Shane + Mike had been engaged for over a year – and considered eloping – before they stumbled upon the small town of Los Alamos, California during a quick weekend getaway. During their trip, they immediately fell in love with the Alamo Motel and knew they wanted to get married there. With the help of Art & Soul Events, they were able to add a few stylish touches to the setting, but keep on theme with all the Alamo already had to offer. Below, the newlyweds tell us more about why they were drawn to this magically unique place…
Los Alamos is a magical town, with a community vibe, that truly embodies so many things we love, especially the simple things in life; which in the end, are the most important. The town is filled with unique people, great wine, live music, antique shops, and local, delicious food. We wanted our wedding to represent us and to complement Los Alamos, so we kept everything local and simple.
Thanks so much to Katie at Tyler Branch Photo for the beautiful images and congrats to Shane + Mike on an amazing day!
Our wedding was the first at the Alamo Motel, a Shelter Social Club establishment. This rustic, but modern motel wraps around Municipal Winemakers’ tasting room and is located in the heart of town. It’s the kind of place where you can plan to stop for one wine tasting, but you end up hanging out until the sun goes down before moving to the fire, and then maybe even booking a room.
Shane wore a custom dress by Shareen Bridal + let her bridesmaids each choose a black dress that they loved.
Shane: One of my favorite memories of the day was watching from afar, as our friends and family walked down the aisle and hugged or high fived Mike as they approached the altar. Joe Crocker’s cover of “With a Little Help from my Friends” was playing loudly and it really got me excited to marry my best friend! I loved the intimacy and the closeness of our ceremony space, and having all of the people we love so close to us during such a special moment. I remember being able to make eye contact with many people and exchange a smile and looking around, there wasn't a dry eye in the house.
Mike: I really loved that it felt like the town was ours for the weekend. We rented out every hotel and rental house in town to accommodate our party of 150 people. Through planning and our visits to Los Alamos leading up to the wedding, we were really able to get to know many of the business owners and locals, and felt so welcomed by everyone. Our guests bounced around town all weekend, exploring our favorite restaurants, bars, wine tasting rooms, and antique shops; no matter where you went that weekend you would run into our wedding guests. It was so fun to watch all of our friends and family fall in love with Los Alamos the same way we did.
It was really special to me to have all of our different groups of friends and family come together and meet, some for the first time. Seeing people from all over the country and from different parts of our world connect and party together was just really so cool, and helped make the day that much more amazing.
Processional: Groom + Bridal Party: With a Little Help from My Friends – Joe Cocker; Bride: More than You Know – Eddie Vedder
Recessional: You've got the Love – Florence & The Machines
First Dance: Sea of Love – Cat Power
We made hand cut leather ties for our cutlery roll ups. We customized placemats with an Alamo Motel branded star stamp. We designed and crafted invitations with town maps, along with matching vellum place cards that were set in each wine glass. We lit candles, and placed bud vases with loose blooms on the large rustic farm tables. We had a custom Neon sign made for our Portrait-style Photo-booth, which complemented the classic Alamo Motel Neon Sign.
Hire a planner! If anyone tells you that you don’t need a wedding coordinator they have never had a wedding, or they are just plain crazy. Our coordinators, Art & Soul Events, came on-board months in advance, gave us tons of advice, referred us to talented vendors, and developed a timeline that flowed seamlessly. We felt like they were an extension of us, doing all of the things we would want to do if we were the ones setting up. These hardworking ladies got into gear at 7 am and didn’t stop until after midnight! They tackled any issues that came up and offered quick solutions! They kept us on track without rushing anything or making us feel like we were behind. They knew everything we wanted to happen and made it happen, plus way more!
Also, write your own vows! I know it can be daunting, but it is 100% worth it. It is such an intimate moment that is meaningful and unique to you two. You will bare your soul to everyone there, but when you are done, you will be a different person, and even closer to your partner and the people you love. It is a powerful, awesome thing!
photography: Katie at Tyler Branch Photo // planning + design: Art & Soul Events // venue: Alamo Motel Los Alamos California // wine: Municipal Winemakers // florals + flower crown: Of The Flowers // hair + makeup: TEAM Hair & Makeup // wedding dress: Custom Dress by Shareen Bridal // groom’s suit: Dries Van Noten // groom’s shirt: Prada // groom’s tie: Alexander McQueen // groom’s shoe: Allen Edmonds // bride’s shoes: Jimmy Choo // veil: Lili Bridals //officiant: Friend of Groom – Oliver T. // bridesmaids dresses: All different designers // diy details: Bride, Shane Stafford // paper goods: Bride & Paul Espanola (Graphic Designer) firstname.lastname@example.org // band: Anythings Possible Band // catering: Me & Lou’s BBQ, Babi’s Beer Emporium // tables + glassware: Elite Rentals // cake: Enjoy Cupcakes // rug rentals: Elan Rentals // cheese plate: Bell Street Farm // altar tables: Gopherwood Design/Build // welcome dinner: Full of Life Flatbreads