June 14th, 2012
The best decision we made was hiring Paige and Kelly of Bash/Please, event planners that listened to our hopes for the wedding (“a fantastic party that feels like us”) and helped make them a reality. It was all planned perfectly (you can see their initial inspiration boards here) and it was fun to see it all come together. They oversaw the entire day, told us where to be and when, and created a sense of calm that was so comforting. They also came up with tons of the little details that I love – a wire basket filled with vintage handkerchiefs, a lemonade stand for when guests first arrived, and antique keys attached to the place cards. And perhaps the biggest nod to their planning abilities is that everything went off without a hitch. Oh and the fun party we had hoped for? It was even better than we could have imagined.
When we first visited the Ralston White Retreat last summer, I wasn’t sure if it was going to work. The exterior was breathtaking and the layout ideal for a party, but the interiors were seriously dated. I questioned how we were going to be able to transform the space and got the answer as soon as we hired Gayle Nicoletti, of Bloomingayles: flowers. Gayle’s from Mill Valley and was also familiar with the property, which was an enormous help. We wanted the floral design to seem almost as though it were part of the decor – she hung a garland over the main entrance, tucked ranunculus inside a library card catalog, and filled the rooms with stunning flowers that looked as though they could have been picked right outside. She also created the most incredible bouquet for me with pink peonies and tiny sprigs of jasmine. The florals, paired with antique furniture and accessories that we rented from One True Love Vintage, transformed the space to feel positively magical.
I have a serious sweet tooth, so when Geoffrey and I went cake tasting (hands down, the best part of wedding planning!), we had a hard time narrowing it down to one flavor. So instead of picking one, we chose three small cakes – vanilla, chocolate, and red velvet. Guests loved having the option to choose and after the wedding, we took home three slices that we ate together in our hotel bed later that night.
I had initially been conflicted on whether we were going to give out favors, since they often seem forced and rarely are items people want. I’ve always had a soft spot for mix CDs – I think they’re one of the most personal and entertaining gifts, so when Michael offered to make us a mashup mix of his work, we jumped at the chance. And for the record, I’ve had mine playing in my car ever since.
The details and decor played a huge role in transforming the space and creating a warm, inviting atmosphere. But the most important thing, and what truly made the day so special, was that we were surrounded by an enormous amount of love and I’ll be sharing my five favorite moments tomorrow.
Photographs Max Wanger
Event planners: Bash/Please
Wedding Invitations: Walnut Paperie
Floral design: Bloomingayles
Cake: Susie Cakes
Vintage rentals: One True Love Vintage
Favors: Mix CDs: The Flashdance
Votives and Table Numbers: Bhldn
Next up: Wedding Week – Five Moments