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Kimi & Danny’s Chaminade, Santa Cruz Wedding Photos

The Chaminade Wedding Photography

Kimi & Danny’s Golden Fall Santa Cruz Valley Wedding

We met online soon after Danny had first moved to Chicago from Santa Cruz. I actually messaged HIM and Danny still loves that part

We realized they only lived about 2 blocks away from each other and the rest was history.

 Danny found my engagement ring at an estate jeweler in Santa Cruz and knew it was the one right away.

 We then found a vintage jeweler in downtown Chicago who helped me size the ring, and we also found our wedding bands there as well.

My wedding band and engagement ring are both vintage from across the county but look like they are part of the same set!

I did unfortunately forget to put the engagement ring on after the ceremony and it was in my bridesmaid’s pocket instead of on my hand for the photos. :)

 I love bright colors and patterns, so I knew right away I wanted to incorporate this into the wedding. I also wanted it to be Mid-Century Modern inspired.

 Danny and I chose the font together.

Then I found perfect fabrics to use to hand make all the table runners and I carried those patterns and the font into the rest of the wedding decor. 

“Enjoy the process.”

We met online soon after Danny had first moved to Chicago from Santa Cruz. I actually messaged HIM and Danny still loves that part. We realized they only lived about 2 blocks away from each other and the rest was history.

Danny found my engagement ring at an estate jeweler in Santa Cruz and knew it was the one right away. We then found a vintage jeweler in downtown Chicago who helped me size the ring, and we also found our wedding bands there as well. My wedding band and engagement ring are both vintage from across the county but look like they are part of the same set!

I did unfortunately forget to put the engagement ring on after the ceremony and it was in my bridesmaid’s pocket instead of on my hand for the photos. :)

I love bright colors and patterns, so I knew right away I wanted to incorporate this into the wedding. I also wanted it to be Mid-Century Modern inspired. Danny and I chose the font together. Then I found perfect fabrics to use to hand make all the table runners and I carried those patterns and the font into the rest of the wedding decor. I used variations of the patterns and the font on my invitations, signage and the place settings and used the colors to incorporate into small details like the cocktail straws and custom keychains on the escort cards.

I’m a designer and a enthusiastic DIY crafter, so almost all of the decor was designed and made by me.

Bride: I knew right away I wanted a tea length dress and cute shoes! I also knew I wanted the dress to be vintage inspired but not actually vintage. I was lucky enough to find an amazing bridal shop, Volle’s Bridal, in the Chicago suburbs. They completely saw my vision and helped me find the perfect dress that we could alter into exactly what I wanted. The original dress was long and did not have any fullness to skirt, but they chopped the length, added a large petticoat, and added a ribbon around the middle with a bow int he back. It couldn’t have been more perfect! I also found the perfect Kate Spade heels with bows on the backs to compete the look. I wore a classic pearl necklace that had been gifted to me years ago at my brother’s wedding, which was very special. I also continued the vintage look with a birdcage veil. I loved how classic it all looked and it felt so me.

Bridesmaids: I also knew right away I did not want my bridesmaids in typical bridesmaid dresses. We came across these Eliza J floral dresses at Nordstrom and everyone fell in love with them. I loved that they had pockets so my gals could help me out! They loved that they really can re-wear these! I gifted everyone a Kate Spade pearl necklace and earring set that perfectly had little gold bows on them to complete their looks. (see the theme here? Kate Spade and bows!) I also loved that my blue shoes matched the blue of their dresses.

Groom: Danny knew he wanted a nice grey suit with a vest and a bow tie, so he found just that! Danny found a great custom tailor in Chicago (Adrian Park Custom Suits) where he had the suit custom made to fit him perfectly. We then found him the bowtie at Nordstrom to complete his look. For his Groom’s gift I gave him a new watch, which completed his wedding day look.

Groomsmen: We didn’t want the men to have to rent expensive suits so we decided it would be great to have them wear any suit of a grey color, which they all already had. We got them green polka dot ties and had them wear the same matching blue dress shirt to tie them together and we loved the way the mis-matching greys looked.

