Oakland Beach House Wedding
After getting engaged near a romantic waterfall on a hiking trip, couple Karl and Kelsey wanted their wedding to reflect back to that day with a fresh, springtime feel. They accomplished just that with an abundance of lush greens and a color scheme that blended nicely with the scenery around them. Milou + Olin didn’t miss a beat in capturing the beauty of both the couple and the natural Oakland landscape on their special day.
From the bride, Kelsey: If our wedding had a theme, it was SPRING! Karl proposed to me by a waterfall while we were hiking with our dog in Marin in April about a year before our wedding. I had this funny feeling all day, then when he suggested we stop by this waterfall that we “happened” upon, I thought, this would be such a perfect spot to get proposed to, and then it happened, Woah. I knew I wanted to have our wedding in springtime and make it just really classic and simple and a celebration of that lush, green, fresh spring feeling. I make wedding cakes for a living, and so having our wedding in early spring before the normal wedding rush was an added bonus.
We thought it might still be chilly in late March so we picked a spot – the Lake Temescal Beach House in Oakland – that was cozy with a fireplace for our reception and since the patio would be full of blossoming trees and a garden hill of daffodils we had our ceremony right there too. Inspiration for the design originally came from some Maxfield Parrish paintings that had girls in flowing Grecian dresses and sunset light with a lot of shades of cobalt blue and yellow highlights. When choosing colors I thought about those paintings and our surroundings; I didn’t want our outfits to match but rather have colors that could be seen in the landscape and colors that would look nice together. I kind of forgot about that until we got our photos and was pleased to see the colors of the wedding attire fitting right into the landscape. Our happy dog even stopped by to pose in some pictures, dressed for the occasion with a green bow around his neck!
One of the highlights and what our guests still talk about is my Dad’s speech, he wrote a jazz poem! My parents were married in the woods of Point Reyes wearing wolf masks (it was the 70’s after all…), so some dear friends made us these amazing wolf hats we wore for our cake cutting as a very special tribute. It turned out to be quite warm that day but once it got dark the fireplace was lit and we danced until the last possible minute. It all came together so perfectly and just felt so intimate. It was the romantic celebration of springtime and new beginnings that we wanted.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? Don’t do everything yourself, just because you can. If you have talented friends ask them to help out a little with something that is in their field. Pick the thing or couple things you really want to do and get as much of a head start as possible.
We hired accordion and guitar players who played Sea of Love for the processional music, and gypsy jazz for recessional. Our first dance was to Everybody Is a Star by Sly and the Family Stone. Karl has been a DJ and we have about 5 friends who have DJ skills. They all brought records and took turns playing the dance music. That was so much fun and really special. We didn’t know everything they were going to play but they were all our favorite songs.
Wedding Location: Oakland, CA / Photographer: Milou + Olin / Floral Design: Soulflower Floral Design / Day-Of Coordination: Dani Lamas / Wedding Venue: Lake Temescal Beach House / Wedding Dress: Faviana / Wedding Shoes: Schutz / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Little Borrowed Dress / Groom’s Suit: Tommy Hilfiger / Groom’s Tie: Michael Kors / Groom’s Shoes: Cole Haan / Wedding Caterer: Ann Walker Catering / Wedding Cake: The Whole Cake / Linens: Napa Valley Linens / Musicians: Diana Strong and Dennis Fortin / Officiant: Cynthia Gregory / Wedding Invitations: Designed by couple; Olive-Route Letterpress and Pie Bird Press