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Heidi Title_key Molly

Real Wedding
gallery Jun 23 2020
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An Intimate California Wedding at Heritage House Resort

Tell us your love story!

Heidi: We had several mutual friends from LiveJournal and Twitter communities for fans of a few specific bands (Fall Out Boy, Panic! at the Disco, etc.), and I kept noticing my friends talking to this smart, interesting person I wanted to know, so I started following them on Twitter. We kept discovering more things we had incommon, having lengthy conversations in private messages, and eventually collaborating on a creative project together that just meant even more talking and discovering. Molly confessed they had feelings for me and I was thrilled! Not long after that I planned a visit (they live in San Francisco and at the time I lived in Vermont), and meeting in person was like meeting someone I’d known my whole life. That visit was in February; in May of the same year I moved across the country to live with them. A wild leap of faith, but I just knew it would work, and I haven’t looked back.

What about the proposal?

Heidi: I knew Molly was planning to propose around Christmas, so I was getting increasingly excited as it got closer. We travel from San Francisco to visit my family in Vermont every year, which involves a full day of travel and usually a lot of sitting around an airport late at night waiting for our last connection. During that wait, Molly confessed they hadn’t actually gotten a ring and I would have to bring them shopping in the few days before Christmas. It worked out really well, because my sister worked at a jewelry counter at the time so I went to her to help me pick something out, we found my dream ring, and then I sat in a cafe while Molly shopped so I didn’t actually know if they went to my sister or picked something outon their own.

On the day of, when we were mostly finished with presents, I unwrapped my gift from Molly to find a cute, more casual ring they had picked out for me, and then they told me that wasn’t the only ring I was getting. My mother gasped so loudly you could probably hear it states away as Molly got down on one knee - and immediatelygot swarmed by my parents’ dog! - to propose. There was my dream ring, and also my dream person, and in my excitement I almost forgot to actually say yes!

When did you know that you were meant to be with each other?

Heidi: I don’t know that there was any one moment! There have been a thousand little things that just reaffirm it, over and over since I moved. Being around Molly makes me feel like a better version of myself, and I knew very early on I wanted to be that version forever.

Going into the wedding planning, what did you definitely know?

Heidi: I knew I wanted to get married in Mendocino County where Molly grew up because both the coast and the inland are gorgeous, and that we wanted to be outdoors. Also a lot of people would be traveling so we wanted our wedding somewhere people could stay, to take some of the planning stress out of it for people who were coming a long way for us!

What surprised you during planning? What was easy, what was difficult?

Heidi: I was surprised by how little I ended up wanting to do myself. I was out of work and planning the wedding was basically my full-time job, but even then I would find myself staring down the barrel of assembling favors or hand-painting place cards or DIY floral arrangements and nearly always make the call to pay someone else to take care of it. I’m a very crafty person but the time investment, the need to have everything Just Right, and the amount of space it would take up to store materials and finished products in our tiny apartment was just a little too much.

Molly: The vendors all know each other. This helped us out in a few ways, most notably when the DJ we initially hired had to cancel a month out and suggested an excellent alternative. But it also made for an awkward 5 minutes between our back-to-back interviews with florists who turned out to be friends.

Is there anything you wish you knew while you were planning your wedding thatyou know now?

Heidi: The fewer things that need to be Perfect, the better. I had two things that I wanted to go Perfectly, and many many things that didn’t need precise timing or people to be in exactly the right places or six different moving pieces to line up, and there were many little hiccups throughout the day but the ones that really devastate me were with the two things that needed to be Perfect. The more you can stick to concepts and not details when you build the image of your perfect day, the more relaxing it will be! Do you need your tables to be named with in-jokes perfectly tailored to the people at each table (entirely thrown off by a minor printing error neither of us caught in the proofs) or just cute things that feel like You? Do you need to enter the reception to a precisely-timed piece of music for maximum dramatic effect, or just pick a song you like?

Any advice for couples planning weddings now? Anything you would have donedifferently or anything you’d like to add?

Heidi: 1. Pick a point person for your wedding and give them more information than they need, more tasks than you think you should, and lean on them hard. Our point person was wonderful, but I only fully utilized her on the day of the ceremony, so the day before when I had a killer migraine I still had to contend with a full list of tasks to either do or delegate when I could barely remember my name. 2. Don’t be afraid to say no to people. I’m a big people pleaser at the best of times, and I was afraid of being branded a “bridezilla”, so I would try to be accommodating of suggestions, ideas, and offers that didn’t work with what we wanted for our day and then I would be stuck with the labor of making them work for us. If you’re accepting money from people, let them have a say in some things, for sure, but there is nothing wrong with knowing what you want and what you don’t and being gentle but firm about it. 3. Budget more than you think you need for everything. Obviously this isn’t always possible! But however much you can do will help take the pressure off. Most budget advice I saw recommended having a specific cushion of some percentage of your total budget, and we did that, but I also did my best to overestimate how much we would need for things so each category (food, apparel, etc) had its own cushion as well.