We talked to a few florist in the Santa Cruz area and ended up choosing Bonny Doon Garden Company. We loved knowing the flowers would be coming from local sources and their staff put us at ease from the moment we met them. We wanted the flowers to also be vintage inspired and colorful. We gave them direction about of wedding decor and a few requests on arrangement styles and then we were very hands off. They took our vision and delivered the most perfect flowers! We really loved the flowers they did in the fountain!

The space already had so many amazing details that we did not have to decorate for the ceremony very much. We added some bows to the isle chairs, the flowers in the fountains, and I made some DIY signage to the entrance table. The backdrop for the ceremony was the ocean down below and the beautiful floral trellis. We loved that the resort had such an elegant feel and ocean views without having to be right in the sand.

We hired a local live band (Diego’s Umbrella) to play the wedding reception and they were also able to play acoustic for the processional. We requested the very traditional “Here comes the bride” song play while I walked down the isle.

We had decided not to do a “first look” because we both wanted the classic experience of us not seeing each other all day. Danny stole the show as he started bawling when I came out the doors. Snot crying! Which made me cry, which made everyone cry!! This also made me feel so loved! I’ll never forget that moment of getting to the end of the isle to finally see Danny!

We wanted someone we knew to officiate us, so we asked Danny’s cousin Brendan to the do honors. We knew he would make it personal for everyone and he did an amazing job. We kept the ceremony short and sweet. We read our own personal vows while also keeping the traditional vows.

The reception was full of DIY details. We started the guests off with a cocktail hour while the wedding party was taking photos. We chose two signature drinks to be served, Gin Gimlet and a Paloma, because of their classic feel. I added fun twisted colored straws into the cocktails. Danny’s father made us a custom vintage inspired mobile that hung in the tree outside. We also rented a photo booth, which was one of the wedding highlights. We encouraged our guest to share their photos with us in the guestbook and it was so fun to look through those afterwards.

I sourced keychains with a custom song quote “High tide or low tide, I’ll be by your side”, by Bob Marly (a favorite of Danny’s and a suggestion for my sister-in-law) to use as the escort card attachments as well as the wedding favor. These led the guests to their tables.

For the reception decor, the tables were draped with the handmade table runners and the place settings were designed by me. My wonderful bridesmaid Lorraine also helped make each name card. I wanted the reception to feel colorful with a retro twist. The menu cards and table decorations followed suit. I also requested the venue’s black brunch chairs instead of their standard white wedding chairs. We had the florist fill the centerpieces with lots of greenery on each table. For the head table, I custom designed the letters on a vintage style light box to continue the theme and I love the way it looked lit up in front of us!

We ate our dinners quickly, said hi to our guest’s tables, and then snuck away for a sunset photo shoot. Our coordinator Rebecca pulled around with her golf card and we zoomed off to a really cute area of the Chaminade property. I really enjoyed this moment with just Danny and I and our photographers to enjoy each other and some quiet for a few minutes as we took some really sweet photos. We even practiced our dance a little outside. :)

For our first dance, we chose “I Only Have Eyes For You” by the Flamingos and we took a few dance lessons beforehand. We were both a little nervous about the dance, by when we got out there, all I cared about was Danny and I and it was a really really sweet moment for us.

After the first dances, The live band was a crowd pleaser and really got everyone up dancing! Danny’s friends even lifted him up into a chair which is a moment we will never forget!

Throughout the night, people LOVED using the photo booth and it was a highlight of the wedding.

Lastly, later in the night, we had a late night snack of mini corn dogs and french fries put out for the guests, which was also a crowd pleaser.

Wedding Planning Advice: Enjoy the process. Be equally involved. It will indeed stress you out, but stay level headed! Let go of unrealistic details and invest in the details you love. Plan ahead so you’re able to keep your day of calm and enjoyable.

Relationship Advice: Love each other for who you are. Support each other. ALWAYS keep each other laughing. Find the one who makes falling in love with them EASY because you just know it’s right. Lastly, find a man who will snot-sob-cry when they see you walking down the isle at your wedding.

 Most couples reserve their date in our calendars 12+ months prior to their wedding day.


 Photography: Apollo Fotografie