26th Apr 2013

Nicole & Ben

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I met Ben walking down a snowy sidewalk in Truckee, CA.  I was on a road-trip along the West Coast, determined to land my first TV news reporting job. I stopped in the small town of Truckee to meet a friend. Instead I met Ben.

Fortunately, the friend I was supposed to meet didn't show up that evening. Instead, Ben and I talked for a while and when I left, he asked for my phone number. I told him I was just visiting and gave him my number anyway. I wasn't sure I'd ever see him again.
Our life together is an on-going adventure. I began my first reporting job in Chico, CA. One day, Ben called asking when I'd be visiting Truckee again... and so our long distance relationship began. Even though our jobs have taken us around the world, we've been inseperable for 7 years now.
We finally made it to San Francisco, CA, where we're both working and living in the same city!  Over several years of visiting family in Southern California, Laguna Beach found a special place in our hearts. Shortly after getting engaged, we knew it would be the perfect spot to get married and start our next chapter together.
Ben proposed on a bench in Union Square in San Francisco. It was a few days after Christmas and the setting was amazing, all lit up with Christmas lights. We have a history with benches: I first professed my love to him on a bench in Chico. Six years later, he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him as I sat on the bench in San Francisco.
Ben worked with a jeweler to design a unique engagement ring. It has a vintage look with a brilliant round cut diamond, a cushion halo, pave set diamonds around the band with milgrain edging.

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I was looking for a unique wedding gown, something classic, but still fun and adventurous, much like my relationship with Ben.
After reading the book, "It's All About The Dress" by Randy Fenoli, I was able to find the perfect gown by showing photos to consultants and telling them the story of my fiance & I.  After trying on a few dresses at Haute Bride, I slipped in to the "Waverly" gown by Augusta Jones and fell in love with it! I knew it was "The One" and it told our story perfectly.
My shoes were a silver sparkle colored peep-toe high heel by Caparros. My veil was on the longer side, simple and classic, falling just below the knee. My jewelry also had a vintage look. I wore classic rhinestone teardrop earrings and a delicate bracelet made of rhinestones, crystals and pearls.  I wore an organza flower hairpin with swarovski rhinestone and freshwater pearl detail.  My hair was pinned back in a soft, romantic "low-do." I found my hair & make-up stylists online: Something Blue Stylists. They did a fantastic job!
My bridesmaids wore an amethyst color, full-length strapless gown with a sweetheart neckline and a natural waist. I thought these dresses went perfectly with the classy venue, time of year and an evening wedding. Ben wore a black Hugo Boss suit, with a black tie from Bloomingdales.
The flowers were succulents, orchids, roses and peonies in shades of cream, green and purple. Floral Design by Melinda Dunn. our theme was "Classic Beach Elegance."
For the invites I worked with Inspirations by Amie Lee to create our elegant invitations. They were in an "pocket fold" card that also had a details card and the rehearsal dinner invite. The ensemble was an amethyst color card stock, accented with shades of green and cream. We incorporated a soft starfish design, that became part of our monogram. We had 60 guests. We wanted a smaller, intimate wedding.
We had a square shaped wedding cake with 3 tiers. There were 2 flavors: lemon cream cake and red-velvet cake. We had a few succulents placed on the cake.  Our favors were sand dollar ornaments with a special poem that Ben & I wrote.
Our first dance song was "Angel Dream," by Tom Petty.
Hulse Photography. Justin & Julie Hulse came highly recommended. They do a fantastic job!

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Our wedding was at the Surf & Sand Resort. The ceremony was on a terrace overlooking the ocean at sunset. Our reception was in a banquet room with a private patio for the bar & cocktail hour.
For the ceremony, we had a beautiful arch made of curly willow tree branches. The arch was separated and used again on our dance floor at the reception. We also had submerged flowers in vases of 3 different heights for our table centerpieces. Instead of table numbers, we used the names of cities that defined our journey together.
The morning of the big day it was a beautiful sunny day in Laguna Beach, I spent that morning with my close family and friends.
The wedding ceremony was like a dream. Our officiant Jeff Maguire personalized the service and added some great humor. Ben & I wrote our own vows. We also had a sand blending ceremony using sand from the beach were I grew up and sand from the Cranson family farm in Massachusetts.
Our reception was everything I'd hoped it would be. It started off with some heartfelt speeches and I had a wonderful dance with my husband and then with my dad. That evening was so much fun and our DJ/Emcee even through in a few surprises! He rallied our guests to play some fun games on the dance floor, including a dance-off between my husband and his 3 brothers.

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When the big day finally arrives, it's goes by so fast! I loved every moment and I didn't want it to end. I was so excited and I felt incredibly loved throughout the entire day.  In fact, I wish I could do it all over again. 
My advice to brides to be would be try and have fun with the wedding planning and don't let others sway you from doing what you want. It's a wonderful feeling to see your entire vision come together so beautifully on your wedding day.

Words are, however, unnecessary when you can experience the beauty of two people confirming their love for one another.  So here is a little piece of that wonderful day: Nicole & Ben

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