there were two things i was certain of when i got engaged
the guy i was going to marry
and that there would be mason jars at my wedding
lots of them
everything else seemed to fall into place
around all the mason jars of course
...and then came baby...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

spotlight on nicole + eric: real wedding

who's ready for another real wedding? well hold onto your hats people, because we've got one heck of a couple on tap today. nicole & eric will make you smile from the inside out & may even make you cry. if you don't tear up watching them tear up then you should probably check your pulse. these two lovebirds tied the knot at the beautiful elings park in santa barbara, california surrounded by their nearest and dearest. they wanted their wedding day to be personal and fun and i think it's safe to say they totally pulled it off with flying colors. all of their hard work made this wedding truly feel homespun, not to mention, absolutely gorgeous. take a look at the stunning images captured by the talented kia gregory. enjoy!

the beautiful bride before the ceremony

love her hair, love the dress, love these two
from the bride:
by the time eric and i had become engaged, we'd both had the pleasure of attending dozens of weddings, been in more than a few bridal parties, and i, at least, had spent literally hundreds of hours looking at wedding blogs, magazines, and wedding dress websites to the point where i could identify the designer of almost any given dress without a second thought. i would probably deny it if someone said i was one of those girls who dreamed of her wedding day since she was a little girl, but, i'd be lying. i just love weddings. i love how they reflect the personality of the couple, how they symbolize the coming together of two families, and how they present such a great opportunity to party it up with new friends and old. i am also a complete sentimental sap and love a good excuse to cry.

gorgeous spanish tiles at the santa barbara courthouse

stealing a smooch in godric grove

my grandma had passed away in january of the year we got married, so i wanted to honor her memory by having a bouquet that mirrored her own. i sent a picture of her bridal bouquet to joey the florist, told him that i wanted it to include herbs and to be primarily orange and green, and he ran with it. for the bridesmaids i wanted something that was colorful and spring-like.

g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s bouquet & bolero

black & white dresses + colorful bouquets = classy & timeless

happy guy

we knew that we had four main priorities: it needs to feel comfortable, it needs to be fun, it needs to be eco-friendly without it being too "california," and it needs to be outside. so when we found elings park in santa barbara, california, we knew it would be the perfect setting for a beautiful central coast party.

let the water works begin

i love these happy tears

the vision for the day kind of evolved as we went along. for years i'd always pictured myself in a flowing, bohemian gown with flowers in my hair. but after going to endless bridal salons and coming up short, i finally found "the dress." because it was so different from my initial vision, it took a lot of convincing (and my continuing to secretly shop for other dresses even after i bought it) to decide it was the one. i think it was my mom's reaction when she saw it that finally convinced me. i tried it on for her and she gasped, "oh nicole, it's beautiful. it looks like something right out of a renoir painting." and that my friends, was where the artistic vision began.

nicole's extremely talented mother handpainted all of the centerpieces

love this simple, fresh table setting

springy, eco-friendly & a great take home for guests

the black & white renoir theme continues...

even the bench is decorated!

when i told my friend lisa that i wanted there to be triangles, egg shakers, and other percussion instruments at our reception, she looked at me quizzically and said, "like kindergarten?" i looked at her and said, "well, yah i guess. like kindergarten." to be honest the idea of having instruments and streamers came from a lot of different origins - it was a mixture of inside jokes with friends, my desire to have a parade, and eric's and my sheer joy with dancing no matter where we are. in the end it was really fun to have props and things to play with on the dance floor. it engaged guests who didn't want to get up to dance but instead could play an instrument at their table. i loved my own maraca so much that our photographer had to rip it from my hands while she was trying to take romantic sunset photos of eric and me.

i wish i thought of this idea!

these hats were part of the decor, but guests just couldn't resist

knowing i don't like cake much, my bridesmaid lisa had read that a tradition on the east coast was for guests to make cookies that would be served at the wedding and available for people to take home at the end of the day. she offered to coordinate the whole thing, so we had an amazing dessert table that would appeal to any guest's taste. it was so touching that so many of our friends took the time to actually use their mixers and turn on their ovens for us. i was simply overwhelmed with gratitude.

dessert table made with love

who doesn't love cupcakes?

enjoying the moment

gorgeous evening sun

in the end, i can confidently say that our wedding day was one of the best days of my life. i still get choked up when i think about how many people were there to share in such an important moment in our lives. all the arguments, the headaches, the planning, and the stress was completely worth it when i think back on how much fun i had and how meaningful every minute felt to me.

true love

thank you thank you thank you to eric and nicole for sharing your gorgeous california wedding with us. the love you two share is palpable. thanks for giving us a glimpse into your wedding day. much love.

miss nicole had so many things to share, that i figured i'd include more below...

...because i didn't want to have a day-of coordinator (i'd sat through too many weddings where the day-of coordinator was more of a pain than a help), we called upon our fantastic friends to come help set up the day-of. i had, on several occasions beforehand, helped set up a reception or centerpieces for a friends' wedding day and derived a great amount of pride and honor from being able to help. i always thought it was really cool to help set up and then see people admiring the dessert table i'd helped with or the bouquets i'd created. even though we felt a little weird about it at first, eric and i asked our friends to help set up on our wedding day. the amount of gratitude eric and i both feel will never be expressed enough...

...eric used to be a brewer, and his first brewing gig was at the brewhouse in santa barbara. although he has since left the industry, he continues to be a homebrewer and has made some amazing beer recipes. knowing that brewhouse co-owner/brewmaster pete johnson had started allowing engaged couples to make bride's ale using brewhouse equipment, eric and i jumped at the chance to make one of eric's great recipes for use at our wedding, and for pete and eric to brew together again for old time's sake. not only was brewing the beer together a great way to spend a saturday, it was simply wonderful to see our guests truly enjoy something eric is so passionate about. as the night carried on and people drank more & more beer, everyone became passionate about it. it was also insanely cool to go to the brewhouse afterward and see "nicole's bride ale" indicated as one of the beers on tap at the brewery...

...we knew that no matter how the day turned out, it was the opportunity to celebrate with our families and friends. as i said on more than one occasion, "it's ok if things don't work out exactly how you planned. this is going to be the most forgiving audience either of us will ever have..."


dep metals jewelry
bcbg maz azria wedding dress
white house/black market bridesmaid dresses
the brewhouse for beer making
bevmo & costco for wine & beer
engagement ring from lang jewelry


Unknown said...

That Eric is one sharp-looking fella! Beautiful wedding!

Kia Gregory said...

The thing I loved about Nicole and Eric on their wedding day: You wouldn't think it was THEIR wedding day because they were so concerned about making sure everyone of their guests felt welcomed and taken care of. I loved watching both of them being so hospitable.