Darling Backyard Wedding in
San Francisco

Mike & Alison

I’m so excited to share Mike and Alison’s wedding with you today.

They had a beautiful backyard wedding followed by the biggest dance party we’ve ever seen. Mike and Alison met during a dance class so dancing was a huge part of their celebration. You’ll see that in the photos! I love what Alison shared about planning her wedding. For all the couples out there beginning their planning process, go grab a pen and paper. You’ll want to take notes!

From Alison the bride…

One of the things we did really well was making sure that our ceremony was highly personal and told the story of our relationship and what marriage means to Mike and I. I tell other couples that are getting married that a wedding is a chance to get an intimate glimpse into a couple’s relationship. There is a quote by Antoine de Saint-Exupery about love: “Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.” Well, your wedding is your chance to share that direction, that shared vision of yourselves and your future with the people you care most about.

For us that narrative was all about family. What it means to us, who family is, and what it means to have one. It’s why the wedding was in my parent’s backyard. It’s why both our Dad’s married us and talked about family and marriage in the ceremony. It’s why we picked a menu that was an upscale version of Sunday dinner (every Sunday is family day, where the whole family gets together sits outside and has wine and dinner). It’s why we invited only the people we believe will be part of our life ten to twenty to thirty years from now. And it’s also why that list is 115 people. Mike and I collect families and family members. We are the gathering place and the glue. And we are home to each other.

So my advice to people is make sure they know their own narrative and don’t lose it as they build out all the parts and pieces of a wedding. The details that matter are the ones that are personal to the story of your marriage, not marriage in general. Spend your time and energy planning and detailing those things out. Then simplify or offload everything else. Let those be someone else’s problem.

Mike and Alison it was a joy and pleasure to serve at your wedding! It was memorable and special in so many ways. I will never forget the dance floor! Thank you so much for having us! We wish you a marriage filled with love and laughter.

You can see even more of Mike and Alison’s wedding over on Borrowed & Blue!

Here is the team that brought everything together.

Photographer: Pictilio
Planner: Caitlin Arnold Weddings & Events
Florist: Sweetness and Light Floral Design
Officiants: Fathers of the bride and groom
Caterer: Weir and Associates
Bakery: Icing On The Cake
Music: MK Mobile Sound
Rentals: Unica Party Rentals
Hair: Lux Image Agency

California backyard wedding, first dance of bride and groomWedding details: invitation, RSVP, etc.Wedding detail of bridesmaid flowersWedding gown detailReal emotions, bride and groom laughingGetting ready portrait of groom by pianoIntimate nuptials in a private residenceGetting ready photo of the brideWedding reception details: Table, glasses, plates and centerpiece with lemons and yellow flowersRelaxed portrat of bride and groom in a private California backyard weddingBride and groom at their first lookWedding details: table setup at an intimate backyard weddingBride and groom dancing down the aisleGetting read detail: bride looking at her shoesSan Francisco backyard wedding reception at duskBackyard Nuptials in San Francisco at Private residence

The Weekender

I haven’t written a Weekender post since Good Friday. Let’s get to it! And Happy Weekend!

I started these posts as a way to share a recap of my thoughts and findings from the week. It’s really just a way for me to ramble. Here’s a peak at my world lately.

Don’t Choose Easy – This is a family mantra that we have posted up as a constant reminder. This week it currently applies to weaning Rose from night feedings. I’m so happy we chose to do the hard work. It has proven to be a better solution for all of us.

Date Night – Last night was supposed to be date night but the lack of sleep from the week caught up with us and we opted for rest instead. Keeping a weekly date night makes missing one here or there not feel like the end of the world.

Better Boundaries – I received comments, text messages and emails regarding my recent post about my struggle with social media. It feels so good to know I’m not alone. It sparked a conversation during a coffee date with a friend and fellow creative who also shares in my struggle. We decided to take a baby step together! No social media after 4pm. Breaking bad habits is always easier when done in community.

KitchenTown – If you live on the Peninsula, this is my new favorite coffee shop. Finally a cute and creative shop in our area! Normally, I have to drive to San Francisco to get my fix. Along with great coffee and yummy treats, KitchenTown is also a makers’ space for local food entrepreneurs. Yes!! My next goal is to try their weekend brunch.

Our First Wedding – We are driving up to Sacramento tomorrow for our first wedding of 2016. And I’m so excited! Work these days feels like mini-getaways with Vitaliy. But I’m also thrilled because Alex and Tanya are one of the sweetest couples we’ve had the chance to work with. They have been counting down to the big day on social media and I can just feel my own excitement building with theirs.

Wild & Free – I am two chapters away from finishing this book. I have not had something speak so specifically to my heart as a woman in so many years. I had a goal to finish one book a week this month. It turns out I’m only going to get through one. But I am so thankful that it’s this! And I’m happy I took the time to savor each chapter.

What are you up to this weekend? What’s going on in your world?

Don't Choose Easy

What To Do When Someone Else Is Living Your Dream

Do you ever take a rabbit trail on Instagram? Yeah, that’s what I figured. I took one the other day and landed on an account and realized that someone else was living my dream. MY DREAM.

It was the exact same idea I shared months, probably years, ago with Vitaliy. And they were doing it! You know how these rabbit trails end.

I’m such a loser. Everyone else is capable of making their dreams happen except for me. I’m such a loser. I’m never going to amount to anything. I’m a loser.

Yes, “I’m a loser” is sandwiched between every other negative self-talk statement. Just me? Somehow I doubt it.

I recently had coffee with a friend who said she couldn’t go on Instagram anymore because she couldn’t handle seeing all the other moms who seem to have it all together. I was so thankful for her honesty because I can relate. I want to boycott Instagram and Facebook on the daily, but I know it’s a lost cause. Those platforms aren’t the problem, my heart is.

“How many times have I bemoaned the lack of excitement in my life, only because I’m choosing not to walk in the joy of the season God has called me to?” – Jess Connolly, Wild and Free

I have been doing a lot of bemoaning in my life lately. Lack of sleep and a teething baby and Instagram rabbit trails can do that to you. I share that in case you can relate, but let’s not stay here. Let’s do less IG rabbit trailing and more being present in the moment with the people we love most. We’re in the season we’re in for a reason. I’m preaching to myself here! I’m called to this season of 5am wake up calls to change poopy diapers. That is the current season I’m in. And as I bemoan, there’s a woman out there who may have rabbit trailed to my IG feed and will close her feed because her inability to conceive keeps her from being able to celebrate another mom’s blessing of a babe.

I get it. And I don’t have the answers to our social media problems. I wrestle with them everyday. But in a creative business like ours, social media is definitely an asset and something I need to figure out how to use for business while not letting it rule my world (heart).

So, what do you do when someone else is living your dream? What if someone else’s season looks so much more exciting than your own?

If you need to quit social media, quit. If you need to unfollow, unfollow. I’ve considered the first and done the second. But right now, I know I need to deal with my heart. The only thing that is going to help me is choosing joy in my current season and celebrating the amazing couple living out my dream. Gratitude and contentment are the issues of my heart that need to be dealt with today.

What about you? What do you do when you’re faced with these issues? Leave me a comment below!

And please, please go check out Creative Marriages! Michelle said it perfectly in their promo video, it doesn’t matter who’s doing it, as long as more and more people are talking about how to have a lasting, healthy marriage. Yes! I couldn’t agree more myself.

Pool Life - Palm Springs