We get really really giddy when Carlie Statsky submits real weddings to us ... not only are they usually some of the most beautiful weddings we see, but the photos showcase the ENTIRE story of the day. From great detail shots to stunning portraits of the couple ... we promise you won't be disappointed! Our favorites from Shannon and Jeff's real wedding? Mmmm, if we had to pick 3: the darling ribbon detailed wands the guests waved during the ceremony, the addition of the bagpipes, and the 'Mr and Mrs' dressed chiavari chairs at the 'bride and groom' reception table. But, we love it all and so will you!
We picked our wedding photographer before we finalized our wedding date, that’s how much we loved Carlie Statsky Photography. I found her blog and fell in love with the gorgeous natural light, vibrant colors, and her ability to capture beautiful emotions. When we met her in person, she was warm and professional. She answered every email promptly and was extremely fast getting us all our photos. My husband is not always the most comfortable in front of a camera, but she was able to capture genuine, great moments! We love all our photos and are extremely grateful to have been able to work with Carlie.
We hired Diamond Dave Hosley for our reception entertainment! He was another vendor we made sure was available before finalizing our wedding date! He was AMAZING and got everyone dancing, from the teenagers to our 90 year old grandmothers. Let me explain, or better yet go to his website: Diamond Dave is a DJ who also sings, plays the keyboard, plays the drum machine, and does everything from LMFAO to Frank Sinatra. He is a true performer and even set up the sound for our ceremony and cocktail hour. Love, love, loved Dave!!
Pick your top 3 priorities and spend your money there. You can be creative and save a ton of money even if you are busy. It becomes so easy to keep adding things on as the wedding gets closer, but if you already have your priorities, it becomes easier to stay on budget. Our top three were photographs, venue, and food. Get a coordinator so you can enjoy your wedding and so your family can enjoy it too! Your wedding is about celebrating your relationship, so when the stress of guest lists, seating charts, and budgets get you down, take a break and reconnect with your partner. It goes by so quickly but your photographs and memories will be there forever!
Our venue handled all the catering. Besides being delicious, much of the food is grown right next to the hotel, so you can’t get any fresher! We loved everything the chef prepared at our tasting and gave them flexibility to use any seasonal, locally grown produce. We had a buffet filled with fresh, lovingly prepared food. My husband loves italian food, so we had classic chicken parm, vegetarian lasagna, grilled tri-tip, scalloped potatoes, and three salads. By focusing on the very best ingredients, our food was unfussy and left everyone satisfied. Our coordinator even sent an extra tray of food to our hotel room for after the reception! (catering by the Oceano Hotel and Spa)
Whenever someone would ask what our wedding theme was, my response was always: “Shannon and Jeff get married in Half Moon Bay!”. We wanted to create a warm, fun, classic event that everyone could enjoy. I let the things we love in real life guide all our choices. The natural, timeless beauty of Half Moon Bay is what I wanted to showcase on our day and I wanted our details to reflect our 12 year relationship and to also pay tribute to our families.
I used WowPretty for my hair and makeup for my engagement photos and for the wedding. Jira was wonderful and even styled my mother-in-law’s hair and makeup. She came with her assistants and made us feel beautiful and pampered.
We did get a month-of coordinator to make sure all the final details were taken care of and to allow our families to enjoy the weekend without putting too much responsibility on them. I’m very organized and planned many things on my own, but didn’t want to coordinate our wedding myself, and didn’t want that extra stress. We loved working with Adrianna Thorne of Dream a Little Dream Events - she was super organized, has a great eye for style, gave me great ideas for final details, and made sure all our family was taken care of. Having someone to make sure my husband and I had zero worries before our wedding was priceless.
Our first visit to The Oceano Hotel and Spa was cloudy and grey, but as soon as we walked into the lobby and met Nancy Nerhan, I was sold. She is warm, caring, and very organized. We wanted to be married outside with a tent reception and the Oceano has a permanent outdoor tent overlooking the beach and harbor. Other venues were going to make us rent our own tent, which could get very expensive. They also have a beautiful ballroom and gorgeous rooms. Everything was included from food, coordinator, linens, and chairs but they were extremely flexible and made us feel truly special. It was not a cookie-cutter hotel wedding, but had all the convenience of a place for our guests to stay, a spot for our ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception. They think of everything, including bringing you water and food to eat before the wedding, getting all our grandmothers to their seats ahead of time, and allowing our guests to feel pampered the whole weekend!
We were blessed to have Jeff’s uncle officiate our wedding. He recently celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary and is such an inspiration to us as a couple. Our ceremony started with live bagpipes, played by my husband’s Scottish colleague, Malcolm Robertson. Malcolm led my father and I down the aisle and led Jeff and I out as husband and wife at the end of the ceremony. It was beautiful and lively, setting a festive tone for the rest of the night.
Photographer: Carlie Statsky Photography
Venue: Oceano Hotel and Spa
Catering: Oceano Hotel and Spa
Wedding Coordination: Dream A Little Dream Events
Flowers: Mother of the Bride, Susan Snook
Wedding Cake: Stella Pastry
Bridesmaid Dresses: Nordstrom
Linens: La Tavola Linens
Reception Music: Diamond Dave Hosley
Favors: Bequet Sea Salt Caramels