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WEDDINGS A PUBLICATION BY SAN JOAQUIN MAGAZINE

SERVING SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY

THE SEASON’S

BEST DRESSES

WINTER 2013

www.sanjoaquinbride.com

a special publication of San Joaquin Magazine

+13 FABULOUS LOCAL WEDDINGS

+ LOCAL FINDS | BEAUTY BUZZ

YOUR LOCAL WEDDING PLANNING & RESOURCE GUIDE


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I n t i m at e | E x q u i si t e | R o m a n t i c | E l e g a n t I n t i m at e v i n e ya r d s u r r o u nd in g s R o m a n t i c a m bi a n c e E x q u i s i t e lo c at i on & w ine s Wedding m asterpiece 17343 N. Cherry Rd Lod i , C A 9 5 2 4 0

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Weddings at

At Wine & Roses, we have the picture-perfect venues to make your wedding dreams a reality. We offer award-winning creative cuisine, exceptional service, luxurious hotel rooms & suites for you and your guests, full service resort spa with preparatory and bridal services & unique gifts, and a private bride’s changing room. We boast a fine dining restaurant and a variety of indoor/outdoor venues to accommodate all of your wedding events including rehearsal dinners, bridal showers, groomsmen dinners, and post wedding gatherings. We offer over twenty years of wedding experience to create your perfect event.


B R E AT H TA K I N G B A L L R O O M • I N T I M AT E C E L L A R R O O M • W E D D I N G GA R D E N S & PAT I O S

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Caz al Complete Wedding Planning F o r Y o u r u n i qu e C e l e b r at i o n

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ou’ve set the date, now is the perfect time to consult with Cazale’s, the area’s premier event planner, to achieve your ideal wedding.

e’s

Whether your vision is for a small intimate gathering or a celebration extraordinaire, your wedding demands a spectacular venue, enchanting atmosphere, delectable menu, inspiring music, and exquisite flowers. Cazale’s breathtaking creative vision is balanced with a full knowledge of complete event planning, allowing you to relax and enjoy your significant day. Dennis and his staff at Cazale’s look forward to helping you create the wedding of your dreams – a celebration that you and your guests will fondly remember for a lifetime.

Your Day, Your Dream, Our Expertise!

Cazales’ Flower

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An Unforgettable Day Deserves An Unforgettable Dress The ultimate in selection, quality, and personal service

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Begin motherhood in good hands.

Looking forward to being a new mom? Motherhood is an amazing journey and the Women & Infants Center in St. Joseph’s beautiful Patient Pavilion is just the place to start. New moms will enjoy the comfort of their own spacious, private rooms, and feel pampered with small perks—like garden views, a hostess who takes bedside meal orders, and freshly baked cookies delivered in the afternoon. At St. Joseph’s, we are dedicated to your comfort, supplying advanced pain management, including epidurals. You’ll feel reassured knowing there are new C-section surgical suites and a state-of-the-art neonatal ICU. St. Joseph’s Medical Center has been awarded prestigious international recognition as a Baby-Friendly® birth facility! The Baby-Friendly® designation honors hospitals that offer an optimal level of care for breastfeeding mothers and their babies. The birth of your baby is a story you’ll share time and time again. Choose the perfect setting—St. Joseph’s Medical Center—where we’ve created a special place for motherhood to begin.

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SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY

WINTER/SPRING 2013

What’s Inside Bridal Event Calendar 16 Talk-worthy Trends 18 Beauty Buzz 26 Inspiration Board 28 Bridal Gown Trends 34 Delta Weddings 42 photography by Briggs Photography

Local Brides & Grooms 50 Local couples share the details of their big day. by Jessica Clare

The Honeymoon 76 Hawaii’s Big Island offers the romantic getaway newlyweds are looking for. by Jennifer Thornton

The Mini-moon: Alisal Ranch 80 Wedding Timeline 82 Wedding Q&A 86 by Jennifer Thornton

Cake Creations 90 Elegant Flowers 92 Resource Directory 95 Back Talk 96 Big day, your way by Jennifer Thornton

PUBLISHER | EDITOR Tony Zoccoli MANAGING EDITOR Jessica Clare CREATIVE DEPARTMENT David Martinez EDITORIAL INQUIRIES jessica@sanjoaquinmagazine.com CONTRIBUTING WRITER Jenn Thornton EDITORIAL INTERN Michele Bird PHOTOGRAPHY Lori Makabe Photography, Briggs Photography, Matthew James Photographers, Darling Photography, Amanda Collins Photography

SALES AND MARKETING DIRECTOR Heather Hilton-Rufo heather@sanjoaquinmagazine.com ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Michelle Cox, Lauren Sturman, Christy Manzeck ACCOUNTING Melissa Peralta EDITORIAL/ADVERTISING OFFICES San Joaquin Weddings 793 S Tracy Blvd., Suite 230 Tracy, CA 95376 Phone: (209) 833-9989 Fax: (209) 833-9979 Email: tony@sanjoaquinmagazine.com www.sanjoaquinbride.com

San Joaquin Weddings magazine accepts freelance contributions, however, there is no guarantee that manuscripts or photography (solicited or unsolicited) will be returned. San Joaquin Weddings magazine assumes no responsibility or liability for claims made by advertisers contained herein. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of San Joaquin Weddings magazine or its parent company, Inside Magazines Publishing Company, or its owners. Inside Magazines is not responsible for typographical errors or omissions. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission from this publisher. Photographs, graphics, and artwork are the property of Inside Magazines Publishing Company. © 2013 Inside Magazines

A PUBLICATION BY SAN JOAQUIN MAGAZINE PRINTED IN THE U.S.A. Visit us on the web at :

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1050 Elkhorn Dr. Stockton, CA 95209

From I-5 take the 8 Mile Exit (East) to Davis Rd. (North)

209.474.3900

www.elkhorngc.com

Once you’ve played here, you will want to join here! Memberships Starting at Just $99 Elkhorn is now Proudly Open to the Public!

Sit-Down & Buffet • ReStauRant & BaR • Banquet facilitieS • hall Rental • Golf couRSe weDDinGS

1050 Elkhorn DriVE, Stockton, cA 95209

Up to 400 People Inside & 500 Including Patio Chandelliers Built in Dance Floor Event Planning

Visit our website at:

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Dates for 2013 Still Available Call Today to Book! Call Kristi

209.477.2200

or kristiyasooelkhorn@att.net

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Bridal

Events

Save the Date Bridal Events in San Joaquin BY: JESSICA CLARE

Valley Wedding Professionals and University Plaza Waterfront Hotel’s Bridal Fair* FEBRUARY 21, STOCKTON

Come join Stockton’s most respected wedding professionals at the beautiful University Plaza Waterfront Hotel as they host this elegant event for brides-to-be, with plenty of informative vendors and other surprises. Prices and times TBA. University Plaza Waterfront Hotel, 110 West Fremont St., Stockton, (209) 944-1140, valleyweddingpros.com

Lincoln Center’s 3rd Annual Strolling Bridal Faire FEBRUARY 23, STOCKTON

Lincoln Center shops open their doors to brides-to-be for a day of leisurely shopping, trunk shows, raffles, and the latest fashions. In addition to a host of great deals and prizes from the participating boutiques, brides can enter to win a stylish Justin Alexander gown. $15 for brides with $10 good toward lunch at participating Lincoln Center restaurants. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Lincoln Center, Stockton, (209) 477-4868, lincolncentershops.com

14th Annual Lodi Bridal Event

Weddings & More Showcase

This annual Lodi bridal show will feature a fashion show, thousands of dollars worth of door prizes from participating merchants, and the chance for brides to win one of two romantic getaways for a truly memorable honeymoon. $12. 1 p.m. – 5 p.m., Lodi Grape Festival Grounds, 413 E Lockeford St, Lodi, bridalevents.info

This is UC Davis’s second bridal showcase, and promises an impressive roster of local wedding pros, from photographers and florists to venues and caterers, to help you figure out who can help you have the wedding you’ve been dreaming about. Keep an eye out for fun details, like photo booths and saucy ideas for your bachelorette party. $5 in advance, $10 at the door. 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., Freeborn Hall at UC Davis, 1 Shields Ave, Davis, (530) 752-4426, weddingsandmore. ucdavis.edu, events@ucdavis.edu

