Stephanie and Daniel were originally planning a black tie wedding with 120 guests. When Covid hit plans changed and they had an intimate wedding including 6 guests, even including them in their first look. “My mom was peeking from behind a few trees in the garden, and the photographer asked her to move to the side so she wasn’t in the shot, which then caused everyone to follow my mom.”
Of her Isolde gown, Stephanie said, “It wasn’t until the 8th appointment when I tried on the Isolde dress by Tara Lauren that I was 110% positive it was the one.
It had the perfect amount of detail to fit into a garden wedding without being too distracting. The fit was absolutely perfect. I have never seen my behind look so good! I felt sexy, beautiful and like a bride on my wedding day!“
Names: Stephanie & Daniel
Wedding Date: 09/02/2020
Guest Numbers: 6
Wedding Location: Beltane Ranch, Glen Ellen, CA
Photographer: Amanda Barnes
Tell Us Your Love Story
How did you meet?
Dan and I met about 3 years ago at work; I was a retail buyer and he worked in finance. Ironically, he had given his notice the same week I started. I’d say it’s because he instantly fell so deeply in love with me that he couldn’t bare to work with me, but his story is a touch different. We started out as friends, he wanted to show me around a bit because I was new to San Francisco (NYC transplant). As time went on and we hung out more, we began to feel a little something more than friends.
How did he put a ring on it?
Last fall, we began planning a trip for the holidays back to New Hampshire to see my family. We figured since we’d be over there, it was a good time to take the Europe trip we had been wanting to for a while. So we planned Paris and London, and on the third day in Paris, he said he wanted to go back to the Eiffel Tower to see it during the day (we had already seen it at night, which was apparently all in his plan to scope out the setting). I laughed and agreed, not thinking anything was out of the ordinary.
We headed back early the next morning, and he set up a tripod to take pictures of us in front of the Eiffel Tower. After a couple clicks, he made me check the pictures to make sure I liked where we were standing, then back to our places we went. We started taking a few more pictures, he turned to me and said “I love you” about a hundred times, then he dropped to his knee and popped the question.
I cried for about three minutes which I’m sure felt like an eternity for him. He finally said, “are you going to say yes or what?!” It was so sweet and thoughtful, and I’m so glad that he was able to capture the special moment with live pictures so I was able to create a video out of it.
Where did you draw inspiration from?
When we initially started planning our wedding, we found a beautiful victorian house on a farm setting complete with weeping willows, a pond and a barn. I wanted a black tie dress code because I love dressing up and I wanted to give our guests an opportunity to wear their sparkly shoes in the back of the closet.
When we decided to change our plans and have a ‘mini’mony, I wanted to find a venue that felt homey and inviting, and wouldn’t feel too overwhelming for our small guest count. Beltane Ranch was perfect for us; it was an intimate ceremony followed by a socially distance lunch (9 people at a 25 foot table). I drew inspiration for decor from the incredible garden on the property. I found a dress that fit the scene perfectly, and asked the florist to only use locally sourced wildflowers that wouldn’t feel out of place at the garden.
What made the wedding personal to you?
Having such an intimate wedding made interacting with our guests super easy. Considering we were planning about 120 guests for our big celebration, the thought of not having the opportunity to speak to all of our guests was a bummer.
Even though a first look is traditionally only between the bride and groom, all of our guests ended up being involved. My mom was peeking from behind a few trees in the garden, and the photographer asked her to move to the side so she wasn’t in the shot, which then caused everyone to follow my mom. When I came around the corner, Dan’s back was to me, and in front of him about 20 feet away, our parents and guests were all lined up watching. It made me laugh because you would never have all of your wedding guests at the first look, but it worked out perfectly.
What were you most nervous or excited about?
I was most nervous about exchanging our vows. I had been working on mine for about two weeks prior, and of course Dan started his two days before. We are a very silly couple, so I knew we’d both have some good jokes in our vows, but I was afraid that I’d cry uncontrollably the way I did when he proposed. I held it together for the most part. And he kept his vows pretty light; we even made the same comment about how I load the dishwasher, and at the end of his vows, he quoted Spock by saying “ Live Long and Prosper” complete with the Vulcan hand signal. LOL. I was most excited about being married to the love of my life, and to do all the wedding-y things, like cutting the cake and popping champagne.
Now, the most important part – the Dress!
Tell us about your dress?
Oh my goodness, where do I even begin.
I had been to tons of different shops from San Francisco, to Los Angeles and New Hampshire trying to find the perfect dress. My biggest struggle was that each time I’d go to an appointment, I’d find a dress that I loved but each was completely different from the last that I had loved. It wasn’t until the 8th appointment when I tried on the Isolde dress by Tara Lauren that I was 110% positive it was the one.
It had the perfect amount of detail to fit into a garden wedding without being too distracting. The fit was absolutely perfect. I have never seen my behind look so good! I felt sexy, beautiful and like a bride on my wedding day!
What stockist did you get it from?
I got my wedding dress from Lovely Bride in San Francisco.
I was lucky enough to be able to get it within two weeks of ordering being that I was planning my wedding about five weeks out. When it came in, I was so nervous that it would be the wrong style, or have been accidentally be ordered in hot pink or something crazy, but it came in perfect and I loved it even more then than I remembered when trying it on again.
What was your most memorable moment from your day?
My most memorable moment was our first dance. Dan and I spent about 4 hours creating the perfect playlist for the day that had a mix of his favorite songs that he grew up with and my favorite love songs.
Our first dance song was the very first decision we made when we got engaged and started wedding planning. He’s a huge N’sync fan (just ask him, he’s been to many concerts and can recite every lyric), and one night we had the album on while making dinner together. ‘This I Promise You’ came on, and we both instantly knew that was the one.
And if you’re curious about Dan’s point of view, I just asked him what his most memorable moment of the day was, and his immediate response, without looking up from his work computer was, “Seeing you in the dress”. That’s gotta say something!