LEIGH + ANDREW
I met Andrew when I was visiting grad school in Berkeley. My friend had a dinner party, and my heart literally skipped a beat when he walked into the room. We flirted the whole night, and he followed me into the kitchen when I went to do the dishes. He started talking to a friend about his weekend and kept saying over and over what a great time he had with this girl Isabel. I was crushed, and thought he was totally lame for leading me on when he had a girlfriend. After a thorough investigation, I learned that Isabel was his daughter, which definitely made my heart skip even faster - a man who loved camping with his daughter?!
We started dating and got engaged three months later. We just knew it was right — even though he wore a man-tard on our first official date (we were going for a bike ride and actually I kind of appreciated how bold a move it was).
I just had this feeling that he was going to propose, so when he came to pick me up for a day of hiking in early December I was so nervous and kept thinking "shit it's definitely going to happen today, I don't know if I'm prepared, I don't know what's going to happen, will I cry?" By the end of the day he hadn't proposed and I was like "ugh silly me what was I thinking." We sat on the beach to watch the sunset, and I was staring at the water sort of laughing at my folly. He went to throw our coffees away and came back with a ring and asked if I would marry him. We danced around on the beach and then we went for pizza.
We both knew we wanted a summer wedding — both Andrew and I come from artistist backgrounds, so we shared a similar vision of a bohemian celebration. After scouting a ton of locations we found this great old lodge from the early 1900's in Sonoma that was surrounded by these little tiny white-washed cabins, and we knew it was perfect. Everything sort of fell into place after that.
I had seen a cap-sleeved lace Monique Lhuillier in a magazine and fell in love with it, but when I finally tried it on, it wasn't quite right. I tried to convince myself that it was the one, I guess because it reminded me of a cross between my aunt's wedding dress and Eliza Doolittle's ball gown that I had swooned over as a girl, but it wasn't quite right.
On our way out my friend pulled one last dress and it was perfect — it wasn't fussy or fancy but I felt beautiful and sexy and I knew I'd be able to dance in it, which was a requirement! I paired it with a Frida Kahlo inspired crown of flowers and wore cream silk peep toe wedges. I borrowed the bracelet my mom wore when she got married, wore a pair of antique earrings that my father had given me, and had my initials and the date embroidered in blue at the bottom of the inside of my slip. I had my hair French braided in a crown around my head which was quite a feat since my hair wasn't even shoulder length.
We had the ceremony in the orchard, and hung beautiful turquoise and orange ribbons from the trees holding vases with flowers. As I was getting ready to walk out I heard all of this cheering and shouting, and I found out afterwards that Isabel (the "best man") and Andrew had sprinted down the aisle together, which really rallied everyone up.
This great band played a bluesy/gospely "Here Comes The Bride" on an upright piano that we brought outside, and my dad walked me down the aisle. My grandfather's eighty-year old judge-friend officiated, and we wrote our own vows. I vowed to bring him toast and he vowed to bring me coffee and we talked about the value of making each other laugh.
After the ceremony we had cocktails in the orchard, and then moved to this big tent so everyone could dance. Our first dance was to "I Believe" by Stevie Wonder, and we were both like, possessed — we had never actually danced together in public before - we just went for it. It was amazing. And then everyone swarmed the dance floor. I must have eaten, but I don't remember. Everyone was on the dance floor until like 1 in the morning — the band just kept on playing.
Pics by Jesse Leake Photography