FEBRUARY 24, LODI

An Evening of Bridal Elegance FEBRUARY 26, MODESTO

MARCH 3, DAVIS

Stop by this elegant event for a chance to sample food, take advantage of bridal show discounts, and even win a wedding dress. Expect hot (and haute) trends in their fashion show, plus plenty of prizes. The first one hundred brides to register will receive an “I Do!” wedding planner valued at $50. $15 online, $20 at the door. 6 p.m. – 9 p.m., Double Tree Hotel, 1150 9th St, Modesto, centralcaliforniabridalshow.com

SERVING SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY

* See Our Booth at These Events

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Call now to book your appointment

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Talk-Worthy

Trends

DRESS The

ANNE BARGE CLOTILDE BACK

Portrait Back

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ALITA GRAHAM

Making a romantic, often dramatic, return to form this season is the portrait back bridal gown. Proving that sweet simplicity is anything but, the likes of designers Reem Acra, Anne Barge, Jenny Lee, Monique Luhiller, Claire Pettibone, and Vera Wang pranced out a posh parade of illusionary looks in showstopping silhouettes down the 2013 runways. All unveiled modernized aisle styles designed to bring sexy back from Victorianera primness to contemporary chic, making room for youthful sophistication to emerge. The intricate, classically reimagined trimming takes many shapes, flattering the demure and delicate

Covering San Joaquin County

GENEVIEVE BY CLAIRE PETTIBONE

(with pearl beadings, crystal embellishments, and beautiful lace appliqués) to the all-out sexy (with reworked tulle and openback keyhole closings). Showing a hint of skin while still nodding modest, gossamer backs and low-cut waistlines add glamour that’s both soft and feminine while barely-there embroidery kicks up tradition for an on-trend sartorial expression. Whether donning a sweeping dress featuring cascades of flowing fabric, a dreamy sheath, or exquisite body-con couture, you’ll cut an unforgettable figure in one of these elegant gowns. Now that’s what we call sheer beauty. —Jennifer Thornton


Flowers For your everyday needs

Free Wedding Consultations 2001Pacific ave, stockton Ca 95204

209.933.0630 路 209.505.9510 larosafloral@yahoo.com

Natural Wonders

FRANCO

Event Rental & Decor

We carry a full line of chair covers, napkins, back drops, ceiling decor & specialty linens for all types of events. Call us at:

209.471.2656 or Visit us at:

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Talk-Worthy

Trends

FLOWERS

PROJECT DUO PHOTOGRAPHY

The

  To have and to hold, indeed! Atop the trendy aisle file this season are bejeweled bouquets. Adding glitz and glamour to unforgettable affairs, these heirloom arrangements feature passed-down mementos, pearls of eras past, costume baubles, and vintage timekeepers adorned with fancy frills like cameos, buttons, and unexpected accents (think radiant berries and metallic shells). Both personalizing and prettifying the big day to big effect, custom-created flora puts design within reach and ornaments the ordinary with subtle flourish or grand garnish. Our favorite floral fixations marry rare-find inheritables and timeless touches like

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festoons of lustrous ribbon, layers of lace, iridescent pins, wispy feathers, and ritzy rhinestones. Keeping company with artistic tangles of vintage roses and springy greens, treasured keepsakes come to life, with “something borrowed” becoming the ultimate token of affection. Utterly unique, hand-me-down flowers honor the past but celebrate the future—yours. And, for the bridal party, adorned arrangements give boutonnieres a boost, wake the wilted corsage, and invite head wreaths to bloom anew. Now who wants to be the flower girl? —Jennifer Thornton

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Bejeweled Bouquets


Š 2013 Gabriel Ceballos

annacmakeup.com 209 914 4156 m o d e l h a l e y s u t to n w i t h c a s t i m ag e s s ac r a m e n to

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Talk-Worthy

Trends

DÉCOR The

MATTHEW JAMES PHOTOGRAPHERS

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Angelic Accents

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  In keeping with this season’s lean toward 1920s and 30sthemed affairs, hints of winter white are dressing up wedding day décor from innocent to elegant. While brides are embracing bolder color for their wedding couture (like the candyfloss pink Giambattista Valli gown Jessica Biel donned for her Italian nuptials to Justin Timberlake), its fashionable fairer maiden takes center stage, lending classic occasions a clean, contemporary aesthetic. Adorning everything from glittered tabletops to French lace-fixed chair backs to billowing chiffon wedding canopies, white washes all trimmings. Gem-fringed fabrics (think layers of luxurious organza) look heavenly next to satin-sashed floral arrangements and crisp

Covering San Joaquin County

linens, while glam strands of glistening faux rhinestone garland, shimmering chandeliers, and creative illumination displays suspended over snow-tinted table settings are equally divine. Adding romantic panache are affordable adornments like flickering candles, bespoke wreaths, dreamy feathers, and white-chocolate dessert tables. Taking shape as leather seating and crystal stemware, white glams up the demure by playing off the dramatic. Paired with complementary tones of black and soft pink and mingling beautifully with metallics, this pale beauty is always a classic. White haute, indeed!—Jennifer Thornton


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Talk-Worthy

Trends

FAVORS The

  Couples looking to put a unique stamp on their nuptials are turning to monogrammed ornaments for wedding day favors, but stepping it up with statement makers that are just our type. Initialed candy gets a sweet upgrade with classic calligraphy, and lackluster labels for everything from takeout-inspired containers to retro soda bottles find new life with bespoke inkings. We love BLHDN’s “Mr.” and “Mrs.”etched napkin rings, which double as take-home trinkets guests can integrate into their own tablescapes, while Midori Ribbon has us all wrapped up in custom-printed trimming taking the ordinary gift box from meek to chic! Vintage-inspired affairs benefit from simple accessories featuring

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homespun flair—think wax-paper cookie wrappers and Mason jars jellies bearing “Love” and a handwritten handle, along with custom-inscripted mini chalkboards, small packages of seedlings, and burlap tea bags. And everyone loves a hand-sewn canvas tote—especially when lettered with a missive from the couple or stamped with a wedding date—that can travel beyond reception corridors to the farmers’ market, the beach, and the library book sale. Featured at more formal affairs, monogrammed favors are elegantly yours as fine linen napkins, glass votives, vases and frames, and engraved bottles of bubbly. Cheers! —Jennifer Thornton

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Monogrammed Gifts


209.334.4088 20 W. Locust St. Lodi, CA 95240 M-F 10am-6:00pm Lodi’s most charming & romantic vineyard event and wedding destination

Formerly Wrappin’ Up

Custom Order Accessories, Favors & Gifts for Your Wedding!

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Wedding & Baby Shower Gifts Special Order or Custom Design Party Favors Custom Gift Wrap & Baskets

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We Carry: Lillian Rose Arthur Court Beatriz Ball Bearington Baby Mud Pie & Much More

NOW Open Online Store!

19877 North Davis Rd.•Lodi • (209) 482-8725 www.BareRanchLodi.com • Lori@bareranchlodi.com property shown by appointment

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Buzz

Beauty COMPILED BY: JESSICA CLARE

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You’ve been planning for months; now make sure you have all your beauty details down pat. From accessories to keep you warm to cool new makeup trends, we’ve got you covered for your trip down the aisle.

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CHARITABLE COMFORT

Silver Women’s Glitters by TOMS Be honest—you’ve seen tons of photos on Pinterest of brides rocking sneakers and it’s starting to sound like a great idea. If you want to be comfortable but wear something classier than your worn-in slip-ons, pick up a pair of TOMS in one of their glittery styles. Your feet will thank you, and knowing you’ve donated a pair of shoes to a kid in need will feel pretty good, too. $54. Available at Prêt,15 Downtown Mall, Lodi, (209) 334-2239

METALLIC MANICURE

OPI Nail Lacquer in Moonraker If you’re looking to sneak a little color and shine into your neutral palette, add some umph to your mani/pedi with cool, metallic hues like Moonraker by OPI. $8.50. Available at Versailles Nail Salon, Tracy, (209) 836-1505, versaillessalon.com

} HAUTE LIPS

Super Saturated Lip Colors in Apocalypse, Lovechild, or Naked by Urban Decay Shimmery lip color compliments any makeup style, and these glosses are available in a range of colors, from soft, peachy “Naked” to petal-pink “Lovechild” and brooding “Apocalypse” for brides with a dark side. $19. Available at Sephora, Manteca, (209) 923-6233

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GLITTER GLAMOUR Iridum Clutch by Serupi Marie A bit of sparkle adds some drama to a clean, white palette and compliments just about any color scheme, so accessorize with a sequined clutch like this handmade gem. $230. Available at bhldn.com

