Thursday, April 28, 2011

sarah + kevin

The sun decided to hide its face on their wedding day, but it didn't prevent Sarah from looking any less radiant on her special day.  (and just a side note: overcast days make for AWESOME lighting b/c there are no shadows!).

Their wedding took place at the Pierpont Inn in Ventura, CA. The ceremony was set on a small lawn surrounded by a gazebo and two cottages, the perfect setting for an intimate wedding.  Everyone was in good spirits--even with the officiant arriving just minutes before the ceremony was supposed to start.   The recessional music beginning as the officiant was trying to give the benediction only had the bride and groom laughing.  It was a joyful day, indeed.

Sarah incorporated a lot of DIY projects in her wedding to make it personalized and unique.  One of my favorites was her guestbook.  Sarah's grandma is an excellent quiltmaker, so guests signed quilt squares that will eventually be turned into a beautiful keepsake.

She also created her own card box by affixing brown ribbon across one side of a suitcase so guests could slide their cards in, and personalized  the other side with pictures of her and Kevin.

One of the more challenging projects on the day-of the wedding was putting up the escort cards.  Sarah hand wrote & stamped all of her escort cards and wanted them to be clipped onto ribbon using clothespins.  Of course, affixing ribbon to a wall with enough tape to hold up about 30 clothespins proved to be easier said than done, but after about an hour of trial and error, and the help of a couple bridesmaids and friends (thank you, Melissa, Devon and Tayler), we were able to make Sarah's vision a reality.

As with every wedding, I learn something new about how to become a better wedding coordinator. Coming into this wedding, I knew sound would be a challenge, primarily because I was still confused as to how the sound would be run during the ceremony -- where the iPod could be plugged in, where the musicians were going to go, etc.  As an events person, I'm overseeing every part of the event from lighting to the flowers, so it's important to have a basic understanding of every component to better solve problems (though you would hope the vendors you hire are an expert at their service).  One aspect of events that I know very little about is sound.  Of course, we ran into some problems since the venue didn't actually have the cords and mics they said they'd provide.  Thankfully, a lot of the groomsmen & close friends of the groom have a very extensive knowledge of sound systems and were able to figure it out (thank you, Michael Kiyoi, Paul Montoy-Wilson, Brian Song, and Nate Vaughan) but if it were left up to me, I'd be scrambling to find a solution.  Thus, I am currently on a personal mission to learn more about how to setup a basic PA system because I want to be more knowledgeable and well-prepared in the event that a venue lacks a sufficient sound technician. 

One of the most rewarding things for me as a wedding planner is seeing the smiles on the bride and groom's faces and knowing they were able to cherish and enjoy every moment.  Problems will arise at every event (I expect them now), but it's how I handle them and who knows about them that counts in the end. It's always interesting hearing from the guests how smoothly everything went, when inside my head I can think of a number of small things (or big things) that went seriously wrong.  But in that moment, I know that I did my job well, and was able to create an environment where everyone could relax.  And at the end of the day, that's what brings me so much joy.
Sarah and Kevin, thank you so much for letting me be part of your special day!

Of course my words could never do it justice, so here are a few words from the Bride and Groom themselves!

Favorite moment of your wedding day --
Sarah: The moment that I saw myself in the mirror, before I walked down the stairs, was when everything feel very real. Seeing myself completely transformed from normal Sarah into a Bride, and feeling those pre-wedding jitters. "It's actually happening and it's happening right now and I look like that!!" was the thought. Then the first looks when I was shaking like mad, the moment praying in the cottage before the ceremony, and walking down the aisle and only being able to see Kevin... that collective hour and a half of my life were my favorite moments.

Kevin: Entering the reception hall and finally seeing all our friends and family gathered to celebrate us, was wild! It was a moment when I really woke up and realized all these people were here for us.

Words of advice for future couples --
Sarah: I have three (and a half) pieces of advice --
             1. Make a decision and go for it: don't fuss too much in the details or you'll stress yourself
                 out. This is especially true for short engagements... just go with it!
             2. Don't be afraid to let loved ones make decisions for you. i.e., I let my little sister choose 
                 the colors, and my maid of honor choose the bridesmaids dresses, and there were a few 
                 other details given to others. I'm so happy I took their advice.
            3.  As long as you, your fiance, someone licensed to wed, and a witness or two all at the same
                 place at the same time.... that's all you need!!! Everything else is extra and can be done
                 away with, no matter what anyone says. (this was our pastor's advice to us)
      3 1/2.  Make eye contact with your husband-to-be while you're going down the aisle. important to
                 remember, and so worth it.

Kevin: Delegate to your friends. Ask for help.
Thank you to Karen of Karen Leah Photography for the amazing photos!

Invitation/Program Design: Daniel Kiyoi

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