink Kristi Wright, Plant at Kyle | Snippet & Ink
Kristi Wright, Plant at Kyle | Snippet & Ink Kristi Wright, Plant at Kyle | Snippet & Ink

 

The Ceremony

“We wanted a simple ceremony, something that was light and fun, not too serious,” says the bride. “We had my brother marry us, so the content of our ceremony was very personal. I had always thought there was something nice about the idea of saying traditional vows, the same ones your parents and grandparents said, and I was surprised to find out that there are hundreds of versions of ‘traditional,’ so we just picked out whatever sounded best to us. I had always had anxiety about walking down the aisle with everyone staring at me, so we handed out kazoos to our guests to play the wedding march as I walked down the aisle, which had me laughing the whole way.”

 

Kristi Wright, Plant at Kyle | Snippet & Ink Kristi Wright, Plant at Kyle | Snippet & Ink
Kristi Wright, Plant at Kyle | Snippet & Ink Kristi Wright, Plant at Kyle | Snippet & Ink
Kristi Wright, Plant at Kyle | Snippet & Ink Kristi Wright, Plant at Kyle | Snippet & Ink

 

Your ceremony in three words.  Non-traditional, Playful, Brief.

What was your favorite moment or part of the day?  After the ceremony was over, when Carlton and I were walking back down the aisle, there was a huge sense of relief knowing all of that nonsense was over and it was time to party.

 

Kristi Wright, Plant at Kyle | Snippet & Ink Kristi Wright, Plant at Kyle | Snippet & Ink
Kristi Wright, Plant at Kyle | Snippet & Ink Kristi Wright, Plant at Kyle | Snippet & Ink
Kristi Wright, Plant at Kyle | Snippet & Ink Kristi Wright, Plant at Kyle | Snippet & Ink
Kristi Wright, Plant at Kyle | Snippet & Ink Kristi Wright, Plant at Kyle | Snippet & Ink
Kristi Wright, Plant at Kyle | Snippet & Ink Kristi Wright, Plant at Kyle | Snippet & Ink

 

The Reception

Carlton’s co-worker told us that your wedding is the only chance you have to get everyone you love together in the same place,” says Kelly. “We kept that in mind when we were planning to remind us why we were even having a wedding in the first place. We wanted our wedding to feel like a family reunion or a backyard party – something relaxed and casual where people could just have fun.”

 

Kristi Wright, Plant at Kyle | Snippet & Ink Kristi Wright, Plant at Kyle | Snippet & Ink
Kristi Wright, Plant at Kyle | Snippet & Ink Kristi Wright, Plant at Kyle | Snippet & Ink

 

Please tell us about any special details from your wedding.  My grandfather’s friend, Jesse, is an amazing fiddle player. Growing up he would play at my grandparent’s parties and my grandfather would always pull me out to dance. My grandfather passed away a few years ago and having Jesse play our reception felt like having him there.

 

Kristi Wright, Plant at Kyle | Snippet & Ink Kristi Wright, Plant at Kyle | Snippet & Ink
Kristi Wright, Plant at Kyle | Snippet & Ink Kristi Wright, Plant at Kyle | Snippet & Ink
Kristi Wright, Plant at Kyle | Snippet & Ink Kristi Wright, Plant at Kyle | Snippet & Ink
Kristi Wright, Plant at Kyle | Snippet & Ink Kristi Wright, Plant at Kyle | Snippet & Ink
Kristi Wright, Plant at Kyle | Snippet & Ink Kristi Wright, Plant at Kyle | Snippet & Ink

 

Did you include any traditions in your wedding?  We didn’t want anything to distract us from our guests and the fun of the evening, so there were no traditional elements planned for our wedding, but they sort of just organically occurred. Our 6 flower girls demanded that I toss the bouquet, and at the end of the night, Carlton and I ended up having a first dance.

What was the best advice you received as a bride?  Not to get too caught up in the details. Which is much easier advice to give than to take.

What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding?  Prepare to have the most surprising people questioning you about your choices. Really be true to yourself and what you want out of the day. And know that none of it really matters, because in the end you’ll be married.

 

Kristi Wright, Plant at Kyle | Snippet & Ink Kristi Wright, Plant at Kyle | Snippet & Ink

Photography: Kristi Wright / Venue: The Plant at Kyle in Kyle, Texas / Bride’s Dress: Amy Kuschel / Shoes: TOMS / Stationery: designed by groom, printed by Vertallee Letterpress / Floral Designer: Bricolage / Music: Gumbo Ce Soir / Catering: Whole FoodsBola PizzaEasy Tiger  / Cake: Butterface

2 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Real Weddings

From Ashlee: Into the Mystic has always been our song. We sang it on the way to school in the morning and Dad always turned up the volume with the horns. I love that we caught him with his guard down.