COOL COUTURE Northern Lands Vest by Harrison Morgan Crisp weather means woolen accents are both seasonally stylish and functional. This soft, Mongolian lamb’s wool vest will look great against any wintery wedding backdrop. $350. Available at bhldn.com


KEEP WARM Serenity Ear Muffs by Deauvison Planning a snowy destination wedding this winter or spring? Make sure you bundle up with a cold weather essential, like these luxurious rabbit fur and leather earmuffs. $300. Available at bhldn.com

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} RADIANT SKIN

Emotional Brilliance Translucent Powder by Lush Cosmetics This all-natural matte powder works for all skin types, from oily to dry and any combination of the two, and can be used over foundation or on its own to keep your skin looking fresh and shine-free from the when you walk down the aisle to when the reception winds down. $18.95. Available at Lush.com

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NO MORE H20

No Drought Dry Shampoo by Lush Cosmetics Does your ‘do need a refresher before the reception? Rub a little of Lush’s powdered shampoo at the roots to perk up limp locks and keep your hair looking and feeling straight-from-the-shower fresh. $13.95. Available at Lush.com

TOOLS OF THE TRADE

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Studio Pop Brush Set by Smashbox If you’re going DIY with your wedding day makeup, make sure you have the tools for the job—Smashbox’s set comes with their face and cheek, foundation, crease, shadow and liner, and arced liner brush, so no one will know that smoky look wasn’t done by a pro. $60. Available at Ulta, 5410 Pacific Ave, Stockton, (209) 235-1209, ulta.com

} AU NATURALE

Naked Basics Palette by Urban Decay If you’re opting for a fresh-faced look, pick up Urban Decay’s first all matte eye shadow collection in warm neutrals. These earthy tones are a surefire compliment to any color scheme. Available at Sephora, Manteca, (209) 923-6233 sanjoaquinbride.com

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Deco DRAMA! The Twenties roar back with Art Deco flamboyance and finishes synonymous with the era—from Gatsby-inspired backdrops to speakeasy style, anything goes. – J.T.

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Groom Paragon Tux with Bow Tie by After Six Aftersix.com

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Bride Aiguille Gown by Anna Sui, BHLDN.com

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Bridesmaid Beyond Vintage RhinestoneTrim Fringe Dress by Beyond Vintage, NeimanMarcus.com

It’s All in the details…

2.

1. Purple Art Deco-Inspired Wedding Cake by Cheryl Kleinman Cakes Brides.com 2. Custom Garter from Roarke Roarkenyc.com

3.

3. Art Deco Wedding Invitation Amouramour.com.au 4. Peacock Wedding Boutonnieres by Emily K Botanic Studio Etsy.com 28

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Color COUTURE Haute hues for bold brides drench fun affairs in statement-making pigment. Here, red and teal amp up classic black. – J.T.

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Groom Flame Tux by After Six Aftersix.com

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Bride Black and White gown by Jenny Lee, Jennyleebridal.com

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Bridesmaid Cinnabar Dress by Tracy Reese, BLHDN.com

It’s All in the details… 1. Red & Teal Wedding Flowers Ashleysbrideguide.com 2. Aqua & Red Table Setting Weddingbycolor.com

2.

3. Red & Teal Wedding Silkscreen Invite Invitationcrush.com 4. Black, Red, and Teal Wedding Cake by Carolina Cakes Flickr.com 30

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Edwardian

ELEGANCE Pretty trimmings dressed in dusty pink and high-society gowns and garb reimagine steampunk chic, giving modern weddings timeless appeal. – J.T.

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Groom Button Morning Suit with Wool by Marks and Spencer marksandspencer.com

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Bride Lita Gown by BHLDN BLHDN.com

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Bridesmaid Lela Rose in Renaissance Satin (Ivory), Style LR140XX by Lela Rose, Dessy.com

It’s All in the details… 1. Wedding-Band Cake Marthastewartwedding.com

2.

2. Gold and Cream Place Setting Elizabethannedesigns.com 3. Pink Peonies Pinkflowerlove.com 4. Gold Chiavari Chairs Lusheventremtals.com 32

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The premier Stockton florist, for beautifully arranged flowers and gift baskets for any occasion.

ElEgancE of flowErS 1244 n. wilson way, Stockton

620 E. charter way, Stockton

440 w. Harding way, Stockton

2282 E. Yosemite ave, Manteca

209-460-1006

209-944-9600

209-466-7800 209-825-2202

Consultations with our Top Wedding Designers.

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Bridal

Trends

DRESSES AVAILABLE AT

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SPARKLE bridal couture SPECIALISTS IN SIZES 14-30. 

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DRESSES AVAILABLE AT

Bridal

Trends

SPARKLE bridal couture SPECIALISTS IN SIZES 14-30. 

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Bridal

Trends DRESSES BY ALLURE BRIDAL AVAILABLE AT

ELIZABETH

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Bridal

Trends DRESSES BY ALLURE BRIDAL AVAILABLE AT

ELIZABETH

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Bridal

Trends DRESSES BY AUGUSTA JONES AVAILABLE AT

BLISS BRIDAL SALON

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Bridal

Trends DRESSES BY JUSTINE ALEXANDER AVAILABLE AT

BLISS BRIDAL SALON

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Trends DRESSES BY WATTERS BRIDAL AVAILABLE AT

BLISS BRIDAL SALON

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Bridal

Trends DRESSES BY ALFRED SUNG BRIDAL AVAILABLE AT

BLISS BRIDAL SALON

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Delta

WEDDINGS Photographer: Briggs Photography | BriggsPhotography.com | (209) 239-7542 Bridal Looks: Bliss Bridal Salon | 306 Lincoln Center, Stockton | (209) 473-9200 Models: Jackie Williams-Kutzer | Josina Sambrano | Jessica Wilson | Ashley Yu Hair & Make-Up: Megan Marie (Hair) (209) 969-5435 | Anna (Make-up) (209) 914-4156 Flowers: Fiore Floral & Gifts | fiorelinden.com | (209) 887-2019 Location: University Plaza Waterfront Hotel | (209) 944-1140

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Chantal & Jason’s Wedding Resources Photographer: Lori Makabe Photography (707) 374-5272 lorimakabe.com Ceremony & Reception: Viaggio Winery & Estate Acampo Wedding Gown: J’aime Bridal Pleasanton Catering: Viaggio Winery & Estate Acampo DJ Services: Elite Entertainment Stockton Wedding Cake: Something Sweet Bakery Galt Flowers: Embellish Floral Design Stockton

Chantal & Jason Hicks July 7, 2012, Viaggio Winery & Estate, Acampo When Chantal and Jason first met through friends at church, Chantal’s sister jokingly introduced the pair as an arranged marriage. Little did they know how prophetic this statement would turn out to be. “It was kinda just friendship at first,” says Jason, who explains that they weren’t actually interested in dating at first, and definitely had no idea they would wind up exchanging “I dos” on a hot July day a few short years later. “It was more beautiful than we could have imagined,” Jason says of the ceremony, held on the Viaggio’s picaresque grounds. Though their wedding exceeded their expectations, planning it wasn’t always so smooth. “To be honest, it was super stressful,” says Jason, who took on his fair share of the preparations. On top of organizing their wedding, Chantal, a nursing student, was getting ready to transfer schools and transition to a new job, which meant piling paperwork and major changes on top of planning. Luckily, a rare opening at Viaggio helped cut down the couple’s stress. New ownership about a month before the wedding threatened to throw a wrench in their plans, but the transition was easier than Jason expected. “I didn’t tell my wife at the time because I didn’t want to freak her out, but it ended up being a great experience with the new group. They were really kind, and helped out a lot.” Involvement from family and friends added personal touches that made the day most memorable. Chantal’s brother, Kyle Clark, serenaded the duo and played guitar as they entered for the reception, and their friends’ kids acted as ring bearers and the flower girl. “It was just a good day all around,” says Jason. 50

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Videographer: Oyler Video Stockton


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Morgan & Matthew’s Wedding Resources Photographer: Briggs Photography (209) 239-7542 briggsphotography.com Ceremony & Reception: Viaggio Winery & Estate Acampo Wedding Gown & Bridesmaid Dresses: The Elizabeth Lodi Catering: Viaggio Winery & Estate Acampo DJ Services: Elite Entertainment Stockton Wedding Cake: Specialty Cakes Lodi

Morgan & Matthew Davis June 30, 2012, Viaggio Winery & Estate, Acampo Morgan was only in seventh grade when she first met Matthew at a basketball game. They went to different schools back then, and their paths didn’t cross again until high school, when they started dating. The pair split before college. “I guess you could say we went our separate ways, but really he dumped me,” Morgan laughs. But the breakup didn’t stick—Matthew wound up transferring to Azusa Pacific when Morgan was a freshman there, and they reconnected and picked up where they left off. After three years together, Matthew surprised Morgan with a birthday proposal. “He was supposed to be gone at football training camp,” Morgan explains. Instead, he showed up at her birthday party and proposed on the spot, in front of all of their family (who was already in on the surprise). While planning their wedding, Morgan had plenty of help from her mom to stay on track. “She was so organized, constantly on top of things, so we were never behind or overwhelmed by anything. We had a schedule and stuck to it,” Morgan says. The couple also took some time to practice their footwork and took dance lessons with instructor Michael Tackett. “It was awesome practicing with each other leading up to it,” Morgan says. Though she admits it’s overwhelming to plan a wedding, she also had fun with the preparations, and was thrilled with how everything turned out. “You put so much pressure on yourself to be perfect, and it doesn’t even matter on the day. You’re going to have fun no matter what.”

