There are so many reasons I love today’s wedding. First off, it’s shot by one of my fave photographers, Ken Kienow, who is amazing. Second, I am dying over the bride’s stunning Carolina Herrera gown! Third, her brooch bouquet is probably one of the most gorgeous I’ve ever seen. And lastly, because of this beautiful moment of when Cari sees her brother, who just got back from Iraq, for the first time. It is so sweet, and truly what great weddings are made of!

From the bride Cari:
We live in Chicago and decided, on a bit of a whim, to get married in California. My dad and I had biked down the coast the year before and I fell in love with the central coast. My husband thankfully let me talk him into it all! And our parents were so gracious to generously help us achieve the idea.

Planning was easier than I ever thought it would be. We planned a weekend trip out to the SLO area about six months before the wedding and I set up one appointment for each prospective vendor. I figured with all the research that I had made great picks. And I was right! Everyone we met with, we hired. The most important things to us while planning was that we felt a sense of trust with our vendors since we were planning from a distance.

We also felt it was important that we have a Catholic ceremony (which my husband’s uncle, a deacon, performed); hence we chose the incredible Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa. I also really wanted to showcase our surroundings since most of our guests had not been to that area before. So we chose to have the rehearsal dinner at Edna Valley Vineyards and then conclude the celebration with a tented reception at Dolphin Bay, on a seaside cliff, as the sun set. It was truly magical for everyone there.

My favorite parts of the day: Seeing my brother in his dress Army uniform for the first time. Hearing my husband say when I reached him at the end of the aisle to marry him, “Well… that was worth every penny.” And an impromptu stop at the Tolosa winery on our way to the reception with just our wedding party and us! We really just laughed so much through it all. THAT was the overall best memory of the day. 

Photographer | Ken Kienow
Reception | Dolphin Bay
Bride’s Brooch Bouquet | Noaki Jewelry
Hair | Gina Payne
Make Up | Melissa at The Bladerunner
Paper Goods | Randy Payne Designs
Lighting | Chris Bailey
Transportation | Elegant Image Limousines
Thanks so much to Ken for sharing these beautiful images!
And congrats to Cari and Marty for a gorgeous wedding!
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