IT IS ALWAYS SUCH A JOY TO PHOTOGRAPH WEDDINGS FOR ANOTHER WEDDING VENDOR
Andrea and Josh’s intimate orchard wedding was definitely no exception! As a florist with a background in wedding planning, Andrea was able to put so much thought and intention into every small detail, creating handmade elements that are not only beautiful, but also have so much meaning to them as a couple. The result was easily one of the most romantic and emotional wedding days that I have ever been a part of, and to this day I can’t help but get swept away thinking of all of the magic that occurred.
FROM THE BRIDE…
Looking back on our wedding day, it is hard not to get caught up thinking about all of the wonderful memories made.
I think the height of emotion and excitement was walking into the ceremony. I usually don’t cry easily, but I immediately started tearing up as I walked down the aisle with my parents and saw all of my family and friends and my soon-to-be husband. Our ceremony itself was very meaningful. We chose to have a Jewish ceremony since I was raised Jewish, and I love the feeling of being a part of something that connects us to our ancestors and family so deeply. I loved that our Jewish ceremony included time for Josh and I to be alone together for a few moments both before and afterwards. Seeing him before the ceremony made us both feel more relaxed and comfortable and allowed us to enjoy the ceremony that much more.
We were lucky to incorporate some meaningful heirlooms into the ceremony. Josh’s wedding band was his grandfather’s, and I was wearing my grandmother’s ring on my right hand. The fabric covering the chuppah was sewn by my mom and had lace from my grandmother’s wedding dress on it. The napkin that held the glass that we broke was from my parents’ wedding. My mom is an artist and decorated our ketubah (Jewish wedding contract), and it’s now an art piece in our home and a reminder of our vows. The tallit wrap was my grandfather’s – who passed away before I was born.
The style I wanted for our wedding was romantic yet not too stuffy, something that felt like a little bit of Tuscany and a little bit of California mixed together. One of the main things I knew I wanted was long communal tables with us sitting with our friends and family. I was very drawn to the apple orchards on the property, so the apples and garden roses (my favorite!) became central to the design. One of my favorite parts of the evening was sitting down to dinner at those long tables and enjoying the delicious family style meal. We got to sit with our friends and family while looking out over a gorgeous setting, sun spilling light over the vineyards and apple orchards. The flowers, the glittering candlelight, and our favorite music wafting overhead made for a perfect moment in time.
As a florist, I knew I wanted beautiful flowers and lots of fun, handmade details. It was really special to have my flower friends design my flowers. I knew that they would do an incredible job, having worked for Momo at La Lavande in the past. I knew I could trust her design eye to create something even more beautiful than I could dream up myself, and I was not wrong! They were totally gorgeous, and I especially loved all of the beautiful vines and garden roses in my bridal bouquet. Not only were the flowers designed by friends, but my friend Ruth is also a talented ceramics artist, and she made beautiful ceramic compotes to hold the flowers.
Creating many of the decor elements of our wedding ourselves was something that was incredibly important to us! Josh and I made the salt and pepper cellars that lined our tables in our pottery class. We took a pottery class at the beginning of our relationship (we went to a class the night he asked me to be his girlfriend), so I thought it was fitting to make a few pieces for the wedding! I learned some basic calligraphy and hand lettered the invites and found vintage prints of apples and clematis vines at the antique fair to line the envelopes with! I love vintage stamps and was able to find some fun ones that represented us well. In particular I loved the Bobby Jones stamp I found (a golfer, because Josh loves to golf) and one with a phonograph (Josh is really into audio equipment). For the favors, I made natural soy wax candles scented with essential oils and printed up my own tags for them. It was really fun coming up with unique scent combinations that would remind us of our wedding day whenever we burned them. My mom also handmade all of the napkins out of a beautiful natural linen fabric that I found. Plus, now we get to have them as keepsakes, too!
One thing that was special for us was getting to choose lots of the music for cocktail hour and dinner. We both appreciate music but weren’t too picky about the music played during dancing, so we chose some favorites for the cocktail hour and dinner. It just felt so personal and special when I heard some of the songs we had chosen as we sat eating dinner. It really made for some great moments and memories, and I’m so glad we took the time to do that.
I have experience being on the vendor side, and so it was very different to be a Bride. It was a lot of fun but also a lot of work, with so many decisions to make! I think there are a few important things that it was helpful to remember when planning. One is to stay true to your vision and what you feel represents you as a couple. It’s important to make sure the day feels personal to you. Another is to put your energy into the things that mean the most to you and to let go of the other stuff. Once we got a couple months out from the wedding, we realized that there were certain details that we could let go of rather than putting more stress on ourselves. It’s necessary to prioritize what’s most important to you at a certain point! And most importantly, on the wedding day, try to relax and enjoy! There will be bumps in the road and things that aren’t perfect, but once you’ve worked so hard to make the day happen, it makes a world of difference to make the best of the hiccups and enjoy the day with your loved ones.
One small detail that I may have done differently is to have had extra help to set up our decor items. The venue included day-of coordination services but did not include decor setup. In retrospect, it would have been great to have an extra hand who knew exactly where everything went, since oftentimes I was busy and couldn’t direct friends and family as to where everything should go. For example, the candles were melting in the sun because we put them out so early! Luckily there were plenty of hands on deck to move them out of the sun and then back into place, but it may have relieved a little stress to have a hired hand available to take care of this. It’s always better to have too much help rather than too little.
I think that trying your best to stay relaxed and open minded throughout the process is key to enjoying your own wedding. It’s so easy to get caught up in tiny details that only you will notice (this coming from someone who is way into the details!). I had a lot of fun thinking about things like handmade linen napkins and salt dishes, but I also knew that my guests would have enjoyed the day just as much without them. I was doing it more for me than for anyone else. I never felt like I was doing something because I had to, or because it was expected, which I know can be tricky when planning a wedding! Once the wedding festivities began, it was smooth sailing, and we had so much fun!