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Hair: Texture Salon Lodi Tuxedos: Tuxedos of Lodi Lodi


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Melissa & Kevin’s Wedding Resources Photographer: Matthew James Photography (209) 625-6349 matthewjamesphoto.com Ceremony & Reception: Sorelle Winery Stockton Wedding Gown & Bridesmaid Dresses: Bliss Bridal Stockton Catering: Rayna’s Gourmet Catering Sacramento Band: ParTime Band Stockton Wedding Cake: M&W Dutch American Bakery Stockton Flowers: PJB Designs Morada

Melissa & Kevin Chase June 23, 2012, Sorelle Winery, Stockton When Melissa and Kevin began planning their wedding, their goal was to create a day that would be truly unique and have plenty of personal touches. Though the couple currently calls Walnut Creek home, both grew up in Stockton and have family here. “We wanted to get married in our hometown,” Melissa says. Sorelle Winery best suit their DIY sensibilities, and offered the flexibility to dress up their wedding with their own furniture and décor. Melissa adds that Sorelle had only done a handful of weddings before theirs, and that was part of the winery’s appeal. “They’re newer, not a place where everyone’s gotten married,” she says. Friends and family pitched in to help with the details—Melissa’s mom does design work, and put together flowers as well. “She pretty much did all the stuff for the wedding as far as the DIY projects,” Melissa says. A friend of the family who works at Wine and Roses, Patty Meyers, helped with day-of coordination, and Melissa definitely recommends bringing someone on board to helm the wedding day organization. The pair also traded the typical DJ for a live band, and Kevin was able to join in for a couple songs, including “Hurts So Good” by John Mellencamp. With such devoted attention to detail, it’s difficult to pick out one high point—from spending the day getting ready with her ten bridesmaids to the first dance with her husband, each piece fell together just right. “It was totally something I’ll always remember,” Melissa says.

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Coordinator: Patty Meyers Lodi


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Claire & Tom’s Wedding Resources Photographer: Lori Makabe Photography (707) 374-5272 lorimakabe.com Ceremony & Reception: Grace Vineyards Galt Wedding Gown & Bridesmaid Dresses: Bliss Bridal Salon Stockton Catering: Grace Vineyards Galt Flowers: Donnelly Floral & Event Design Rio Vista Hair: Denise Surgick, Salon Envy Lodi

Claire & Tom Forsythe July 21, 2012, Grace Vineyards, Galt Claire and Tom met in the most modern of ways—on the Internet. After moving, Claire decided to give Match. com a try. “I relocated up here to Lodi by myself for work and didn’t know anyone, didn’t really know how to go about meeting anyone, and didn’t want to go down to the bars,” she explains. “I had a couple friends who tried it out and they had luck with it.” After about six months with the dating site, she and Tom found each other, and had their first date in downtown Lodi for the Thursday night farmer’s market. “We met at a very public place,” she laughs. After dating for two years, Tom worked up the nerve for a Christmas Eve proposal—almost. “He planned to take me for a walk at Lodi Lake, sit down on a bench and have it be all romantic,” Claire explains. “We went to Lodi Lake and he chickened out.” He regained his courage later that night, and popped the question while getting ready to go see Wendy’s family. “It was very sweet, very unexpected,” she says. Their summer wedding went off without a hitch, despite soaring temperatures. “It was hot, like 105 degrees that day, and everything was outside,” says Wendy. “Our cake melted, but it was OK,” she laughs. For her, aside from the heat, the ceremony was most memorable. “Walking down the aisle, that was a huge deal... Just having everyone there to support us and be there for us, that was really nice,” she says. “Everything’s just a big blur, but it was really wonderful.”

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DJ Services: Elite Entertainment Stockton Tuxedos: Tuxedo Den Vacaville


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Victoria & Ryan’s Wedding Resources Photographer: Amanda Collins Photography (209) 200-3377 amandacollinsphotography.com Ceremony: St. Andrew’s Church Stockton Reception: Stockton Golf & Country Club Stockton Wedding Gown & Bridesmaid Dresses: Alfred Angelo Hair & Makeup Victoria Pena, Salon Avanti Stockton Catering: Stockton Golf & Country Club Stockton Flowers: Cazales Stockton

Victoria & Ryan Turner July 7, 2012, St. Andrew’s Church, Stockton Ryan’s swoon-worthy proposal to Victoria is the stuff of fairytales—“He proposed in Disneyland, which is my favorite place on Earth,” Victoria says. Following dinner at the Blue Bayou, Victoria suggested they have a New Orleans Square caricature artist draw their portrait. “As the artist was drawing a crowd was forming, and I was thinking ‘wow, I guess she’s really good,” Victoria says. Little did she know that Ryan had arranged this session in advance, and when the portrait was turned around, the artist had drawn Ryan on one knee, asking a cartoon version of Victoria, “Will you marry me?” He then pulled out a the engagement ring, cushioned in a glass slipper engraved with romantic sentiments like “It’s been magic since the first date” and “I’ll always strive to be your Prince Charming.” Of course, Victoria said yes. “But there was more—Ryan brought his new fiance to Cinderella’s castle, where a photographer was waiting to take photos of the couple, and then to City Hall on Main Street, where special ordered “Just Engaged” pins and a signed photo of Cinderella—Victoria’s favorite princess—were waiting. It was a really really magical proposal,” she says. “He put a lot of thought into it.” Their wedding was just as carefully thought out, and filled with memorable moments like their sunset photo shoot, surprise fireworks at the end of the reception, and her sister and maid-of-honor’s tear-jerking speech. “I loved walking down the aisle with my dad and having my dad give me away,” Victoria adds.

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Apollonia & Henry’s Wedding Resources Photographer: Darling Photography (209) 406-1374 darlingphotosbyvicki.com Ceremony & Reception: Japanese Garden at Micke Grove Lodi Wedding Gown & Bridesmaid Dresses: Mira Bridal Couture Modesto Tuxedos: Maggie’s Bridal and Formal Stockton DJ Services: Always and Forever DJ Services Stockton Linens: CC’s Specialty Linens Linden Flowers: Costco

Apollonia & Henry Cross August 26, 2012, Japanese Garden at Micke Grove, Lodi “To this day he won’t say he asked me out on a date,” Apollonia says of her now husband, Henry. Their romance began at work, where they became friends and started writing each other notes while working different shifts. Henry called Apollonia on a rare free night and asked what he should do—when she suggested seeing a movie, he suggested she go with him. Whether or not this counted as a date may be debatable, but it definitely marked the beginning of their relationship and was the first step toward their wedding. While planning the big day, Apollonia drew ideas from sites like Pinterest and theknot.com, shows like “Say Yes to the Dress,” wedding magazines, and bridal shows. “The bridal shows were really helpful. You get to see the fashion shows and all the new themes,” Apollonia says. Though she began with a vintage look in mind, venue changes inspired Asian-influenced details to match the Japanese Garden setting. She also enlisted the help of family and friends to tackle ambitious DIY projects, including making the bouquets and centerpieces. “I really enjoyed doing my own flowers,” she says, and adds that the savings were worth the effort. “If you can’t afford to pay for a company to do it, you can do it. It’s not that hard and you can save yourself a lot of money.” The pair also embraced old traditions and made their own broom to top off the ceremony. “When we were getting ready to jump over the broom, our pastor was able to tell guests exactly what that meant and give the history. I think that gave a really good touch and depth to the wedding,” says Apollonia. 60

