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The Couple: Nicole & Frans

Wedding Date: July 31, 2016

Photography by Liz Zimbelman Photography

Tell us a little about you and your beloved: Frans and I met when I moved to Northern California (from New York) in 2012 for school. Frans was renting out three rooms in his house at the time, and I moved in as a tenant. It didn’t take long for me to fall for the friendly, helpful, charismatic bachelor who was nice enough to share his home with three other students.

After some months, I eventually mustered up the confidence to proclaim my adoration for him, and to my delight, it seemed that the feeling was mutual!  So, we started making time for each other, going on picnic dates; he showed me around beautiful Sonoma county. One of our first dates was out on the coast at Bodega Bay, at this lovely location that overlooks the ocean and is covered with succulent plants. In the fall, the succulents become a complete rainbow of colors.  It turned out that 2 and a half years later,  in the fall of 2014, this is where he decided to propose to me! So magical.

What was the most amazing part of your day? My father’s toast at the reception was absolutely perfect, uplifting, inspiring and endearing.

What else would you like to share about your big day? We did a sunset photo shoot (during what is called “the golden hour”) in the tree nursery that was part of our venue’s property.  It was a small affair with bride, groom, main photographer, videographer, and a golf cart.  We sipped champagne, rode around on the golf cart and got off at different sites to pose for our talented photographer…this was immensely fun and one of my favorite parts of the evening.

Ceremony and Reception Site: Sweet Lane Gardens

Ceremony Musicians: Brian Wolfe

Officiant: Tan Weddings & Events

Photographer: Liz Zimbelman Photography

Videographer: Phillip Alan Films

Wedding Planner:Tan Weddings & Events

Caterer: Sam’s For Play Cafe

Cake/Desserts: Patisserie Angelica

Flowers: Bloom and Vine

Favors: Tan Weddings & Events

Bridal Attire: A Touch of Class Bridal

Bridesmaids’ Attire: David’s Bridal

Hair and Make-up: I Do Hair & Make-up by Dexe Thao

Invitations & Signage: Tan Weddings & Events

DJ/Entertainment/Band: Premier Productions

Linen Rentals: Encore Events Rentals

Honeymoon Location: Maui, HI

Any other of your wedding vendor(s) you’d like to call out that we missed in the above questions? Steve & Benita Benitez Jewelry: custom-made rings for bride and groom (Richmond, CA); Jean Elliot Dressmaking and Alterations (Sebastopol, CA), Arthur Murray Dance Centers: dance instruction (Santa Rosa, CA).

First Dance Song: “Nine Million Bicycles” by Katie Melua

Any advice you’d give to our readers who are planning their weddings right now? Give yourself LOTS of time (we used about a year and a half) to plan it right, save money and stay organized with a binder or favorite wedding planning app on your phone – this will make the planning process more fun, less stressful, and hopefully avoid starting your marriage in debt.

Anything that you would have done differently if you were given the chance? I had some trouble with the local hotel and booking a “wedding block” for our guests. It was kind of a nightmare. Their system was very confusing and user-unfriendly, so maybe hiring a professional to negotiate with the hotel bookings would have allowed me to avoid the feeling of panic the day before the Big Day.

Photos courtesy of Liz Zimbelman Photography.

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

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