The most important things for Brooke + Jason’s wedding day was to keep everything relaxed, comfortable, and true to their personal style + taste. They consider themselves to be pretty easy going + carefree so it was important to create that same atmosphere for their guests. Brooke + Jason were friends for about 8 years before they started dating, but after their first date in 2008, they became inseparable. Like any couple, they’ve battled the ups and downs, but those are what makes them even stronger as a couple. In 2010, Jason was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and the journey to recovery is what facilitated the unexplainable bond the two of them share today – he is now almost 2 years cancer free! Because they have had their share of serious + intense moments, they really wanted to take a more light-hearted and fun approach to wedding planning which of course I just love! Thanks so much to Brooke + Jason for letting us share your beautiful + personal day and big thanks also to Ellie Grover for the gorgeous photos.
From Brooke, What better way to convey your personal style through your wedding than by having your best friend and maid of honor help create the day!?! Yes, I am that lucky. Emily Baker is the mastermind behind Emily Baker Creative, and alongside the super talented Whitney Werts, she took our dream and made it a reality. Let’s be honest – I’ve been secretly planning my wedding with Emily for YEARS!! My overall vision was rustic and warm, with lots of color. I used Free People catalogs as inspiration, while trying to incorporate a woodsy-bohemian feel, capitalizing on the natural beauty of the Union Hill Inn. We encouraged all of our vendors to be experimental and to think outside the box. Claire of PoppyStone Floral Couture really hit a home run with this direction. My bouquet, for example, consisted not only flowers, but also purple kale and kumquats – I’d say “unique” is a vast understatement.
I am a lover of fashion and all things vintage, so it was important to incorporate my personal taste not only in décor, but also in my wardrobe. My friends know me as a halo-wearing, vintage loving, carefree spirit who doesn’t shy away from being adventurous. I wanted our wedding day to reflect that exactly. In my eyes, there’s no such thing as over accessorizing, and jewelry can always be chunkier. I opted for my favorite vintage belt, my beautiful Untamed Petals halo, my favorite plaid shirt (only $1 at a garage sale!) and the focal point of my ensemble – the Anthropologie necklace.
I love turquoise, so I had my bridesmaids wear neutral shades of cream and brown with a pop of turquoise to match my necklace. Each bridesmaid wore at least one item from my own wardrobe (or a gift from me – a vintage locket); to make us all feel like it was our special day. I picked the bridesmaids’ outfits with each of them individually to ensure they were comfortable. With three pregnant bridesmaids (yes, THREE!) and a pregnant officiant – comfort was imperative.
Seriously, how adorable are these flower girls?!! Just love their fun hats + big flowers!
Processional: Parents + Grandmothers Processional: This Years Love – David Gray; Wedding Party Processional: Pachelbel's Cannon in D; Bride Processional: Wagner’s Here Comes the Bride
Recessional: Here Comes the Sun – Beatles
First Dance: Leather and Lace – Stevie Nicks and Don Henley
The most memorable aspect of the day was, hands down, the ceremony. Our dear friend, Corri Chadwick, wrote the most beautiful script – we were absolutely floored. People laughed and cried, but our highlight was accepting each other as husband and wife. Instead of saying the traditional “I do,” I decided (spur of the moment) to surprise my groom and say “yuuuuuup,” after the coined phrase from one of our favorite television shows, Storage Wars. He, in turn, replied the same. The crowd roared with laughter and neither of us will ever forget it. Our goal of keeping things light and fun was accomplished – a genuine reflection of our relationship.
Because Emily and her team are remarkably talented, I welcomed the chance to help them with DIY projects to give our day a homespun feel. Handmade elements are so much more personal and meaningful. It started with the invitations, which were illustrated by my cousin, Rachel. I wanted them to be light and fun and she nailed it!
All of the rocks used for escort cards were handpicked by Jason from our favorite spot along the Sacramento River. We painted and wrapped them with twine. We also built and painted all of our directional signage. Jason is a contractor, so we put that leftover scrap wood to good use! It was important that he feel like he was part of the planning as well. Using the same leftover wood, I made the photo blocks used as décor for the cookie table. I actually make and sell these, so naturally I had to have them at my own wedding!
Emily and her team crafted up the yarn garland used over the cookie table, using a GWS Yarn Garland DIY for inspiration! To add some style and a pop of color to the table settings, we had napkins made from mismatched, patterned fabric by Once Again, then wrapped them with yarn and twine. The head table was one of Emily’s secret projects. She sourced custom wood-stump chargers on Etsy, gorgeous turquoise plates from Antrhopologie, yellow cut glasses from World Market, and even used vintage chairs in the bride’s favorite colors (red & aqua) for the Bride and Groom’s seats. My twine-wrapped rock place cards were the final touch!
She and her team also surprised Jason with a whiskey and cigar bar, complete with a custom industrial-style “W” light (for Wade, our last name). Lastly, to add a personal touch for my bridesmaids, I made each of us yarn-covered hangers used to hang our dresses. I thought it would be special to add a handmade element to their gift. They’re super easy to make and they turned out pretty cute.
And their sweet film by Rain Studios!
If I were to give advice to brides, I would suggest two things. First: splurge on a great photographer!! Ellie Grover captured our event absolutely flawlessly. I honestly could not be more pleased and I will cherish the photos forever. She’s a genius behind the lens!! Second: I would suggest staying true to yourself and infuse your unique personalities into your event. I would say the greatest compliment we received was that who we were was reflected in each detail. Whether it was the selection of records playing at cocktail hour, or the cookie bar alternative to a cake – it was very “us.” Because we were so comfortable – we never felt nervous or anxious; we felt like we married our best friend in the comfort of our living room. I don’t think there’s much more you can ask for on your wedding day. :)
photography: Ellie Grover // venue: Union Hill Inn in Sonora, CA // event design + production: Whitney Werts + Emily Baker Creative // videographer: Rain Studios // flowers: PoppyStone Floral Couture // catering + cookie bar: Lila & Sage // table linens: La Tavola Fine Linens // custom napkins: Once Again // ceremony music: Eric Hart // reception music: DJ Sol // brides dress: Amy Kuschel // brides necklace: Anthropologie // brides belt: vintage // brides halo: Untamed Petals // brides shoes: Ruche // brides socks: Anthropologie // hair + make-up: Annie Baker + Erika Jones // grooms attire: Macy’s & Banana Republic // grooms shoes: Dexter // grooms + groomsmen suspenders: Treborirol // paper goods: Illustrations by Rachel Lane and layout design by Emily Baker Creative // rentals: Milk Glass // transportation: Link Line Charter // photo blocks, hangers, painted signs, rock escort cards: handmade by the bride, Brooke