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Nicole & Brian’s Wedding Resources Photographer: Amanda Collins Photography (209) 200-3377 amandacollinsphotography.com Ceremony & Reception: Commander’s House Stockton Wedding Gown: Maggie’s Bridal Stockton Catering: Scooter’s Lodi Wedding Cheesecake: M&W Dutch American Bakery Stockton Flowers: Jennifer Gianelli Linden Hair & Makeup: Jessica Krahmer Lodi

Nicole & Brian Forsthoff September 1, 2012, Commander’s House at the Port of Stockton Nicole and Brian met while attending Jim Elliot High School in Lodi, but it wasn’t exactly love at first sight. “We went to high school together and we actually played on the same soccer team for three years, but we weren’t really friends,” Nicole explains. However, the pair reconnected after high school, and were both accepted to San Diego colleges—Nicole to UCSD, Brian to CSU San Diego. “We waited to see if we both got into schools before pursuing a relationship,” Nicole says. After three years in San Diego, the couple decided they wanted to be closer to family and moved back to Stockton. “We specifically chose to move back here from a place people come from all over the world to live,” Nicole says. “We really love Stockton.” This hometown love influenced every aspect of their wedding, from the Port of Stockton venue to the Lodi wine and catering. “Our whole focus during our wedding and engagement was keeping things local,” says Nicole. The result was a simple, intimate ceremony and reception that suit Nicole and Brian’s style. “We didn’t really care if everything was in a particular order, we were just relaxing and enjoying ourselves,” says Nicole. For those just beginning planning their big day, Nicole has one word of advice: Relax. “It should be a fun process,” she says. “I think people take it too seriously, but in the end, it’s just going to be fun.” She also encourages couples to relish their engagement. “Being engaged is a very special and short time, and it happens so quickly that you just need to enjoy that and not let the wedding planning take over your life.”

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Wine: Gnarly Head Lodi


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Jennifer & John’s Wedding Resources Flowers and Décor: Cazale’s Flower Shop (209) 466-7971 cazalesflowershop.com Ceremony & Reception: Bare Ranch Lodi Photographer: Tammy Hughes Modesto Wedding Gown: Mira Bridal Couture Modesto Bridesmaid Dresses: Bliss Bridal Salon Stockton Catering: Angelina’s Spaghetti House Stockton Wedding Cake: Something Sweet Bakery Galt DJ Services Elite Entertainment Stockton

Jennifer & John Ludlow September 22, 2012, Bare Ranch, Lodi Jennifer and John met their freshman year in high school, but it took some time before John worked up the courage to call Jennifer one Sunday afternoon in September their senior year. Long conversations and Friday night dates after football games were just the beginning of their journey. John and Jennifer spent the next ten years in Southern California for college and graduate school, and the couple was living in Orange County when John proposed in January 2011. John and Jennifer visited ten places of special significance, beginning with Disneyland and culminating in the presentation of the ring at the top of a lifeguard tower in Newport Beach. Choosing the wedding site was no simple task—Jennifer wanted a place that was close to home and allowed guests to enjoy the beauty of San Joaquin’s wine country. After visiting what seemed like every venue from Livermore to Lodi, they decided on Michael-David Winery’s Bare Ranch. Jennifer was impressed by the beauty of the property and the instant connection she and her mom felt with Lori Phillips, wedding coordinator and problem solver extraordinaire. With the help of her family, friends, and esteemed florist Dennis Specht, choosing the other vendors quickly fell into place. The couple wanted to create a romantic ambiance, with décor including elegant crystal chandeliers, candles, and an abundance of stunning flowers. Rich eggplant purple and royal antique gold were present throughout the flowers, bridesmaid dresses, table numbers, personalized menus, and programs. The bride recalls walking down the aisle as one of the most memorable parts of a day filled with special moments. Jennifer offers a few words of wisdom for brides-to-be: “The day will come and it will fly by quicker than you imagine, so pause, take a deep breath, look around, and soak it all in!” 64

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Videographer: Media Fusion Studios Stockton Transportation: Vintage Limo Lodi


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Katie & Robert’s Wedding Resources Photographer: Emily Heizer Sacramento Ceremony & Reception: Bare Ranch Lodi Wedding Gown: The Elizabeth Lodi Bridesmaid Dresses: Amour sans Anguish Oakland Catering: The Waterloo Stockton DJ Services: Elite Entertainment Stockton Wedding Cake: Frosted Flour Cakery Lodi

Katie & Robert Castillo October 13, 2012, Bare Ranch, Lodi Katie and Rob’s shabby chic wedding was filled with personalized, DIY-details and trimmings. From the handmade bridesmaid dresses to the candy bar, the couple wanted to make sure that their big day was truly theirs. “Bare Ranch was so cool because they let you bring in everything,” Katie says. “You can totally customize your whole wedding the way you want it to be.” A year and a half long engagement gave Katie plenty of time to work out the details—the couple met in 2010 through a mutual friend (who was also a groomsman in their wedding), Dan, who was in a band with Rob. “One night Dan invited me to go hang out with him and one of his bandmates. That’s how I met Rob,” Katie explains. After spending some time talking, the pair hit it off and their relationship grew. On April 15, 2010, their one year anniversary, Rob proposed at a Stockton Ports game. “He got down in front of everyone and asked me to marry him,” Katie says. Though Katie had plenty of time to plan out the big day, the process was not without its hiccups. Their original florist and wedding designer stopped returning phone calls two weeks before the wedding, leaving Katie to find new contacts for flowers, tables, and decor. Luckily, Bare Ranch’s Lori Phillips stepped up and recommended new (and reliable) vendors. “Everything came out better than we planned,” Katie says. “In the end it turned out to be a good thing, but at the time it was super stressful.” For those who’d like a DIY and vintage approach to their own wedding, Katie recommends Etsy as a valuable resource. “I think Etsy is really underrated as a place to go and get stuff. It’s a lot less expensive and you get things that are unique and one of a kind,” she says. 66

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Flowers: Awesome Blossoms Tracy Hair: Ciao Bella Lodi


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Julia & Jason’s Wedding Resources Flowers & Event Design: Cazale’s Flower Shop (209) 466-7971 cazalesflowershop.com Photographer: Photos by Angie Modesto Ceremony & Reception: Stockton Golf & Country Club Stockton Wedding Gown & Bridesmaid Dresses: Bliss Stockton Cake: Creative Cakes by Debra Modesto Catering: Stockton Golf & Country Club Stockton

Julia & Jason Faria June 2, 2012, Stockton Golf & Country Club, Stockton For many brides, turning over total control of their wedding might sound like a terrifying thing to do. Julia Faria did just that, and gave her uncle free reign over the design and decision-making. Of course, when your uncle is Dennis Specht, owner of Cazale’s Flower Shop, Julia could be sure any surprises would be pleasant ones. “She totally loves my taste and what I do,” says Dennis. He carefully mapped out every detail, from the pink peonies and cocktails to match Julia’s color palette to the quirky start time—7:21 p.m. “With the weird time, people take note of it...People are more likely to be on time, it’s more of a conversation piece, and people remember it,” says Dennis. The time also coincided with the sunset so the lighting would add to the ambiance of the ceremony and reception and be optimal for great photos. All of his meticulous planning paid off and his niece had the fairytale wedding many dream of, minus the stress of planning. “I was completely surprised,” Julia says, recalling her first glimpse at her uncle’s work. “It was breathtaking. I was in utter shock. I couldn’t see anything at first until I walked into the reception and it was just pink and pretty and bright and elegant all in one. It was just insane.” As a foodie and a chef for The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards, the food was of serious importance to Julia. “That was one of the things I cared most about,” she says, and she was not disappointed. “The food was the best ever. I ate everything. I ate absolutely everything.” For daring brides who are brave enough for big surprises at their wedding, Julia says that trust is most important. “Really make sure that you see the person’s work and their experience and if you trust them, go for it, because it’s a lot less stressful,” she says. For her, it worked out beautifully. “I had the best wedding ever. Everyone I’ve seen after the wedding says, ‘It was the best wedding I’ve ever been to. Can you guys get married again?” 68

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DJ Services: Exclusive DJ Company Stockton Invitations & Announcements: In Good Company Design Stockton Hair & Makeup: Beauty Lounge Brentwood


