Ask any wedding planner – a wedding is not a one size fits all type of thing. It’s easy to fall into the “big, over the top” frame of mind when planning a wedding, but Rachael and Joe’s wedding is an excellent example of just how enjoyable an intimate event can be.
Like most wedding stories, this one starts with a simple meeting. Rachael met Joe one day when he asked if she’d like some company as she walked her dog around their neighborhood. So began a friendship that grew in to a romance, and when a career opportunity took Joe to a new town, it wasn’t long before Rachael joined him and they began their life together.
Fast forward a few short years, and the couple has a daughter, Lily, who is the center of their world. “Our life together is all about family. We love to do things as a family, like gardening, playing at the park, and going for walks. We love to travel and see new places. We share each other’s interests; Joe’s video games have become a family event, and Lily sits on his lap pretending she is playing right along with him. We love sports and watch them together. Joe and I share a love for baseball; we go to college baseball games together and we even watch games on TV together in our Beavers gear!” says Rachael. Beavers? That’s the Oregon State Beavers – because Rachael is a Sacramento area native now living in Salem, Oregon.
Clearly, the time had come to tie the knot. Their proposal story is simple and sweet. Rachael remembers, “I came home from work early one day, catching Joe by surprise. He seemed annoyed that I came home unexpectedly. I was setting my stuff down when I heard him call me from upstairs. At the top of the stairs, I found Lily waiting, wearing a shirt that said “Mommy, will you marry Daddy?” and kneeling next to her was Joe, holding a ring! He had decorated the room with candles and a picture of the two of us surrounded by flower petals. It was so sweet and perfect.”
Planning their wedding began with an important decision: where? Even though the couple currently resides in Oregon, the decision was made to hold the wedding in Northern California, where Rachael grew up, and her parents still reside. Since their families are scatted all up and down the West Coast, Sacramento was a central location for all. Their search for the perfect wedding venue for their small guest list of 30 led them to The Inn at Parkside, a charming wedding venue in downtown Sacramento. The Inn is a lovely Mediterranean styled bed & breakfast that’s available for weddings on weekends, with lots of unique touches that set it apart from the area’s other venues. Built in 1936, the property, originally known as the Fong Mansion, impresses visitors with its beauty and elegance. With a spa on site, you can make services part of the package. And the icing on the cake is overnight accommodations followed by a fantastic breakfast buffet in the morning for overnight guests.
When the big day arrived, the first look provided a chance for some great photos, with Rachael emerging from the front door of the inn, beautiful in her strapless Maggie Sotero gown with satin and beading, to meet her waiting groom as their guests watched and cheered them on from an upstairs window. What a great way to start the festivities!
Afterwards, the Inn’s back patio proved a comfortable and intimate setting for families to visit and chat while live classical guitar music played in the background. Perfect weather on a comfortable Sacramento evening in May made for a get-together that was enjoyed by all. When the time came for guests to take their seats for for the sunset ceremony, the beautifully decorated patio, enhanced by candles and flowers everywhere, was the perfect spot for this little family group to witness Rachael and Joe exchanging the vows they wrote for one another.
White tulle dresses with ivory sashes had the flower girls looking absolutely darling, and feeling like little princesses. The maid of honor and bridesmaids wore plum, and the groom, best man, and groomsmen were looking sharp in their classic black tuxes accented by gold and plum vests. Calla lillies and orchids in dark purple and white with accent flowers were chosen for bouquets and tables.
Afterwards, a dazzling reception awaited, with tables decked out with beautiful gold linens with lace and pearl overlays, with candles and floating flower vases. Place settings were vintage china and glassware, with gold flatware. A delicious buffet was enjoyed by all, after which, of course it was time for cake! Since Rachael prefers chocolate and Joe prefers vanilla, and there was no compromise to be reached, they had both! A delicious cake in pale gold and metallic finish and sugar orchids was made with a faux layer in the middle to give the illusion of a full-sized wedding cake without making more than what was necessary.
For the father-daughter dance, as a joke Rachael surprised Dad with a loud, hard rock song from her childhood, the DJ quickly switching to a nice contemporary piece played on the guitar. As the evening wore on, some danced while others had a chance to catch up and enjoy a rare chance to spend time together. And isn’t giving family and friends a chance to connect one of the best things about a wedding?
[Venue] The Inn at Parkside [Photography] Rachelle Photography [Lounge, reception decor] Dogwood Party Rentals [Floral] Accents by Sage [Cake] Kathy’s Little Cakery [DJ/Live Music] Wedding Music by Michael [Bride’s Hair] Janae Smith Studio [Bride’s Makeup] Happily Beautiful [Bridesmaids’ Hair & Makeup] Le Spa [Linens] Mimi & Co. [Favors] Capital Confections [Catering] Esquire Cafe Catering [Ceremony site decor/Chiavari chairs] The Backdrop Specialists [Officiant] Imagine Wedding Ceremonies