Real Wedding | Emily & Patrick

Imagine if the four words you hear after your boyfriend tells you he loves you for the first time are…..”Will You Marry Me?”   That story completely gives me goose bumps.  And the way Emily talks about the importance of the marriage part of her wedding makes me enjoy looking at her pretty wedding pictures even more!

Emily & Patrick  |January 3rd, 2009 |Walnut Creek, California

How he proposed
I was living in the San Francisco area and Patrick came up from Los Angeles for my birthday (at least that’s what I thought).  He took me on a day trip to Monterey because I absolutely LOVE the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  It was a pretty chilly day so I kept putting my hands in his coat pockets.  Little did I know he had a ring box in there and had to keep switching pockets or fidgeting away from me so I wouldn’t feel it.  After dinner, we went and watched the sunset over the ocean.  Patrick told me that he loved me for the first time and then reached into his pocket.  I didn’t quite grasp what was happening until he was on one knee asking me to marry him.  I did the laughing-and-crying-at-the-same-time thing and said yes. He had already reserved the date, pastor and photographer with my mom’s help.  Good thing I didn’t say no!

The moment Emily will never forget
We took photos before the ceremony and I will never forget the look on Patrick’s face when he saw me in my dress for the first time (I told him that I was going to be wearing a pant suit).

The ceremony
We were married at NorthCreek church in the San Francisco bay area.  We had about 250 guests and were married by one of the pastors of the church.  My husband and I are both musicians and so he and I chose and arranged all the music for the ceremony.  We chose mainly songs from various movie soundtracks and arranged them for classical guitar and cello.  You wouldn’t normally think to use a song from ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’ at a wedding but I walked down to ‘The Letter That Never Came’ from that soundtrack.  It was perfect!

The reception
We had it in the church reception hall that we had draped floor to ceiling in sheer chocolate brown fabric at the perimeter of the room.  It was an afternoon wedding so we had bar tables with terrarium flower arrangements and little groupings of chairs throughout the room.  The caterer had PLENTY of hors d’oeuvres for hungry guests such as salmon-stuffed cucumbers, maple-bacon wrapped water chestnuts, blue tortilla quesadillas with pear salsa, etc.  We had a gorgeous three tiered cake (plus an additional sheet cake) from Le Gateau Elegant.  We couldn’t make up our minds so we went with four different flavors, Swedish Princess, Tiramisu, Lemon Cointreau and Chocolate Mousse-Raspberry.

Before we cut the cake, I sang Patrick a song called, surprisingly enough, Songbird.  I was so proud that I got through it without crying.

The wedding theme
We both wanted our wedding to reflect the importance of marriage first and foremost so we didn’t want our decorations and attire to be a distraction but to reinforce how sacred and special marriage is. We love the outdoors so our color scheme was brown, green and white.  I’m definitely a little bit of a control freak when it comes to aesthetics so I made all the save-the-dates, invitations and programs myself and used them as a jumping off point for the rest of the wedding.  We wanted to give the impression of a forest but combined with modern minimalism.  Our florist did a fabulous job at not choosing traditional wedding flowers but combining unique ferns, orchids and other flowers (whose names I can’t pronounce) all throughout the ceremony and reception.  We also used a lot of hanging vases with green orchid blossoms in them.  The church we were married at was huge but beautiful so on the stage we just used two manzanita trees with tiny mirrors hanging from them to frame the altar.

What made her wedding dress “The One”
I’ve always been pretty picky about clothes (my dad says I have champagne taste on a beer budget. lol) so I had been looking at wedding dresses in magazines for sometime.  Ok, ok… My mom and I had been saving photos and info on weddings since I was a freshman in college, so I was well prepared.  Anyway, I figured it would take me a while to find my dream dress but I had brought of few pictures with me to the first dress shop I went to.  It happens that I had brought a photo of Jenny Packham’s Papillon dress and they had it in the store.  It was about the 5th dress that I tried on and that was it.  It took me a grand total of 30 minutes to decide which dress was ‘the one’.  I was right too. 🙂

Her advice for other brides
At the end of your wedding day, you’ll be married and that’s the most important part of the day.  Don’t worry about anything else.  Just be kind to all your guests and family and remember that they’re there to support you.

Emily’s Wedding Dress: Jenny Packham Papillion