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Amanda & Jordan’s Wedding Resources Photographer: Matthew James Photographers (209) 625-6349 matthewjamesphoto.com Ceremony & Reception: Castlewood Country Club Pleasanton Wedding Gown: Mira’s Bridal Modesto Bridesmaid Dresses: David’s Bridal Modesto Catering: Castlewood Country Club Pleasanton Flowers: Bloomies on Main Pleasanton Hair: Peaches & Cream Salon Tracy

Amanda & Jordan Damm August 3, 2012, Castlewood Country Club, Pleasanton Amanda and Jordan had been together five years when he popped the question—“He proposed the day we got the keys to our brand new house,” she explains. “It was very romantic and caught me off guard.” Their brief engagement may have left some brides in a planning panic, but Amanda breezed through the details. “We booked the venue in March and the wedding was in August,” she says. “Planning was very stress free. I think that’s because we had such amazing vendors, they took care of all the tiny details so the day before and the day of the wedding were very stress free, very fun and relaxing.” And things turned out as picturesque as the pair hoped—“I loved the ceremony,” says Amanda. “I loved the setting. We were under a large oak tree and the sun was sort of setting so it just created this gorgeous backdrop.” The couple opted to skip the formality of a head table, keeping the reception intimate and freeing up their bridal party to sit with their significant others. “We wanted that relaxed, comfortable atmosphere being with our loved ones,” Amanda says. “It was such a fun day.” For those still mapping out their own nuptials, Amanda recommends to relax. “Don’t worry about the nitty gritty details. Do what’s best for you and your new husband. Make sure that you’re not out there to please your whole family or anybody else. You’re just out there to have the day you want,” she says. And most importantly, she adds, “Soak in the moment, experience it, take it all in as often as you can.” 70

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Lidia & Alfred’s Wedding Resources Photographer: Darling Photography (209) 406-1374 darlingphotosbyvicki.com Ceremony: Church of the Presentation Stockton Reception: The Merlot Lodi Wedding Gown: Bianca’s Bridal Couture Modesto Catering: De Parsia’s Restaurant & Catering Stockton Wedding Cake: M & W Dutch American Bakery Stockton Flowers: Alex Floral Co Stockton

Lidia & Alfred Medrano September 1, 2012, Church of the Presentation, Stockton Lidia and Alfred had been together almost a decade when they tied the knot. The couple met in high school, when Lidia was a sophomore and Alfred was a senior at Stagg. “We met in one of our classes that we had together and from there it just continued,” Lidia says. Lidia and Alfred’s two daughters, Kaylene and Audrina, were part of the wedding party as a junior bridesmaid and flower girl. “It was very special to me because they were able to participate in something to keep us as one,” Lidia says. After the ceremony, their videographer pulled the pair aside to recite their own vows in private. “We got to say more, have more personal touches, and I could just have that moment with him and be able to say I love him more than anything,” says Lidia. As for the preparations, Lidia advises brides not to sweat the small stuff. “Focus on the big details, let go of the little details, and at the end of the day you’ll be happier,” she says. “What matters is if everyone had fun and especially if you had fun.” For her, the most stressful part of getting ready was working around everyones’ schedule—with seven bridesmaids, seven groomsmen, plus junior bridesmaids, junior groomsmen, and flower girls involved, finding times for everyone to be together was no small task. However, having so many people involved was also a relief with so much planning to do. “Sometimes I had my down days and sometimes I didn’t have everything together, but I had my bridesmaids there to help,” Lidia says. Lidia’s number one piece of advice for brides-to-be? “Don’t be a bridezilla!” she laughs.

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Wendy & Kevin’s Wedding Resources Photographer: Briggs Photography (209) 239-7542 briggsphotography.com Ceremony & Reception: Wine & Roses Lodi Wedding Gown: David’s Bridal Roseville Bridesmaid Dresses: J Crew Catering: Wine & Roses Lodi DJ Services: Elite Entertainment Stockton

Wendy & Kevin Kawada September 30, 2012, Wine & Roses, Lodi Wendy and Kevin first met while studying culinary arts at San Joaquin Delta College, where they had classes together. It wasn’t until Kevin moved to New York for an internship that the pair’s relationship developed romantic inclinations. After a year on the East Coast, Kevin moved back to Stockton, just in time for Wendy to move to San Francisco. “We were long distance for a while, and eventually he moved to San Francisco with me,” Wendy explains. When the couple decided to tie the knot, they looked toward their hometown to find a venue. “Part of it was the cost. It’s really expensive in San Francisco, and also because of the size of our wedding. We had about two hundred people, and there aren’t too many places in the city that can hold that many people,” Wendy says. Planning a wedding from afar had its challenges, and demanded plenty of driving from San Francisco to meet with their San Joaquin vendors. “We didn’t have a planner, but Wine and Roses helped us out a lot,” Wendy says. The effort paid off, however, and the wedding was a beautiful, friend and family-filled affair. Though she was nervous about being watched by two hundred people, the sweet and simple service was the most memorable part of the day for Wendy. “It was actually the part I was scared of the most, but it turned out to be my favorite,” she says. “We didn’t write our own vows because neither of us wanted to start bawling or crying.”

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Honeymoon

BIG!

Fantasy is reality at the Hilton Waikoloa Village, a honeymooning hotspot on Hawaii Island. BY JENNIFER THORNTON

It’s a cliché, really, the Hawaiian honeymoon. The swaying palms, the lush milieu, the swoony beach scenes—no big surprises, it’s all here in spades, and has been for years. But there’s a reason this top-of-thedocket destination is still engaging ‘mooners after all these years; actually, there’s about five million, but you have to draw a line in the sand somewhere (thankfully, in Hawaii, that’s just about everywhere). If you’ve been to this Pacific paradise, you’re nodding your head in enthusiastic agreement; if not, the spirit of aloha is waiting to greet you—and yours—at the Hilton Waikoloa Village on Hawaii Island, where the lava flows meet the sea.

Overlooking shimmering aquamarine seas off the golden-baked shores of Kohala Coast and shrouded in a profusion of glorious exotic flora, the oceanfront Hilton Waikoloa Village—sited within the perennially sunny and, with 1,350 acres to its credit, sprawling Waikoloa Beach Resort—takes splendiferous shape on 62 acres. Looking at this expansive Polynesian-inspired property today—one boasting buzzing culinary, cultural, shopping, and activity scenes, plus 1,240 guest rooms and suites, an indulgent spa, and related flourishes all on site—it’s hard to believe that such great shakes were once a mere scribble. (Improbably, developer Chris Hemmeter drafted initial plans for the oasis on, of all things, a cocktail napkin.) Now fully realized, this dream hotel offers something for everyone, which is particularly good news for lovers, who can relish the idea of cozying up amid calm waterways, garden settings, gushing waterfalls and abundant wildlife, or on sunset-tinted rambles down to the water accompanied by tan-

Big Sur Highway 1

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gles of nature teeming with color and life. And, with three tranquil pools, a private ocean-fed snorkeling lagoon, and access to historic King’s Trail edging the hotel’s magnificent shoreline, there’s plenty of chances for privacy. Securing total seclusion are the aforementioned accommodations. Spaciously speckled throughout three towers facing a trio of astounding settings—the ocean, Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa mountains, and the lushly flanked lagoon—all deliver the goods, which include private lanais and amenities aplenty. Lovebirds, however, will find an ideal nest in one of 58 suites—each with more space than the average house, plus spoils galore (chief among them, locale—you’re in Hawaii, so it’s a win-win either way). As inviting as these surrounds are (and they simply sing with a few candles and a nice playlist piped in), exterior environs are equally enticing, with a wealth of opportunities on property kicking up the convenience factor for unlikely amblers. Top billing goes to aquatic adventure. Hope you like your H20, because if you’re not frolicking in the ocean or another dipping spot (Look, there’s a Jacuzzi! Oh cute, a tide pool!), you’ll probably be in the four-acre lagoon scoping tropical fish or scanning for green sea tur-

tles, or skimming its surface in a kayak, paddleboat, or water bike. Offshore, Pacific seas in Waialua Bay and Anaeho’omalu Bay beckon for snorkeling, scuba, whale watching—the works. Further afield but just quick whisk away by boat, honeymooners will discover a private, black-sand beach built by ancient lava flows. Suffice it to say, turning up the heat is a nonissue. Joining these prospects is Dolphin Quest. Hilton Waikoloa Village is the only hotel in Hawaii to offer a bona fide dolphin encounter on its property. Don’t leave without giving it a go. Forget what you know about dolphins—there’s a lot more to “Flipper” than you may realize—this fantasy meeting puts land mammals face-toface with their undersea counterparts. A splash around with these ultra-intelligent creatures is nothing short of magical and a highlight of staying here. On land, everything from tennis and equestrian exploits to hiking and golf is available, as well as opportunities for artistic and cultural immersion. Naturally, the “Legends of the Pacific” luau is essential viewing. At first thought, yes, the idea of ukuleles, tiki torches, and coconut shell bras is a little cheesy—and it would be, if staged at the mall. Here, it’s laced with a sense

