First of all, I loved the pictures and the style of the pictures in onelove photography's portfolios. But I also loved that Sara was very responsive, helpful, and had a lot of information to share online. Both Erran and I work a lot so being able to get an e-mail with a link to our bill that we could review and pay automatically on our own time made everything ten times easier. Plus, I just liked the vibe I got from talking to Sara on the phone. After we did our engagement shoot with Margaret (of onelove photography), we knew we had made the right choice.
I didn't want anything that would make me cringe when I look at pictures in 20 years. Plus, I'm not a loud person so I'm not into loud colors. I wanted something that would blend in nicely with the surroundings and also look classy. I also wanted to pick bridesmaids dresses in a color that would look good on a variety of skin types and that the girls might actually wear again. With all that in mind, I narrowed it down to J.Crew's chiffon bridesmaid dress collection since it was the perfect balance of flirty and classy, and the girls could each pick out the cut that flattered them best. The dark grey was took dark, so with process of elimination we went with the light grey. Deciding on complimentary colors was harder. Everything looks good with grey! I just liked the look of greys with pinks, purples, and greens, but I didn't want to limit myself to any two or three colors. I don't think I officially decided on anything until I was forced to right before the wedding, and at that time I just went with grey with pink and some succulents to add some green. (flowers designed by Erica Rose Design)
Mary Ellen Murphy of Off the Beaten Path Weddings helped arrange the venue for us. We knew we wanted to get married at a private estate in the California wine country, but finding one on our own was near impossible. After seeing a wedding she had done at a private estate on a blog, I called her up. She had just gotten a new venue and the way she described it sounded perfect. When I finally saw it, I just knew.
Johanna: It's so hard to pick one moment, but I would have to say the cocktail hour was my favorite because we got to mingle with friends and family and really enjoy the party that we were throwing. It helped that we had taken most of our photos ahead of time, so we only spent a few minutes on photos and then got to celebrate!
Erran: At the end of the night, when all of our friends were on the dance floor, one of my friends randomly picked me up on his shoulders and started carrying me around like I had just won the game for the team. I don't even remember what song was playing, but it seemed right at the time. Then another friend picked Johanna up and put her on his shoulders so we were both up in the air. It was spontaneous and awesome!
The rabbi who officiated the wedding was the same rabbi at my Bat Mitzvah when I was 13, my brother's Bar Mitzvah, and my mom's adult B'nai Mitzvah. It was nice having a familiar face up there, and I really felt like his blessings were that much more special because he did know me much better than any other rabbi would. Another part that made the ceremony special was that we invited family members to read each of the seven blessings. For the last blessing, Erran's cousin and his wife, who flew out from Israel, said the prayer in English and sang it in Hebrew. It was really pretty and special.
Just try to relax and have fun. For every little thing you disagree on, think about how much it really matters to you before launching into an all out fight. Erran and I have similar tastes, but go about things differently. I know what I like when I see it and if it doesn't jump out at me, I like to sit on it for a bit. I also have some experience planning events, so I think about the logistical details that Erran wouldn't even know existed. Erran, on the other hand, knows what he doesn't like, but isn't great about knowing why. He is also very much a do-er and a pragmatic. When I wanted to move full-steam ahead on something fantastic but expensive, he'd be there to slow me down and make me think if it was really worth it. At the same time, when he wanted to move forward with a decision so we could be done with it, I was there to make him stop and think about whether it made logistical sense. At times it was frustrating, but we both knew that ultimately we just wanted to have a big party with all of our family and friends and we wanted to enjoy ourselves. I think that shared vision is really what helped keep us sane.
About a year before my wedding, a friend of mine posted that her friend was looking to get experience making invitations and paper goods and was looking for work. She put us in touch and from then on, it was great. Stephanie Laursen and I just clicked and she practically put words in my mouth trying to understand what I wanted. Once she had some ideas in her head, she put together a Pinterest page and shared it with me so that I could comment on the things I liked or didn't like. It was great! She ended up designing everything from our save-the-dates and invitations to the programs and gift tags. For the invitations, she even created a stamp with our return address in a pretty design. Now we have the stamp and can use it for other things too.
Photographer: onelove photography
Flower Design: Erica Rose Design
Wedding Coordinator: Off The Beaten Path Weddings
Desserts: Sweetie Pies
Reception Music: Feet First Entertainment
Catering: Chef Tim Vallery
Ceremony Music: Keri Bailey
Beauty: Veronica Pasalacqua
Rentals: Wine Country Party
Transportation: Pure Luxury Transportation
Stationery: Stephanie Laursen