Big Wedding News + Our First Giveaway!

Ever since Jeff proposed 6 months ago (!) I have been looking forward to blogging about our wedding planning experience and TODAY marks the very first post!  In addition to giving people a glimpse into the process, this will serve as a sort of journal for us to look back on after the wedding.  So….. what’s the first step?!  VENUE + DATE!  Jeff + I were not locked into any particular date or time of the year, only that we knew we wanted the wedding in 2015.  I have long wished for a destination wedding and Jeff wanted something a little closer to his hometown, San Francisco.  Now if you know us, you know that my family is all on the East Coast, so we decided that we would both get our way with a wedding in………………. SONOMA!!  Jeff took me on my first trip back in 2011 and we just adore everything about this sweet little town.  I am so excited for both of our families to enjoy this lovely destination.   And after a little research, we’ve set our date for late March 2015 at the GORGEOUS Lodge at Sonoma!  Earlier this month, we had a quick weekend trip and were able to finally tour the property ourselves and snap a few pictures.  I couldn’t be happier with everything.  Here are a few pictures from around the resort:  2014-03-23_0001 2014-03-23_0002 2014-03-23_0003

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Selecting  your venue is such a HUGE part of the wedding planning process and there are so many questions to ask yourself before you begin the process.  Lucky for me, SimplyBridal.com recently sent me this infographic questionnaire helping to narrow down your venue choice!

Venue Selection Flowchart

Which leads me to our next big announcement:

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SimplyBridal.com + Kate’s Captures have partnered for our first ever GIVEAWAY!!!!!!!!!!  We are giving away a beautiful, IVORY, cathedral length (108″) veil to ONE lucky winner!  It’s beautiful + classic + I can’t WAIT to see who wins!!  To register to win, click HERE!!

Giveaway ends at 12am on 3.31.14.

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Winter Vacation: Key West

After the crazy winter we’ve had so far, Jeff + I were RIDICULOUSLY excited that we scheduled a tropical vacation in the middle of February. Key West has been on our bucket list for the past few years and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. You can call us, “Florida snowbirds,” because even though we already live in Florida, we packed our bags and flew further south. Just kidding. We DROVE! One of my favorite things about Jeff is his energy + excitement to undertake crazy ideas and make them happen. (I like to think that one of my best qualities is my ability to convince him to take said vacations…. we balance each other very well!) So we drove. All.the.way.down.Florida. And it wasn’t that bad! We are really good road trip buddies and even a long traffic delay on THE ONLY ROAD TO KEY WEST didn’t dampen our spirits! The drive was actually one of my favorite parts of the whole trip!
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We chose to stay at the Southernmost Hotel and I HIGHLY recommend it! It was SO relaxing and wonderful! They had 3 different pools, an awesome restaurant + beach access to the southernmost beach in the continental U.S.! Pretty cool, huh? I know it looks like I took a LOT of photos, but honestly, I didn’t even take my camera out until the last day of our trip. I made every effort to really enjoy this down time and only checked my email once a day. Okay, maybe twice. Jeff + I spent much of our days lounging + reading + it was exactly what I needed! Looking back, I’m so glad that I brought my camera because now I can look at these photos anytime and remember how awesome it was! Here are a few detail shots from around our resort!
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That’s our room on the top floor!
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I know it’s is SO cheesy, but we really enjoyed how many “KW” souveniers we found – it’s not every day that your initials are EVERYWHERE!
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After an amazing Valentine’s lunch, we headed out to Duval Street one last time to snap a few more photos.
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One of the things that surprised me the most about Key West were the amount of wild chickens + roosters roaming around! They crowed all day long and we laughed every time. And we may have harassed a few for photos. I couldn’t help it.
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We watched this mother hen and her baby chicks the entire time we ate lunch. She was forging for food and it was incredibly cute.
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And for our last little “excursion,” we headed to the “Southernmost Point in the Continental United States” for the obligatory photo. The best part: it’s not true. You can see the southernmost point from there, but it’s on the military base and not accessible to the public. It’s OK though, we forgive you, Key West. Because you’re awesome.
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OUR Engagement Photos!!

I can’t believe I am JUST getting around to sharing our engagement photos! HELLO, January! The week before Thanksgiving, my friend Meg from Meg Burke Photography met us on Pensacola Beach for our engagement session. The weather called for temps in the 50s and WIND, but we decided to go for it! We started the session on our bikes with Bojangles at the helm in her basket. This is a totally normal occurence, and while staged for the photos, we seriously do this ALL THE TIME. She loves it!
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2014-01-08_0006.jpg If you know Bojangles, you know the trick on the right!
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2014-01-08_0008.jpg We were absolutely freezing after finishing the first set of photos, so we changed into something a little more cozy and watched the sunset on the beach over a picnic + champagne. Again, something we are known to do from time to time. Except it’s usually wine (we’re not THAT fancy!)   Bojangles enjoyed the cheese + meat, as always, and we had a lovely (but still chilly) time for the rest of the shoot. Meg – I can’t thank you ENOUGH for making these memories for us! Thanks again for braving the wind + cold for us! You are a ROCKSTAR!!
2014-01-08_0009.jpg Bojangles expression KILLS me in this photo.
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2014-01-08_0015.jpg Reppin’ our Giants.
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Many thanks to Fiore for our florals + Hemstitch Vintage Rentals for the darling picnic basket + tray!!

Holiday Vacation: Napa + Sonoma, California

Last weekend, in celebration of Juliet’s birthday + Jeff’s Christmas present, we headed to Napa Valley for some post-Christmas wine tasting! The 3 of us visited Sonoma back in 2011, with then underage Juliet as our chauffeur, and we wanted to return the favor by letting her partake this time. We found an awesome hotel near the wineries and set out on our journey.
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Our first stop was Mumm, specializing in sparkling wine. We enjoyed our tasting, a flight of 3 different blends and left a little gigglier. (*Jeff volunteered to be our DD, so he wasn’t quite as giggly.)
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Our next stop was ZD, right next door, where we enjoyed the ambiance, their upside down Christmas tree and more wine.
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After this tasting, we were feeling it, so we decided to break for food. On the recommendation of our host at ZD, we stopped at the Oakville grocery and obtained all the necessities for a wine country picnic, french bread, cheese and olives! This was a favorite memory of the entire trip (and that’s not just the wine talking.) 2014-01-04_0010.jpg

Our next stop was Robery Mondavi, the most recognizable winery we visited during our trip. There were a lot more people here (and LOTS of kids….) but we also happened to catch it right at sunset, so we used the opportunity to take a few extra pictures. There are definitely pros + cons to traveling with a professional photographer.
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The next day, we made a last minute decision to head to Sonoma and relive a little of our previous trip, but this time with Juliet participating! We made it to downtown Sonoma and it was just as charming as I remembered. Our first stop was Envolve, a winery tucked away in a shopping area. The wine was great and we enjoyed drinking wine at a time in the day that would be considered “early”, had we been anywhere else.
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On our final stop, we decided to forgo the tasting and just order glasses of wine and a plate of goodies. I could eat + drink like this everyday, but I really wouldn’t get much accomplished. It’s a good thing I live 3000 miles from wine country. 2014-01-04_0020.jpg

Until next time!