Craig is a County Deputy Sherriff and Cortney is a Nursing student. The couple love nothing more than to take their Old English Bulldogs, Chaz and Chloe, to the river and the beach. They both love to go camping and hiking as well as making each other laugh and act like fools together. When it came to their wedding day, it made perfect sense for them to celebrate with their friends and family with a ceremony in their own backyard of their California home. Many of the elements from their special day were DIY which added a beautiful personal touch to the day for everyone to enjoy.
Cortney remembers fondly the proposal. “Just before our one year anniversary, we started looking at engagement rings. We took a trip to San Francisco and shopped an antique jeweler. I picked out three I liked and told him he had to pick out “the one.” I wasn’t expecting anything to happen for a few month. We drove to Yosemite a few weeks later and Craig wanted to take picture in front of one of the falls, so he hunted down a passer-by and asked if he could take the photo. He starts to fiddle with his jacket and I tell him to stand still so the guy can take our picture. I turn toward him and he is on one knee with a ring box in his hand! He had secretly taken a day off from work, drove to San Francisco (a two hour drive without traffic) and picked up my ring all before I got home from work.”
“I have always loved the ‘50’s and 60’s era and knew I wanted a wedding dress from that time period. It evolved from there. I wanted a lace dress, so we added lace elements in the décor. The yellow accent came from the color of my ring. Craig bought me a beautiful vintage 1950’s 3ct zircon in a platinum setting. Craig’s casual attire was chosen to match my era and to accommodate for the warm fall we were having. It was almost 90 degrees! We decided on our backyard for the location because for the price of renting a location, we could re-landscape our backyard and gain equity. Craig spent 9 months re-landscaping the backyard in a tropic theme with bright flowers and accents. I chose the neutral color of burlap to not take away from the natural elements we now have. The song playing while I walked down the aisle was “This Magic Moment” by the Drifters. It’s from one our favorite movies “The Sandlot” and Craig picked it. He said it described us perfect!”
“I knew I wanted a vintage dress from the ‘50’s or ‘60’s. I found a little store up the hill, Sierra Bridal, that had a selection of vintage dresses. I tried on a few and none seemed right. I found a dress totally opposite what I was looking for and was about to say yes when I looked over from the dressing room and behind the counter was a lace skirt sticking out. I asked my mom “What’s that?! Has it been bought yet?” She asked the store clerk about it and it turned out the lady who owned it just dropped it off. It wasn’t even priced yet. I slipped into the big lace skirt and the store lady zipped it right up!! It fit perfectly! The seamstress just had to hem a few inches from the bottom.
The lady that brought the dress in was moving to a retirement community and didn’t have the storage for the dress anymore. It had been cleaned and sealed since her wedding in 1962. The couple didn’t have any children and she just wanted someone to love it as much as she did. I sent a photo to the lady from our wedding thanking her and hoping it will bring me a long and happy marriage like her.”
Cortney & Craig’s wedding ceremony and reception took place in their own backyard. “Craig re-landscaped the whole backyard. It was a concrete jungle and now it is a tropical oasis with a custom bar. I made the vases for the table with mason jars and burlap and lace ribbon. My niece mad the flower arrangements and my bouquet by rearranging grocery store bouquets.”
One of Cortney’s favourite moments was Craig’s face during their “first look” moment. “I kept everything about my dress a secret.”
Cortney & Craig’s fur babies were front & centre on their wedding day. “We almost lost Chloe a week before the wedding. But she recovered completely and was even caught begging the caterers for food!!”
Cortney’s Aunt made a little purse from her grandmother’s wedding dress. She then carried the rings in that little purse as she walked down the aisle. “I walked out to “This Magic Moment” by the Drifters, which happen to be released in 1962, the same year as my dress,” recalls Cortney.
The couple had s’mores in leiu of cake, which was another nod to their favourite movie. Both of them had a bunch of fun feeding each other their s’mores!
PHOTOGRAPHY Dawn Kelly Photography ~BRIDE’S DRESS Sierra Bridal, Sonora, California ~ GROOM’S SUIT Men’s Wearhouse ~ GROOM & DOG’S BOWTIE The Kozie Janine ~ GROOM’S SHOES JC Penny ~ HAIR & MAKEUP Bride ~ BRIDE’S RING Dianne’s Estate Jewelry ~ GROOM’S RING Zales ~ BOUQUET & FLORAL ARRANGEMENTS DIY from Safeway ~ INVITATIONS Vistaprint CELEBRANT Cortney’s uncle ~ CATERERS Blodgett Catering ~ CEREMONY & RECEPTION VENUE Cortney & Craig’s backyard