A Whimsical Storybook Wedding: Lauren + JR

bridesmaids in sunglasses

Lauren + JR wanted an intimate celebration with their closest family + friends. They really wanted to be able to celebrate with those that helped them become the people they are today. One of their best friends officiated the ceremony and another friend sang at their reception. They are also both avid readers and had lots of sweet details from children’s books like “Where The Wild Things Are” (the gold paper crowns + animal figurines) and “The Giving Tree” (they were married under a beautiful oak tree). They also incorporated their favorite novels by using them as table names, and seat assignments/guest gifts were a combined element of individual succulents in gold pots. I love that they described their theme as “Wild Things At a Garden Party.” Thanks to Kate Harrison for the lovely photos.

first look

bride in one strap wedding dress


wedding arrow sign

What song did you walk down the aisle to? Our wedding party danced down the aisle to “Animal Arithmetic” by Jonsi (the lead singer of Sigur Ros), a tremendously joyful and ebullient song. Next, Jason walked down the aisle with his parents, and then Lauren did the same — the procession music for both of us was the song “Take Care” by Beach House. The entire wedding party danced away from the ceremony and towards cocktail hour to “Home” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes.

bride walking down isle

outdoor wedding

bride and groom ceremony exit

bridal party pyramid

Our truly brilliant photographer, Kate Harrison, pulled us aside part way through the reception and led us to the top of a rolling hillside of grapevines. She wanted to take some pictures of us as the sun was setting over the valley. But more than that, she also wanted to create and help us preserve a particularly special private moment. The day had gone by fast and was only going by faster.

Up on the ridge, with our arms wrapped around each other as husband and wife, we looked down on the awesome site of our families and friends dancing the night away together… Never before have we ever felt so warm, so content, so fortunate, so happy. The joy of the event — of being able to celebrate and toast with the most important people in our lives, and being able to do so in such a beautiful setting — was overwhelming. We soon rejoined the party and had a lot of fun on the dance floor… And at the dessert bar… And with the photo booth. But the most memorable moment of our wedding day was probably when Kate had us step away from all the revelry and take in from a slight distance the entire scene we worked so long to help create.

bride and groom

succulent escort cards
gold crown place setting

We were mindful about making our wedding an opportunity to celebrate love, family, and friendship. We consider ourselves to be the products of the people we hold most close to our hearts, and we spent a lot of time thinking about how we could intimately involve those who have helped to make us the people we are.

One of the first decisions we made was to have one of our best friends serve as the officiant, and we invited some of our most cherished friends to recite poems and readings during the ceremony. Another dear friend of ours performed an amazingly beautiful rendition of Feist’s “Past in Present” on his ukulele for our first dance. In terms of themes, we knew we wanted to have a dance party in a barn!

outdoor reception

title table numbers

title table numbers

hula hoop

gold animal pieces

bride and groom in gold crowns

pie and ice cream bar

bride and groom first dance

Check out these rad films from Shark Pig!

Enjoy it! Planning our wedding gave us an excuse to do something creative together every weekend, initiated many interesting and important conversations about how we want to reflect and communicate our values, and allowed us to collaborate with some brilliant, dedicated, wonderful people. (A number of vendors became our close friends over our year of planning.) Also, take advantage of the opportunity to go to tastings! There’s lots of scrumptious food out there!

photography: Kate Harrison // caterer: Grapevine Catering // event planner: Sitting In A Tree // favors and gifts: The Blue Orchid // reception venue: Healdsburg Country Gardens // video: Shark Pig // dj: Austin Hendrix Productions // wedding dress: “Hello Gorgeous” dress by Ivy & Aster // specialty foods: Kozlowski Farms

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  1. Oh I love this. It’s so colourful and playful and perfect inspiration for one of my couples’ wedding next year.

  2. Oh my goodness! They are just the loveliest lovebirds I’ve ever seen! xoxox!

  3. these photos are gorgeous! love the simplicity of her gown too!

  4. It’s great to see Lauren & J.R.’s wedding here! Yay! Thank you for the beautiful feature and thank you L&J.R. for sharing your goodness & kind words. XX

  5. I would love to know where they got those little gold containers for the thank you gifts. Those are amazing.

  6. An absolutely beautiful wedding but to me it’s beautiful visually but also beautiful because of the personality & enjoyment they put into it.

  7. That yellow door really zings in those shots! And her dress suits her so well!

  8. I love how happy she looks. Happier than most brides. Oh and the pyramid picture, so cute.

  9. Where are those rings from? I love them!

  10. i literally just purchased silver, white, and gold spray paint bc I wanted to attack all of my plain mason jars, wine bottles and tomato sauce jars! SOOO happy to see this done in action at this wedding. woo! :) beautiful and very fun looking wedding!!!

  11. Oh man, these pictures!!! Definitely tearing up right now… Whimsical is definitely the word. The book themes touch the special nerdy spot in my heart.

    The thing that really got me was the “most memorable moment”. That’s what I want to feel when I get married!!!

  12. Beautiful wedding, so special!!
    Where are those bridesmaid dresses from, they’re so lovely.

    Kate photographed our wedding and also helped us to create some very special and private moments (and gorgeous photos), she is amazing at what she does!!

  13. The photography from this wedding is lovely! The ring shot with the monkey in the background is awesome. And her dress is gorgeous!

  14. Oh my! What a gorgeous wedding! The crowns are whimsical and fabulous.

  15. It’s such a great idea to use book titles to label each table. I will definitely mention this blog to the brides from my bridal registry. Thanks heaps!

  16. I couldn’t put to words how to incorporate the story aspect of books and this definitely made it childlike over childish and magical. where did her bridesmaids get their dresses?

  17. How did you make or where did you get the golden crowns? BEAUTIFUL wedding!

  18. could you please tell me where you got the mini succuents for the escort cards? they’re so cute and i can’t find anything under ‘blue orchid’ thanks!

  19. Good. Gravy. I cannot get over how stunning every bit of this wedding is. Let me offer hearty congratulations to you both while I pick my jaw up off the floor.


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