Anyone who’s been married knows nothing is worse than pre-wedding jitters—except maybe seeing that your venue has been evacuated due to wildfires a week before your wedding!
That was what happened to Katelyn and Ian, who married this past July while wildfires were ravaging California. Katelyn was celebrating in the Sierra Nevada mountains with her bridesmaids the weekend before the couple’s wedding when she noticed that forest fires—some of which were the largest in California’s history—were blowing smoke into the air. Fast forward a few days later, and the fires had spread far enough that Field & Pond, their venue in Winters, was evacuated. The couple feared the worst, and even leaned on their friends to help them locate a backup venue. However, with just two days to go before the celebration, they received some good news: the fires were under control, and their wedding could go on.
That was what Katelyn and Ian were waiting to hear especially because Katelyn’s favorite part of their woodsy venue was the huge oak tree under which they married, which surely wouldn’t have survived a fire. The outdoorsy high-school sweethearts intentionally picked their venue based on their shared love of the environment. “I wanted to celebrate our love amongst the beauty of nature,” says Katelyn, “and specifically California’s beautiful oak trees and wildflowers.” Since nature is so important to both Katelyn and Ian, they included a tree-planting during their ceremony. Katelyn and her family DIY’d the décor, from the jade table planters to the flower seed packets the duo gave their guests as favors to commemorate the free-spirited celebration.
Though the risk to their venue was obviously a cause for stress, Katelyn thinks the close call actually made them stay more relaxed during the celebration. “We realized that the most important thing was that regardless of the location, we would be married surrounded by those we love,” she says. That may be why the detail they each remember best from the ceremony wasn’t the rustic yet elegant barn décor, or the dulce de leche tea cookies they served in lieu of cake—it was the shared feeling of excitement from their family and friends for their wedding day. They were also both incredibly thankful for the generosity of their friends, who contributed everything from flowers and videography to hair and makeup services and décor to make the day a success.
Of course, Katelyn and Ian’s appreciation for the bigger picture doesn’t mean they didn’t pay attention to the details that mattered to them—like having an incredibly popular taco truck cater the festivities. Katelyn recalls that they knew they had to book Chando’s Tacos after nearly every venue they toured recommended them. “They were a HUGE hit with our guests,” says Katelyn, “with one person eating nine tacos over the course of the night!”
Katelyn & Ian Wedding Resources
Music in Motion (Bartender)
La Tavola Fine Linen Rental
La Tavola Fine Linen Rental
Kapaa Shores and Pono Kai, and the Aston Island in Kauai, Hawaii
Designed by a bridesmaid using wholesale flowers from Mom’s Wholesale Florist.
Flower packets designed and made by the bride.
Plan some calm the night before and if you tend to fidget like I do, it was great to have some small non-stressful tasks to keep me busy the morning of the wedding.