Our wedding has come and gone but the love, the memories, and the joy that our day brought us will forever be ingrained in our hearts and minds! Now that it’s over, I miss that day where we declared our love to one another in front of our closest friends and family. April 21, 2018, the day I got to marry my best friend and favorite person, Anna Miller.
Rewind to December of 2016. We had a photo shoot planned where I hid an engagement ring in my pocket and proposed during our fall photo session with Maria. It was so sweet! We made it through the holidays and then started thinking about wedding planning in the early months of 2017. We knew we wanted a spring wedding, and decided on April of 2018 so we could spend a year saving, planning, and preparing for our best day ever.
It was January of 2017, we toured our first wedding venue at a winery in the Sacramento Delta. While the venue was beautiful, we left a bit discouraged at the price tag. It was a rainy Sunday afternoon, we were back home on the couch scrolling Instagram, and Anna said “there’s a venue in Old Sacramento that’s having an open house until 5 today, let’s go!”… and off we went to the Courtyard D’oro, a hidden gem in the alley ways of Old Sacramento.
The rain was pouring by the time we got to the Courtyard, but we instantly fell in love. The Courtyard is an open space behind the shops of Old town Sacramento. It’s surround by brick, wood, and so much greenery. There’s a vintage record shop right next door. We loved the space and it reminded us of one of our favorite cities, New Orleans. We met the venue coordinator, Marjorie, of Something Planned Events. We really liked her vibe. Inside the venue, there are exposed beams and a rustic bar. It just felt like us.
A few weeks later, we went and toured the venue, and guess what? We loved it!! We decided this was the spot for us to finally get married. And the planning continued.
June 4th, 2017, the day I turned 30. It was a Sunday, and thankfully we went to San Francisco the day before to spend the day wandering around the city. To my knowledge, we didn’t have much of an agenda other than going to the Conservatory of Flowers and to dinner with two of our best friends, Holly and Jasmine, who came with us.
It was a gorgeous day in SF. We made it to the conservatory. It was lush and warm. They had a corpse flower that was almost ready to bloom and a butterfly room was apart of their special exhibit. We were walking around, admiring plants and stopping for photos. We walked towards the butterfly garden and I looked to Holly and Jasmine and said “where’s Anna?”. We proceeded into the room with the butterflies. It was warm and filled with light, and there I saw Anna, down on one knee, holding a ring, proposing back to me. We hugged, we cried, fellow conservatory visitors clapped and sent us off well wishes. It was the day she proposed to me. What a dream! She got me back and I loved every second of it. What a way to make a girl feel special over her 30th birthday weekend.
Come summer of 2017 and Anna was finally on Summer break from teaching. YAY. We got a ton of planning done, and designated a journal with a timeline on what tasks to do when. We got on a game plan of having a “Wedding Wednesday” date night where we’d have a meal and work on wedding stuff, which we did most weeks. It was wonderful. So many of the summer weddings I shot last year gave me inspiration for our wedding!
We got into the habit of thrifting at our local Goodwill to search for treasures, trinkets, and colored glass to use as wedding decor. I think we went every week for months, if not more. Our house became a place to store decor! There was color, pineapples, and cake stands everywhere.
The planning process could be an entire post alone, but I’d like to skip over that (since we already spent so much time planning), and put my focus on the magical day that was April 21, 2018, and all of our family, friends, and vendors that helped make the day so perfect.
Thanks to our amazing besties for coming from all over California to be with us. Anna and I wanted an intimate bridal party. Katee, my best friend, and Holly, Anna’s best friend, both came up from Southern California to stand by our sides on our day. Our other bestie, Jasmine, got ordained through Universal Life Church so she could be the one to marry us! Our local and lovely friend Alyson who we dubbed “bridal security” was apart of so much of the planning process and good will trips, it was so important to have her there getting ready with us.
My parents live in Southern California. While Anna’s folks just live about an hour away in Grass Valley, we both have a lot of family from out of state. We had folks come from Oregon, Washington, Texas, Virginia, and plenty of other places, including Nicaragua! It meant so much to us that family would travel so long and far just to witness our union. Lots of people came into town the Friday before to hang out. We stayed at the Embassy Suites downtown, just across from Old Sac. It was such a treat to visit with everyone before and after the wedding. That was one of the best parts of our wedding weekend- getting to spend time with everyone outside of the actual wedding day. Thank you for making those memories with us and supporting us in life and marriage.
