“SIt goes by so so fast and you will be pulled in so many directions, but you have to stop and take it all in at least a few times!”
From the couple:
From the beginning of our planning journey, we both knew we wanted to make our families and their internationality the center of our day. We had commissioned Nicholas’s 94 year old granddad, a talented and tenderhearted artist living on Vancouver Island, to create a monogram that represented this internationality coming together. Halfway through our planning he fell ill and we put everything on hold to visit him during his final days. On the last day of our visit, he gifted us with the lettering of the monogram he had finished. He passed away two weeks later, but his artistic legacy continued through Nicholas’ grandmother who finished the monogram. She blended three parts in the design the maple leaf, representing Nicholas’ Canadian homeland, the guaria morada which is the national flower of Costa Rica Natalia’s homeland, and lastly, vineyard leaves and tendrils, representing California the state we call home. This monogram became the central point in our decor, including the invitations, ceremony programs, dinner menus, seating chart, etc. Our ceremony incorporated multiple Catholic and Latin American traditions, including the offering of orchids to the Virgin Mary statue. Natalia’s late grandmothers were honored at this moment, whose portraits were at the statue’s feet. The music was chosen carefully, with the offertory hymn being a traditional Irish hymn Be Thou My Vision, as a nod to Nicholas’ partial Irish ancestry. The two liturgical readings were done in different languages, Spanish, a nod to Costa Rica, and French, as a nod to Nicholas’ partial FrenchCanadian ancestry.
We wanted to keep florals to a minimum and simply enhance the already existent natural beauty of both our ceremony church and the reception winery. The floral arrangements and bouquets remained in a simple white and ivory palette, with lots of dark and lush greenery interspersed which you can see in the beautifully done Cline Cellars Wedding Photography. The bridal bouquet had both of Natalia’s late grandmothers’ favorite rosaries wrapped around the stems. The flowers presented to the Virgin Mary during the ceremony were orchids, as a nod to Natalia’s own mother who carried orchids on her wedding day. For the wine and cheese hour, we let the gardens and ponds of Cline Cellars speak for themselves. For the reception centerpieces, we wanted to create a romantic and soft ambiance. Therefore, our biggest focus was candlelight from an array of glass hurricanes and mercury votives, surrounded by dark lush greenery. Our guests were surrounded by hundreds of magnificent wine barrels decorated with tea-lights, and we did not want to take away from that natural rustic beauty. One of our favorite parts of the day was our First Look. We chose to do the First Look behind the church, in a beautiful garden lined with stone walls and benches with a eucalyptus tree path. It is a deeply peaceful and quiet location. All Nicholas could hear as Natalia approached were the birds chirping in the trees and Natalia’s dress rustling the leaves on the ground as she walked. One of Natalia’s favorite parts of the day was her First Look with her father. As an only daughter, he was a beautiful shared moment where she gifted him a personalized handkerchief with a special saying they’ve always said since her childhood. One final favorite part of the day for both of us was watching from our sweetheart table all our friends and family have dinner and enjoy themselves among the beauty of the barrels and the candlelight. Nicholas had his suit custommade and had a wonderful time from picking the fabric shades, to the buttons, to ultimately personalizing it. He wore a navy blue three-piece suit with a white shirt and ivory tie. He had them embroider our “N&N” monogram on the inner lining of his jacket as a way to always remember the day he wore this special suit for the first time. His shoes were a dark brown, and he wore his favorite grey and red maple leaf socks as a nod to his Canadian homeland. He wore his late granddad’s cuff links, which were gifted to him by his grandmother, who knew he would have wanted Nicholas to have them on such a momentous day. Natalia knew she wanted a simple look with minimal glitz, glamour, or beading. She wore an ivory Aline gown with a clean skirt, that was customized with an open-back and cap-sleeved lace bodice. The lace had a leaf filled design, as a nod to the leaves of the Guaria Morada, the national flower of Costa Rica. Her shoes were pointed toe flats and wore a cathedrallength English net veil. She chose simple drop earrings and wore her hair in a textured updo. Nicholas and I met in Uganda, Africa back in 2010. He was volunteering with a Canadian organization and I was volunteering with a college outreach organization. We kept in touch after getting back to North America and the rest is history. Nicholas has always known family is so important to me, so he decided to propose on New Year’s Eve at my parents’ annual bash at my childhood home. For context, I have 8 uncles and aunts and 21 first cousins only on my mom’s side, so there were about 80 people at this celebration. He proposed in front of all of them! I guess that was one sure way to make sure I said yes 🙂