 

From Kevin: Our Second Line was awesome! Neighbors came out on their porch and danced with us. All of our friends and family, in the city we love, dancing in the streets – what’s not to love about that?

 

Photos by 509 Photo. See Ashlee and Kevin’s wedding feature right HERE.

0 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Frameworthy Photos

New Orleans is by far one of the most romantic, whimsical, musical cities in the world, so it’s not really surprising that those are the same three words Ashlee and Kevin used to describe their wedding in the Crescent City. Ashlee says, “We chose to have our wedding in New Orleans because it is a city full of life, resilience and passion – all things that are important in marriage. Kevin and I have lived in New Orleans for four years, and we love its history, music, food, and laissez-fare. We wanted to share New Orleans with our loved ones – some of whom had never been to the city. We wanted to give them the richest NOLA experience possible in two days. We chose hotels in the French Quarter so everyone could walk to restaurants and enjoy the traditional New Orleans experience, and we chose our venues for their beauty and drama.”

SEE THE GALLERY FOR EVEN MORE IMAGES FROM THIS NEW ORLEANS WEDDING BY 509 PHOTO.

509 Photography | Snippet & Ink 509 Photography | Snippet & Ink

 

Something old, new, borrowed, blue?  Something old: An antique beaded purse my sister gave me on my wedding day.  //  Something new: My dress!  //  Something borrowed: My necklace was the first piece of jewelry my father gave my mother in the spring of 1975. It’s a diamond in a glass frame that was a cheesy Mother’s Day special at the jewelry store, and though she wasn’t a mom yet, he bought it to remind her that their love comes first. That is something to live by. I’ve always wanted to wear it on my wedding day.  //  Something blue: My mother’s gorgeous sapphire ring. (Unfortunately, it was also something borrowed!)

What was the best advice you received as a bride?  Planning advice, from my Mawmaw: “Now, don’t let yourself get so hyper.” Day-of Advice, from my bridesmaids: “Stop. Take a deep breathe. Take in all the love.”

What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding?  Stay true to what you want but know when to let it go. We were supposed to have our ceremony at a park by our house. It was the only thing I knew I wanted in the beginning. It was a huge headache and it eventually fell apart 3 months before our date. We found the church, fell in love, and never looked back. All that stress for nothing.

 

509 Photo | Snippet & Ink 509 Photo | Snippet & Ink
509 Photography | Snippet & Ink 509 Photography | Snippet & Ink
509 Photo | Snippet & Ink 509 Photo | Snippet & Ink

 

Says Ashlee: “Kev and I have my parent’s original wedding rings they exchanged 34 years ago. (They have since gotten upgrades.) For wedding day gifts, I gave Kevin the watch that my mother gave my father on their wedding day, and Kevin gave me an out-of-print book I’ve been longing for since we were in college, Writings by Agnes Martin. His note said, I hope this inspires you to pursue your dreams. I love you.

 

509 Photography | Snippet & Ink 509 Photography | Snippet & Ink
509 Photo | Snippet & Ink 509 Photo | Snippet & Ink

 

The Ceremony

“Our ceremony was at Saints Peter and Paul Church – a 166 year old church – that we chose for its haunting beauty,” says Ashlee. “The Church was desanctified by the diocese in 2001 and has since become a somewhat forgotten gem in a neighborhood called the Marigny. The Marigny is a beautiful historic neighborhood east of the French Quarter with laid-back shotgunned-lined streets, perfect for a second line.”

 

509 Photography | Snippet & Ink 509 Photography | Snippet & Ink
509 Photography | Snippet & Ink 509 Photography | Snippet & Ink
509 Photography | Snippet & Ink 509 Photography | Snippet & Ink
509 Photography | Snippet & Ink 509 Photography | Snippet & Ink
509 Photography | Snippet & Ink 509 Photography | Snippet & Ink

 

Your ceremony in three words.  Whimsical, Romantic, Musical.

How did you plan your ceremony?  My sister-in-law Beth officiated and helped us organize the ceremony. She sent us the script from her own wedding ceremony and we sat down face-to-face to talk through it. She picked a secular reading that made her think of us called “Union” by Robert Fulghum. We wrote our own vows and also said traditional vows (based on a Catholic ceremony). Kevin picked out our Bible scripture reading which was read by our friend Elizabeth. It was very important that we involve our wedding guests in the ceremony because we believe that their love guided us to marriage. Beth recommended that we involve everyone with a group blessing – it was very special.

