Sun filtered in through the tall windows of the large, airy room as Anna and her bridal party primped in preparation for the big event. Her parent’s estate, the Beverly Glen Ranch, was to serve as the backdrop for the wedding reception, and Anna was excited to catch a peek of the DIY elements coming together on the grounds through the large windows overlooking the expansive lawn and almond tree grove. Her “Marnie” by Watters wedding gown, driven all the way to the California estate from Swoon Bridal in Reno, Nevada, hung happily from a window frame. She had fallen in love with this dress the moment she saw it; she was enamored with the deep V of the delicate lace bodice, the soft and ethereal folds of the flowing skirt, and the soft hints of blush throughout. Never one for overly impractical shoes, Anna had chosen a pair of TOMS wedges in a soft blush with a subtle floral pattern, paired with rose-colored oblong pearl jewelry. Her hair was swept in to a partial up-do, reminiscent of pin-up era romance. Her bridesmaids were similarly dressed in various Watters ivory dresses – all with almond lining in homage to the location of the wedding reception.
When asked how she and the groom had met, she responded: “We were set-up up on a blind date of sorts…Todd knew full well it was a set-up. Anna thought it was a set-up but sort of an informative dinner for some folks who were thinking about joining the military unit with Anna. They went to dinner in a group with two other couples. Two weeks later, Anna asked Todd to help her teach an EMT course at the military base and when he showed up in uniform, she was spurred to ask him if they should go to, “grab a coffee or beer” as a thank-you. Todd obliged, and their first date they went to sushi in Truckee, California.”
As Anna prepared at the estate, Todd and the groomsmen got ready at a nearby hotel. The men opted for fitted navy suits from Joss A Bank’s Traveler’s Collection. The atmosphere was jovial as the group reminisced on their past shenanigans. From the groom: “At one point, Anna asked Todd to do “a little hike” one afternoon after work. Ill equipped and poorly dressed, Anna proceeded to take Todd on a hike from the base of Squaw to high camp. Cold and hungry, they stopped at a rock to eat all of their rations including two beers and some beef jerky. Pivotal conversation ensued when they decided to go for it and date. It was that same rock that Todd led Anna to one day while skiing at Squaw and got down on one knee and proposed to her.”
The ceremony took place a short distance from the estate at St. James Catholic Church in Davis, California. The wedding party sat primly under the high ceilings of the church, the soft light filtering through the stained glass windows gently illuminating the space. Friends and family watched from the classic pews on either side of the aisle as vows were exchanged. After the ceremony the guests filed out on to the lawn, and the wedding party and family members posed for traditional portraits. The whimsical wild-flower bouquets, boutonnières and flower girls crowns (provided by Strelitzia Flowers) popped against the neutral colors of the wedding party’s attire.
Soon the party moved to the ranch, where long tables with ivory cloths and burlap runners stood waiting. At the head of the tables sat the sweetheart table for the bride and groom, accented by an antique doorframe and chandelier. Atop the tables stood starched navy napkins and traditional cutlery from Firehouse Entertainment. Mason jars full of a mix of wildflowers and lilies sat cheerfully under the countryside sun, as Nothing Bundt Cakes’ traditional lightly frosted Bundt cakes and trays of Rich’s Ice Cream Catering desserts sat at the ready. Original artwork by Maureen Murray graced the small paper details of the wedding, adding an additional personal touch.
Shortly after, the reception was in full swing, the bride and groom sharing an intimate first dance, followed by a series of heartfelt toasts that had each and every guest vacillating between tears of joy and deep belly laughs. As the bright sun set on the happy yellow house, the wedding party slipped away from the crowd to capture pictures together on the expansive deck and grounds of the estate. The sunset bathed the group in deep hues of gold and orange, the soft purple of the mountains hazy in the distance. The group strolled the almond trees that were so significant to the bride’s family, enjoying the deep early smell as twilight descended.
The smell of BBQ drifted on the soft breeze, as Anderson Family Catering & BBQ provided their services to the eager guests. Amos Productions had the perfect set list, and the music set a fun and carefree mood as the bride and groom cut the cake under the deep oranges and purples of the vast California sky. The party went long in to the night, the lights twinkling between the tents like stars and the breeze carrying the sound of laughter the promise of a bright and happy future.