We’ve been together for 10 years! Janine came to Jimena’s 30th birthday warehouse party with a mutual friend. It was love at first sight for Janine, but a somewhat skeptical Jimena refused to exchange contact info, stating “if it’s meant to be, it’ll happen.”
Well, we all see how that turned out!
We knew we wanted a weekend campout wedding, but rental venues were priced at nearly $20k without amenities, so we decided that for the price, we could invest in property instead.
From there we began a 2-year process of searching for the perfect venue, and new home.
We drove through an area to see a smaller property, but noticed a for sale sign on anther home and called the owner. We were invited to explore the most beautiful property with a seasonal flowing creek, cows grazing, and stunning rock outcroppings. We knew immediately this place was magical and would make the perfect backdrop to our perfect celebration.
Considering the wedding was completely DIY and organized entirely by us, stress is an understatement. Realizing that the weekend was going to skyrocket to temperatures nearing 100°F [38°C], and with no showers on-site for the overnight campers, we decided six weeks shy of the wedding that we had to have a pool for our guests. We then excavated, leveled part of the property, and bought and set up an 18’ pool. Luckily our Sheriff neighbor popped in to show off his new tractor as we were trying to figure out how to move a 200lb pool box!
We’re doers, action-oriented, and hyper-planners. On top of that, we love hosting, going on adventures, being in nature, and enjoying warm, summertime fun. The wedding brought all of these things together and really embodied our community-focused, epic lifestyle & spirit.
Our venue began as raw, untouched land, so we had to set up even the most essential things like; roads, lighting, campsites, water source, etc. All of the decorative plants were grown in our Oakland, CA garden. The teepee, tents, excavations & leveling, platform, decor & furnishings…you name it, were all sourced/purchased, made, or labored by our amazing tribe of friends and family and us.
It was 18 months of blood, bruises, sweat, and tears, and we wouldn’t have had it any other way. Even the food was DIY catered by our chef friends/neighbors who live across the street. They not only trucked in premade food via hotboxes, they also prepared food on site for dinner and brunch the next day; all vegan!
Our favorite part of our wedding was that it was a 3-day affair. About 85 people camped out on our land, so the Sunday brunch was extra special because we had time to slow down and actually spend time with friends and family on Sunday.
We previously never thought we’d actually get married; it didn’t seem necessary given our solid relationship and what we knew to be true of our commitment and partnership. We realized later that marriage is an opportunity to represent our commitment to others further and inspire that same partnership in those around us. And we couldn’t resist the chance to throw an EPIC celebration!
Our advice to others planning their wedding day: keep a good perspective – some things matter more to each of you, and some things matter more for your guests. Know where you fall on the spectrum of pleasing yourself versus making your guests comfortable. It’ll make decisions easier.
We are so glad that we went with a weekend wedding with brunch the next morning. As everyone warned us, the day/night goes by so quickly, and it can be hard to step back and take it all in. The next day we had time to relish the company around us, our tribe, and really honor and celebrate what we had just accomplished.
Photographer Boris Zharkov
Beer Truck Beers Inc
Cake Three Gingers Baking Co.
Cake Topper A Cake to Remember [Etsy]
Catering The couple’s neighbors. Led by Chef Meliza Calderon
Cinematographer Catalina Austin
Desserts Vegan Cupcakes by Puskin’s Bakery
Gown Designer Mario Alonzo
H&MU Esther Yoo
Jumpsuit Designer Mario Alonzo
Photobooth Classic Photo Booth Rentals
Signage Botts Hoppe
Tipi Life’s Best in Tents