A cloudy sky softened the cool light from the sun on the afternoon of Jenny’s wedding. She peered through slatted blinds at the looming sugar pines on her specially rented Graeagle estate, the subtle beauty of her Plumas County location reassuring her of her choice in wedding destination. Hailing from the California Bay Area herself, she just could not quite get enough of the scenic Sierra Nevada town. Her fit-and-flair snowy white wedding gown hung from the sill next to her, its white silk luminous and flowing gracefully. Not one to usually make a fuss about her appearance, Jenny knew it was important to feel like herself despite the gravity of the day. Her solution was to eschew the traditional high heels that one would associate with a wedding, and instead don a pair of Converse. She had chosen a white pair to compliment her dress – but made sure that they truly reflected her personality in their multi-colored neon trim.
Her loved ones and members of her bridal party had also made the several-hour journey to this quaint little town, situated between Portola and Quincy near the Lake Tahoe basin. The group had intelligently rented vacation homes in the area that would house all party members. Jenny was absolutely contented as she primped and primed in the cottage, surrounded by the women she loved the most. After popping a well-deserved bottle of champagne, the bride elicited the help of her mother to lace up her dress and put the finishing touches on her ensemble. She chose classic and simple jewelry, wearing dainty pearl earring and a timeless single strand of pearls. Her half-up, gently curled hair was accented with a sheer veil with lace accents and secured by a whimsical pearl brooch.
Once the bride was ready, she and her bridesmaids headed to the alpine field on the property. Her bridesmaids were decked in varying styles of dresses – ranging from long to tea length, strapless to empire, yet united in a common color. The deep teal and the blinding white of the bride’s dress popped against the late October foliage.
Scott and his groomsmen looked dapper in their suits with teal ties, vests, and pocket squares; their boutonnieres a pop of red and orange against the otherwise cool tones. He and his groomsmen had also gotten ready for the wedding in a rental cottage in the Graeagle / Johnsville area. The group was undoubtedly some of the most kind-hearted men, and the camaraderie was palpable. Once they were suited up, the men hopped in various cars to make the short trek to the Graeagle Corner Barn meadow.
The evergreens loomed large under the grey sky, and the meadow was bathed in a soft silver light. Ceremony decorations were kept to a minimum, the emphasis placed on the natural beauty of the environment. An intimate group gathered to watch as Jenny and Scott exchanged their vows under the canopy of sky and tree boughs. The women carried bouquets of red and orange roses, in cheerful contrast to their elegant teal gowns. The bride held an overflowing bouquet of warm toned roses, accented with snow-white Asian and Tiger Lilies. Soon the couple exchanged their wedding bands, and shared their first kiss as a married couple. Guests regaled the wedding party recessional with bubbles that glistened like opals suspended in air. The wedding party paused for formal portraits in the meadow, the long grasses and deep blue of the mountains typifying the essence of this beautiful venue.
Inside the barn, the decorative rustic and Japanese fusion created a cheerful and one-of-a-kind atmosphere. Each guest had a handmade lace-etched ivory place card, directing them to long tables draped in teal and topped with tall glass vases filled with lilies. Tall jugs were filled to the brim with fresh fruit and juices, a tasty reminder of the quickly fleeting warm weather. Chopsticks sat at the ready on tabletops, a welcome indication of the food to come. Brown paper programs were stacked neatly for anyone who may want a memento of the day, the hand-drawn line work featuring a floral wreath with calligraphic details. The bride and groom, avid Starwars fans, drank from champagne glasses featuring iconic lines from Princess Leia and Han Solo. Jenny and Scott had chosen a simple white frosted cake topped with a handful of roses and placed upon a Lazy Susan featuring their last name. But perhaps the most breathtaking detail of the wedding was the paper parasol hung with small origami cranes and pearls – a time-consuming, romantic Japanese (American) tradition for longevity and luck in the marriage.
Despite being a generally calm and collected group, the reception was lively. The Graeagle Corner Barn provided the couple and their guests with a spacious dance floor, which was quickly filled with eager party-goers. The couple shared an intimate first dance, quickly followed by a cake cutting that left both the bride and groom a little messy. The party went on well in to the evening, the sun setting behind the pristine mountains as those in the barn danced below twinkling lights, the smell of pine drifting in on the cool autumn air.