I’d like to think of myself as a Sonora wedding photographer, since I grew up there and basically owned the place as a rowdy youngster. A little more than a year after my marriage to my team mate and wifey at the beautiful Union Hill Inn in Columbia / Sonora, CA, I’m back. I was lucky enough to spend a beautiful day at the most wonderful places in my memories with Kym and Jasper. Union Hill is an amazing old ranch on several dozen acres that used to be home to ranchers and gold miners. Now it’s the best place to get married. Kym and Jasper made a good choice. Below are some questions we asked Kym about their big day! Thanks to Eric Turner at Eric Turner Photography for helping on this wedding!
A) Quick intro facts about the two of you lovebirds/engagement story???
We met through my dental hygienist who got my phone number to give to her son because she thought we would have a lot in common. Jasper ended up being her son’s best friend. We dated for 6 years and never spoke of marriage until Jasper asked me to marry him casually in the kitchen one evening…
B) Total budget + number of guests? (Please let us know if you’d like to keep this private)
We aren’t positive what the total wedding cost was in the end. We had about 110 guests.
C) Did you design/print your own invitations? Resources? Budgets for those items? (private?)
We did design and print our own invitations. I had 2 friends who are artists collaborate and they turned out awesome! One friend did the writing by hand, the other friend drew the background design, and I combined them in photoshop and printed them myself. It was A LOT of work but ended up being less than $100.
D) Overall theme to your wedding? How did your venue play a part in it?
We had kind of a rustic country theme with some 1920’s elements. The venue played a big part in the theme–it was a very rustic place and we really didn’t have to try very hard to give the wedding “personality” because the venue had so much of its own.
E) Favorite DIY projects? Resources for supplies?
We had a lot of DIY projects. My favorites were the wedding flowers and centerpieces. We used potted centerpieces that my mother and I created, with plastic cups hidden in the middle that we put cut flowers in on the day of the wedding (we were worried some of the planted flowers wouldn’t be blooming when we wanted them to). This was really inexpensive. We also ordered flowers online and my mother and aunt created the wedding bouquets and boutonnieres the day of the wedding. These turned out spectacularly, and cost half as much as it would have if we had ordered them. The groom’s favorite DIY project was probably the cigar lounge. We stocked a separate outside area with cigars and scotch and it was a big hit.
F) What types of flowers did you use?
We used all different types of flowers in the bouquets and tried to throw in several unique ones. Some of the main flowers included pin cushion proteas, black-eyed susan’s, fiddle head ferns, bells of ireland and gladiolas. The main flower colors were red, yellow, and orange with purple accents.
G) Music! What songs played during the ceremony/1st dance etc?
During the ceremony, we played a recording of a few guitar songs that Jasper composed. We also had a gypsy jazz band play during cocktail hour and for about an hour after dinner. We let them pick a song on the spot for the first dance–I don’t even know what song it ended up being! After the gypsy jazz band was done, we self-dj’d the rest of the night until 5 am using rented speakers and a computer pre-loaded with dance songs.
H) Where did all the fashion come from (with links if possible)?
The bride’s dress came from Mary Linn’s Bridal in Pasadena: http://www.marylinn.com/ and was from a really fun designer and all around great person–Matthew Christopher: http://www.matthewchristopher.com/. The suits for the groom and groomsmen were purchased from Men’s Wearhouse. The guys wanted to wear 3-piece suits, but couldn’t find anywhere that rented them so they waited for a buy one, get one 50% off sale and purchased them, which ended up being about the same cost as renting a tux.
I) Please list all the awesome vendors involved in your wedding so we can give them a nice shout-out! (with links to their websites if possible)
Of course, Sonora wedding photographer Jeremy at Still Music did a really above and beyond fabulous job!
Union Hill Inn was the most amazing, original, flexible, and fun venue!
Lila and Sage did a great job with the food.
The fashion links are included above, and really most everything else we did without a vendor.
J) Did you create a Pinterest board to hold all your wedding inspiration? Can you share the link?
No pinterest board.
K) How did you decide upon location or aesthetic?
We really wanted a place where people could stay the night and the event would feel like a weekend-long party. We didn’t want a curfew and wanted freedom to bring our own food and beverages. The Union Hill Inn was one of the only places within 50 miles of us that we found like that…plus it was the most unique and fun venue we viewed. Second choices for venues included the Bear Valley Lodge and Bass Lake.
L) Advice for other couples?
Don’t get stuck thinking that you have to do things the cookie cutter way that everyone expects. If you don’t want to walk down the aisle, don’t do it. If you feel more comfortable in a sun dress than a wedding gown, go for it. It’s easy to get caught up in worrying about what everyone is going to think and how surprised or disappointed people will be if you don’t do things in a traditional way. But when it comes down to it, everyone at your wedding loves you and is just happy to be there. If you change things up to fit other people’s expectations, the only disappointed person at your wedding will be you. So relax, have fun, and do whatever you want!
M) Anything else that made your wedding special?
We stayed up til 5 am and jumped in the pool in our wedding gear! (*not happy we missed that – SM)