Sometimes your wedding day doesn’t go exactly as planned – maybe because of the weather or some other small detail isn’t just as you pictured it, but the important thing is that you are marrying your love + best friend. That’s all that really matters, right? Many things didn’t go as planned for Tara + Nick due to weather and other circumstances, but when you look at their photos you would never have guessed that!
Their day looked so incredibly gorgeous! Tara + Nick are both photographers and pretty creative in general, so they knew they wanted to create something unique + beautiful to represent them and help their guests feel the magic of the day. They took a bunch of their favorite things – like the outdoors, antiques, books, brunch, old historical buildings + movies – and incorporated them into their day. Using Pinterest + wedding blogs helped them gather their inspiration, and then they made or borrowed most of the other things for their day! Big thanks to the talented Ryan Ray for sending over this gorgeous wedding to swoon over today!
We planned the wedding long distance, which was a challenge but we both felt like it strengthened our communication skills and prepared us even more for marriage. There were so many DIY projects that we really couldn’t have done without the help of our friends and family. It was truly an overwhelming and amazing feeling to see all of our loved ones brave the freezing cold, rain, and lack of sleep to make it all happen.
My truly talented mother and her friend Colleen did all of the floral arrangements, Nick’s dad built the benches for the ceremony, my mom’s boyfriend made the wooden signs, our bridal party came the day before and helped put it all together, and our fabulous coordinator Roberta was seriously super-human. When we walked into the reception for the first time, I completely lost it – it was more beautiful than I had thought possible. But aside from our vision of having a beautiful day, the best thing was to be together and to be with everyone we love. We couldn’t have been more blessed.
How adorable are the bridesmaid’s vintage books with flowers?! What a unique + gorgeous detail! Just love them. Tara carried a bouquet of eucalyptus leaves, garden roses, cotton blooms, and amaranth.
Isn’t Tara’s Elizabeth Dye “Oysters and Pearls” wedding dress gorgeous!? Love that she paired it with dark red booties.
How gorgeous is the barn setting with all the light streaming in?! Stunning ceremony spot.
Tara: My favorite memory was when Nick read his vows. Not only did he make my heart feel so full I thought it would burst, but he made EVERYONE cry. And laugh. My second favorite memory was when Nick and I were driving from the ceremony site to the reception – a double rainbow came out and it felt like it was just for us! I also loved when my mom walking me down the aisle. And lastly, not really on the wedding day, but my bridesmaids, mom and Nick pitched in and surprised me with my wedding dress! I was trying to make one out of an old vintage dress and it wasn't going as well as I'd hoped, so they gifted me with the one they knew I'd had my eye on but couldn't afford. They are the absolute best.
Nick: My favorite memory was when the music alerting everyone that Tara was about to enter started, a gust of wind blew through the entrance of the barn, rustling all the draped fabric hanging from the beams. I think everyone's heart skipped a beat. And when Tara first entered the barn. Not only did she look absolutely stunning, but it also hadn't seemed real until that moment.
If you are doing DIY projects, make sure you have plenty of time. It always takes longer than you think! Start collecting and creating as soon as you get engaged. And enlist help, because it makes the process so much more fun and memorable. And even if you are on a tight budget (which we were), prioritize the things that are most important to you and invest in those things. For us it was the venue and the photography. Which leads me to my last thing – pick vendors that suit not only your budget, but your tastes and personality. It makes a huge difference. We LOVED our vendors and were thrilled to have them spend the day with us :)
photography: Ryan Ray (see more photos from this wedding on his blog) // ceremony venue: Squirrel Creek Ranch in Grass Valley California // reception venue: Miners Foundry Cultural Center in Nevada City, California // cake: Amy Ngai // catering: Whole Foods // coordinator: Roberta Runyan // dj: Ryan Hernandez // dress: Elizabeth Dye of The English Department // shoes: ASOS // flowers: Bride’s mother and a friend of the family
Martha Stewart Weddings is also sharing this wedding and you can see their feature here