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{Unfake Wedding Feature} January in Napa? Lovely.

Rachel and Dave are a wonderful couple who are from Santa Rosa, California. Their winter wedding (January 27, 2012) proves several things: in Northern California wine country, anything is possible!

The ceremony was quiet and intimate with only family members in attendance. The outdoor courtyard setting was so beautiful as they exchanged vows in front of a gentle, glowing fireplace.

A larger group of friends and extended family arrived later for a casual, fun, and laid back reception. Their decision to have their wedding on a Friday was  a smart move for the budget-conscious couple. I hope you'll see the love and creativity in their wedding!

Welcome to the Unfake Wedding of

Dave & Rachel


The most important question: wedding night…did you or didn’t you?

Yes! And then my hubby fell asleep and I spent 20 minutes taking bobby pins out of my hair!

Please take the time to tell me all the vendors you used.

Photographer   T.J. Salsman Photography

DJ/Band  Canaan Sound & Light 

Reception Venue & Guest Hotel  Hyatt Vineyard Creek Hotel

Flowers  Groehe Florists

Dress  Brides n’ Maids,  Wtoo by Watters, Style - Zora

Hair/Make- Hair  Hair: Natalie Medeiros, Chop Shop,  Makeup – Flaunt Makeup Artistry

Tuxedos/Suits  Selix Formal Wear

Cake  Giorgi’s Cakes

Who was your favorite vendor and why?

Photographer TJ Salsman. He did an amazing job of capturing the ambiance of the evening. He worked with us on every possible detail and had an amazingly artistic eye. We told him we really wanted the unseen pictures that take place during the reception to be captured on film and he did so. Going through our pictures afterwards we were amazed to see moments he caught on film that we didn’t even know he was taking.




Was there a “method to your madness” in choosing your vendors?

Not really, many of the vendors we chose were based on family and friend recommendations and/or previous experience as a guest at a wedding.

How long did you take to plan your wedding?

5 months.




How many guests did you invite versus how many came?

We invited 112, 88 showed.

What was your budget?

We didn’t really set out with a strict budget, we just knew we didn’t want to spend a ton of money. We made sure we bargain shopped and compared prices amongst different vendors.

Did you include rings and/or the honeymoon in your budget?

They were included in the overall scheme of the entire wedding planning.

Were you over or under budget? By how much (you can give a percentage)?

As I mentioned, we didn’t have an exact budget. Total, we spent under $15,000 for everything,rings and honeymoon included.






How large was your bridal party?

We each had one attendant and a ring bearer

Did you have favors for your guests? If so, what were they? How much did you spend?

Yes, we had small black boxes with our names and wedding date embossed on them. For 100 boxes full of candy: less than $120.

Did you include any special family traditions?

No, but we did have a remembrance candle lit at the reception for our family members that were no longer with us.

The_Thirty-Something_Bride_TJ_Salsman_Photography16 The_Thirty-Something_Bride_TJ_Salsman_Photography18





What was your biggest day-of crisis and how did you handle it (or rather, not handle?)?

Didn’t have one! We woke up together, exchanged our wedding gifts with each other , I went to the grocery store for some last minute snacks to have in our room that night and then we started our pre-ceremony stuff such as hair and makeup.

What was your biggest wedding planning crisis and how did you handle it (or rather, not handle?)?

Three days before the wedding my florist called me in a panic because the flower mart didn’t have enough of the colored calla lilies I wanted. I told her as long as they had enough of that color for my bouquet and the boutonniere then she could have free-will to pick whatever other color would match for the rest of the bouquets, boutonnieres and reception decorations. The calla lilies she picked to compliment the original color were amazing and in the end it looked even better than just having the one solid color.

Who was the biggest pain in the ass on your wedding day?

I personally didn’t have any problems. But my soon to be sister-in-law missed her original flight and I know my husband was worried she wasn’t going to make it.





What was the biggest waste of money that you loved?

I didn’t waste any of my money!

What was the biggest waste of money that you wish you’d passed on?

See above answer!

What did you love that was also the cheapest?

My hair piece. I found a beautiful feather and rhinestone fascinator on Ebay for under $20.

What was the most unexpected thing that happened (not necessarily a bad thing, just a surprise)?

That the venue opened up the bar early for our family free of charge since our ceremony went much quicker that we anticipated.




What was the funniest thing that happened?

My 2 year old nephew who was the ring bearer serenaded us with a song after his mom (my sister) gave her matron of honor speech. That, and the fact that he stole the dance floor the entire night.

What was the most ooey-gooey, tear-jerking moment?

Neither of us are criers, but the fact that our ceremony was just us and our families allowed it to be super intimate.

Did you DIY? What parts?

Some: I purchased all the vases and did the reception set up and my friend made a card box that mimicked our favors.

The_Thirty-Something_Bride_TJ_Salsman_Photography41 The_Thirty-Something_Bride_TJ_Salsman_Photography48








Where did you go on your honeymoon?

Cancun, Mexico.

If you could do it all over again, what would you change, if anything?

Nothing! It went according to plan and guests are still telling us how much fun they had!



Congratulations to Rachel & Dave!

Reader Comments (1)

Happy wedding ,i have to say i admire you guys.

July 3, 2013 | Unregistered Commentereweddingdress

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