It’s the summer of 2003 and Nolan has just spotted Lisa outside a Chico bar. Despite a mutual friend’s attempt at an introduction, Lisa, a self-described social butterfly, barely notices her future husband. “She was so busy talking to everyone that…she ignored me at first,” Nolan says. “I thought she was really pretty, but maybe a little bit of a snob.”
A series of brief run-ins followed, but it took a movie night at Lisa’s apartment to dispel their mutual misconceptions. “We watched Dumb and Dumber, and Nolan and [his friend] Shane would not stop quoting the movie…and I got to see a side of him that I hadn’t before,” Lisa shares. “He actually did talk and could be pretty funny, and I am a sucker for a good sense of humor.”
In September 2009, their nearly six-year relationship culminated in a rose petal-filled proposal following Lisa’s return from a weeklong business trip. “[Nolan] told me that I was his best friend and he loved me more than I could ever know and that he wanted to spend the rest of our lives together,” Lisa says. “I couldn’t believe it because I honestly had no idea he had been ring shopping and planning all of it!”
Throughout their two-and-a-half year engagement, the bride, with the help of friends, family and a supportive fiancé, worked tirelessly to design the wedding she always envisioned. According to Nolan, “…it turned out to be everything Lisa dreamed of because the day was really about making her fairytale wish come true, and I was happy to see her happy—but it was definitely a lot of work!”
The bride’s “vintage, romantic, soft, feminine, fun” aesthetic shone through in every handmade decoration, every special treat (gum balls, popcorn, cotton candy, cigars and a favor bar specifically for the dogs—as the couple are huge dog lovers) and the couple’s signature drinks (strawberry mojitos for him, a favorite peach Champagne for her) offered at the late spring nuptials. “We wanted the entire thing to be a good time that people would look back on and be happy to have been a part of,” Lisa explains. “We also wanted it to be super romantic and full of love and happiness and celebration.”
Lisa floated down the aisle at Empire Mine State Historic Park in a romantic Casablanca gown from De La Rosa’s Bridal & Tuxedos to a rendition of “Here Comes the Bride,” performed by local musicians Robert Russell and Greg Hayes. The couple’s vows fused traditional elements with heartfelt promises to “split the difference on the thermostat” and accept “crafting supplies…all over the house.” Following the ceremony, guests indulged in comfort foods prepared by Antonio Ayestarán Custom Catering while DJ Sean Kennedy from Music & More Entertainment spun a playlist handpicked by the couple.
Despite all of the specialty elements, both bride and groom feel that the day’s true crowning achievement was the gathering of their loved ones. “It was really great to look out and see our families and our friends and co-workers—all of the people that are so special to us—with big smiles on their faces,” Lisa says. “We are truly blessed with some amazing people in our lives.”
First Dance Song
She’s Everything by Brad Paisley
Father/Daughter Dance Song
The Way You Look Tonight by Frank Sinatra
Mother/Son Dance Song
Twenty Years Late by Aaron Lines
Cake Cutting Song
Beast of Burden by The Rolling Stones
Bouquet Toss Song
P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) by Michael Jackson
Details about the cake
We had a red velvet cake with white cream cheese filling and a gorgeous fondant overlay with a lace design hand done by Donna the Cake Artist in butter cream. There was a big bow on one side (because I love bows on anything and everything). The top of the cake was draped with pearls and topped with fresh flowers.
Details about the flowers
I wanted all sorts of frilly, big, romantic flowers. I knew I didn’t want a really tight bouquet that looked like a ball, but more like a bunch you would get at a farmers market. My favorite flower is peonies, so that was a must, we accompanied it with roses, dahlias, hydrangea, lisianthus, queen anne’s lace, stock and freesia. We tried to stick with whites, creams and of course blush pinks.
