This week I am taking you on a journey around the world as we visit...
Today I am jetting you off to one of my favourite wedding locations, California. Now California is a BIG place with so much variety. You can get married by the ocean, in the countryside, in the desert, or like today’s couple, the mountains. Megan and Andrew fell in love with Hidden Villa Farm when they first went to visit it, they were looking for a venue to hold a weekend wedding and this ticked all the boxes. They kept the day relaxed and fuss free, and made it even more personal by adding in lots of homemade touches. This included the gorgeous hand dyed linens, which has since launched the bride’s new business. Big thanks to Alexandra Wallace for the gorgeous images.
Megan and Andrew were married on 1st September 2018 at Hidden Villa Farm at Los Altos Hills in California. Hidden Villa is an amazing 60 acre working farm in valley of the Los Altos foothills. We fell in love with the landscape and the relaxed vibe we felt there. And the summer camp cabins were a big selling point – We stayed on site with all our friends for the weekend. We had about 85 guests and it took about 15 months to plan. We spent a long time spinning in circles trying to plan before we invested in a coordinator!’
How they met
Andrew and I met at a kickboxing gym! We have been together for 5 years.
We were on a gorgeous hike in Muir Woods north of San Francisco. After we took a lunch break, Andrew suggested that we get a photo taken on this huge boulder with an awesome view behind it. Andrew never initiates photo-ops, so I knew something was up! There was another hiker on the trail that agreed to take our photo. As the hiker held up the camera and we posed for the picture, Andrew got down on a knee and proposed. I thought I was going to fall of the rock. It was perfect.
How did you allocate your budget?
Our coordinator Lauren figured all that out for us. Predictably, most of the budget went to venue, food, lighting and DJ.
Where did you splurge and where did you save?
Our venue was a total steal, it was one of the most affordable options we considered. We also saved money (but not time) with DIY projects. I agonized over my dress because the one I loved was over budget. I probably went to a dozen different wedding shops looking at dresses and when I finally found the perfect one I knew I should go for it. I am ultimately so happy with my decision and don’t regret this splurge at all.
How did you choose your photographer?
Alexandra Wallace photographed another wedding at Hidden Villa, we found a blog post about it and absolutely loved the pictures. Alexandra’s photos have a dreamy and effortless quality that we were drawn to. She is able to capture the moments in a really authentic and natural way. Her aesthetic was perfectly aligned with the vision we had for our wedding.
I bought my Martina Liana 889 dress from a bridal shop near Oakland called Janene’s Bridal. I got my earrings at a boutique in San Diego called Pigment, and my block heels were Chinese Laundry from DSW.
The suit and bridesmaids
Andrew got his ‘up blue’ suit from Suit Supply, bowtie from Tie Bar, and shoes from Allen Edmond. Bridesmaids wore Show Me Your Mumu dresses in this unique mauve color.
Theme or colour scheme
We didn’t really have a strong theme or color schemes in mind. We focused on the vibe – effortless, relaxed, California casual, outdoorsy, and organic. We had all sorts of colors and textures that worked together, but didn’t match – mauve dresses, purple flowers, pink protea, orange pincushion protea, indigo dyed linens, lots of greenery, exposed wood, and some burlap.
I had to have protea in my bouquet! And lots of greenery of different sizes and textures. The morning of the wedding my Aunt actually went to the local farmer’s market and bought a seasonal assortment of flowers to arrange for the tables.
We kept things minimal because the venue was so gorgeous on it’s own. We had long rows of farm tables with greenery garlands, a few tea lights in votives, and seasonal flowers in mason jars. One of the most unique items were handmade indigo dyed napkins that I made with some of my bridesmaids. They were a great statement for the tables, and guests took them home as gifts!
The food! The #1 guest comment was ‘omg the food was so good’. We had a very eclectic, almost all plant based menu. At cocktail hour we served caprese salad skewers, melon/berry skewers and Korean tofu/chicken tacos. The dinner buffet included a wild rice salad, avocado tomato lime salad, tofu lettuce cups, empanadas, and these amazing crispy quinoa sliders.
The signature drinks were a ‘Traditional New England Breakfast’ – whiskey, Cointreau, vermouth, and cold brew coffee liquor. And a ‘Nash Splash’ – vodka, soda, mint, cucumber, and simple syrup.
Our cake was a vanilla cake with strawberry frosting from Susie Cakes. We also had a frozen yogurt food truck!
We added a live band just a couple months before the wedding. We happened to hear this band playing on a street corner in Berkeley and were so inspired by them we dropped a note in their tip jar asking if they would play at our wedding!
Who supplied the stationery?
We did the save the dates and invites through Minted. We DIY-ed (with a lot of help from generous friends) place cards, table numbers, menu, seating chart and signs.
So many! The wood signs, stamped place cards, table numbers, programs, seating chart, table bouquets. The biggest project was the dinner napkins. My bridesmaids and I indigo dyed 90 napkins by hand! It was so fun and they looked incredible. That experience inspired my MOH and I to start a shop for indigo dyed goods called Up Blue! You can get more info by emailing s[email protected].
After our first look, it was really hot and there were a ton of people buzzing around the house preparing for the ceremony. Andrew and I snuck away to the basement of the house to have a quiet (and cool) moment together before everything started.
Advice for other couples
Our mantra was ‘this is OUR wedding!’. Of course we want our guests to be comfortable, but the most important thing was that Andrew and I have the wedding we want. There are so many decisions to make and things to consider in the planning process, having that guiding principle was key for us.
We were totally surprised by our friend Ashby. She got ordained to conduct our ceremony, and she absolutely crushed it. Saying we were surprised by how awesome the ceremony was makes it sound like we had low expectations, but it is really that our high expectations were surpassed. It was really intimate and authentic to me and Andrew.