It's probably no secret that when it comes to weddings, I do have my favorites. And this one, delivered courtesy of Paco & Betty, is quickly moving to the top of the list. Jason and Summer are people that know how to throw not just a party, but the party of the year (I get the feeling that in high school they were the cool kids who always had bootleg music in their backpacks and had parents who frequently went out of town). They decided to have a 1920s theme wedding and the result is super romantic glamour. My favorite weddings, I've noticed, have a common thread: warmth and joy, not just from the couple but also from the people surrounding them. This wedding is filled with happy, fun people. Who doesn't love that?
Did your wedding location hold a specific significance to you?
Yes the site did have significance for us. We chose Masked Man Ranch to host our wedding and reception because it's owned and operated by our good friends Mark Young and Ron Goldin. They own several restaurants in the valley (Napa) and are the most incredible hosts. Masked Man Ranch is their home. The grounds are beautiful and intimate. We knew that Mark and Ron could help us make our special day everything we dreamed and more.
There were so many wonderful moments throughout the entire day, but one of the most memorable for me was at the threshold of the aisle. I looked up, took a deep breath, and a wave of love and happiness washed over me as I soaked in the scene before me. I couldn't believe how everything had come together, the beautiful setting, the people, the warmth and kindness I felt from everyone. All of our friends and family had travelled across the continent to celebrate with us and every one of them looked AMAZING! It was a 1920's glamorous garden party in the middle of paradise! The girls in their flapper dresses, the men in spats and pinstripes. The attention to detail was incredible and everyone had done it all for us.
The ceremony was beautifully sentimental, completely unpretentious and often hilarious, with our close friend Dr. Johnathan Downar officiating the entire ceremony in a David Attenborough accent. It sounds a bit cliché but from the moment the day started it felt like a fairy tale...but not a cookie cutter Disney version. A 'one of a kind' fairy tale wedding filled with all our closest friends and family and lots of laughter and tears.
Did anything funny or out of the ordinary happen?
Apparently my nephews, who were our ring bearers, nearly lost the rings down a crack in the porch. My sister spent 20 minutes desperately searching for the rings which had come undone from the bowls. Thankfully she found them both and it was never mentioned to me until months later. She said she nearly had a heart attack as she frantically searched the garden and the cracks in the porch.
How did you decide on your theme?
Jason and I love to throw parties but not just any party will do, we usually like to mix it up with a theme. So when it came to planning our wedding we decided together that we had to do something different and fun. We wanted to do a theme but how could we avoid the look of a Halloween party? What theme would lend itself to the elegance I had always envisioned for my wedding? I began looking to old movies for inspiration. That's how I came up with the 1920's Great Gatsby theme - It's more like Great Gatsby meets the Hollywood glamour of early Greta Garbo.
To help our guests I created a website: http://jasonandsummer.com (login in: wedding / password: napa) Just click on the Theme for inspiration. There you'll find the How to Gatsby created by the Art Deco Society of California, along with several other helpful tips on hair and what to wear.
I love a great theme party because it always gives your guests something to talk about, especially if they've never met before. It's a great way to open the conversation and it gives each guest an opportunity to shine in their own unique way. I think the theme helped to make the event even more special and fun for everyone. Not to mention the pictures look incredible! Thanks to Paco & Betty!
How did you know your partner was "the one"?
Jason and I were friends for nearly two years before we started dating and were together nearly ten years before we were married. I'm not sure there was ever an "aha" moment so much as many little moments in which I thought how wonderfully easy it was and is to be with him. We laugh a lot and I think we really understand one another.
When Jason finally got around to popping the question, he really went all out; a trip to Miami with a romantic spa island getaway in the Florida Keys. There was a lagoon shaped pool with orchids and miniature deer grazing in the brush, a couples massages with a beautiful outdoor cedar tub filled with rose petals. It was paradise by any definition. The whole weekend was so overwhelmingly beautiful. We had been together so long that I almost didn't understand why he needed to do something so extravagant. I would have been happy with a proposal in our home; something simple would have been lovely too. But Jason's not one to do things the easy way. And so I asked him why after all these years, why all this? And he said.... "I wanted to do the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you." My heart melted. Doesn't that say it all?
Any advice you'd give new brides who are just getting started?
1. Have fun! Remember it's a party, likely the biggest, most expensive party you will ever throw in your life, but a party none the less. Don't let anyone or anything ruin it for you. It's your day, with your partner. Make it as unique and special as your relationship.
2. You don't have to spend a fortune. I found my dress at a Vera Wang sample sale for $ 500. Start shopping early to find the deals, especially regarding the dress; it will inform the entire look of the wedding.
3. Pick the best photographers you can afford. They are memories that will last a lifetime. Review their portfolio thoroughly and compare with others. Perspective is everything. Find photographers with a unique voice because they will help capture yours.
4. Ask for help with the things you don't enjoy doing or need help with. Either paid, if you can, or lean on your friends and family for help. Tell them your vision and allow them an opportunity to contribute.
Photographer: Paco and Betty
Venue: Masked Man Ranch (Napa Valley)
Dress: Vera Wang dress with the adornments removed. Purchased at year end sale for 500.
Shoes: Stuart Weitzman
Accessories: Sarah Dougall, owner of Made You Look
1273 Queen St. West, Toronto
Groom's Attire: Bespoke suit made by - Green Shag
670 Queen Street West, Toronto
Catering: Brannan's Grill (Calistoga)
1374 Lincoln Ave
Event Design & Flowers: Kate Stanley Design
Event Planning: I worked with Kate on the design and we had a person on site the day of to manage the event. All were local through our friends.
DJ: Toronto based, Josh Laing @ Priceless Audio