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Honeymoon

DAY-TRIP:

KAILUA-KONA Perks of shoring up at the Hilton Waikola Village include proximity to the how-cute-is-this town of Kailua-Kona. Situated about twenty-five minutes from the Hilton Waikoloa, this sleepy fishing village-turned-lively seaside enclave in the heart of the sunny Kona Coast boasts an Old Hawaii vibe (island royalty routinely summered here) with historic sites (a few of them National Historic Landmarks), statues and monuments to the Islands’ glory days mingling with an array with shops, restaurants, and nightlife. Kailua Pier is also the starting and finishing line for the Ironman World Championship, so if planning a honeymoon in October, expect traffic and a scene like no other. From this outpost, the buzzword is “coffee.” You’ll find it in abundance, with Kona’s beans enjoying a small celebrity among the ranks of java enthusiasts. Trekkers will want to follow their nose through the rainforest to Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation for some really good guzzles (try the Organic Cloud Forest Reserve) or take a quirky tour of the Kona Mountain Coffee Visitor Center to glimpse the area’s agricultural past in a surprisingly engaging way. Shells are big here too, and not just those scattered along the shoreline. We’re talking the traveling variety. Home to sea turtles galore, Kaloko-Honokohau National Park shelters these beautiful meandering creatures (please maintain the “twenty feet away” rule) as well as tide pools, shallow ponds, lava rocks and a plethora of mossy plants. go-hawaii.com

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of authenticity. Of course, exuberant hula cannot be escaped, but it’s performed way better than when you last saw it (on a booze cruise), so do yourself a favor and RSVP for this one. (And, who knows fellas, with a little luck and some laser-like attention by the missus, you might just score a private-viewing of this shimmy on down the road, so don’t be quick to write it off as hokey.) The porthole into local culture continues via the hotel’s mile-long Museum Walkway. Considered the largest art gallery on Hawaii Island, it showcases $7 million worth of Pacific Rim treasures. In total 1,800 pieces of art are spotlighted, with Petroglyph carvings earning especially high marks. And yes, while you could take a coconut husking tutorial with your sweetie, a better bet is arranging for a romantic boat dinner picnic on the canal, if you get my drift, or sipping fruity cocktails while soaking in stunning sunset displays, complete with fire runners and soundings of the conch shell, while snuggled up in a private poolside cabana or a hammock (your call, and they’re both good ones). Of course, no one needs to sell honeymooners on a spa, and on this score Hilton Waikoloa Village’s Kohala Spa delivers, too. At 25,000 square feet, this ode to indigenous Hawaiian indulgence introduces a therapeutic dimension based on modern technique and local hospitality within a European-style backdrop. The mingling of traditions and slate of regional-inspired therapies amounts to one big “ahhh.” The list of possible refreshers, all featuring luxurious Coco-Mango products, borders ridiculous—you want it, it’s here. But for couples, the deceptively simple Seaside Massage will rub you the right way. Though

missing the bells and whistles of some of the more progressive Pacific pampering going on here (like cooling by Ti leaf and Fijian scalp massage), you can expect a solid rubdown within earshot of the ocean that will lull, calm, and ground you. (It’ll also put you in the mood, so to speak, but that’s your business.) If you want to amp things up, feel free. The Orchid Isle Couples Journey comes with a massage and a pedi for two. Gussied up and nowhere to go? Au contraire, lovers—Hawaii Island is no slouch in the romance department. The whole atoll is an incubator for the quixotic, home to the world’s largest active volcano, the herculean Mauna Loa; the state’s longest sheer-drop waterfall, Akaka Falls; black-, pink-, white-, and green-sand beaches (admit it, you didn’t even know the latter category existed till just now); and, when measured from ocean floor to peak tip, the world’s biggest mountain in Mauna Kea. Squire your newly anointed up here and peek through one of the telescopes to see ninety percent of the stars visible from this lookout point. Indeed, Hawaii Island is a universe of possibilities and, at the Hilton Waikoloa Village, all is uniquely within your orbit. Rates start at $199 per night, based on double occupancy.

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■ Enjoy a Golf or Social Membership ■ A Beautiful clubhouse with amazing views of the Delta ■ Grand ballroom seating of 400 overlooking the San Joaquin River ■ Sit down service, buffets and food stations ■ Full Service for receptions, luncheons, seminars, anniversaries, etc. ■ Event coordinators at your service ■ Dates for 2013 still available ■ Fitness Center, trainers and pool facilities ■ Junior Golf Programs & Junior Swim Team

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Mini-Moon

GIDDY UP!

Head into the sunset at Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort BY JENNIFER THORNTON

Dust off your dungarees—Alisal Guest Ranch and Resort, a 10,000acre working cattle ranch tucked away in the sweeping Santa Ynez Valley just outside Solvang, is giving the Old West a luxurious reboot.    A vacationing tradition for A-list luminaries since opening in 1946—everyone from Clark Gable to Kevin Costner has bunked here—the privately owned Alisal is a heritage-rich hideaway like no other. Benefitting from a coveted address in the Santa Barbara wine country— think thousands of centuries-old oaks and sycamores—this secluded, full-service outpost houses seventy-three California ranch-style studio cottages and suites, all decked in frontier-inspired trimmings and outfitted for maximum comfort by way of laid-back but live-large accoutrements (except TVs, which mini-mooners won’t miss). These plus a fitness center and spa, pool and poolside pavilion, game room, tennis center and two eighteen hole championship golf courses, as well as gussied-up dining options, all conspire to put you at home on the range.    Though you won’t be “roughing it” here (wine replaces whiskey), you will have a rootin’ tootin’ good time. From archery to angling to hiking to water sports (Alisal boasts a 100-acre spring-fed lake), there isn’t much left off the activity slate.

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But it’s the horseback riding that really wows. Saddle a steed for a scenic sojourn through rolling hills, deep canyons, and rocky riverbeds. Among the very best equestrian excursions is the Breakfast Ride. Reimagining cowboy “culture,” this signature event at historic Adobe Camp culminates with a blazing campfire, hearty breakfast buffet (think stacks of “flapjacks”), and singing cowboys to boot. Those not up for wrangling are welcome to hitch a ride on the hay wagon.   For both aspiring and accomplished equestrians, the Alisal Rodeo will rope you right in, as will the generous spread of western barbecue, rousing two-step and line-dance lessons that follows. Later, at Santa Ynez’s historic Maverick Saloon, the anything-goes vibe of this diamondsand-denim dive will spur you to kick up your boots once again.   Meanwhile, back at the ranch, where cozy surrounds mingle with the spoils of wide-open spaces, rustic-chic environs will coax you into hanging your hat. Uncork a Santa Barbara vintage, nestle up to your sweetheart and strike up a fire—you’ve met your match.

Covering San Joaquin County

Packages are offered year-round, including the popular Couple’s Boot Camp and Wine & Roses Romance Package. Rates and information available at alisal.com


Morris Chapel On the beautiful campus of the University of the Pacific

There are still plenty of openings to book your 2013 wedding at Morris Chapel.

