Nicole & Patrick | Stanford University Wedding by Gia Canali

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Gia Canali, one of our wonderful Select vendors, recently launched her brand new website, and to celebrate we’re sharing her images from this gorgeous, timeless wedding at the Stanford University Memorial Church…

Gia Canali Photography | Snippet & Ink

From event planner Amy Kaneko: “Nicole and Patrick’s wedding had such a strong and beautiful focus on family. They really prioritized including all their loved ones. In fact, they had the largest bridal party I’ve ever seen – a total of 61 people were actively involved in the ceremony! In addition to the bride and groom, parents and grandparents, there were 13 bridesmaids, 6 flower girls, 12 groomsmen, 2 ring bearers, 10 ushers, and 8 readers. That focus on family continued into the reception. About a fifth of the guests were children, so we created a “Kid’s Corner” with blankets, pillows, and arts and crafts set on low tables. They even decorated custom banners for the bride and groom to hang in their home. This emphasis on family felt completely right in the residential setting of Allied Arts Guild, just minutes from Nicole’s childhood home.”

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Huge blue hydrangea bushes made for a beautiful backdrop at the Allied Arts Guild, where the reception was held. Guests were invited to help themselves to fresh-squeezed lemonade and cucumber-mint water.

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Centerpieces and decor incorporated olive branches and lush dinner plate dahlias. Natural linen tablecloths were a refined, rustic touch.

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Says Nicole, “Our caterer perfected the recipe for mint gelato from our favorite Italian restaurant in Chicago.” There were also Italian cookies made by the bride’s family, and the signature cocktail was another nod to the bride’s Italian heritage (called Il Postino and made with prosecco, rum, honey, lime).

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Why did you choose this location for your wedding?  Patrick and I met during the winter of our junior year at Stanford and so we knew that we wanted to get married at Memorial Church on Stanford’s campus when we got engaged. Growing up in Menlo Park, I have memories of walking just a few blocks from our home to the beautiful gardens at the Allied Arts Guild, where our reception was held. It is a gorgeous setting and very close to our hearts!

What inspired you when you were planning your wedding?  We wanted the day to be about family and friends, food, and lots of fun! The many little ones that were involved in our wedding served as inspiration. We had 6 flower girls, 2 ring bearers, and other children involved in various aspects of the day, so we wanted to make it fun for the kids and have lots of places for them to hang. Food was also a source of inspiration. Our caterer, John Silva of The Culinary Eye, was absolutely fantastic! He worked with us to create the perfect menu with lots of Italian/Mediterranean flavors and details.

What was your favorite moment or part of the day?  There were so many special moments on our wedding day. Patrick and I chose not to see each other before the ceremony, so walking down the aisle was a wonderful and emotional moment. Another favorite moment was hearing my dad’s speech right before the dinner at our reception. It was so sweet and thoughtful, and it really captured the feel of our reception. And the chance to boogie on the dance floor with our family & friends was a perfect ending to the day!

Did you include any traditions in your wedding?  Yes! Lots! Patrick is Irish and I am Italian, and we tried to weave in some traditions from both of our cultures into our wedding day. We featured classic Italian wedding cookies and candies, made lovingly by my grandmother, great aunt, and cousins. I wore a veil made from pieces of my mother’s and maternal grandmother’s veils and carried a handkerchief wrapped around my bouquet that my paternal grandmother carried on her wedding day. Patrick’s sister, Jill, gave Patrick a few lucky Irish charms to keep in his pocket on the day of the wedding, too!

What was the best advice you received as a bride?  1. Celebrate your guests! It is a day that so many of the people closest to you will be together and it is a great opportunity to shower them with love! Patrick and I created personalized guidebooks for our out of town guests and included handwritten notes and treats. // 2. Consider getting help from a wedding planner! Amy Kaneko, of Amy Kaneko Events, could not have been more perfect! She is creative, organized, has an exquisite eye for detail, and is totally calming. She helped us prioritize vendors, set (and stay on) a budget, and flawlessly executed all of the day-of planning and coordinating.

Vendor Credits

Photography: Gia Canali / Event Planning & Design, Stationery, Signs: Amy Kaneko Events / Venue: Allied Arts Guild in Menlo Park, California / Church: Memorial Church at Stanford University / Bride's Dress: Marina Morrison Boutique / Shoes: BHLDN / Suit, Shirt, Tie: Brooks Brothers / Shoes: Cole Haan / Bridesmaid Dresses: J. Crew / Floral Design: Natalie Bowen / Rentals: Hartmann Studio Rentals, La Tavola Linen / Music: Synchronicity Strings / DJ: Boutique DJ's / Catering: Culinary Eye Catering / Cake: Prolific Oven Bakery / Hair, Makeup: Diana Luong / Videographer: REB6 Studios

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