“When you have a landscape, or should I say sky-scape of 300 foot trees that are thousands of years old, you don’t need to make a big fuss about decorations. In fact, Carley and Victor didn’t make much of a fuss about their wedding day in general. From the moment that I showed up at the quaint Sebastopol property rental where the bride was getting ready to the last dance of the night, this bride and groom were relaxed, good spirited and so much fun! Carley + Victor planned a beautiful DIY wedding with little touches here and there to celebrate the important things about their relationship. My very favorite thing about this wedding was watching Carley + Victor together. Best friends in high school who fell in love over time, this couple was so playful and loving with one another setting the tone for an incredible day and what I am sure will be an incredible marriage! ” – Dawn Heumann Photography
What is your favorite wedding day memory?
Probably our dance – our song was ‘Hard to Concentrate’ by Red Hot Chili Peppers. I really think watching the “first dance” is super boring… I wanted to do a choreographed dance and my husband was like, No. We didn’t really have time, we were both working full time… So we literally thought of something silly to do during the dance and it looked, according to our guests, like we had planned it! Even our english bulldog, Angus came out on the dance floor at the perfect moment when we were running out of moves and we danced with him. It was absolutely perfect.
What did you DIY for your wedding?
We DIY-ed almost everything! All of the table decor we did, well my girlfriends and I, did ourselves. Our friends were a HUGE help the morning of our wedding. We didn’t hire anyone to set up, our friends and family did it all as we got ready. For months before the wedding my husband and I collected over 60 antique glass bottles to use as vases for our tables. We mostly got them at the Sebastopol flea market but we also got them anywhere we could find a beautiful bottle! My mother-in-law collected a ton of them as well. But it worked out so perfectly our tables looked exactly how I envisioned them! We also bought several rolls of burlap, multiple yards of fabric, several plants and grasses from Home Depot. In order to keep costs down we bought a lot of our potted plants from Home Depot the day before to use then we returned them the day after the wedding. Our wine bottles were actually Charles Shaw (hehe) and the night before our wedding we had a huge BBQ at my in-laws house with all friends and family and we had a “label” scraping – lol – so we scraped all the labels off the wine and put our own that a friend had made for us. My husband took a picture of us and a friend who works at a winery put together a photoshopped image of us on the label. People loved it! He even typed up a little story about us on the back of the bottle. I honestly think if you have the time and patience to DIY whatever you can – you should! We had so much fun!
Something old, new, borrowed and blue?
Something Old, my great grandmothers pearls that my grandmother, aunt, and mother wore on their big day! Instead of wearing them around my neck I wore them around my wrist with my Something Blue, a beautiful turquoise and pearl gold bracelet a friend had made for me. My Something Borrowed was silly – I was in my best friends wedding a month before mine. She is super crafty and DIY-ed most of her own wedding… she made her guarder. I didn’t have a hair piece for my hair. So.. I used it in my hair!!!! Hahah it was the most beautiful touch. She sent me a bag of stuff I could use if needed and I literally grabbed it out of there as I was freaking out that I forgot to buy something to put in my hair! “Here! Put this in there somehow!?” Lol! It ended up looking perfect and no one knew it was a guarder! Until now :) my Something New were my wedding shoes. I loved a pair sandals that were something crazy like $400. So my sister bought a pair of sandals and over a 3 month period strung individual pearl beads into the strap of the sandals. I couldn’t believe how perfect they turned out! I still have them I will treasure them always.
Any advice for brides currently in the planning process?
Please take your time and try not to stress out! If you have an idea you really want, then bring it to life! All the time and energy you put into your idea will make it so much more beautiful on your big day! And there is an awesome story behind it! We actually didn’t have bridesmaids or groomsmans but we included all of our friends and gave them all a special task to help and they all loved doing it. We chose carefully and it all came together. We also didn’t do wedding favors cause lets be real – no one really likes those things. So people took the antique vases with the lavender and white and green hydrangeas as well as the awesome bottles of wine of course. Just do what you want and don’t think something has to be done the “traditional” way. Our wedding was very non traditional in many ways and that’s what made it unique. – Carley, the bride
photography: Dawn Heumann // venue: Chenoweth Woods in Sebastopol, CA // catering: Sonoma Latina Grill // brides custom wedding dress: Emily Mihal (emilymihal @ hotmail.com) // grooms suit: Anatoly’s Tailoring // invitations and wedding signage: Kefi Creations via Etsy // hair and makeup: Laura Chall // cake: Piper Wadleigh // broach bouquet: DIY by the bride