The day after Thanksgiving in 2015, Matt took me to my parents' house for what we call Thanksgiving 2.0. As we walked up the drive, he started bringing up old memories throughout our relationship, and by the time we got to the front door he was down on his knee. It was perfect.
We wanted to keep to traditional New Year's Eve colors (black, cream, and gold), while adding in elegant and unexpected pops of color. Sequined linens were an absolute must for NYE, but in order to keep the wedding feeling sophisticated and glamorous, we made the decision to keep the sequined linens to cocktail, welcome, and the cake tables. Family is extremely important to us as a couple, and we wanted to find different ways to honor family members who have passed. While having a memorial table is a fantastic and obvious way to honor lost loved ones, I wanted to take it a step further. Matt's grandfather was an artist, and while going through some of his work, we came across a sketch of a dancing man and woman. I loved the sketch as soon as I saw it and knew we had to integrate it into the wedding somehow. We ended up using a modified version of the sketch on the invitations and cannot be more pleased with the way they turned out. Our amazing florist Nancy Liu Chin came up with the idea of integrating butterflies into the overall decor and we ran with it. There were touches of butterflies everywhere — the escort cards, in certain bridesmaid's bouquets, the seating chart, signage, and even on menus. They added a fun, romantic, and whimsical element to the wedding.
The Marchesa earrings and bracelet (that I wore as a headpiece) were so special. I saw them and immediately knew I had to have them for the wedding. Deciding to feature Matt's family's olive oil was a must. It was the perfect way to share a piece of his family with mine (and all our other guests). People loved the olive oil and balsamic alternative to butter, it was so unexpected! I am head over heels in love with the floral chandelier that Nancy Liu Chin's team made. She used over 550 stems of white wisteria, dozens of stems of smilax and over 260 feet of sparkling crystal to make the 24 foot creation. I love that out of simple materials came such a gorgeous focal point of the reception. People are still talking about it!
There is an African American tradition of jumping the broom at weddings. I wanted to figure out a way to honor this tradition and my ancestors without actually jumping over a broom. I decided the best way to do this would be to put a broom on display on the welcome table. My aunt was kind enough to decorate the broom with a satin ivory ribbon, and my florist added phalaenopsis orchids. The broom turned out perfect.
The look on Matt's face as I was walking down the aisle is something I'll never forget. We locked eyes and smiled at each other — it was a perfect moment that I'll cherish forever.
As for advice for other couples, the night before your wedding GET SOME SLEEP! Take your time hiring the right vendors and then trust them to do their job. Soak in more of the day — it was such a blur!
Words by Ashley. Photos by B. Jones Photography.
Photographer: B. Jones Photography
Event Designer: A Monique Affair
Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale
Musicians: Angie McKenzie
Dress Designer: Bridal Galleria
Reception Venue: Casa Real at Ruby Hill Winery
Pre Ceremony Location: Courtyard Livermore
DJ: Fantasy Sound Event Services
Floral Designer: Nancy Liu Chin Designs
Makeup Artist: Ninahwee Beauty Maker
Photo Booth Equipment: Picture Video Booths
Cake Designer: Studio Cake
DJ: Superior Sound