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Hilary & Jeff: An Outdoor Wedding in Saratoga, CA

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Hilary & Jeff in Saratoga, CA
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Instead of having guests return response cards -- and wasting envelopes, stamps and fuel to ship the cards -- guests let the couple know if they were coming via the wedding website.
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Feather-accented Manolos complemented the bride's flirty gown. Hilary didn't realize what a trendsetter she was: She saw a photo of Sarah Jessica Parker wearing the same ones soon after!
Manolo Blahnik
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A mostly white arrangement of roses and hydrangeas popped against the bridesmaids’ blue dresses.
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To mimic the look of peonies, the bride's flower of choice that's not available in August, the florist used cabbage roses mixed with other soft-colored roses.
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Tuxes would have been too formal with the bridesmaids' knee-length dresses, so the guys opted for dark suits instead. The groomsmen’s ties matched the bridesmaids' dresses for a cohesive look.
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Shadowy cherry blossoms and a pale blue ribbon decorated the four-page ceremony booklets. The couple gave their guests an intimate look at their relationship by including letters they wrote to each other.
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Elegant, wooden fans kept guests cool at the outdoor, summer ceremony. Bonus: the fans were all the dressing up the white chairs needed.
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The couple personalized their ceremony by having their monogram and wedding date added to a runner. The navy and white colors tied in with their wedding day palette.
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Umbrellas shaded guests from the summer sun in the Oval Garden at Villa Montalvo. A fixture at the site provided the perfect altar.
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Navy linens with slate blue diamonds covered square tables. Cube vases containing candles surrounded the centerpiece of hydrangeas, roses and Phalaenopsis orchids in a square shape too.
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Striking arrangements of Phalaenopsis orchids, roses, calla lilies and branches marked the ceremony space. The all-white decorations kept the look crisp.
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Guests dined on a patio at Villa Montalvo, an historic home Hilary had visited years before for a Train concert. "I knew then that I wanted to get married there, even though I didn’t know Jeff yet!" she says.
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To keep up the lighthearted mood of the event, guests enjoyed cupcakes in the couple's signature colors. The tiered stands of colorful treats were as tempting as any cake.
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Hilary, a competitive ballroom dancer, had her teacher choreograph a rumba routine for the first dance. "I, admittedly, have two left feet, so I was nervous!" says Jeff, "but it went very well."
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"My grandparents made the best honey in the world," says Hilary, who chose to honor them with honey jar takeaways.

Hilary & Jeff in Saratoga, CA

A morning swimmer, Hilary, caught the eye of Jeff, who was relaxing with his co-worker at his apartment complex pool. They struck up a conversation, but Jeff had to run to a meeting. Luckily, Jeff's friend got her number for him. It wasn't long before Jeff and Hilary became a couple. The Bride Hilary McDaniel, 29, social studies and history teacher The Groom Jeff Armbrecht, 30, engineering director at a technology startup The Date August 10 Four years later, Jeff arranged for Hilary to get a day off from work to go to the Ritz Carlton at Half Moon Bay. Hilary was suspicious, but when Jeff didn't pop the question during a walk on the beach, Hilary thought she was mistaken. The proposal came moments later on a trail back to the hotel.
- Meredith Bodgas
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