Laura and Ken knew the Dunbar House was the perfect venue for their intimate July wedding. “The second we got out of the car, we knew it was the ideal location. We had an overwhelming sense of peace,” says Laura. Their 25-person celebration was only for family and included everyone sitting at one shared table, so guests from both sides could get to know each other.
Laura, who has three adult children and two grandchildren, was proposed to by Ken at Christmas in front of her family. After they had opened all their presents, or so Laura thought, Ken asked if she had found them all. As she wondered what he meant, he got down on one knee and asked her to be his wife. Laura recalls that she was crying with happiness (along with the rest of her family) as she of course said yes.
Their celebration was held in the garden of the historic 19th-century home, with simple greenery accents and homemade signs from Laura’s daughter, Meghan. As the guest list was so small, they opted to forgo a wedding party—mostly. “My two granddaughters were our adorable flower girls,” says Laura. “They did an amazing job. They were the life of the party.”
Other elements of their party included a personalized wedding date cornhole set, made by Ken, and barrel-cooked tri-tip in lieu of a formal plated dinner. Hanging market lights provided an elegant backdrop for the dance floor, and between the Dunbar House’s greenery-covered walls and nearby fields, there were plenty of spots for the couple to snap a few photos together before joining their guests at the family-style table.
Both Laura and Ken were surprised by how stress-free the day was, even though they ran into an issue with Laura’s ring during the ceremony: it didn’t fit! “When we were saying our vows, the ring would not go on,” she says. “Must have been the wine and Mexican food the night before!” Despite that, both managed to be worry- and stress-free on their wedding day, though Ken jokingly credits part of that to the bourbon he was sipping on as got ready for the nuptials.
Because their celebration was all about family, it’s not surprising that one of Laura’s favorite parts of the day was spending it with her daughters, who had supported her through the entire wedding-planning process. “Spending my wedding day with them was something I will cherish forever,” she says. “They did everything to make me feel like a special bride.”
Despite the togetherness, Laura and Ken recall that one of their shared special moments was just about the two of them. After their celebration ended, Ken and Laura sat outside, taking the evening in and finding a quiet moment together as husband and wife. “Sitting outside with Laura is something that I will never forget,” says Ken.
Laura & Ken Wedding Resources
Koa Kea Resort in Hawaii
“Perfect” by Ed Sheeran
We had a sweetheart cake which was a simple white cake with white frosting. Chocolate and vanilla cupcakes were provided by the Dunbar House. We also had several mini cupcakes, cookies and lemon bars provided by Frosted Flour Bakery in Lodi.
We chose greenery, and white and cream flowers for our florals.
Our wedding coordinator Lisa and her husband Jim from the Dunbar House were amazing! From the moment we met Lisa we knew we wanted to have our wedding at the Dunbar House. She was in contact with us during the whole process and took my vision of how I wanted the wedding to look and made it happen. Everything was stunning! Lisa and Jim also made all of our guests feel very welcomed and went out of their way to help in every way. Lisa officiated our wedding and her husband Jim catered the dinner. We recommend Lisa and the Dunbar house for anyone looking for a wedding venue!
Start saving as soon as you are engaged! Weddings are expensive and there are a lot of details that you don’t think of until they come up during the wedding planning.