Molly: The single best thing we did in our planning was a decision we made early on: that for any given decision, the person who cared most would get their way. In the vast majority of cases, this meant we went with what Heidi wanted, because she is much more opinionated about weddings than I am. But there were a few cases where it turned out I had stronger opinions than I realized, and Heidi was great at drawing me out and making sure we had the wedding I wanted, too.

What was your favorite part of your wedding day?

Heidi: Our ceremony overlooked the ocean, and after our recessional, when people were just beginning to get up to head in for the cocktail hour, whales began breaching right behind our wedding arch! We were facing away, heard most of our crowd of loved ones gasp, and turned to watch whales celebrate our wedding with us. It was truly beautiful; I still can’t think about it without crying.

Molly: for me it was getting to the end of the procession and turning around and seeing the crowd—so many people from different parts of our lives, all together in one place because they cared about us and our happiness together. That was an overwhelming feeling.

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Sneak Peek
gallery Jun 22 2020
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A Thought For Thursday
gallery Jun 18 2020
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Love is everything

Love is everything, because

Love makes the world go round

Love is the foundation of our soul

Love is the greatest feeling that any person could have

And the love for someone or something

Is the greatest feeling that could ever exist

That’s what love is

“Back to You” by Benjamin Gordon

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Patrick Title_key Connor

Engagement Shoot
gallery Jun 16 2020
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An Ojai Engagement Shoot

Tell us how you met and fell in love?

The year: 2015. Connor was a 2L at UCLA Law and Patrick had just moved from Maryland to San Francisco 6 months prior to beginning dental school at UCSF. While Patrick was visiting Los Angeles during spring break, Patrick and Connor swiped right on one another, but (alas!) didn't have a chance to meet, as Connor was headed to Yosemite for his spring break, and it seemed the two were not destined to be.

Luckily for Connor, Patrick knew a good thing when he saw it (him) and brazenly gave Connor his phone number to keep in touch in case they were ever in the same city. The two spent the next two months getting to know each other through novel-length text messages and awkward video chats. They finally met face-to-face during a Memorial Day Weekend trip up to San Francisco - their first real date included coffee and walking up to the mosaic steps in the Inner Sunset (capped off with a tour of the UCSF cadaver lab - lol cool, Patrick).

Their relationship grew as Patrick spent that summer visiting his sister (but mostly Connor) in Los Angeles, and the two quickly realized they were meant for each other. Their love has stood the test of time and distance, as they spent the next three years with 400 miles (and over 180 flights!) between them. Despite being busy with their respective grad programs, clinic, internships, job interviews, and volunteer opportunities, they conquered long-distance and grew their relationship together in SF, LA, and on trips across America (and the globe).

Finally, Patrick graduated from UCSF in 2018 and was united with Connor and their new pup, Cali, in Los Angeles. Following hundreds of hours traveling and putting up with LAX/SFO flight delays, they now spend Sunday evenings in bliss knowing they no longer have to say goodbye to each other for another week.

Was there a proposal? Tell us about it.

Patrick and Connor decided that they each wanted the opportunity to plan a special day to propose spending the rest of their lives together. In February 2019, Connor and Patrick headed back to San Francisco to visit friends. Connor suggested that they revisit their old stomping grounds in the Inner Sunset, so they grabbed their favorite coffee (shoutout Martha & Bros!) and walked to the mosaic tile steps - a weekend ritual when the couple was in SF ever since Patrick took Connor there on their first date. Halfway up the steps, Connor proposed to Patrick (who didn't see any of the signs - like even the one literally asking him to marry Connor...). Connor surprised Patrick even more as their friends and family popped out of bushes to celebrate (with parents on Facetime, as well). In May 2019, Patrick and Connor made their way to Maryland for Patrick's sister’s graduation and to spend a long weekend with Patrick's family. Patrick took Connor to the United States Botanical Garden (literally a dream, if you know them at all) and proposed to Connor in the greenhouse as more friends popped out of bushes (you can sense a theme here).

Are you planning your wedding right away or giving yourself some time to just be engaged?

We have our dream wedding planned for mid-August, 2020 just outside of Santa Barbara, with the ceremony on a bluff overlooking the ocean and the reception in old greenhouses. With all of the uncertainty in the world right now, we are focused on how fortunate we are to have each other and our health, and our top priority is keeping our family and friends healthy and safe too. We can’t wait to celebrate with everyone whenever it is safe to do so - luckily, we’re both fans of a long engagement!

What’s the best thing you’ve learned from your spouse-to-be?

Patrick: Early on, we both had to learn a lot about effective communication since we spent so much time away from each other in different cities. Even now that we live together, communication is still something we have to work on sometimes, but the work is worth it when you’re doing it together and for each other.

Connor: That when you find the right person, you don’t have to compromise any part of yourself since that partner will encourage you to be, and make you, fully you.

What’s your favorite part of your relationship?

Patrick: We can be 100% ourselves around each other, even all the weird!

Connor: We really took time early on in our distanced relationship to get to know and understand one another. We didn’t have the luxury of focusing on superficial aspects or getting distracted with the things that couples do when dating in the same city, which helped us craft a deep, intimate, and lasting bond. We both share the same values and feel so comfortable being ourselves around one another, which makes daily life so fun and exciting.

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Sneak Peek
gallery Jun 15 2020
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