An Intimate 7-Person Private Estate Minimony in California
After the COVID-19 pandemic forced Tiffany and James to scale back their original plans for a large wedding in northern California, they opted for an intimate vow exchange in the backyard of Tiffany's childhood home with only her brother and both sets of parents in attendance. "The pandemic meant we couldn't carry out our original plans for a 150 person wedding in Napa — while this was initially disappointing, we ultimately realized how fortunate we were to have our health, our love for each other, and our families," Tiffany says. "Focusing on everything we had to be grateful for, we decided to not let the pandemic stop us from celebrating our love and instead have a small celebration at my childhood home with just immediate family and my brother as the officiant. Inspired by our Southern California roots, the late summer season, and the French chateau-style architecture of my childhood home—we focused the color palette on neutral tones with pops of muted late summer sunset colors and natural textures for a romantic, yet relaxed vibe."
Since the couple chose to get married at Tiffany’s childhood home, they wanted the event to reflect and enhance the existing architecture and landscaping of the home. "We decorated the ceremony space and reception area with late summer sunset florals and greenery that felt like they could’ve grown in the home’s yard. We also incorporated stone pillars, wood cross-back chairs, and clear glass votive and pillar candles to accentuate the textural elements of the home. To complete the romantic, yet relaxed vibe, we hung market lights above the outdoor reception area to set the mood and augment the lit up pool and lights from the house. While we rented a handful of items, we also mixed in some decor items that were already at the home. For example, we included framed photos of our grandparents on a stone ledge behind our sweetheart table with the intention of making it feel as if they were present with us on this day—always in our corner and supporting us through every milestone. We also used stone pillars that already existed as part of the home’s landscaping decor, and repurposed them as part of our ceremony decor," the couple shares. Tiffany recalls that her favorite part of the wedding was how excited she was to "see her childhood home through new eyes as a wedding venue. As a child with a wild imagination, Tiffany had imagined the house’s yard as many things—but never as the place she would get married. As she emerged from the house and started her procession, she couldn’t believe how the lawn she played on as a kid had transformed into a beautiful ceremony site."
Since the pandemic was still in full swing, ensuring their guests’ safety was a big priority for Tiffany and James. "We customized Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) bags with our names and our wedding date—and with a little DIY, we filled the bags with a mask, gloves, and hand sanitizer that our guests could use while getting food from the communal buffet." Following the buffet dinner, an extra-special dessert was served. "Since James surprised Tiffany at the proposal, Tiffany had a surprise planned for James at the wedding. James’s all-time favorite dessert flavor is hazelnut Nutella, but due to a nut allergy in the family, we settled on a Lavender cake that everyone could enjoy and would fit well within the floral/citrus theme. To James’s surprise, Tiffany appeared post-cake cutting with a platter of hazelnut Nutella cupcakes so he could close out the night with his favorite dessert flavor."