Monday, June 13, 2011

Sparkle and Hay FEATURE!

I am happy to say that Sierra and John's engagement pictures have been featured 
on Sparkle and Hay today! Click HERE to go to the blog.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sierra and John's Wedding - Templeton, Ca.

Sierra and John are dear dear dear friends of ours and I have been so excited about this wedding for the longest time. I still can't believe it has already come and gone. It was a great day, laid back, the best weather and full of joy and excitement to see these two love birds (who are so perfect for each other it's crazy) get married. This is a wedding I will remember for the rest of my life and I am so glad I was able to be a part of it. I love you Sierra and John!!!!

john and i spent the majority of our growing-up years just two blocks away from each other in templeton california, rode the same schoolbus and everything -- but never met until we were 16 and 17, in 2005. we kept mutual friends over the next couple years, and after high school he signed up to join the navy. three weeks before his ship date, a friend and i realized "john english is leaving soon..lets spend time with him before he leaves." this decision resulted in three full weeks of hanging out every day, (which included adventures like as pulling an all nighter to see a hot air balloon festival at dawn, and several journeys to the carisa plains to run around in the annual spring wildflowers) as well as both of us developing massive crushes on each other. this is the story of how john did not join the navy, and began dating me, instead.

we got engaged in july of 2010, on the tiny patio of his apartment in sacramento, where he was studying at an automotive tech school for the year. i spent countless hours with my nose in wedding magazines and web blogs, keeping busy til john graduated school in november. both of our families were huge helps in planning (and affording!) everything we wanted to do for the wedding. we definitely could not have done it without each one of them and couldnt be more grateful for everything theyve contributed.

having grown up in our little dirt sidewalk cowboy town of templeton, we wanted to keep a real hometown feel for the wedding. we eventually chose to hold the ceremony at the templeton presbyterian church, built in 1887, and the reception in the garden of the country house inn, which was the first home built in templeton, and is now a sweet little bed and breakfast. an incredible last-minute addition was being driven from the church to the party, in a 1925 ford model-t, offered by a friend who is a member of the local historical society.

the invitations were hand-drawn by an artist friend, and were such an amazing, personal gift for us. the centerpieces were a combination of ideas i gathered from my own head, as well as the wedding blog community. ive always been fond of history and antiques, so it was a total blessing to be able to work at a local thrift store for the last few years, where ive collected so many great old things.. these were my first inspiration for decorating the tables at the reception, which turned out incredibly, with the help of some hardworking buddies. the walnut wood rounds were cut and borrowed from my maid of honor's uncle, and the flowers done by the amazing lori boe, who is a local floral designer and also an in-law to one of my good friends. the bottles and jars for the flowers were a collaborative effort -- some collected by my self over the years and others borrowed from a friend who's wedding was two weeks before ours. we bought the burlap table coverings in bulk from a local hay & feed store (low cost for big impact!), and borrowed the glass beverage dispensers, which offered sweet tea with peaches, and strawberry lemonade.

we decided bbq was a simple (and tasty) solution for dinner, and fortunately enough, my mom is good friends with an 86 year old large-scale bbq master who, along with his son and friends, cooked up an amazing meal of tri-tip, chicken, beans and bread. we bought organic salad in bulk at a local wholesale store and served with it, several toppings and dressings. we had dinner buffet style for our 200 guests, which made it a lot easier. johns mom spent an afternoon tying forks/knives in paper napkins with twine, and we matched the napkins to heavy-duty plastic plates. least amount of dishwashing possible = great.

our good friends at shannon moore photography took our incredible engagement and wedding day pictures, and also provided a portable photobooth for the reception. the photobooth was a really fun way to get our guests involved in the celebration and make some memories of their own, as they were able to keep one copy of their pictures, and place the other in a guestbook, handmade by shannon moore herself, along with a personalized note! the design of their booth and guestbook table in particular really added to the rustic look and feel of the reception, which was awesome.

one of the things i was really looking forward to seeing in person was the cupcake topping bar provided by enjoy cupcakes, of los olivos california. we met several times with kevin vandervliet, co-owner of enjoy cupcakes, and tossed around ideas for making their vision of a self-serve cupcake topping bar come to life at our wedding. choosing enjoy was one of the easiest decisions we made during the entire planning process -- they are SO good. we decided to keep the cupcake flavors simple (chocolate & vanilla) and enjoy took the wheel from there, providing a generous array of complimenting sauces, fillings, and toppings to allow our guests to get creative with their dessert. john and i decided to take advantage of how fun this aspect of our day was, and create a cupcake to cut, instead of our own whole cake.

we asked a friend to dj and mc the reception, using her laptop and a borrowed PA system.  more than anything, we wanted our guests (especially those from out of town) to feel comfortable, relax and have fun celebrating this new part of our lives with us! john and i both play music, and i play in an oldtime string band, so we decided that towards the end of the evening during dancing, we would jam on the porch and invite everyone to squaredance. this was one of my favorite parts of the whole day!

when i think of planning our wedding, my mind goes to every family member, friend, and stranger that lovingly offered all they could to help make our day as special and fun as possible. from the photography, to the bbq, to the wonderful group of family friends that gave up their entire day to setup tables/ refill drinks/ collect trash and ten million other tasks -- we couldnt be more grateful for the outpouring of generosity that made our wedding happen. 

photo booth: moore photo booth (
ceremony: templeton presbyterian church (
reception: the country house inn (
getaway car courtesy of: templeton historical society (
flowers: lori boe (
bride's dress: da vinci (
bride's hair + hairpiece by: hilary w. at beehive salon, paso robles ca
groom's clothing: express (
invitations: winston braun (
cupcakes: enjoy cupcakes (
tables/chairs: taylor rental (
the best wedding music youll ever hear: the blackwater union ( or find us on facebook!)