Today’s wedding is the height of nostalgia, bringing back so many memories of summer camp and childhood hiking trips that we miss pretty much every day. Sposto Photography, Little Hill Floral Design, LOVESMITH&CO, Big Sur Weddings, plus the bride and her family all took major part in this wedding day, with the bride’s own father making all the reception tables and benches on his own!
From the bride, Kristina: Justin and I met two and a half years ago under auspicious circumstances. I was out on a first date with a man who happened to be an acquaintance of Justin’s, and then we happened to run into him that night. Needless to say, I didn’t go on a second date with this man. Shortly thereafter, Justin wooed me and wowed me with his adventurous way of life. Early on in our relationship we began camping and enjoying nature together, which is something that Justin had always done and that I had really missed from my childhood. Spending time together in the wild became a huge part of our lives. Between my industrious ways and Justin’s resourceful insights, we make a really great team out in the woods; as a result, our roles really came into play when it came time to plan a summer camp style experience for our friends and family. We really stuck together during the planning process; it was very important to both of us that our wedding, our special day, be a true reflection who we are as a couple as well as individually. We wanted our family to feel like they were with us on one of our many summer adventures, so it only made sense to invite them all up north to park it under some giant Redwoods for the weekend.
From our first day of planning, we knew we wanted to have a modest wedding in the financial sense, but it was also important to us that we include all of the elements that we had been dreaming about. Having been a veteran bridesmaid and Maid of Honor, I knew well the wedding features that were of the utmost importance: good food, a full bar, and music that got people out of their seats and onto the dance floor. Aside from our essential party elements, there was one more thing that was of paramount importance for me: the overall aesthetic. Since 2009, I have had the immense pleasure of helping plan and style weddings for several of my closest friends, piecing together all of the pretty little things (and sometimes big scary things) that helped complete the visions of my friends’ weddings. But now, it was my turn. I knew that I wanted to create something that really embodied who Justin and I are as a couple. First, I settled on a couple things that I knew would really represent him specifically: literature and nature. Justin’s vast knowledge of literature and his deep affection for nature are both aspects of his personality that make me swoon. By taking those elements and putting my stylish and pretty twist on them, I had the perfect vision for our tables.
Oh! The tables… what a labor of love those were. Early on in my planning process I knew I wanted long wood tables without linens. I wanted to keep as many natural-looking things present for the look of the wedding. Right away I found that the very popular choice I had made in natural wood was going to cost me a pretty penny. This was the first time that I said to myself that there must be a less expensive option (little did I know that that would become one of my most effective mantras during the planning of this wedding). So, I then turned to my dad, an amazing carpenter and woodworker who would do anything for his only daughter, of course! He spent months sawing, sanding, planing and staining the tables of my dreams, not to mention a set of benches for each table. All in all, the cost of the tables ended up amounting to about one-third of the rental tables I had originally wanted. For my dad, making these tables was no small feat, but it brought back his love for carpentry in a really profound way. He even had Justin help him make one, which ended up becoming a special gift for his Best Man. It also brought on more projects that I would dream up and that he would create: a special table and bench just for Justin and me, a gigantic Jenga game, cupcake stands, a teepee, a taco sign (“Taco ‘Bout A Party!”) and little stands for our Viking drinking horns. It was really neat to see my dad doing something he loved and getting a break from the headache of his day job; he was so proud the day of the wedding, and so was I.
And once we had the tables figured out, we were left with plenty of time to go hunting: vintage books of blues and greens, camping lanterns, vintage glass, amber bottles, and sweet succulents were all I searched for. This was half the fun! I really loved this process. Every table was different from the last. Fueled by hard cider and the help of my mom, I spent an entire day doing mock-ups and mini photoshoots with each one. Eventually, all of the planning, preparation, and hard work came to an end, and our perfect day finally arrived. It was a day that was about us, about our love, and about the life that we had envisioned for ourselves… the very same life we were about to begin.