Details about the favors
We had the tastiest miniature chocolate coconut macaroons from Sugar Lillie Bakery in El Dorado, CA (they are also available at Whole Foods Market in Folsom), and we also had a favor table with dog bones in apothecary jars and in little baggies with a monogram sticker because we are big dog lovers and have five dogs of our own, and it is kind of the funny thing people know about us so we had to incorporate the dogs into our special day. We decorated the table with pictures we had taken with our fur family by The Goodness during our engagement shoot.
Anything else you’d like to share about your wedding?
The entire thing was so special, but we think the best part of all of it besides marrying my/our best friend and partner in this crazy life was that we got to spend an entire day with everyone we love in one place. That was truly awesome. To look out and see so many people that are important to us all gathered together to help us celebrate. For me (Lisa) it was also so important to have my grandmas there and healthy for that day.
One really cute and funny part was trying to get our super cute ring bearers to sit still for pictures (they keep sprinting off and running through the trees and bushes and all of the rolling hills of grass in the park) and then getting them down the aisle was a real task. We were coaxing them with jelly beans all day, and during the ceremony, but they only made it about halfway down before they turned around and ran and Craig (the groom’s stepdad) had to get up, grab the ring pillow off the ground and carry it the rest of the way down the aisle. It had everyone laughing and was too cute to ever be mad about!
One other funny story from our day was that while dress shopping with my dad and grandma for a wedding gown we came across this tattered, stained, torn sample dress for sale for $50, it was really really bad, dirty with pit stains bad. We bought it and I kept it hidden in my closet for eight months. The day of our wedding I had switched it out with my real gown in the garment bag so when my bridesmaids went in to get my dress and bring it out to me to put on the old, gross dress was all that was inside. I kicked in my acting skills and pretended that the bridal shop had accidentally given me the wrong dress and my real dress must still be at the store or with another bride. Everyone freaked out, my mom was shaking trying to dial the phone to call the shop, my girlfriends were all trying to come up with an action plan to get me the right dress with only an hour and half until my wedding…It was epic. They all were freaking out and didn’t really think it was that funny when I told them it was all a practical joke! Lisa from The Goodness was so fun about it that we got a couple of shots afterward of everyone acting very upset about this horrible mix-up!
While all of our vendors were amazing and did a great job…it is really really important to us that we give a big huge shout out and THANK YOU to our families. Making this day happen was something we never could have done without them. Not only did they help us financially, but honestly, they put countless hours of work into helping us make things, and glue things and sew things and they were the blood sweat and tears of the entire day. We are so lucky to have the best parents and family and we just want them to know how much we love and appreciate them and all they have always done for us. Also, our wedding party, we are so lucky to have such wonderful friends to share our special day with us.
Any tips you’d give brides and grooms planning their wedding today?
In hindsight (and my crazy perfectionist OCD mind) I started making mental lists the day after our wedding of things I would tell future brides:
#1. Make a list of all of the pictures you absolutely want/have to have, I am talking about the must-have, no negotiating pictures! Special poses you want, pictures with certain people 9both your grandmas, your cousins, etc.), pictures in certain areas of your venue that when you first saw the place you envisioned a picture with that specific thing or spot. Give it to your photographer or heck even stick it down your dress if it means you’ll make sure you get the shots you want.
#2: Oh my gosh, it is SOOOOO true what they say about the day flying by and you getting pulled in a million different directions, I never even got to have one of our signature drink Mojitos, I never had any cake (except for the cake cutting bite), and I had a few special songs that had always been special to my friends and me (that I requested) but never got to dance to. Make sure you take the time to not worry about everyone and everything going just right and just slow down and enjoy it, because it’s only for one day and you can’t get it back once it’s over.
Empire Mine State Historic Park Officiant:
Friend of the bride & groom Photographer:
The Goodness Videographer:
Platinum DVD Studios Reception Site:
Empire Mine State Historic Park Bridal Hair:
Halo Salon Bridal Make-up:
Rachel Elise Makeup Artistry Bridal Attire:
De La Rosa's Bridal & Tuxedos
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