If you were to think about wedding planning and the problems that could possibly pop up in midst of it all (and if you are wedding planning, I am sure you have hit a few speed bumps!), pretty much one of the WORST things you can think of would be your venue cancelling on you….especially if it were just 3 months before the wedding. Well, that’s exactly what happened to Sarah and Sam. But laaaawd knows the universe works in mysterious ways and they crushed that speed bump like they were in a matrimonial monster truck.
Thanks to the INCREDIBLE Gina and Ryan Photography for all the images and to Sarah for sharing some of my favorite “lessons learned” I’ve heard yet.
From the bride…
Everything is going to be okay, or: how we survived a venue cancellation 3 months before the wedding… When it came to wedding planning, we really chose our battles. Some decisions were easy, and others… not so much. The venue was our biggest battle. We were extremely selective and pruned our top contenders mercilessly. (Here’s a side lesson: use your Google-fu wisely and patiently. Every time we thought there wasn’t possibly another venue to consider, we’d keep searching, and find another one.) So when we did find our venue, it was a massive relief. We felt great about our decision and went about planning our wedding. We were pretty much all set when, on one sunny day in June, our venue contact called me in tears and explained all fall weddings were cancelled and our deposit was in the mail. WHOA.
We spent an evening grieving the wedding we thought we were going to have, applied a healthy dose of margaritas, and then buckled down. We had just over 3 months to re-plan our wedding from venue to invites to caterer to rentals. (Here’s another hidden lesson: everyone in the wedding industry is really, really nice, and when the proverbial shit hits the fan, they will help you.) And I’m not kidding, within 72 hours, we had signed a new contract. We got a recommendation to check out a new gorgeous location from our original venue coordinator, and the contact at THAT venue bent over backwards to make it work for us, and we were off to the races again. Yeah, we had to re-plan a whole lot of things that most checklists want you to do months earlier. Yeah, it was stressful for a little bit there. But we got it done and now it’s impossible to imagine our wedding going any other way.
The wedding ended up being held at Oak Canyon Ranch and it was extra special because it was the FIRST wedding ever held in the space. Sarah and Sam utilized the beautiful property and brought in some romantic and rustic elements but kept it simple which is always the answer.
Side note- these candles were used in 3 different weddings that I coordinated! The first bride used them and then sold them on Craigslist, and also told the bride who was buying them about Pop the Champagne! The second bride then passed them on to Sarah, and also passed on the joy of working with PTC :) Recycle your wedding decor people!
Don’t you love all of the navy?
More priceless advice from the bride…
“You can’t mess it up, or: you’re doing it right. This one comes from my Dad, and it’s for all the nervous brides & grooms out there. Right before we walked down the aisle, I was a bundle of butterflies, if butterflies wore veils and felt like barfing or dancing or crying all at once. I can’t even describe how intensely surreal it is to stand there and hear your processional songs start to play! I was hidden away with my Dad, who is usually a nervous guy too, and he just grins at me like, “Are you really doing this right now?” And he says, “This is our show. We literally cannot mess this up.” And he was so dead right. Everyone who was there loved us and was super excited and they were throwing all these good feelings our way, and Sam and I were about to get married and party our pants off. AWESOME. It’s cool to be nervous, just savor the moments and you’ll be gold.”
The wedding was full of fun and personal details…Sam, the groom, was able to make an actual 3D model of themselves for their cake topper!
And Sarah’s mom canned a bunch of her famous homemade jam as favors!
And that amazing dream catcher from the ceremony? Handmade by the groom’s sister!
“Have the time of your life, or: you’re going to have the time of your life. This one is easy. It’s going to happen no matter what. Little things WILL go wrong (or, more honestly, some things won’t go the way you expected), but you’ll notice them only passingly. I don’t think we have laughed so hard in our life, or felt so completely surrounded by love, and after a few weeks slip by, we can’t remember anything but the best memories from that day and even the days surrounding it. My strongest memory is waking up the next day with an enormous sense of gratitude and humility that someone had just committed to spend their life with me, and our beautiful wedding is just icing on the cake.”
Thank you Sarah and Sam!
Full vendor list: Coordination- Us! Venue, rentals, catering- Oak Canyon Ranch, Photography- Gina and Ryan, Personal flowers- Vave Studios (centerpiece greenery bought at flower mart and put together by PTC), Cake- Jamaica’s Cakes, Lighting- Memoire Events, Hair- Hello Darling, Makeup- Radiant Makeup LA