Morgan and Nick both grew up in Benicia in the Bay Area. “I’m a third generation,” shares Morgan. “My father, grandmother and grandfather all grew up in Benicia, and Nick’s family has had their insurance business in town since the early ‘70s.” The pair met freshman year of high school through mutual friends and stayed friends throughout the years. “I was dating one of Nick’s best friends in high school so we hung out a lot and had a few classes together,” she says. “He ended up coming up to visit Chico State a lot, and we grew closer with all his visits.” On their sixth anniversary as a couple, Nick popped the question on a pier in Lake Tahoe.
Sadly, Morgan’s mom passed away the same year, but she was lucky enough to write down pieces of advice from her mom, including a few for her wedding. “She told me to get married in Tahoe, like I wanted, so that was the biggest priority for me,” shares Morgan. “She also told me to let Nick wear whatever he wanted. I kept that promise as best I could. My only opinion was not having shiny shoes.”
The couple knew many of the vendors they wanted to work with. “We first met photographers Mindy and Lee from Sweet Marie Photography at Nick’s uncle’s wedding,” says Morgan. “Lee became a friend of ours after we both had worked with him at Nick’s family-owned bar in Benicia. We didn’t even shop around for other photographers. It was them from the get go.”
They also asked a family friend to do their cake and cupcakes. “Tara at Fox & Fawn Bakehouse lives down the street from the house I grew up in and sells her creations at our local farmers’ market on Thursday nights,” says the bride. “We will actually be bridesmaids together at her brother’s wedding—his bride-to-be is one of my best friends.”
With Pinterest being so popular, Morgan admits it was always in the back of her mind to have a “picture perfect” wedding. “I’m not that creative on my own but try to surround myself with people who are,” she says. “It was Erin from Bustle Events that brought it to the next level for us, taking our little thoughts and ideas and coming up with her own. She blew it out of the water from small details like our name card oars to big things like walking us through our rehearsal having no idea what to do.”
Their ceremony was sweet, calm and naturally beautiful, set on the beach right in front of the lake. “Nick is a man of few words, so that fit him,” says Morgan. “We kept it pretty traditional with our vows and had a special moment included for the loved ones we had lost, my mom and Nick’s grandma.
The reception was held on the same property as the wedding but included other Tahoe elements with a grassy open area and gorgeous tall pine trees. They chose long tables that fit whole sides of both families so everyone could sit together. “My aunt and uncle requested their first dance song from their wedding 40 years ago,” says Morgan. “It came on as everyone was getting food so they were alone on the dance floor. It was really cute.” Nick’s mom also surprised the couple with sparklers at the very end of the night.
But the most memorable moment for Morgan and Nick were the speeches given by the maid and matron of honor, best man and Morgan’s dad. “Each gave a speech unique to themselves,” remembers Morgan. “They all put so much thought, love and personal touches into the speeches. It meant the world to us.”
Morgan & Nick's Wedding Resources
Creative Alterations (custom sleeves)
DIY by Maid of Honor (miscellaneous signs)
The Westin on Grand Cayman Island, the Caribbean
“I Don’t Dance” by Lee Brice
“Sweet Child O Mine” by Sheryl Crow
“My Wish” by Rascal Flatts
“Friends in Low Places” by Garth Brooks
- Vanilla cake with vanilla frosting
- Maple sea salt cake
- Assorted cupcakes
Ferns were a theme, special to the bride because of her Mom; flowers were a splurge for us
- We added a “Promise to dance if you play” line to our RSVPs, and it really got people on the dance floor
- Bride’s dad built the arbor we were married under; florist had beer hops garland made that was a very cool surprise
- Our DJ’s website was a build yourself playlist which we enjoyed
- Florist went above and beyond; did a mock up before, which helped the vision
- Erin (the wedding planner), is so creative and nice; all the little details really added up and made it over the top; she was a breeze to work with and so helpful the day before and day of
- Mindy (our photographer), the sweetest, made us feel so comfortable! Always complimenting while directing and creative with all the different shots, especially the sunset
- Tara, our baker, is a family friend and from our same little hometown of Benicia; her cakes are all vegan and her shop is starting to really take off, you can find her at our local farmers’ market
- Groom – Have fun, and do not stress about other people’s suggestions. It is your day.
- Bride – Try to enjoy the planning aspect, once it’s all over you might miss it! Splurge on what’s important to you.
- Nick's answer is: I wouldn't have changed a thing. Maybe just have added video; other than that it was a perfect wedding.
- Mine would be, stay more organized and not leave so much to the last minute. If it would have been possible I would've extended our guest list. I also would've tried to make the rounds more; hard to talk to everyone of course but I wish I could have!