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What is black and white and GOLD all over?


It was filled with gold giraffes (the brides favorite animal), glittery XO’s (as their wedding was on Valentines Day Weekend) , and elegant anemones (the prettiest black and white flowers).  Ari and Andrew’s Wedding took place at the Mill Valley Outdoor Art Club in February 2015.  The couple did not want to see each other before the wedding, so instead of a first look they stood around the corner from each other, held hands and exchanged letters. This was such a special moment.
Their intimate ceremony took place under the giant trees in Mill Valley surrounded by friends and family.

The bride, Ari has been a dear friend of mine for over 10 years and on this day she married the man of her dreams! Ari & Andrew are a dream team of a couple, they support one another and care for each other so deeply that it shows in everything they do for one another. One of my favorite things about this couple is that they are full of JOY and their joy is contagious to those around them. They laugh a lot as you will see throughout their wedding day and it’s a beautiful thing! They are a stunning couple, inside and out and it was honor and privileged to coordinate their special day!

We also were able to get a Q&A with the bride and groom. You will get to read about their favorite parts of the day throughout:


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 Q: Tell us about the letters and handholding before the ceremony:

A:   From the bride: I am big on tradition and even bigger on suspersitions.  Knowing it is both tradition and bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the ceremony on the wedding day, I was positive that we could not do a first look. But, I also knew that I would be really nervous and want (well, need) him to calm me down before the ceremony. So, we decided to find a place at the venue where we could talk and hold hands, but not see each other. We are both better writing our feelings down, so the letters were a natural addition to that moment. Holding his hand and hearing his voice in the moments before all of the excitement was so important, and so special. He is my rock, he adds patience and support to all that I do. At first, I started crying, but after allowing myself to be overwhelmed by the day and the words of his letter, we just held hands. I could feel my heartbeat steady and I knew that I was ready.

A:   From the groom: I didn’t think it would be a big deal to not see Ari before the ceremony, but when it got to the point where we were so close to each other, that’s all I wanted to do. It was a great feeling to be able to hold her hand and talk to her (calm her down) before actually seeing her walk down the aisle.

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Q: Tell us about the Ceremony

A: From the bride:
We knew we wanted 3 things for our ceremony: an officiant that we were close with, tradition with personal touches, and to keep it short and sweet!  We thought for months about who would be the perfect officiant – we had some mutual friends from before we started dating, but no one was clicking.  When my closest cousin Bryce (who was already a groomsmen) mentioned he was officiating another friend’s wedding, we both knew he was the one!  He did an amazing job and made the ceremony so personal and unique. As far as tradition, Andrew and I were both raised Christian and wanted to have some spiritual and religious traditions in the ceremony, but wanted to write our own vows.  It was important to us that the vows were both a surprise but also “flowed” well together. We enlisted the help of a close friend to review both sets of vows to give us feedback on style and length.  In the end, she just told us they were both great and we stuck with what we wrote!

A: From the groom:
Everything about the ceremony was beautiful. The location, the music, the ambiance, the words, the bride. Being back among the trees in an intimate setting with all of our friends and family intermingled was perfect. The parents, however, did sit on the traditional bride and groom’s sides, and to their dismay, only got to see the backs of their respective child during most of the ceremony. But after the ceremony, it was cute hearing my parents tell Ari’s how beautiful and happy she looked, and her parents telling mine the same.

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Q: Song Selection:

A: From the bride: Four songs stand out in my mind – the song I walked down the aisle to, 1000 years by Vitamin String Quartet, our first dance song, Latch by Sam Smith, the song that played while we were on the fireplace Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey, and One More Time – which the DJ graciously played about 10 more times at the end of the night.

A: From the groom: “One More Time”, “Blame”, “Thrift Shop”, and “Latch”.

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Q: Tell us about your Cocktail Hour:

A: From the bride:
Even though we were getting married in February in Mill Valley, we wanted to plan for the cocktail hour to be outside in the courtyard, with a tent as a back up plan. The sun was on our side that day, and it ended up being 70 degrees! The courtyard is surrounded by lush greenery and is beautiful on its own, but we added a few black & gold personal touches (glitter, market lights, pillows, etc.) to make it ours.

A:  From the groom:
Because of our layout at the venue, the guests walked past the bar on their way to the ceremony. Thus, a good amount of our friends got cocktail hour started a bit before everyone else. But for those needing a refill or their first drink of the night, the cocktail hour was perfect for everyone to meet and mingle, get acquainted or reacquainted. And the weather could not have been more perfect for mid-February. Ari and I were off taking pictures for most of the cocktail hour, but I was able to convince a cousin to round us up a couple of beverages and appetizers.

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 Q: Tell us about the Reception:

A: From the bride:
Everything about the reception was perfect – the speeches made everyone laugh and cry, the room was magical, and the food was amazing. The venue had a wall of doors that opened up into the courtyard and the bar was outside, so the whole reception was a flow of indoor and outdoor activity. It was so wonderful, in fact, that we didn’t even mind that a guest took a slice of the wedding cake before we cut it, or that a couple crashed the celebration – going so far as to sign the guestbook and leave a Polaroid! (Billie and Ashley, we’re still looking for you! ;))

A: From the groom:
So much fun. It almost got old with the amount of times people told us how much fun they were having. The speeches were excellent and so heartfelt and thought out. Alexa’s was sweet and sincere. My brother Brett roasted me for 10 minutes and sent the guests into fits of laughter.  And Ari’s father Bill had the perfect amount of sentimental seriousness and laidback humor. The BBQ food was amazing, exactly what we wanted. And once dinner was over, it was great having the music and dancing inside while allowing others to step outside to grab a drink or talk and relax a bit.

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Q: Favorite Moment of your Wedding DAY!

A: From the bride:
Towards the end of the night while everyone was dancing, Andrew looked over at the large fireplace mantle on the stage behind our head table and thought, I think I would like to sit on that. Two of our strongest male guests happened to be standing next to him at the time, and they gave him a boost up.  About a second later I turned around on the dance floor and saw Andrew sitting up on the mantle and I thought “Ok, I either go over to him and end up next to him on that mantle, or I turn around and dance like I never saw anything.”  I chose the former, and within a few seconds I was practically thrown up on top of the mantle.  Without missing a beat, the DJ turned on “Don’t Stop Believin” and someone handed Andrew a bottle of champagne.  For the next four minutes, we sang our hearts out looking out over all of our guests on the stage and dance floor.

A: From the groom:
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 Venue: Mill Valley Outdoor Art Club

Coordination: Couture Events
Photography: One Love Photography
Catering: Stacy Scott Catering
Cinema: Silver Tie Films
Florals: La Fleuriste
DJ: Sutherland Entertainment
Cake: Susie Cakes
Macarons: Sugar Dealer
Rentals: A Party Center
Hair: Tousled by Teddi


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