It’s been two months since Kyle and Melody’s wedding.
It was a magical evening.
I’ve shared quite a bit of wedding stuff previously.
Mostly around what I and other weddings guests wore.
Today I’m excited to share some of the wedding planning details with you.
I interviewed the newlyweds about planning their big day.
With a record number of weddings happening this year.
And probably next year as well.
I thought it would be fun and possibly helpful.
The wedding vendors and sources are included.
AND THE OFFICIAL WEDDING PHOTOS!
Lots and lots of wedding photos.
Without further ado … here’s what Melody and Kyle had to say about planning their big day.
First, congratulations again not only on your marriage but on planning – and executing – the perfect wedding!
Tell us, what were your goals and priorities for your big day?
Melody: We wanted all of our friends and family to be entertained and have fun. We have been to many weddings and wanted, as much as possible, to spice things up! We tried our best to be unique with details like a champagne escort wall, voicemail guest book, parent entrances, and more!
One of my personal goals, as a type-A individual, was letting all of the hard work pay off and trusting vendors that were hand-selected for a reason to do their thing!
Kyle: Honestly my main goal was to enjoy the moment as much as I could and make sure everyone had a good time. We had been tirelessly planning (mainly Melody) this one day for two years. It was such a relief to see all of the hard work pay off and create such a unique and perfect moment.
You were engaged in early 2020, just before the pandemic lockdown. How did this affect your wedding plans?
We got engaged the week of lockdown, March of 2020, and immediately knew that we wouldn’t be able to start the normal planning process and made peace with that. We decided to wait until the state of the world was a bit more stable to begin formally planning. We thought we would elope (won an Instagram giveaway) with close friends and family before being able to formally wed, but that was canceled due to travel restrictions in 2021. We began venue hunting after the first vaccine was publicly available! While still in a pandemic, we felt it was a bit more reasonable to begin planning with a calculated risk. All in all, a very anxiety inducing process up until the day of!
Kyle & His Parents
When you were finally able to begin planning in earnest what challenges did you face in terms of venue and vendor availability, staffing and supply chain issues, increased prices, etc.?
The biggest issue we faced was our venue’s availability. We were dead set on Nestldown the moment we saw it (had an upscale rustic barn for Melody and greenery/ponds for Kyle) and also knew we wanted our wedding on a Saturday. Nestldown had one Saturday remaining for the 2022 year and we snagged it, despite it being off-season. Another risk. The beauty of Nestldown vastly remains with its outdoor offerings and if you end up with rain the day of, you’re forced to move everything inside to the barn and that’s just a risk we had to take due to availability. We were also told that if there was another lockdown or restriction preventing us from having our wedding on the day of, that we were not guaranteed another Saturday.
Some 2020 couples that paid for the higher Saturday rate ended up being moved to Monday-Wednesday dates in 2021 – WITH NO PRICE ADJUSTMENT; talk about a nightmare!
Otherwise, no issues with other vendors! We were told that substitutions would be made for our menu if there were supply chain issues with the caterer, but that didn’t end up happening.
You were married in the San Francisco Bay Area at the Nestldown. An enchanting venue that’s been hiding in plain sight. I can’t tell you how many people commented that they’d driven by hundreds of times and never known it was there. It’s truly a magical place. And it’s a hop skip and a jump from your parents’ home. I know you looked at many venues, including in the wine country. How did you settle on the Nestldown?
As a local Los Gatos-an (?) I can also say the same! I had no idea this venue was in my neck of the woods, nor did my parents! – Melody
I have always dreamed of a rustic barn and quickly learned that venues with barns typically have…well…livestock. Wasn’t really keen on the idea (or smell) of sharing my special moment with cows :p so we pivoted away from the barn idea. Kyle loved the idea of greenery or water and continued the search with those two parameters. Kyle toggled a couple filters on theknot.com and BOOM. We decided to schedule a tour and the rest is history! It was an INSTANT decision. All of the other venues we had to sort of convince ourselves we were okay with certain flaws/drawbacks, but this was the first venue we both felt an immediate connection to.
Will you share your wedding vendors?
Venue: Nestldown – Los Gatos, CA
Planning: BluBook Events (partial planning; two-three months prior) Most planning/all vendor selection/contract negotiation done by Melody.
Catering: Le Papillon
Wedding cake: Avocado & Co – Janay McCullough
Florals: Floral Luxe
Photography: Maya Lora Photography
Videography: Heartfelt Media
Champagne wall: Floral Luxe
Signage: DIY – various templates purchased from Etsy and designed/printed by Melody
- Welcome Sign
- Escort Cards
- Signature Cocktail Menu
- Personalized Cocktail Napkins
- Laser cut out names on gold painted wood – Etsy as well, but seller currently unavailable
DJ: Los Gatos DJ
- Photo booth: Los Gatos DJ
- Voicemail guest book: After the Tone
- Shuttle: Corinthians Shuttle
- Rentals: Standard Rentals
- Neon signage: Wedding Neon Sign
- Custom vow books: Wedding Vow Books
- Graphic design (ceremony card): @thesunshinedesign
- After party: One Broadway, Los Gatos
- Hotel: Toll House, Los Gatos
- Website/registry: theknot.com
Let’s look at some photos …
Ceremony & Cocktail Hour ~
Let’s get this party started … here come the parents ~
Toast Time ~
Everybody dance ~
Let them eat cake ~
You held your wedding rehearsal the morning before the wedding followed by a luncheon (instead of the traditional rehearsal dinner). I thought this was so smart and worked out beautifully. How did you decide to make this a morning / luncheon event?
