Jen Causey-Kidder
Jen Causey-Kidder September 09, 2013

real wedding | Kevin + Loni

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“Kevin and Loni’s wedding was my absolute favorite to capture so far! Seriously, what a photographers dream this couple was! They had the best of both worlds getting married barefoot on white sand next to the blue water of Emerald Bay and then having their reception outside underneath the huge pine trees of South Lake Tahoe. Loni’s dress was so chic and fashionable with lace detail and a navy blue ribbon tied around her waist. A little fun extra for the bridesmaids was getting their makeup done by the talented woman who started Benefit Cosmetics. What an exiting day it was!” – Ashley Paige Photography

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Isn’t this such a darling first look?!?! I love how they incorporated their signature color of navy blue with the ribbon that covered Kevin’s face. I just love the last image of Loni smiling and holding the ribbon…


“Our wedding day was such a blur… I feel like someone spun me around and it was over – but in a lovely way. I cannot pick just one memory but there were 3 things that really stood out to me that day. 1) All of our friends and family together in one place there to support and love us felt incredibly special. There probably won’t ever be another time in our lives when that many people from both our lives will be together and the feeling was undeniably sweet. 2) Kevin saying his vows while Sierra (our dog!) slept at his feet. I was afraid that the adrenaline wouldn’t let me feel anything but his sweet vows really broke through and I was able to feel the immensity of our love (and the love around us), it was beautiful. 3) Finally it was walking into the ceremony, I and many people spent a lot time making, arranging, acquiring, setting up to make the space as lovely as possibly and seeing the final product just blew me away. In that moment everything came together and it was lovely and so satisfying. A wedding is so intense that its hard to describe with words how great it all feels, so I’m afraid these descriptions might not do my feelings justice!


..Yes!!!! Our wedding was filled with DIY elements and projects. The favors, the table runners, the flowers, multiple decorations, the sweets table, the bows at the ceremony, etc…

Favors: I bought burlap favor bags and decorated them with flowers and buttons, there were almost 200 people at the wedding so putting 3 flowers and 3 buttons turned out to be a lot of hot glue gunning but I think they turned out very nicely. I got the idea off etsy but the decorated bags were pricey and I figured I could just decorate them on my own and I saved a lot of money just buying cheap bulk flowers from Michael’s and buttons from Joanne’s fabric. They went with the candy bar and looked lovely.

Chalkboard signs: I converted several picture frames into chalkboards – so they looked more ornate then the traditional blackboards and much cheaper than the fancy blackboards. I painted the back of the frames with chalkboard paint and took out the glass and it was easy and fast to do and the only thing I can caution is that some of the backs have multiple holes or rough surface so check out the backs before you buy them. Some of the frames I plan to reuse as picture frames again (I kept the glass) and others I will use in my home as a chalk board because they came out so nicely.

Flower girl basket: The flower girl basket using Michael’s flowers, leftover lace for the bow, and glue gun. It took maybe 20 minutes and cost a fraction of the cost of flower girl basket on etsy or other wedding sites.

Table runners: My new Mother-ln-law, actually made our table runners out of burlap and used a sewing machine to add lace to sides of them and the effect/combination is stunning, another word of caution on burlap (all things burlap), the fabric has a very chemical smell. There is no way around it and there is no way to make the smell go away although it does lessen a bit overtime: but be prepared if you want to use it.

Flowers: I planned to do my own flowers for the table because florist are outrageously expensive and my mother-in-law, in preparation for this took, the mason jars we were going to use and made “froggers” (its like a grating over the top that helps keep the flowers arranged and makes the process much easier); we found a way to do it online with wires and it looked complicated. I will have to ask her how long it took but I am pretty sure we would not have gotten the flowers done in time with out it. My thought on doing your own flowers is if  you have a large wedding and the extra money don’t do it! Unless you are lucky like I was and had a team of bridesmaids and family to help get it done. I think I had 20 people people there helping to set up before the wedding and still we cut it close.

Candy Bar: My mother-in-law also sourced and arranged the Candy Bar. She found beautiful glass containers from all around the bay area but mainly at Ross. She made the table cloth out of lace and burlap, my sister in law made the banner from material and stencil to paint the letters on. It looked fantastic and was hit with the guests!

Ribbons: My mother did the ribbons that my dog sierra had on her, as well as the ribbons at the ceremony (with Flowers) that hung on every aisles. She is expert ribbon maker so I am not sure what advice I would give on that other than to maybe take a class?  They came out beautifully though!

Seating Cards: We used river rocks and paint pens to assign people their tables. While it was super cute it was really hard lugging around a 200 river rocks!!! I would suggest it for smaller weddings!! :)

Guest Book: My Sister-in-law made me a “guest book” made out of hooks, a tray, a burlap board, lace, and more. There were tags available for the guests to write words of advice and love to us and they then hung them from hooks on the burlap board. It was stunning and creative and I was floored when I saw it. I also got a lot of lovely notes that Kevin and I have enjoyed looking at since we got back from our honeymoon.

There was so much more that was done, even at the site where my family and friends hung burlap, lanterns, lights and decorated with old doors and pictures too. It was a lot of work from a lot of different people but it the final product was literally stunning!  My final thoughts on DIY is that for me it was a great opportunity to work closely with my family and Kevin’s family. It’s not always easy and without help, I would limit the projects – but if you like being creative it can be really fun. And the DIY projects got the most compliments :)!


..Yes!! New was my dress LOL, Borrowed was my veil from Annie (my sister in law), Blue was my garter and old was my earrings! Also I guess the end of that saying is “with a penny (or sixpence) in your shoe”, so… while I forgot to do that part which completes the superstition – and some people aren’t aware of it, I thought I would mention it!


..Take a deep breath, it will all be okay. I am not a type A planning type of person so the whole process was very intimidating, daunting, and stressful for me. But I wish I would have had more faith in myself because everything got done, the wedding was lovely and I wish I had let myself enjoy the journey a little more. And its worth it!! It’s a hundred percent worth it, the day is over quick but the feelings, pictures, memories last forever. I didn’t believe people when they told me – so I am hoping people with trust me when I say that it all ends up fine and that you will be glad you went through all of it. So stick with it, and try to enjoy the process as it truly is a special time in your life!!! Oh and if someone offers to help you, take them up on it! – Loni, the bride


photography: Ashley Paige Photography // ceremony venue: Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe CA // reception venue: Rockwater Murphy’s Irish Pub // makeup: Benefit Cosmetics // hair: Etch Salon // dress: Lian Carlo // cake: The Cork & More // florals: Rose Petals

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