H&H Weddings

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Ingrid Title_key Courtney

Real Wedding
gallery Jun 22 2015
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California Dreaming

So, basically, this fête is the everything we could ever hope for in a wedding. The couple is drop-dead-gorgeous They are friends with their ring designer, so their jewels are beyond beautiful. Oh, and did we mention that they pulled of the Gatsby theme flawlessly? Swoon. Big time.

From the couple...

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

Two moments: the first, which our officiant spoke of during our ceremony, was under the stars and sparkle of fireworks, and the other, during our first major international trip to Turkey. From exploring the grand bazaar, camel and horseback rides, safari friendships and relaxing in Hamans, we realized how well suited we are together in travel, life, friendship and love.  

Tell us about your big day!

Well, we have a 5-page run of show document that could give you the play-by-play but we will spare you those micro details and say, it takes a community to pull off a wedding that runs for 6 hours, and a significant amount of planning. But the payoff is truly magical, stunning, the most amazing and exquisite experience we’ve ever known.

We had the venue for a few days and it took every minute of those hours to prepare the venue and ourselves for our wedding. It also took us an entire day following the wedding to clean and pack up. We never slept so hard after that.  

While we were getting hair and make up done and meeting with our officiant, we could hear our friends setting up the tables and our guests staying in the venue getting ready and excited. One moment I remember is when our photographer/videographer friends brought us out to take pre-ceremony shots, and when we returned, some of our guests had arrived, which felt really exciting to see a few people before the event officially began. As we waited in our suite, we started to hear all of our guests arrived. We kept peering out the window gasping “Oh! Look at them, they look so good!” We had a fantastic grounding ritual with our officiant, that helped us focus and be present, moments before we walked each other down the aisle. That really set the tone, since during our ceremony, it seemed as though not one dry eye was amongst us. The rest of the evening was a dream, dancing with loved ones, exchanging smiles and heartfelt speeches. The following day when we got home, when we started reading cards and opening gifts, we just started balling we were so moved by the outpour of love and support.  

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

We knew we wanted an outdoor wedding and reception, preferably with a view, and nothing too large. We knew we didn’t want a traditional wedding and wanted our friends and family to play a role. We also wanted to take advantage of the day to demonstrate to our friends and family our intimate commitment and adoration for one another by writing our own vows and selecting our own readings.  

What surprised you during planning?

We were surprised that every venue we went to (around 20 in person, we researched 100) fell into that “wedding factory” category, which for a high price tag, strips the authenticity away from such a special day. We are still so thankful that we gave ourselves a year and a half to fully plan and save up money for our wedding. What was easy: we are natural organizers. We split responsibilities, navigated the unruly and demanding waters of wedding planning, and took breaks when we needed them. We also chose quality vendors who really stepped it up when we didn’t have a day of coordinator. We were on the same page about the wedding mood, aesthetic, which made all the decisions on rentals, decor, and ultimately our attire, seamless. Our friends really stepped it up and helped on the day of, from flowers to setting up the tables, to folding and ironing napkins, hanging lights, etc. They mean the world to us. What was difficult: We lost our original caterer four months before our wedding date. Scrambling to find on such short notice was stressful but a friend came to the rescue and matched us with an incredible, new catering company. Another hardship was not having some key family members attend.  

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

That the guest list will forever change, even up to the last day. Be really flexible and don’t let those changes distract you. The day will go by faster than you think or want it to, and so, having a videographer/photographer was one of the best momentos you can come away with.  

Any advice for couples planning weddings now? Anything you would have done differently?

Don’t get too hung up on the cost. Everything will at one point feel ridiculously costly and stressful but on the day of, just let it ride through since its all helping to ensure that this amazing day runs smoothly and to your liking. At the same time, choose what you want to invest in wisely while identifying those that you are willing to compromise on. We didn’t really want a cake, for example, which can be costly. We did want really quality photobooth pics and amazing music. We love a variety of food and ended up agreeing on tapas rather than a full coursed meal, which ended up feeling very classy and cocktail garden party, which is what we were going for. You also don’t need to get hung up on chair rentals and tables. It is what it is and no one really notices the difference between a $3 chair rental and a $10 chair rental. Period.  

Anything thing else you would like to add? This is your opportunity to highlight and display the essence of your personality and relationship. Like a mission statement, keep all your decisions going back to that!  

What was your favorite part of your wedding day? 

Being surrounded by so much love and your favorite people, who are all dressed to the nines to celebrate and support you. Hearing each other’s vows was the most meaningful and memorable moment. And, dancing to our last song, which we handled impromptu in a full-out re-do of Dirty Dancing “I had the Time of My Life.” It was epic!

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Tagged: outdoor wedding, lovers and dreamers photography, california, anna sheffield
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