Abigail and Christine, found love looking for ‘friends’ on a dating website. They fell in love over number of months before Christine asked Abigail, ‘will you marry me?’. They share their Lake Tahoe, California, wedding day with us.
How did you meet? Tell us about the proposal.
We met online through OK Cupid, a dating website, where Abigail was only seeking ‘friends’. We were friends for a few months and dating others before the relationship took a romantic turn. Chris proposed to Abigail with the help of a guitarist outside of Zuni Cafe where they went on their first date. This was Plan B. Chris had originally planned to propose by song at Martuni’s (a piano bar across the street), but she chickened out.
Tell us about your wedding! What was the inspiration behind your day? Did you have a specific theme, style or colour palette? Did you incorporate any cultural or religious traditions in any part of your day?
Abigail grew up going to Alford Lake Camp in Maine. The camp had a pine grove where campers would come together, tell stories, and sing songs. Both Abigail and Chris attended Dartmouth College which is located in a beautiful, natural, and idyllic setting in New Hampshire. It is especially stunning in the Fall. We were looking for a venue that felt like Alford Lake and Dartmouth on the West Coast. The theme for the reception was bringing the outdoor and community feeling indoors.
Let’s talk about wedding decor. How did you decorate your space for the ceremony and the reception?
We wanted a rustic, but not shabby, chic decor — more down to earth than glitzy. We had a few DIY elements including having guests sign Adirondack chairs that we assembled in our hotel room. We also wanted support and guidance from those who went before us in marriage and created labelled wine bottles for people to leave messages for us to read on our 1st, 5th, 10th, and 25th anniversaries. We came up with a natural tree logo that is similar to the Dartmouth lone pine symbol and put it on our welcome bags which we assembled.
What were the florals like at your wedding?
The florals were beautiful – we had a Fall theme at the rehearsal dinner with Autumn coloured Gerbera daisies, plus mini white daisies and red/orange roses. For our wedding and reception, the colours were seafoam (green), light pink, and ivory. The bouquets included roses, eucalyptus, and some succulents. The ceremony backdrop was a natural birch arch with similar florals as the bouquets in each corner. We asked Celadon to put up draping, hedges, a live wall with greenery, and additional lighting to create a romantic outdoor ambience.
Did you personalise the day in any way?
We scripted the ceremony in collaboration with our Officiant. We wrote our own vows. At the reception, we hired a vendor to produce “flipbooks” which captured guests’ short animated videos and breaks the videos into old school flip/animation booklets which were personalized party favours. In addition, Chris’s kids each had an Instax Fiji (similar to Polaroid) cameras and they each took pictures of guests and later created a scrapbook from the instant photos. Our favourite parts were the vows, family support, rehearsal dinner toasts, reception toasts, and dancing. Chris’s highlight was when Abigail stood on the stage and sang (spontaneously) “Your Song” by Elton John to her with the band at the end of the night.
How did you both choose your wedding day look?
Abigail had an image of what she wanted her dress to look like — A-Line with lace but not too much. She found it at Vera Wang. Chris wanted to wear a dress for the ceremony but a pantsuit for the reception. She was drawn to the sleek simple but feminine lines, and that is how she chose both outfits.
Do you have any wedding planning advice that you’d like to share with othercouples planning their day?
If both people in the couple have time constraints due to work or life demands, take more than 9 months to plan the wedding. Do not rush the venue selection or contract review processes due to time pressure. Ask for clear explanations and understand the details of the food and beverage ‘minimums’, including tax and service fees. Also, on the invites, do not put the RSVP deadline on the invite itself, put them on the separate RSVP card instead because you may want to invite more people after getting the RSVP returns. No guests want to receive an invite knowing they were part of a round 2 of invites.
Also, be kind – especially during stressful planning moments. Always take the high road and maintain the long view.
Photographer Annie X Photographie | Dress Boutique Bridal Galleria | Photo Booth Equipment The Laugh Box | Band Pop Fiction | Makeup La di Da Beauty | Event Styling Celadon Events | Officiant Ceremonies By Meredith | Dress Designer Vera Wang | Florals Thrans Flowers | Event Venue Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe