When Sam and Nick met, the air crackled with excitement. Introduced through mutual friends, they were not the usual type each other dated, but as it turned out, they were perfect for one another. After many years together, Nick proposed to Sam on a beautiful snowy evening while on a getaway to Lake Tahoe.
Wedding planning was made easy, as both Sam and Nick knew their unique selves and hired plenty of talented and hard-working vendors to help express their perfect vision. “We had the dream team of wedding vendors!” says Sam. And as the winning couple of Above & Beyond Cakes’ “Wedding Sweets Giveaway,” they were able to truly personalize their cake. Each tier of the three-tier cake was a different flavor: churro cake with pumpkin spice cream cheese frosting, chocolate cake with Oreo frosting and strawberry Champagne cake with cheesecake mousse.
Incorporating elements of their personalities in their wedding was a given, but Sam says it was the little touches throughout that really made it special. The combining of glass beads during their unity ceremony, which then were turned into a hand-blown glass vase, is just one of the many ways they exemplified their creative and unique personalities.
“We picked photos of our many travels and adventures to be displayed in ornate frames on each of the tables,” she explains when describing the ways in which they were innovative and unafraid to step outside of the box. They also provided an alternative to dancing for guests who forgot their dancing shoes with a table of handmade wooden games like Jenga, Connect Four, tic-tac-toe and chess.
Though every moment of a wedding day is special, Sam says it was the first look they planned before the ceremony as well as the quiet time they had together during their pictures that provided them with the most magical memories. “We both loved setting aside time for the first look and photos of just the two of us. It gave us the opportunity to relax, have fun together and truly enjoy each other’s company,” she says.
Sam and Nick were sure to think of everything for their guests that day; they provided warm blankets during their outdoor ceremony and kindly allowed guests to take them home. Even with those fabulous keepsakes, Sam says what she wants guests to remember most is their love. “We hope our guests remember the energy, our smiles, and the amazing time we all had celebrating our union.”
Because the couple spent so many years getting to know each other before they were engaged, there are not many unexpected changes to their happy lives together, but Sam does find it comfortable having transitioned from dating to marriage. “There is not much that has changed since we’ve said ‘I do’, although we do love being able to say ‘husband’ and ‘wife,’” she says. Just like their wedding, their relationship is unique and their love is timeless.
Sam & Nick's Wedding Resources
Smokey Oaks Tavern (rehearsal dinner venue)
Tiamo Resort in the Bahamas
“Everything” by Michael Buble
“Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles
“Cruisin'” by Smokey Robinson
“Pick Up the Pieces” by Average White Band
“Shut Up and Dance” by WALK THE MOON
Three tiered cake: strawberry champagne cake with cheesecake mousse, churro cake with pumpkin spice cream cheese and chocolate cake with Oreo frosting.
1. Amnesia Roses
2. Organic Heart Roses
3. Organic Scabiosa (from Little Boy Farm in Nevada City)
4. Organic Scabiosa Pods (from Little Boy Farm in Nevada City)
5. Dusty Miller (silver) (from Little Boy Farm in Nevada City)
6. Burgundy dyed seeded eucalyptus
7. Organic cream peonies (from Full Belly Farms)
8. Brunia Gray Silver Balls
Glass mugs from Beau-coup and throw blankets from Amazon
• We had the dream team of wedding vendors! Each one played a part to make our wedding day stress free and extraordinary. They were all incredibly passionate, knowledgeable and everyone quickly felt like family to us.
• Mae with Beyond Smitten took the reins and took care of all the last minute details and changes in the last two weeks and made sure all of the vendors were on the same page. She also executed the setup and most of the breakdown of our wedding day so we didn’t have to worry about anything!
- Ashley Country, Lake Natoma Inn, made time for us and was incredibly helpful from the moment we first called to check out the venue until we were about to walk into our reception room as husband and wife.
• Our photographers communicated well with everyone to ensure they got all of the necessary shots. They helped us relax and produced AMAZING photos of one of the most incredible days of our lives.
• Our DJ, Larry Burow with Extreme Productions, helped us navigate through all of the playlist details for our ceremony and reception. He was knowledgeable, had recommendations for everything we were struggling with and was a blast to work with!
• Our florist, La Raye, used her creativity to create gorgeous arrangements within our budget.
• Our rehearsal dinner venue, Smokey Oaks Tavern, took excellent care of our party of 30 with outstanding service, a room with a homey fireplace and an superb plated dinner.
• Shaylyn, Maribou Salon, had me doing a double take at my reflection. I felt beyond bridal on my wedding day. She is phenomenally talented and I couldn’t imagine anyone else doing my hair and make-up.
• If there is an opportunity, book a room at the venue for the night before and the day of. Every second counts when it comes to getting ready and getting all of your photos in; being on-site helped everything go so smoothly. That room also became a place for our bridal party and family to store things throughout the day and a place for us to leave all of the decorations from the wedding at the end of the night so we could worry about it the next day.
• We also highly recommend getting a day-of coordinator, at minimum, so you have an opportunity to enjoy every moment with your bridal parties, families and soon-to-be spouse on your wedding day.
• Lastly, there will always be something that doesn’t go according to plan. Do not let it ruin your day. Smile and let it go. We had so many people remind us that in 30 years, you will not regret it if the flowers weren’t what you had imagined or the weather wasn’t quite what you had hoped for, but you will regret not enjoying and appreciating every moment of your wedding day as it is.
We would have loved the opportunity to invite everyone that was on our original list. We are blessed with large families and a long list of friends that we love tremendously. Our budget and venue capacity forced us to limit our guest list, but we deeply wish we could have celebrated with all of them.