How did you choose your ceremony music?  For our ceremony music, I started a Spotify playlist of our favorite songs as soon as we got engaged. It ended up being really helpful when picking songs for first dances, ceremony, and reception. It was also nice to have for showers and getting ready the day of. Harry Hardin coordinated our music. I told him what songs I wanted for the ceremony and he recommended and coordinated the right musicians for the job.

What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony?  Our vows. We wrote our own vows and we meant every word. It was pure magic.

Is there anything else that you’d like to share about your wedding ceremony?  We printed the lyrics to “This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)” by the Talking Heads on the back of the program so everyone could sing along as we recessed. //  The old church has the original bell and bell tower and we rang the bell after the ceremony.  //  We had watermelon lemonade served outside the church and a brass band playing while we quickly took family portraits.  //  After formal photos we busted out of the church, the brass band started walking – the second line started. Many of our guests did not know what a second line was but they caught on pretty quick. We danced around the Marigny until we got to the buses that took guests to the civic.

SEE ASHLEE AND KEVIN’S FULL CEREMONY TEXT RIGHT HERE.

 

509 Photography | Snippet & Ink 509 Photography | Snippet & Ink
509 Photography | Snippet & Ink 509 Photography | Snippet & Ink
509 Photography | Snippet & Ink 509 Photography | Snippet & Ink

 

The Reception

“New Orleans was the inspiration for our wedding,” says Ashlee. “I was really in search of a certain mood that New Orleans brought out in us, which made it hard for me to explain myself to vendors at first. So, I tried to focus on the times I felt my New Orleans goosebumps and let that guide me. New Orleans has this grand feel of indulgence while still keeping a laid-back atmosphere – that is what we were trying to capture in our wedding.”

 

509 Photo | Snippet & Ink 509 Photo | Snippet & Ink

 

Do you have any budget tips for other brides?  Figure out what’s most important to you. For us, it was the art involved – music, photography, flowers. This is where we splurged and I am so glad we did. Also, let the pros guide you. Our wedding planner helped us manage priorities. He was great about saying, “It’s beautiful, but you won’t even notice if it’s not there,” or “This may be a big budget item, but it will make a big impact,” and he was right.

First Dance Song:Lovin’ in My Baby’s Eyes” by Taj Mahal. It is mostly blues guitar and harmonica with simple lyrics. We really wanted it played live and I knew the only person who could do it justice was Alvin Youngblood Hart, a grammy-award winning blues musician who shares our hometown of Memphis, Tennessee. I coordinated with Alvin’s girlfriend to surprise Kevin by having Alvin sing our first dance – he was so surprised and we were both blown away by Alvin’s performance. It was priceless.

Menu:  Passed: Crab Cakes with Jalapeño Aioli / Rare Ahi Tuna Wonton / Roasted Beet “Truffles” / Shrimp Remoulade on Fried Mirliton Coins // Stations: Beef Tenderloin with Arugula, Parmigiano, Yukon Potatoes / Shrimp and Cheese Grits / Mac ‘n’ Cheese with Assorted Toppings / Oyster Bar and Ceviche / Pulled Pork Cheese Biscuits / Smoked Duck Confit / Sushi Bar (by our favorite neighborhood folks at Sushi Kyoto) // Dessert: Vanilla and Almond Wedding Cake with Strawberry and Pistachio Buttercreams / Croquembouche Groom’s Cake with Vanilla Cream and Salted Caramel

Is there anything else that helps tell the story of the day?  We had an after party on a balcony on Bourbon Street. Kevin and I do not frequent Bourbon Street, but we knew first-timers to New Orleans would want to see what it was all about. A private balcony is the only way to do Bourbon Street, so we bought a bunch of beads and rented a balcony. Kevin and I made a quick appearance, tossed some beads, did the garter toss (off the balcony with the single men standing below) then snuck out! Everyone else hung around and spent some time with people they rarely see.

 

509 Photography | Snippet & Ink 509 Photography | Snippet & Ink
509 Photography | Snippet & Ink 509 Photography | Snippet & Ink
Photography: 509 Photo / Venue: Civic Theatre in New Orleans, Louisiana / Event Planning: Kenneth Lacour, Grand Events / Dress, Veil: Inbal Dror / Shoes: Prada / Floral Design, Flower Crown: Dunn & Sonnier / Garter: Hanky Panky / Tuxedo: Hugo Boss / Tie: Nordstrom / Shoes: To Boot New York / Bridesmaid Dresses: Jenny Yoo / Bridesmaid Jewelry: Mara Gold / Groomsmen Attire: Mr. John’s Tuxedo / Stationery: Scriptura / Ceremony, Second Line Music: Harry Hardin / Wedding Band: Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes featuring Debbie Davis / Cake: Bittersweet Confections
2 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Real Weddings