Native Californians, Dana Johnston and Erik Marinovich met in a sculpture class at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. After a few missed opportunities to request dates or have conversations, the couple finally connected just prior to Dana's graduation. A two-and-a-half-year long-distance relationship followed before the couple moved to New York together. A few years later, on the night before Dana's birthday, Erik popped the question. With a wedding in the works back in their home state, the two decided the time was right to move back to San Francisco.
Erik designed all of the stationery and collateral himself. Perfectly illustrating the story of how their relationship progressed, the save-the-date was an illustration of the Brooklyn Bridge merged with the Golden Gate Bridge. The connector platform was a pencil that announced "Dana and Erik are getting married!" Inside the folded paper, the basic details of the wedding were listed, accompanied by an illustration of the California state flag.
Erik also designed a wedding website with all pertinent information and a hint of the personality of the wedding to come.
The invitations were packaged in unused writing tablets from the 1950s. Erik illustrated his and Dana's seven-year relationship using two small characters, drawn into all the major moments in their years together. Underneath was the formal invitation, also printed on vintage paper. It was attached to the folder with grommets and accompanied by an RSVP card attached by photo corners to the opposing side.
Wanting to host their wedding at a location that evoked classic California, and that would feel like a weekend retreat for the friends and family making the trip, Dana and Erik settled on a spot hidden in the hills of Carmel Valley. The Holman Ranch is a historic hacienda, and its lawn provided a perfect ceremony setting overlooking the hills.
The ceremony was officiated by Doris Slater, a longtime friend of the bride's mother. The emotion-filled nuptials including readings by friends, among them excerpts from letters the couple had written to each other. In their letters they explained why they wanted to be married to each other.
To kick off the celebration, guests were served a signature cocktail dubbed "The Lady Dee" in honor of the bride. Composed of vodka, soda, and Chambord, and served with a twist, it was accompanied by printed cocktail napkins featuring one of Erik's drawings of the characters dancing to music with the word "yes" underneath. They were foil stamped in gold at Partybasics.com.
Cocktail hour music was strictly Big Band style, played in memory of Erik's late grandfather.
Dana wanted a dress with classic glamour and smooth lines. She got just that with her Marisa gown. The flower in her hair was her "something borrowed" -- her bridesmaid Vanessa had worn the flower on her own wedding day.
The groom's gray Paul Smith suit was accessorized with a tie bar, a pre-wedding gift from friend Dennis Payongayong.
The organic menu for the evening was prepared by Paradise Catering. The company grows much of its own produce for its seasonal cuisine. Guests started with a salad of grilled artichoke with lemon aioli topped with goat cheese crumbles, caramelized pecans, edible flowers, and honey and thyme dressing.
Guests could choose between a surf-and-turf main course and a vegetarian offering. The fish (seared salmon) and sirloin (grilled tri-tip) were served with Gorgonzola mashed potatoes and asparagus with bernaise sauce. The vegetarian lasagna was accompanied by polenta Gorgonzola.
For the menu, Erik drew illustrations of each course in the typeface he developed just for the wedding.
The menu was wrapped around a hidden playlist card; the playlist was curated by dear friends Jason and Jordan (of EnormousChampion) and given as a gift by the couple, who were unable to attend the wedding.
Erik's father, Dominik Marinovich, and uncle, Ognjen, make wine together. Each year, with the help of the other men in the family (including Erik), they pick eight barrels of grapes and turn them into wine.
This 2007 blend of cabernet and Syrah was made especially for Dana and Erik's wedding. Erik designed the tags explaining the wine's origins.
With plenty of kids in attendance, Dana and Erik wanted to give them a special table where they could play. Set up with coloring books, crayons, stickers, glow stick jewelry, bouncing balls, Slinky toys, colorful plastic cups with silly straws, and some candy, it kept all the young guests happily occupied. The bonus: The bride and groom were given multiple art projects as a result.
While the couple lived in New York City, they attended a fair and stumbled upon the work of artist Charley Harper. They later purchased their first piece of artwork together, fittingly by Harper. When the artist published his book, "Charley Harper: An Illustrated Life," they bought a copy to use for their guestbook.
After dinner, guests moved over to the carriage house for dancing. A DJ played music selected by the groom.
The bride and her father, Daniel Johnston, took to the dance floor to "All I Have to Do Is Dream" by the Everly Brothers. As a little girl, Dana used to sing the song with her father and sister in the car. During the dance, her father sang along, and guests joined in.
The cake was actually two flavors: St. Michel (a chocolate sponge cake with chocolate mousse and splash of Grand Marnier) and Brie au Kirsch (a vanilla sponge cake with vanilla custard, almond meringue, and Kirschwasser liqueur).
Here, Erik and Dana share a slice of the Brie au Kirsch flavor.
Bottles of wine made by the groom's father and uncle were given to guests as favors. The half-liter bottles featured labels with a series of the groom's illustrations and a few Croatian phrases ("celebrate," "play," and "cheers") to pay homage to the groom's heritage and the history of wine-makers in the family.
Photography: Thayer Allyson Gowdy
Wedding Planner: Beth Bellatti of Amy Byrd Weddings
Videographer: Joseph Dominquez Photography
Florist: Shirl.e's Floral Fantasies, 831-241-8469 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Makeup: Mindy Boni for Nars Cosmetics, email@example.com
Lighting & Rentals: Unlimited Events
Transportation: Pacific Monarch
Bride's Earrings: Kaoru
Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Catherine Angiel
Rehearsal Dinner Location: Baja Cantina