Real Wedding | Courtney + Sean

Rustic chic style and DIY touches made this California wedding one of the most gorgeous celebrations I’ve ever seen. Don’t miss the creative (and hilarious) DIY place card project Courtney created for the reception. From the amazing photographs to the lovely flowers, you’re sure to be inspired when planning your own special day. Enjoy!

Courtney + Sean | September 18, 2010 | South Lake Tahoe, California

How they met

I was living in Philadelphia at the time and Sean was in town shooting a skateboard event. My friend had an event at a bar named “Bliss” and and Sean’s friend’s brother was DJ’ing. I sat at the bar, thinking I was being completely stealth but sneaking peeks at this gorgeous guy every chance I got… but he completely noticed. My sister-in-law got up and walked over to the group of guys after getting frustrated that I kept mentioning him but was too shy to walk up. I had no choice but to follow and we were inseparable the rest of the night. Since his work takes him all over the world, it was three months until we met again. After one year of long distance, one of us had to move, so I moved out west and the rest is history!

The ceremony

Rustic Chic. We kept the ceremony rather simple and our florist, Holly Fleur, delivered an incredible mantle design for the hall. We wanted a laid back ceremony and opened the bar as people were arriving so they could sip and enjoy! Avalanche Violin and Guitar played a selection of music including Radiohead and Coldplay covers. It was the perfect soundtrack!

The reception

I’m a flea market hound and we are both in the photography industry, so we wanted eclectic, mismatched elements. For the centerpieces, I collected beat up cameras and glass bottles and filled them with candles and organic succulents and unique florals. We wanted to leave a note at each guests’ seat, so we tied them in twine and placed fresh rosemary in the napkin. One of our favorite details was the place cards. We searched the internet for any pictures we could find of our guests. Using the beauty of Facebook, we found snapshots, from safe to totally embarrassing, but if it was on the web, it was fair game! Guests were laughing hysterically when they saw their old prom photos and Halloween costumes from years past as their place cards.

The moment from her wedding Courtney will never forget

Sean and I are both very close with all of our grandparents, those with us and those who have passed on. His ring is made from the gold from his grandparents’ wedding rings. The weather was a perfect Tahoe day, sunshine and not an ounce of wind. During our ceremony, the room was quiet except for our officiant’s voice and a refreshing breeze floated into through the open French doors. Neither of us are overly spiritual people, but we looked at each other and knew everyone who couldn’t be there floated in on that breeze.

How Courtney knew her wedding dress was “The One”

I saw it while helping a friend plan her big day. I watched a model walk down the runway in it and fell in love! The bottom moved as if it was slow motion, like a constant breeze, I just imagined the way it would look coming down the aisle. It was the first one I tried on and the only one on my mind after that. The prefect dress makes you feel like royalty, while embodying your personal style.

Why Courtney decided to sell her wedding dress

I thought about keeping it for photo shoots in my business, or just to try on and go back to that day in my mind, but the truth is, I’d rather someone else have the same excitement I had wearing it. It truly was an incredible dress and I haven’t seen one similar since. If it doesn’t sell, so be it, since I love it that much…but I’d love to share it!

Courtney’s dress: Melissa Sweet

Photography: Courtney Wilson Photography