Ali and Shawn were married on an eventful summer day at Greendance the Winery at Sandhill. On June 28, 2014, Rachel Rowland captured the beautiful bride dressed in Essense of Australia as she met her waiting groom dressed in his Bravo Coast Guard uniform.
Ali wrote, “We really just wanted a simplistic, romantic wedding day to reflect the real beauty, which was the celebration of our love. Being an event planner, I made sure everything was perfect and fun for our guests to the point of obsessive compulsiveness. We also wrote our own vows to make our short ceremony more unique.”
Adding to the uniquely adorable elements of the day were wine bottles for guests to sign as an alternative to a traditional guestbook and a honeymoon “cake to the face” fund. A downpour was also present throwing the wedding guests for a loop, but these folks know how to dance in the rain. Wedding budget?
“We spent somewhere between $24,000-$25,000. If we could’ve gotten everything for free that would be great, but we wouldn’t have spent anything less than that because we were thrilled with the quality of work and services our vendors provided. And we wouldn’t have spent anything more because we weren’t looking to have a gigantic, over the top wedding – it was just enough for us.”
Best use of budget?
“Rachel Rowland Photography. We love her. #girlcrush
Side note: spend the money on a really talented photographer since photos are the only thing you will have to remember the special moments of your big day.”
Anything that didn’t go as planned?
“The one thing every bride dreads for her outdoor wedding is rain. I really wanted everyone to enjoy the natural beauty of the venue, so we risked an open air reception with no tent. With 0% chance of rain, the outdoor ceremony was gorgeous. But halfway through dinner the most horrifying looking clouds came our way. The rain started pouring and we ran for cover under the trees. At first I was devastated, but Shawn made me laugh and smile throughout our first dance. In the pouring rain. Everyone told us it was ‘good luck’ but we weren’t fully convinced until we looked around to find all of our closest family and friends dancing in the pouring rain to celebrate the most perfect wedding day we couldn’t have even imagined. So we embraced it and partied the night away in the rain. And now every time it rains, I think of our wedding.”
Advice for future brides?
“Give yourself enough time to enjoy the planning process – it can really be a fun, special experience to share with your fiance as long as you aren’t taking on too much at once. And don’t stress over things you can’t control like breaking out or the weather because despite anything bad that can happen on your big day, you will look back on it as the most perfect day it could have been. After all, you will look back and laugh at the flaws and marvel at the moments where you wish time could have stood still.”
“Shawn’s favorite moment was getting to stuff the cake in Ali’s face. Ali’s favorite moment was reading their unique vows to each other. Another moment we both agree on is dancing our first dance in the pouring rain.”
Photographer: Rachel Rowland Photography ~Venue: Greendance the Winery at Sandhill ~ Dress designer: Essense of Australia ~ Shoes: ModCloth ~ Hair and make-up: Contempo Artistries Salon ~ Florist: Lilli Maeg ~ Mens’ suits: Men’s Wearhouse ~ Caterer: Elegant Catering ~ DJ: DJ X’Press ~ Bridal salon: The Exquisite Bride ~ Robes: Etsy