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The Couple: Molly & Nick

Wedding Date: September 7, 2013

Photography by Melanie Soleil Photography

Tell us a little about you and your beloved: Nick and I met back in the summer of 2008 at a party. We just sort of clicked and couldn’t stop talking all night. For our first date, a few days later, Nick took me to an Angel’s baseball game. What a great first date! We dated for over five years – lots more Angel’s games, concerts, and trips. We moved in together in early 2012 into a cute little beach apartment in San Clemente.

A few days before Christmas 2012, we spent the weekend at a friend’s cabin in Big Bear. He proposed in front of the fireplace with snow falling outside – on his birthday nonetheless! It was surreal and wonderful.

Originally, we thought we would have a little over a year long engagement but some family circumstances changed and we ended up planning the whole wedding in about 5 months. It was definitely a DIY affair! We decided to have the wedding at my parent’s vineyard in Grass Valley, CA. It was such a beautiful piece of property , so intimate and charming. We couldn’t imagine a better place to become husband and wife.

We kept it small, only about 30 guests, and that really enabled me and my family to do almost the whole thing ourselves. While it was sometimes stressful planning and executing everything for the wedding, especially from long-distance, I wouldn’t have changed it for the world. I was really able to put my stamp on everything. That day I was able to look around and see every little detail I had imagined come to life in such a beautiful, perfect way.

What was the most amazing part of your day? The day was just so full of joy! The next morning I started crying because it really surpassed all my expectations. It was absolutely perfect. I would have to say the most amazing moment was walking down the aisle and seeing Nick standing under the handmade arch of Manzanita branches. I was so nervous in the hours leading up to the ceremony, but when I saw Nick all those nerves just disappeared. He was and will always be my rock. That feeling of certainty and clarity was really a transformative moment.

What else would you like to share about your big day? It was so special for both of our families and closest friends to all be together at once. Everywhere I looked was someone who meant so much to me and it was just an incredible feeling of love and happiness. There is not a better way to begin a marriage than to be surrounded by so much love and support.

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Ceremony and Reception Site: Bear River Vineyards

Ceremony Musicians: iPod playlists. Music has always been a very important part of our relationship. Our shared love of music is one of the things we love most about each other. So for weeks leading up to the wedding we spent hours picking just the right songs for every moment of the day. It was probably the hardest part, but it was so worth it! I can’t tell you how many compliments we got on the music throughout the day.

Officiant: My brother-in-law, Christian Rousseve, got ordained online and married us. It was so personal and emotional. He did such an amazing job!

Photographer: Melanie Soleil Photography. I found Melanie just by searching online and I fell in love with her pictures. She has an amazing eye and the way she plays with light is stunning. She just happened to be available on our wedding day (what luck!) and we instantly clicked. Not only was her photography absolutely breathtaking but she also helped so much with the flow and timing on the day of the wedding. Melanie was invaluable. I am so grateful for her help and her beautiful work. She’s definitely a gem!

Wedding Planner: Me! And my step mom, Bronwyn, who just happens to be a corporate event planner. Talk about having an ace in your pocket! She was invaluable during the whole process.

Caterer: At Your Service Catering. Two best friends, Katy and Annette, run this small catering business. They were recommended to us by a friend of a friend. They are amazing chefs! I have received so many compliments on the food. Plus they were just fun and professional and ran the event so smoothly and effortlessly.

Cake/Desserts: At Your Service Catering provided a dessert table filled with a huge selection of mini and bite-sized treats. I’ve never been a fan of wedding cake. I feel like it’s a waste of money and so boring. I had this vision of a table piled high with all sorts of little delicacies (vanilla bean cupcakes required) and they made my vision come to life. It was so fun and absolutely delicious!

Flowers: We bought the flowers from Lin Donald at Indian Hill Ranch and Gardens. It’s a gorgeous organic flower farm tucked into the foothills of Nevada City. We did a “flower walk” a few months before the wedding where I explained my favorite colors (purple and white) and favorite types (Dahlias and Lavender) and she basically “reserved” those for me in September. The day before the wedding she cut all the flowers and we picked up buckets and buckets of flowers. My step mom and I spent hours making all the arrangements and bouquets. I had never done anything like it before, but it was really fun. She provided such gorgeous flowers so everything turned out beautifully.

Bridal Attire: David’s Bridal. I just picked something simple and pretty. I knew I was only going to wear it for one day so I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on this aspect of the day.

Bridesmaids’ Attire: My sisters just bought their own purple dresses. I didn’t want them to match, I just wanted them to be comfortable and feel pretty.

Hair and Make-up: Bel Capelli Salon. The owner, Kellie, did both my hair and make-up. It was hard because living 9 hours away I wasn’t able to come in for a trial-run or consultation. Luckily Kellie is incredibly talented and was able to create just the perfect look I wanted.

Invitations: Etsy

Signage: DIY

DJ/Entertainment/Band: iPod

Décor, Linen and Furniture Rentals: Victoria’s Sweet Elegance Party Rentals

Honeymoon Location: Belizean Dreams Resort in Hopkins Village, Belize. Such a beautiful, relaxing place. If you’ve never been to Belize, I highly recommend it! Nick and I had the best time.

First Dance Song: “Pistol” by Dustin Kensrue

Any advice you’d give to our readers who are planning their weddings right now? Don’t try to be anything other than yourself. It’s your wedding, not some photo shoot from a magazine or reality TV show. So enjoy it and as long as you get married, it turned out perfectly! I also recommend a great book, A Practical Wedding by Meg Keene. It provided a lot of inspiration and advice for keeping yourself grounded and happy during the planning process.

Anything that you would have done differently if you were given the chance? Nothing. At the end of the day, I married my best friend surrounded by my closest friends and family. That is all that mattered.

Blog post by Real Weddings Magazine’s Social Media Maven, Aimee Carroll.

Photos courtesy of and copyright Melanie Soleil Photography.

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