Real Wedding | Dana + Nick

This gorgeous California wedding is the stuff that dreams are made of….Dana and Nick tied the knot in a beautiful ceremony looking out onto the mountains and then celebrated with friends and family at a picture perfect seaside reception. Look for unique and personal touches everywhere (including life size cut-outs of Dana and Nick as karate kids – hilarious!). It’s clear this couple has so much to look forward to…and priceless memories to look back on from their amazing wedding day. Congratulations to this lovely couple!

Dana + Nick | June 27, 2010 | Santa Barbara, California

How they met

We met at a mutual friend’s cocktail party and didn’t get off to a great start.  Nick then tracked down my information through a friend and asked me to go for coffee.  Several weeks later, I finally agreed to meet, bringing my dog with me as an excuse to have to go home early.   It turned out that we stayed long past closing time at the cafe and Nick was the most wonderful, charming man I’d ever met.  A few days later, realizing I was a dog nut, Nick told me he got stuck dogsitting his boss’s dog over the weekend while his boss went on vacation, and asked me to meet them at a dog park.  The dogs nearly killed each other, but Nick and I couldn’t have hit it off any better…6 months later, we were engaged.

The ceremony

Our ceremony was in a beautiful garden looking out to the mountains.  Among the processional were our two dogs, Charlotte and Wesley as ringbearers, and our two beautiful nieces as flower girls. The ceremony was presided over by my childhood Rabbi and his wife, both of whom flew out from the east coast.  Nick’s grandmother, who lives in South Africa and was sadly unable to make it to the wedding, lives on a vineyard run by his cousin, and we drank wine brought over from the vineyard during the ceremony.  The cup we drank the wine from was used by both of my brothers at their weddings.

The reception

Following the ceremony, cocktail hour was held in a charming garden overlooking the ocean.  We then held the reception in a Spanish Mission style room adjacent to the garden.  I am a vegan and have been a vegetarian my whole life, so nearly all the food was vegetarian, with the exception of a very small amount of fish.  A baker in LA, Sweet Lady Jane, made the most delicious vegan red velvet wedding cake, which nobody believed was vegan. 🙂

The moment Dana will never forget

Nick surprised me with a “family portrait” he had made of us and the dogs by a comic book artist at the Henson company, who turned us into Fraggles!  Also, during his speech, the best man brought out giant cardboard cutouts of Nick and I in karate uniforms as kids, to the tune of Stevie Wonder’s “I Believe” – I was choking on my own laughter when they came out.

How she knew her wedding dress was “The One”

I had another dress that I absolutely loved and bought at a sample sale, and it was one of the first I had tried on.  When I brought it in for alterations 2 months before the wedding, I was told the material was extremely delicate and there’d be no way to alter it to my measurements.  I was crushed because the dress was so beautiful, and also because I didn’t know how I’d find another dress I loved on such short notice.  I went to trunk shows, boutiques, department stores, designer salons…anywhere that sold dresses in white.  I ran into Vera Wang and told them I knew the exact dress I wanted to look at and promised I’d be quick.  I tried on the dress, and it looked terrible.  They then brought out another dress and suggested I try it on.  As soon as I tried it on, I realized I couldn’t have found a more perfect dress.  I rush ordered it and received the dress just 3 or 4 days before the wedding.

Why she decided to sell her wedding dress:

I decided to sell my wedding dress for a few reasons.  Firstly, I had to make up for the fact that I had to buy two dresses 🙂  Mostly, however, having wedding gowns made only to be worn once is wasteful, and rough on the environment.  I’m also a sucker for repurposed clothing and jewelry because I love things that tell a story.  My wedding band is nearly a hundred years old and I like to imagine that it’s seen many happy days.  I’ve designated the headpiece worn at my wedding to be passed around to friends for their weddings (the first one is this weekend!), hoping that the love it witnesses each time is passed along to the next wearer, like a good luck charm.  I hope my wedding gown can do the same.

Dana’s wedding dress: Vera Wang, Dora

Photographer:  Tara Rochelle www.tararochelle.com