Michele & Matthew | Real Weddings
Michele shares the story of her and Matthew’s elegant California wedding, perfectly planned down to the last thoughtful detail.
Our Location & Theme: We got married on Valentine’s Day at St. Michael’s Church in Livermore, CA. The reception was at Casa Real at Ruby Hill Winery in nearby Pleasanton. When looking for a venue, we knew that size was going to be an issue. We had a guest count of 350 people, so we were limited. St. Michael’s Church is stunning. We knew the second we walked into Casa Real that it was the place for us. It was in the heart of a winery, had a beautiful entry and the room for cocktail hour had a fireplace to keep everyone warm!
I am a fan of anything neutral and gold. We wanted a very classic and clean feel. We brought in nine chandeliers and lighting of our own to create our vision. We alternated flowers and candelabras at the tables with different linens to match. Our venue made sure that everything was done perfectly and provided our guests with anything and everything they could want, including a fry bar in case anyone needed a midnight snack. Our seating chart was on a large antique mirror—one of my favorite things that we did!
Planning the wedding was a full-time job. Every single detail was touched and gone over 100 times. Thank goodness for my patient parents, who made all our dreams come true. We wanted people to come and have the time of their lives—it was Valentine’s Day, of course!
Special Moment: Matt and I wanted to see the room before anyone was in it. After the ceremony and pictures we took about 30 minutes to just be alone in there. We were able to take in all that we had created and dreamed about for a year. It was amazing to see it all had come together.
Also, Matt had a diamond ring made in the shape of a heart for my day-of gift.
My Dress: I had spent months looking at bridal magazines. I had some idea of what I was looking for, but wasn’t set on any one particular style going into my appointment. People think I am lying, but “my” dress was the first one I saw hanging: ‘Amherst’ by Anne Barge. I knew that was it. It was the first one I tried on. In fact, I have a picture that I sent to my maid of honor while I was waiting in the room to be zipped into the dress, with the biggest smile on my face. Once I walked out, all the employees and my mom were standing there. We all knew! We ordered it that afternoon.
From then on I went a few times just to try it on. I had to have more than the usual amount of fittings and they were always very accommodating of my 5,000 questions. Every single person who worked at the Wedding Suite was amazing. They were so patient. My mom and maid of honor got their dresses from the Wedding Suite as well. All of the attire for our wedding was from Nordstrom, including a mother-of-the-bride Tadashi dress and Zegna suits for Matt and my father.
Advice for Brides-to-Be: Take it all in. It always works out. Your relationship with your photographer is KEY! I was madly in love with ours and she made us feel so comfortable. We stood at our table looking around the room and we were overwhelmed with all of the love and support from everyone.
Our Honeymoon: We went to Bora Bora. I had mentioned it as a joke when we got engaged, and Matt made it happen. Most magical place there ever was!
Photos by Dana Todd Photography.
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