Saturday, September 22, 2012

Real Wedding {Yaxi & Kai} Holman Ranch, Carmel Valley

Photo by Delbarr Moradi

I began working with Yaxi and Kai in December 2010. I received a phone call from Yaxi after she came across my BLOG on a wedding related search. She was calling from Houston and was looking for a wedding planner in the Bay Area to help her plan a summer wedding. She had stumbled upon my BLOG and loved and connected with a lot of what I wrote about and thought I could be a good fit for her. 

She and Kai had JUST gotten engaged over the Thanksgiving holiday and she was excited to start planning her wedding. Though she and Kai lived in Houston, they both attended the University of California at Berkley and had roots in the Bay Area. After speaking with her for about an hour, the one thing they knew for certain was they definitely wanted to be married in California's wine country. She had a set vision of a warm summer outdoor wedding with a soft color palette, organic elements and the vineyards. She also wanted a venue that was private and naturally beautiful in a location so all her guests could feel like they were experiencing a weekend get-away. 

A big challenge for Yaxi was that she was in her final year of medical school in Houston and wanted to get married before she started her residency. Being that she only had one month in 2012 to get married and enjoy her honeymoon, in true Yaxi fashion (as I would come to know - thoughtful, strategic and very detail-oriented), she started planning her wedding sixteen months in advance so she made sure she got the wedding date of her choice.

One of the biggest concerns for Yaxi was the fact that she was in Houston and planning a wedding in California. It was of the utmost importance that she really liked and trusted her wedding planner to be her eyes and ears, and most of all, allow her to be as hands-on as possible and feel very connected to the entire process.

After signing on as their wedding planner, within the month she and Kai traveled to California for site tours. I took them to four different venues but I already knew in my heart-of-hearts which venue she would settle on, and of course, I saved the best for last. Holman Ranch. Everything that she had envisioned and wanted during our prep calls already indicated that Holman was the perfect fit for her - elegant, yet rustic, private and naturally beautiful, in the wine country and a destination.

As soon as Yaxi and Kai walked the property after I helped them dream of the possibilities, I had them stand on the ceremony veranda overlook together. It was that moment when I saw that they had found "the perfect place". It was one of the sweetest moments for me to see as they both stood there in awe and excitement. Within the week, we booked their wedding date for May 2012 and it was all down hill from there. 

After securing our wonderful team of amazing vendors, we got down to business on creating her event design and color palette. She wanted her wedding to feel elegant yet relaxed, seasonal and understated. She loved neutral tones with pops of pastels and anything soft and feminine. For Kai, it was simple, he wanted to eat really good food and have really good music.

We decided on a color palette of ivory, blush pink, cantaloup orange and lemon yellow. Yaxi really wanted everything to feel cheerful but clean so we only used the floral to lead with pops of color while everything else stayed very soft and neutral. We selected a refined rustic linen in a beautiful eggshell color, used craft paper with whimsical script in white ink for her paper goods, and a mixture of milk glass, silvery metallic mercury glass and birch for her tablescape vessels.

We also started pulling in components of things they loved the most, like dessert! Both Kai and Yaxi LOVE sweets so it was only necessary to do a custom dessert table of all their favorite goodies. When it came down to the design, Yaxi, Kai and I talked about all their favorite things. We all laughed during the design call because we came up with such a large list of items. With an array of this size, it can be tricky to layout a display with balance and a beautiful aesthetic, so it was only fitting to call on one person, my good friend and amazingly talented event stylist, Allison Silber. After our initial design call, she nailed our vision, was super excited about the project and I knew she was going to execute something amazing that Kai and Yaxi were going to love. Not only do I love working with Allison, but she always exceeds my expectations (see photos of our dessert table below), after all, I call her "The Crafty Goodness Goddess".

When the wedding came, it was the most perfect day any one could of asked for - 78 degrees, sunny,  relaxed and full of love and laughter. As I do with each of my couples, I stood and watched their ceremony from beginning to end and thought to myself, "I am really lucky to be part of this amazing experience with two exceptional people."

Congrats Yaxi and Kai. 

Vendor Credits:
Wedding Planning & Event Design: Simone Lennon, Soiree by Simone Lennon
Photography: Delbarr Moradi, Delbarr Moradi Photography
Venue: Holman Ranch, Carmel Valley
Floral: Christine Cater, Christine Cater Floral Design
Wedding Cake: Patisserie Bechler
Confection: Batter Bakery, San Francisco
Dessert Table Design: Allison Silber, Engaged & Inspired
Escort and Placement Cards: Allison Silber, Engaged & Inspired
Chalkboards & Signage: Allison Silber, Engaged & Inspired
DJ & A/V: Marty Satow, Good Vibrations
Invitation Suite: Union Street Papery, San Francisco

Wedding Attire:
Bride's Jewelry: Fourtane Estates Jewelers, Carmel-by-the-Sea, Ca
Bride's Dress & Shoes: Amsale & Kate Spade
Groom's Attire: J. Crew

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