Chelsea is a talented wedding photographer + the first thing she knew when her beau, Chris, proposed was that her friend + fellow photog, Amanda Patrice, would be the one to capture the day. The 2nd thing she knew was where their celebration would take place – Double Eagle Resort & Spa in June Lake, California. After spending many summers vacationing there with her family, and sharing the magical place with Chris, neither of them could imagine a better backdrop to say their I dos.
Chelsea says, Being a photographer allowed me to see a hidden gem in a quiet venue in a sleepy mountain town. We found an awesome little meadow with a babbling brook and fell in love! The reception was in a big white tent, yep most photogs dream for lighting but most brides nightmare because it’s so big and plain. I decided to accept the challenge and create an awesome bohemian space and partnered up with my favorite florist and stylish, Pamela Babbage of French Bouquet.
We had a long engagement which meant lots of thrifting, collecting vintage furniture, glassware, all kind of funky finds to add a warmth to the space. I knew right away I wanted it to have a very eclectic bohemian feel that would compliment the rustic vibe of the venue. My girls all wore dresses from Forever 21 and Free People, and their colors created a rad ombre effect that still makes me happy when I think about it! The boys all wore blue, suits from Jos. A Banks and Express. My dress was a custom design from Brides by Demetrios, with jewelry from Free People + Bebe, and Steve Madden boots for trekking through the mountains!
We adore all the rustic, boho decor like the vintage handkerchief display and calligraphy signage.
Processional: Everything I Do – Bryan Adams
Recessional: Best Day of My Life – American Authors
First Dance: One and Only – Adele
It rained the entire day, I always tell my brides "rain is good luck," but being on the other side of that it was tough. But Amanda told me "it's ok to mourn the day you thought you were going to have, but then problem solve and make it better!" That's just what we did, my groom, who really deserves an award, or at least a giant cookie, put his suit back on the next day and hiked around June Mountain allowing me to have the photos that I dreamed about when we picked that spot. The sky opened up and it was incredible, photos that we would have never had time for even if it hadn't rained on the wedding day! Plus since we had such a small intimate wedding the whole group helped make it happen by allowing us to be so flexible and move the timing of everything to work around the rain. Couples have to remember, everyone is there for you, it is in fact your day. If problems arise, laugh it off and tell everyone what the new plan is!
How cute are all the yellow + blue details scattered throughout the reception tent? Shop our fave finds that match this palette in our mini guide below!
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I know it's cliche but I would tell couples to try to remember what the day is really about, yes all the details and planning are important but that's not what the day is about. I kept telling myself if all of my plans fail at least at the end of that day I still married the love of my life. I think all else seems silly compared to that!
Another great piece of advice that our photographer friend Amanda told me was the energy and vibe of the wedding comes from the couple, if you are happy and dancing the night away everyone else will join in. We wanted an all night dance party and from the first song to the last Chris and I were on the dance floor, I think that is why all our friends and family were too! If you have fun your guest will too!
Lastly, take all the moments in, even as a photographer I know that photos only captures stills. They trigger the feeling you had but they aren't everything. It's the feeling you have in those moments that you will always remember. The second I saw Chris at the ceremony and how all my nerves went away, that ugly cry I had with my sister after the ceremony, the moment at the reception when I looked around to see all my favorite people in one spot enjoying my favorite place, seeing the kids I nannied play in the meadow that I used to play in. Those are the moments that still make me cry, so try to slow down and soak those in!
One last thing! It is your day, yes you will have opinions that you need to accommodate but in the end stick with your gut and make the day special for the two of you. If that means slipping in some nerdy Wes Anderson quotes into your vows, that no one else will get, or painting a sign with a Lord of the Rings quote because you know it'll make your new hubby smile then do it!
photography: Amanda Patrice // venue name: Double Eagle Resort & Spa, June Lake, California // event design: Chelsea Maras // planning: Chelsea Maras // florals: Pamela Babbage of French Bouquet // wedding dress: Brides by Demetrios // cake: Mimi's Cookie Bar // event coordination: Allie Marenco at the Double Eagle // sweets: Mimi's Cookie Bar // bridal jewelry: Free People + Bebe // bride's shoes: Steve Madden // bridesmaid dresses: Forever 21 + Free People // groom: Jos. A Banks and Express // groomsmen attire: Jos. A Banks and Express