Huge thank you to Doug and Sue, Anna’s parents, for helping us out with the wedding, we could not have done it with out you. Thank you to my parents, Tom and Barbara, as well, for the love and support and helping out with last minute errands. We’re so lucky that our families are now a bit bigger!
We wanted to write our own vows to each other. While those were probably more difficult to write than this blog post (when you have so much to say, it’s hard to narrow it down), I sure am glad we did. Our vows were intimate and personal. We got to share straight from the heart what we mean to each other along with how and why we love each other. Speaking those words to one another around those that supported us was magic. It gives me chills just thinking about it.
It made me fall in love with Anna even more when she included a bit about our cats and thrifting in our vows. What a woman! No one makes me laugh like she does, which was a big part of my vows to her.
As I mentioned above, Jasmine, our dear friend, was our officiant. It really meant a lot to us that someone we knew would marry us. We asked her to officiate on my birthday last year, shortly after Anna proposed to me. We can’t thank Jasmine enough for getting ordained for us, and coming to Sacramento multiple times from the Bay area to work on the script. There was even a skype call or two. It was so special to work on that with her, and have her be the one to marry us! All through the wedding process, she kept saying “we’re getting married”, and finally on the wedding day, she surprised us and said “we got married”. It was so great!
Hair and Makeup
Anna and I are pretty natural when it comes to makeup. I’ll wear it when I need to look professional on a shoot, or have a business meeting, and she’ll wear it when she gets a new Ipsy bag in the mail, but other than that, we are not makeup wearers. We knew we wanted our hair and makeup done for the big day though. Misty of Wild Heart Beauty was our girl! She kept us looking beautiful and together without doing too much. If you’re local to Sacramento and need your hair done or are interested in microblading, I definitely recommend her and her team of Wild Hearts.
I’ve worked with Bekah of Bloom and Vine over a handful of weddings. She always had the most beautiful and lovely smelling arrangements. We contacted her about wedding florals ages ago, and nearly 100 emails later, we got the florals of our dreams. We just told her get what’s colorful, what’s in season, told her a few of our favorite April flowers, and the rest is history!
Our bouquets were amazing. Every single table had a different arrangement on them. We thrifted all of our glass bottles or used my existing collection and she had a variety of them on every table. It was so special to us.
Why get one wedding cake when you can get 6 different cakes? Rick’s Dessert Diner is a lovely local dessert shop that we’ve been frequenting for years for birthdays, days when you just need a sweet treat, and of course, unofficial cake tasting. As soon as we got engaged, we went to Rick’s every month or so to try a different type of cake. We decided on Lemon, Death by Chocolate, Raspberry Diva, Great White Cake, Best Yellow, and Carrot cake!! Yum yum! We opted out of a cake cutting and had folks self serve their cakes! They all got chowed down which was wonderful and people really liked trying all the flavors.
Rainbow bottles, tropical theme, pineapples, ribbons, photos, and more! Just look at the photos! The rainbow glass bottles came from an existing collection, but we got a lot more! Anna made the dream catchers that hung above the ceremony site, they were one of the first things we made for the wedding. The ribbon backdrop was something I had dreamed of making forever. In lieu of an alter, we got married in front of a rainbow of ribbons. It was beautiful.
We found the best favors are edible! We left a Lindt truffle on everyone’s plate for them to enjoy before or after dinner.
We can’t say enough good things about Marjorie from Something Planned Events. We hired her for day of coordination, which included set up/break down and ensuring everything ran on time. She also coordinated with our wedding vendors to make sure they knew exactly where to go. We love her. I had the pleasure of working with her again two weeks after our wedding, and hope to work with her again soon!
Can’t say enough good things about the Courtyard D’oro either. The staff, the location, the acceptance. They provided the catering for us via Purple Pig Eats. The food was delicious and wonderful. We love this place, and are so happy it’s so close to us so we can pop by it anytime and see where we got married.
