Updated: May 21
On June 30th, 2021 Joe and I GOT MARRIED!!!!
Honestly, I was beginning to think marriage might not be for me. I never played wedding "make-believe" as a little girl nor did I fantasize about a big, white, princess dress. I was very skeptical of marriage especially after a handful of failed relationships and growing up observing my parent's marriage.
Then I met Joe.
Joe just clicks. I knew I wanted Joe to be my husband. Joe makes me feel cared for, valued and we share similar life dreams. Joe feels like home.
Originally, we planned to have a big "traditional" wedding August 1st, 2020.
Enter Covid and the Global Pandemic.
A pandemic brings so many scary unknowns. We ultimately decided to cancel our 2020 wedding. The safety of our guests took top priority. In March of 2021 a glimmer of pandemic hope started to emerge thanks to vaccines. We set a new wedding date AND completely shifted the entire scope of our wedding. Instead of 175 people we decided to go micro with a mere 12 guests AND also live stream our wedding to family and friends via Facebook. Instead of all the original wedding vendors we decided to go more DIY. No wedding planner, caterer, DJ, or florist.
The location of our canceled 2020 wedding was on the property where Joe grew up. Joe refers to this property as Fallen Oak Ranch. A beautiful piece of land nestled among vineyards in Alexander Valley. We considered picking a different spot for our rescheduled wedding like the Mendocino coast or Dillon Beach. Ultimately, we decided to stick with Fallen Oak Ranch but create a more intimate ceremony site on a different part of the property. A spot that would need a LOT of landscaping work from Joe.
The big question was: in 3 months would we be able to completely transform the Fallen Oak Ranch property into a wine country wedding oasis?
I must say I had a lot of trepidation going into his wedding.
Would Joe and I....
Miss out on having bridal showers, bachelor/bachelorette parties?
Regret not having the BIG traditional wedding?
Be envious of all the weddings we've been to before or all the weddings after ours that won't have the limits of a pandemic?
Now that our wedding is over, Joe and I both agree that our micro wedding was absolutely perfect for us. We wouldn't have wanted it any other way.
We both realized that we honestly cringe at large amounts of attention focused on us as a couple. We get easily overwhelmed. The BIG wedding would have been too much. We also have a tendency to become distracted and it's hard for us to focus on the present moment. A big wedding would have had our attention running in a million different directions vs honing in on our love and commitment.
In this post I hope to share a window into our wedding.
Really give you a behind the scenes look at our wedding day.
My Top Favorite Wedding Memories:
1. Taking Photos/Video
Joe doesn't like having his photo taken. How would he handle the photographers AND a videographer posing us and capturing our every move? There were LARGE chunks of wedding time devoted to picture taking. Would Joe get totally annoyed?
This ended up being one of Joe's and my FAVORITE parts of the wedding. Go figure. For most of the pictures it was Joe and I in our little married bubble. The photographers told us how to pose and then we'd fall into the moment with total love and connectedness: looking in each other's eyes, kissing, foreheads connected. Time stood still in these photo moments. I am beyond glad we had seasoned photographers and videographers. They made the entire experience fun AND intentional.
2. The Wedding Sanctuary Site
It took us 3 months to build a wedding venue PLUS plan a wedding at the same time.
It was INTENSE to say the least.
Joe spotted two oak trees on the property which provide a good amount of shade. A spot overlooking the vineyard. He started mapping out a plan.
Here are some before and after photos of the wedding ceremony site.
Almost every day me, my mom, Joe's mom and Joe's stepdad would head to the ranch (plus his Uncle would stop by from time to time. Thank you TED!) We'd start early in the morning and stay until the afternoon when temps started to get REAL HOT. Every day we were cleaning, weeding, planting, painting, hauling and sweating our way through some serious manual labor.