Winter Wedding Ceremony :: Jenny & Brian

It’s always such a special treat when a dear Snippet & Ink reader shares their weddings with us, and always a bonus when it includes thoughtful and personalized wedding vows and ceremony readings.  Thank you Jenny for sharing yours and Brian’s wedding ceremony with us today! XO

Photography by Julie Cahill


The Ceremony

Why did you choose this location for your ceremony? I grew up working at my family’s food concessions on the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, spending my summers making ice cream cones and swirling cotton candy. While Brian was born and raised in Southern California, his aunt and uncle live in Santa Cruz and he grew up visiting for fishing trips and road trips with his buddies. He visited the Boardwalk on more than one occasion and I like to think that during one of those visits I served him an ice cream cone and he has been searching for me ever since. // When Brian and I got engaged and started talking about where we wanted to get married, Santa Cruz seemed like the natural fit. Our wedding ceremony (and reception) took place at the Cocoanut Grove, an iconic old ballroom located – you guessed it – at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. // The room that our ceremony took place has glass ceilings creating a beautiful romantic indoor/outdoor feeling. However, a huge storm rolled into town the weekend of our wedding, creating a very intimate setting inside as the rain and wind howled outside. Our wedding was one of the last weddings to be held at the Cocoanut Grove and we were honored to wed there on a stormy day in January.

Your ceremony in three words. Personal, sentimental and romantic

How did you go about planning your ceremony?  We had over 350 guests at a our ceremony, all seated in a large room. So, the most important thing for us when planning our ceremony was to make it feel as intimate as possible for a large crowd. We didn’t want our family and friends to feel like they were coming to passively watch a show, we wanted them to be part of the ceremony and we wanted them to laugh and cry with us!

Who officiated your ceremony?  My Uncle Dave, my dad’s brother, officiated our wedding. He has officiated many of my other cousins’ weddings and he was the perfect fit for our wedding because we love how he speaks from a personal and authentic voice.

Did you include any traditions in your ceremony? We opted out of a “first look” and instead saw each other for the first time that day when I walked down the aisle. Man, was it worth it to see the look on my sweet groom’s face!

What was your ceremony music? Our wedding party walked into “January Wedding” by the Avett Brothers (Perfect song to kick off our January wedding!). My dad and I walked into Canon in D (Love the traditional wedding song!). The recessional song was “Lovely Day” by Bill Withers (to kick off the joyous reception and party!)

What were your ceremony readings? My cousin Addy read this poem to signify the fact that even though Brian and I did not know each other growing up like many of our family and friends did, our lives are now forever connected.

Then, we had four different special couples (married for varying lengths of time) stand up during our ceremony and give us marriage advice: Brian’s childhood friend Linda and her husband Chris had been married less than a year at the time of our wedding. Their advice: Always say I love you before going to bed. // My first boss and now one my closest friends Tara and her husband Michael (married for 8 years) reminded us to make time for the fun stuff – both together and apart. // My Aunt Margie and Uncle Jon, married for over 29 years, gave us an emotional speech about about the power of faith, family, staying best friends and getting through the hard stuff in marriage together. // Brian’s Uncle Dean and Aunt Paula, together for 39 years, ended the speeches with some hearty laughs let us know that marriage will be better if you be yourself, listen with intent and kiss a lot!

We can’t stress how special it was to have these people deliver such thoughtful and memorable pieces of advice to us publicly during our ceremony and we definitely recommend this to other brides and grooms who are looking to make their ceremony feel personal and include couples that they really look up to admire.

What were your vows like?  Brian and I each wrote our own vows, keeping them short, sweet and genuine.

What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? Without a doubt, our favorite thing about our ceremony was having all of our amazing friends and family from all different times in our lives together in one room. We felt so much positive energy, love and joy because of our guests who were there as we started our adventure as husband and life.


Interested in sharing your wedding ceremony with us? Send us an email!

Vendor Credits

Photography: Julie Cahill / Event Planning & Design: Coastside Couture / Floral Design: Seascape Flowers / Dress: Blush by Hayley Paige from Blush Bridal Couture / Groom’s Suit: Reaction by Kenneth Cole
Beauty by M / Videography: W Video Productions

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