Hailey Ayson Photography! Hailey’s always been an advocate for Anna and I, which I am so thankful for. We were so happy when we won a 5 hour wedding package from her last year. What a dream come true! She helped us with our time line, and made sure to get all the photos we wanted and still have time to enjoy ourselves. I’ve shot plenty of weddings with her, so I know her style and approach. She’ll give you enough direction to make sure you look and feel great, but won’t overly pose you. I love her editing style as well and the photos are absolutely stunning! We added a couple extra hours to make sure we got all the shots, and we did. Our photos are amazing and such a beautiful representation of our day. Thanks Annie for being the second shooter.
DJ, Video, Photobooth via Elegant Events Media
Elegant Events Media is a really neat wedding company! They offer photo, video, DJ, photobooth, MC, drone, etc etc- and you can book them all at one to make it really easy when planning your wedding. I shoot weddings for them as well and it was so nice to have them be apart of our wedding. DJ Will threw down the tunes and kept the part going. Andrew ran the photobooth and made sure guests knew about our photo booth guest book. Joel was on video and slayed with all of his cameras. We haven’t seen the video yet, but can’t wait to see the details he documented. Thanks to Brad and his team for everything!!
Our dear friend Krystina played the piano during cocktail hour! We were outside taking photos for most of that time but were able to go inside to hear her play. It was so sweet!
My brother, Warren, sang us a song as well after dinner, before the speeches. ”For You”! It made me so emotional during that time, and was so special to have him be apart of the wedding in that way.
I tried to surprise Anna by renting two vintage peacock chairs from White Elephant Rentals, but I was just so excited about it, I couldn’t keep the secret. She was glad I told her so we could be really excited about them! Our guests enjoyed sitting in them, and some of our favorite photos were taken in those chairs. Thanks Sharon for dropping them off and picking them up. We are so glad we rented them for our wedding day. It was such a fun and enjoyable detail to have.
We got cute fancy shoes from Amazon. Definitely scored on that one because we each got a pair and they fit our feet and went with our dresses perfectly. Since we’re got regular heel wearers, we picked up Keds (they were new at Goodwill of all places) and added some ribbon to tell them apart. Anna wore the pink and I wore the teal. I’ve been wearing them regularly, so if you see me in those shoes, you know they were my wedding shoes!
Sparkle Bridal is the best around! A local bridal bouquet for sizes 14 and up. I definitely recommend them for your bridal gown needs. Anna and I both got our dresses their, and had the best experience with their team.
Kim’s Couture did the alterations and they were perfect!
Anna got me a hanky with our names and wedding date on it. We covered it in tears and make up on the wedding day. Anna wore her mom’s earrings, along with late Grandmother’s bracelet and handkerchief. My mom got me some lovely crystal earrings and a beautiful pineapple necklace to wear on the day of. It’s so fun to have all these details now and wear them on a regular bases (especially the keds, earrings, and necklace). She also got each of us a cute robe to get ready in, a lovely tote bag, and reusable cup.
Sue, Anna’s Mom, got us a bunch of kids table activity! You heard that right. We were so welcoming of kids at our wedding and think they made it extra fun! There were coloring books, glow sticks, stickers, games, and more that they could be entertained with during cocktail hour and beyond.
I think that’s it (for now!)
There are so many details, I hope I’m not missing anything. I am just so thankful for the love, and everything that our wedding day was. It went so smoothly, and it was so fun. Our families came together to support us in love, which is absolutely priceless. What’s even more priceless is that I married the woman of my dreams!!!
I read this quote recently that says it all: “If at the end of the day, you married the one you love, then everything went perfectly!” It sure did!
As my wife so perfectly stated “The wedding is over….but the marriage has just begun”!
I’m so excited that the start of our first summer break as wives is here. Anna is home from teaching, I’m busy with wedding season, but I’m just so happy she’s home and here with me. I can’t wait to spend every day with her. We have a camping trip planned, a honeymoon planned, and mostly just intend to cook, swim, and go the gym together!
If you made it this far, thanks for reading. If you have any questions about anything, please ask! I’m full of answers and love talking about our wedding day.
Here are a bunch of my favorite photos from our day. My blog caps me at 100 images, so tried to focus on details, family, and those who supported us and made our day so dang special! Thanks again Hailey for capturing our day so beautifully!
The ceremony and the dancing were my favorite parts, but I loved ALL OF IT. I love Anna the most. <3