Here's what the lovely bride Alison had to say:
My husband and I got engaged in August 2009 and starting searching for wedding venues in December. I am from the Bay Area and he is from the Chico area. We both knew we didn't want to get married in our hometown's; we wanted something more memorable and unique. I used to go to the Santa Cruz area every summer with my family, and Zack had gone with us a few times; we both really liked it down there, and we thought it would be a beautiful place to get married. He wanted something by the ocean or tropical, and I wanted something that was outdoor, but not necessarily on a beach.
We were searching venues down in the Santa Cruz/Monterey area, and we stumbled across The Holly Farm. There we some pretty neat looking pictures on their website, which made us very interested. We set up a few different appointments with various venues in the Monterey area, but as soon as we walked into The Holly Farm, we knew that was the place. I loved the funky, vintage vibe, and he loved the tropical oasis feeling. We both really felt a connection, and The Holly Farm had so many different elements that fit both of our tastes.
My mother owns an antique store in the Bay Area, so I have been raised around antiques and vintage style. I always knew I wanted my wedding to be modern and glamorous, but with touches of vintage chic sprinkled throughout. When The Holly Farm had a few dates open for fall 2010, we knew we needed to book fast. As we were in the office at The Holly Farm I was flipping through wedding albums of previous weddings at The Holly Farm; as soon as I picked up Meg Perotti's album, I knew I had to have her do my wedding. To me, after the wedding is over all you have left are the memories, so pictures are one of the most important things for a wedding; they capture the special moments throughout the day, so they can last forever.
I always wanted to plan my own wedding, and make sure I didn't just have someone else map it all out for me. Between my mom and the antique store and my aunt the interior designer, I think designing and planning runs through my blood. Not only was I a big part of the planning process, but so was my husband. He was really interested in having a say about many of the details, and it was nice to here his ideas and opinions about specifics; after all, it was his wedding, too! :) I did work with a florist for my bouquets/boutonnieres/corsages and some of the table centerpieces, but I designed all of the orchid box centerpieces on my own. I went to the SF flowermart and starting picking combinations of flowers I thought were fun, flirty, and timeless. I knew I wanted a black and white wedding, but it wasn't until I went to the flowermart that I decided to go with yellow for my accents. We chose yellow football and spider mums, and mokara orchids, along with traditional white orchids.
The yellow candy bar was an idea I had seen online, but I tweaked it by using all yellow candies and apothecary jars. I designed the labels for the baggies the candy went in with our monogram and date using our computer and printer. The table number frames were also a DIY project using cheap black frames and our printer. I brought some vintage cameras, and a monogrammed paper parasol to use as props for fun pictures at the wedding. Overall, I feel like our wedding was a great combination of traditional style, elegance, but with a fun, vintage flair.
One of my favorite parts of the day was when I was getting ready; things were starting to get set up and I snuck down to the dining table and ceremony areas. I saw all of my planning unfolding before my eyes and everything was just as I had always dreamed. It sounds so cliche, but I really had dreamt of my wedding day since I was a little girl! Another big moment was when I was coming down the aisle. The look on my husband's face was priceless (a combination of complete awe and nervousness) and the mokara orchids hanging from the arbor over his head with all the beautiful tropical orchids and plants that fill The Holly Farm were just amazing. As I turned that corner with my dad, it was like a dream. I could go on and on about special moments from that day, but altogether it was great to feel so proud of a wedding that I was a part of the planning process every step of the way. As my husband and I were circulating the tables after dinner and mingling with guests, we repeatedly heard how amazed everyone was with the venue, and how amazed they were that we had done so much of the preparing and planning on our own. I was very pleased with how everything turned out, and enjoyed every minute of planning and creating the wedding of my dreams!
As for advice, I would say, "Be an active part of planning your wedding. It is something that most girls dream of their entire lives, so make sure you leave no detail left unturned."
"Make sure you pick a style, venue, and overall feeling for your wedding that fits your personality. Your guests should see decor that fits you and represents your style, not just something that is trendy or 'in style' right now, but something that you can look back on in 50 years and still be in awe about. Blend elements of modern and traditional for a timeless look."
"The day flies by! All the months of planning whiz by in mere moments, so make sure you and your husband have a chance to step back amongst all the hustle and bustle and soak it in! After all, it is the biggest day of your lives!"
Photographer | Meg Perotti
Event Planner | Grapes of Wrath Catering
Reception | Historic Holly Farm
Florist | Ribbons and Roses Florals
Cake | Layers
Thanks so much Alison and Zack for sharing your gorgeous wedding with us!
And many thanks to the incredibly talented Meg Perotti for the stunning images!