Although we live in San Francisco, Amanda in the tech industry and Kamaria as a nanny, we love to take day trips outside of the city and get into nature. You might find us hiking though the redwoods, exploring new beaches or hosting Saturday brunch with our friends.
We met on OkCupid a little over four years ago, Amanda had just moved to the Bay Area and opened an account. Kamaria was actually the first and only person that Amanda ever met off the site. She fondly remembers a feeling right from the very beginning of “I really liked her, is this normal when meeting people online?”
We decided on an intentional engagement, rather than one of us proposing to the other. We planned a special day down to Big Sur, California. While in search of the right pee spot above McWay Falls, we found a beautiful lookout where the waterfall spills out into the ocean below.
We decided it was the perfect spot to exchange rings and intentions for our future together. Afterwards, we enjoyed lunch and drinks at Nepenthe restaurant and ended the afternoon with a soak in a Japanese spa in Santa Cruz.
We know our engagement isn’t typical of the stories that you hear, but it was the perfect proposal for us.
The search for the right venue was looking bleak for us in the beginning. After nearly six months engaged, we still didn’t have any leads on a venue that was right for us. Everything was either too expensive or not the right vibe of what we wanted in a location. We had talked with one another that our perfect wedding location was at our good friend’s home, but it felt like too big of an ask.
One afternoon our friend Alysa texted us that she had something to tell us. She came over that night and told us that she and her Mom would love to host our wedding at their home. We [mostly Kamaria] cried a lot and everything just fell into place from there.
It meant that our venue was meaningful to us. When we first started dating, we would sometimes spend weekends in the cottage on the property. We spent anniversaries, birthdays, and summer weekends there. It felt like our home away from home, providing solace from our busy city lives.
We were inspired by late summer in Northern California and the natural beauty of where we had our wedding. The property has an olive grove and is surrounded by large redwood trees and rolling hills. We decided to keep our decor and flowers simple to really showcase the beauty around us.
Kamaria is the stylish one in the relationship, and was inspired by a series of images that she had saved to Instagram over the course of the year. Mainly she had saved photos of the way silk drapes, lush greenery, gold accents, natural light, golden hour, and editorial drama.
Almost everything that happened at our wedding wasn’t from a team of hired people, rather from our friends and family.
We made the sandwich board signs for welcoming our guests, as well as restroom and parking signs. All the arrangements, and garlands, were made the day before by our parents and siblings. Kamaria’s Dad and uncle installed the lighting structures on the lawn.
Kamaria knew exactly what she wanted in a dress, but the designers that made them were far outside what she was budgeting. Amanda’s Mom Stefanie mentioned a company that custom makes wedding dresses, queue Anomalie. From there, the process was easy. Kamaria immediately scheduled a consultation and began the production process on her dress.
Amanda is a different story. Dresses and jumpsuits were immediately off the table, but the idea of wearing a suit didn’t appeal to her either. After a lot of convincing and coercing on Kamaria’s part, Amanda agreed to let Kamaria help her find an outfit.
Kamaria took up the challenge and feverishly searched the internet for every possible white outfit, only to find a white linen suit from J. Crew. The only part of the process Amanda was excited about was accessorizing her outfit with shoes and sunglasses.
The day of the wedding was a dream. Kamaria woke Amanda up by literally jumping on the bed the day of!
Some of the best moments from the day entailed the ring warming ceremony and hearing from each of our closest friends and family during speeches. It felt like they each helped craft our marriage in their own ways. The champagne tower and serving champagne to all of our guests was also a hit – with the entire guest list.
As day turned to night there were plenty of memories made on the dancefloor. Amanda’s brother even choreographed a dance as a gift to us, the newlyweds.
We’re both really glad that we did a small, self-uniting ceremony. It felt like we were taking that step into marriage together.
We kept the wedding planning small and only added what we needed and served a purpose for us. Our approach was pretty minimalist, so there wasn’t anything that felt unnecessary at the end of the day.
Photographer Rachelle Derouin
Catering Simple Pleasures Foodcraft
Decorative Elements Heirloom Events
Desserts The Buttery Bakery, Gayle’s Bakery
Earrings Lizzie Fortunato
Florist Margo Norman
Furniture Hire Heirloom Events
Lighting & Sound Sure Thing Productions
Shoes Free People, Everlane
Stationery Designed by Alysa Norman-Triest
Suit J. Crew
Wedding Dress Anomalie
Wedding Rings Eli’s Jewelry