We tried to be respectful of time! We were already asking our bridal party to attend the rehearsal the morning prior (time selected by Nestldown) and figured we’d all need to eat lunch afterward – so why not do it together?! We wanted to allow folks to have an earlier night if they wanted to ensure everyone was well rested! For our remaining out of town guests, we decided to do a casual/drop-in meet up for drinks/snacks in the evening. We wanted to provide the opportunity to spend some time with them since that wasn’t necessarily guaranteed on our special day.
If I may channel my inner Joan Rivers, who were you wearing? Dress, shoes, veil, etc.
- Veil: HA. Personally, not a huge fan of veils and was on the hunt for a super minimal cathedral length veil to match my dress train length. All of the veils I found at bridal stores were around $200-1k and I couldn’t bring myself to pay that for roughly 10-15 mins (I immediately took the veil off after the ceremony). Therefore, I bought my veil off…drumroll…AMAZON!
And Kyle’s suit?
Kyle’s suit was custom made by Indochino.
And the bridesmaids and groomsmen attire?
Bridesmaid dresses, groomsmen bow-ties, father ties and pocket squares all purchased from Revelry in the color Cinnamon Rose.
Groomsmen suits and matching shoes were rented from Friar Tux.
Your aunt conducted the ceremony, which was spectacular! You also had a Persian ceremony; can you tell us about that?
Yes! Persian weddings typically include a wider range of traditions, but in an effort to combine the Western ceremony as well…we hand selected our favorite pieces of the cultural ceremony.
We opened the ceremony with esfand (incense) which symbolizes the burning of any negative energy/past as the couple moves towards a bright future.
We focused on the sofreh aghd. The aghd is the ceremony portion of the wedding in which the bride and groom sit in front of an assorted sofreh (or table) full of items that have meanings behind them. The pieces, together, all represent prosperity, sweetness, and reflection for the couple.
Then comes the “I do” portion of the Persian ceremony. The officiant asks the groom for his consent, and he quickly accepts (“baleh”). Then the officiant asks the bride, three times, for hers. A friend chants funny sayings in between each ask about how the bride is off/busy doing things like clipping flowers. The bride stays silent the first two times she’s asked for her consent and accepts on the third attempt. The purpose of this is to show the groom’s journey of earning his bride’s love.
We also fed one another honey post-ceremony to symbolize the idea that we would feed each other sweetness as we begin our lives as one.
You opted for an open bar in addition to champagne and wine. What were your signature cocktails?
His: Old fashioned.
Hers: Jalapeno margarita with a tajin rim (a must).
How did you keep things traditional and how did you add your own modern twists?
We tried to keep the main traditions alive, but with a twist! Kyle had both parents walk him down the aisle, we entered the reception before our bridal party, conducted a competition for our bridal party entrances, and did a silly father daughter dance. All traditional elements, just elevated!
Tell us about your telephone guest book. I saw this again at a wedding last weekend. Is this something new and how did it work out?
YES! This is a Tik Tok craze. The rotary phone is awesome and user friendly – all the couple/planner needs to do is flip a switch before go-time. Guests simply pick up the phone and the system is automatically recording (in one long audio file). Then you ship the phone back within 72 hours and the team at After the Tone sorts through the audio, breaking up each message with a tone in between, and sends back the audio file digitally. You can also opt in for a vinyl for an additional charge!
Looking back on the day, what really stands out for you?
The unique and intricate details and the overall use of Nestldown’s property. We did our first look at the Koi Pond, moved from the chapel to our upgraded cocktail hour at the beautiful Apple Knoll and concluded in the barn. All of these locations brought a new vibe/feel and made for such a wonderful day!
Did anything go wrong?
SURPRISINGLY NO! We were both shocked. We read how, on average, three things go wrong with every wedding. Now this ranges from details only the bride and groom know…to the obvious (like your cake falling over). We were prepared for little hiccups, and we were insanely surprised that everything went according to plan!
Did anything work out better than expected?
In all honesty…the Persian ceremony! The Persian ceremony has a lot of details involved. We had a separate officiant for the Persian ceremony and the day prior when we were rehearsing, had a lot of hiccups (also due to a few members of the Persian ceremony not yet in town) and somehow on the day of…it all came together! We think there was some behind the scenes practice the night prior :p
If you could turn back time, is there anything you’d do differently?
The day went by SO fast and dancing/drinks after dinner felt a tad rushed. Nestldown’s standard rental is for 9 hours (but 11pm is the absolute cut-off due to noise ordinances – so last dance is at 9:30pm and everyone has to be off the property by 10pm). If anything, I think we’d pay for an extra hour or two before our start of 2pm to elongate the day!
You went on a mini moon a couple of days after the wedding. Tell us about your honeymoon plans?
For our mini moon we went to Boon Hotel and Spa in Guerneville. That hotel holds sentimental value to us, and it was so special to get away for a few days. Due to the uncertainty and anxiety that still remains with extended international travel, we plan to wait until our one-year anniversary. This is actually a pretty big trend for newly-weds! We plan to go to Bali, Japan (city not yet finalized), and Australia (city not yet finalized).
So, there you have it.
Straight from the mouths of the newlyweds.
If you have questions, leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to get answers.
Here’s Kyle and Melody’s gorgeous wedding video.
I’m a little bit sad to hit publish.
Like the wedding itself, I didn’t want it to end.
There was so much love and joy surrounding Kyle and Melody.
It was magical in every way.
And that’s what all couples deserve on their wedding day.
As always, I appreciate your visit and welcome your thoughts in the comments below.
Cheers from Snowberry!