Call for information and a personal tour. Call 209.946.2538 3601 Pacific Ave. • Stockton

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as soon as you’re engaged

as soon as you’re engaged: Get Prepared • Set a Budget • Discuss Time Frame and Dates

THE PLAN

Countdown to the Big Day 9-12 Months to Go:

4-6 Months to Go:

Envision the big picture • Do your research • Put an organization system in place • Pick a date • Book venues for the ceremony and reception • Send out save-the-dates • Set spending limits; budget in shared expenses • Consult with clergy • Start to compile guest list • Hire a wedding planner, if necessary • Shop around for vendors • Select a theme and colors • Choose the wedding party • Hunt down a gown • Start a gift registry

Consider the details • Check wedding license requirements • Coordinate colors and themes with vendors • Select ceremonial details (music, readings) • Order wedding cake • Order wedding rings • Bring in the pros: choose the caterer, florist, officiant, photographer/videographers, and entertainment • Hire your glam squad (hair stylist, makeup artist) • Arrange the honeymoon • Find a location for the rehearsal dinner • Book wedding night accommodations • Determine attire for groom and wedding attendants • Order guest favors • Register for gifts

2 Months to Go: Leave nothing to chance • Send out invites • Plan the rehearsal dinner • Coordinate and prepare for out-of-town guests • Schedule hair and makeup appointments • Prep documents if you are changing your name • Take final guest count • Confirm the catering plan • Plan bachelor and bachelorette parties • Pick up wedding rings • Make travel and hospitality arrangements for out-of-town guests • Script wedding vows, if necessary • Take stock of wedding day accessories (garter, rings, pillow)

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Organize, Organize ! Set budget Discuss time frame and dates Determine wedding basics: formal vs. informal indoor vs. outdoor day vs. night in - town vs. destination


Historical Landmark Phone inquiries to event coordinator

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az Come Visit our new location photos courtesy of NEWVINTAGE PHOTOGRAPHY

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as soon as you’re engaged

as soon as you’re engaged: Get Prepared • Set a Budget • Discuss Time Frame and Dates

1 Month to Go:

2 Weeks Away…

You’re really doing this • Schedule final gown and formalwear fittings • Confirm ceremonial details with vendors and officiant • Finalize transportation details • Get marriage license (at least 30 days prior to the wedding) • Arrange for a “practice” hair and makeup session

• Finalize the entertainment • Determine the music set list • Finalize seating chart for the reception • Track down missing RSVPs

1 Week Away…

1 Day Away…

The Big Day…

• • • •

• Wake up to a massage and a mani/pedi • Confirm wedding day transportation • Set aside vendor tips and payments • Run down the wedding day plan • Host the rehearsal dinner; hand out gifts, if necessary

Have the best day of your life!

Pick up your dress Pack for the honeymoon Gather travel documents Work in your wedding heels around the house • Delegate everything you can!

live happily ever after... 84

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Wedding

Etiquette When is sharing wedded bliss TMI? Changing your Facebook status from “Ms.” to “Mrs.” midreception crosses the line. It also indicates a preoccupation with yourself that others—like, say, your still-single ‘maids— may find obnoxious. Tread carefully when sharing news. Sacred excitement to you (“OMG, you should see me in this gown!”) may be mistaken as bragging by others, so before you post, tweet, or change your status, assess if the masses really need to be alerted. Keep in mind that a play-by-play of the cake tasting is not as likely to generate interest from your inner circle in the way that the actual cake cutting will on the big stage—nor will it be as warmly received. Sharing is still caring, but about others’ feelings, too. Can I ban cell phones? Cells phones are everywhere (even near, and sometimes at, the altar), so prancing around giving orders like a dictator— and then monitoring like a henchman—is not reasonable nor gracious. Hopefully, those on your guest list have a rudimentary understanding of tech etiquette. Still, everyone needs the occasional brush up, so politely extend a courtesy reminder to guests to mind their mobile manners by silencing their cell phones. Stash tactful missives in places they won’t go unnoticed—guest book, programs, etc. A less-appealing but still acceptable option is to have someone with more weight make a cordial announcement before events get underway—no one wants to mess with the MOB and the marriage officiant can usually be counted upon for clout. Should I appoint an official tweeter? Laugh, but an increasing amount of couples are assigning social media duties to a trusted friend to keep everyone in the loop while they go about the business of getting married. The best man is busy with rings, speeches, and groom duties, and the MOB is usually in tears, so this leaves the honors to a reliable, non-bridal-party friend. Ask the designee to take a no-harm-no-foul approach to tweeting—think only milestone moments, not “live-tweeting” (a series of tweets posted in rapid succession).

Q&A Once the ring goes on the finger, it seems like everybody suddenly has an opinion on how to plan your perfect wedding. It can be exhausting, and with so many details to keep track of, it’s easy to forget the dos and don’ts of wedding etiquette. We’ve got the answers to your most pressing questions to help you avoid wedding day drama. 86

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When can I say “no” to smartphone photo ops? There are many reasons couples ixnay the smartphone paparazzi—for starters, they don’t want anyone left off the invite list attending via Twitter and Facebook then posting snarky commentary afterwards. While snapping a few shots with a smartphone is more than acceptable, it’s OK to ask guests to do so only during the big moments (first dance, reception entrance, etc). Trailing the couple with an iPhone like TMZ is not cool, nor is sharing video of unbecoming moments recorded without your consent (you just knew that open bar would come back to bite you!). It’s OK to graciously ask guests to refrain from recording or posting unflattering or offensive content that might reflect poorly on your wedding. Is it OK to Skype my wedding? Absolutely. Appoint a designated Skype facilitator to record the ceremony for guests who cannot make it. Some couples resort to setting a full-on Skype station, but if possible, opt for something more discreet (a slim iPhone works wonders). Skirt shaky connection woes by ensuring, pre-ceremony, that Wi-Fi is available. But Skyping shouldn’t be a free for all, either. Appoint one person you trust to handle it and power down once the deed is done.


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Cake

Considerations

Elegantcakes

Cake Considerations An ideal wedding cake should hit the sweet spot. To find the object of your confection, keep the following factors in mind.

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DO YOUR HOMEWORK: Collect wedding cake photos and other things that inspire you to share with your wedding cake confectioner.

EYE BEFORE YOU BUY: Don’t be in a sugar rush to make a decision. Ask questions, sample the goods, and be open to other ideas.

BAKERY: Before settling on a particular cake maker, shop around. Find a baker who is open to your vision, and has the skills and experience to execute it.

CONSIDER THE LOGISTICS: It’s okay to be sweet on style as long as you’ve thought about the nuts and bolts of cake-making. Arrange a complimentary tasting, discuss plate/pillar rental fees and delivery costs, and be aware of payment and cancellation policies.

sanjoaquinbride.com

MAKE IT YOURS: A cake should complement your individual aisle style and your wedding’s theme, color, and attire. It should also reflect the couple it celebrates, so use monograms, bridal gown accents (think lace and ribbon), or another unique touch to personalize it.

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Flower

Considerations

Elegant flowers Flower Power When it comes to picking out flowers for your wedding, don’t be a late bloomer; plan ahead to make sure that everything will come up roses on your big day.

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Flower

Considerations

MAKE ARRANGEMENTS: Find a collaborative floral designer with whom you connect. Reputable florists will be able to supply references and a work portfolio.

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IDENTIFY YOUR NEEDS: Simple backyard weddings may call for a do-it-yourself bouquet of wildflowers and a discreet boutonniere, while formal occasions of size usually require a long list of intricate florals for everything from groomsmen and ring bearer corsages to botanical-rich table-toppers and cake-accenting rose petals.

Covering San Joaquin County

SET A BUDGET: Although fiscal demands of weddings vary depending on their elaborateness, plan on setting aside about 8 to 10 percent of your total budget for flowers.

STICK TO YOUR STYLE: Not only should blooms be season and style appropriate, they should also complement bridal party attire (especially the bride’s gown), venue, theme, and color palette. Bring fabric and/or color swatches to meetings with florists.


n

Back Talk

Big Day,

Your Way A veil is one thing, but a tiara? Head’s up, princess, you’re acting like a royal pain. Here is the bad bride behavior we want to see banished. —By Jennifer Thornton

Giving your guy no say.

He scuffed up his knee, sprung for insane bling, and gave the pink décor a thumbs-up. The man deserves a little Metallica at the reception.

Draining your parents’ 401K.

Start with the ice sculptures and the Cirque de Soliel-like stunt performers and pare down from there.

Expecting gifts from the uninvited. Just wrong, period.

Making ‘maids feel like second-class citizens.

They don’t have money for a limo and can’t afford couture, but do love you despite your demands. Get over it and say thanks.

Berating the wedding planner.

If you really knew how to do everything, you’d be certified to do so. Right now you’re just certifiable.

Throwing tantrums.

No, it’s not OK to scream at the top of your lungs. Ever. Get a massage.

Setting up a fantasy gift registry.

Shopping for Waterford crystal on a Crock Pot budget—harder than you think.

Keeping everyone waiting.

Holding up the show an hour-plus longer than go-time while your glam squad acquiesces to your every demand is obnoxious. Your day does not literally mean your day.

Talking about your wedding 24/7. Obsessing about every detail is a good way to alienate your family and friends. Look, a whole world outside your realm!

Dressing down vendors.

You hired them—surely someone knows what they’re doing.

96

San Joaquin Weddings

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San Joaqquin Weddings Winter 2013  

San Joaqquin Weddings Winter 2013

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