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Given the chaos of modern life—especially with two kids—it’s easy to let romantic gestures become fond, far-off memories. Not so for Carlie and Gabe Statsky, of Santa Cruz, California, who wanted to do something special to commemorate the fact that since their 2004 wedding, life has only gotten better. Back then, Carlie, a photographer, and Gabe, a furniture designer, said their I do’s in a church in front of 150 guests, while their son, Myles, kept tabs from inside his mama’s belly. This time around, for their vow renewal, the crowd was smaller, Myles was bigger, and their love was even stronger.
In 2002, Carlie, who is half-Australian and was living in Sydney, visited Santa Cruz to attend a friend’s college graduation party. “I had a camera and was documenting the fun,” she recalls. Gabe approached her, and the chemistry was instant; they were inseparable for the rest of Carlie’s trip. As Gabe dropped her off at the airport, he bravely admitted he was falling in love and asked her to consider moving across the world. “My mom taught me to follow my intuition,” Carlie says. And so, a few months later, she returned stateside, and almost two years after that, they got married.
They decided to mark their 10-year milestone with only a photographer and their children, Myles, then 9, and Kaia, then 7, in tow. The foursome gathered on March 5, 2014, at Holman Ranch, a 21-acre vineyard in Carmel Valley, an hour south of their home, for refreshments under an arbor (spiked Pomegranate Fizzes for the adults; nonalcoholic versions for the kids). “We held hands and spoke about our relationship and our love for our family before saying our vows,” Carlie says. Then, despite the children’s protestations, the “groom” kissed the “bride.” (“Kaia went ‘eeeewww,’ which made us all laugh,” Carlie says.) Back on the patio, Gabe tuned into his favorite Pandora stations playing Xavier Rudd and The Lumineers as they all ate chicken bites, spaghetti, and cake. Just before sunset, they piled into their pickup truck and headed home, with one great decade behind them, and many more ahead.
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The Bride’s Bouquet
Carlie carried Icelandic poppies, daffodils, ranunculus, camellias, jasmine, ferns, and ruscus in shades of peach and white.
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Before the couple decided to have their vow renewal be a family affair, they designed, calligraphed, and watercolored invitations around the phrase “one decade down,” which now serve as a keepsake of the day.
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“I felt so incredibly grateful for the life and the family we’ve created,” Carlie says. “The vow renewal was much smaller than we originally planned, but that allowed me to be more relaxed and present.”
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Vintage furniture from One True Love Vintage Rentals and brass mobiles transformed the ranch’s arbor into a cozy lounge for preceremony refreshments.
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One Happy Family
“This is one of my favorite photos,” says Carlie, here with her husband and children. “Myles had climbed up this huge tree, and the shot just captures him so perfectly.”
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Sitting Down for Dinner
Sleek Eames chairs flanked the walnut dining table.
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Setting the Table
The table for four was set with marble slabs, acacia chargers, white plates, gold flatware, and crystal glasses.
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Fondant hexagons finished the toasted almond cake and echoed the ceremony marker.
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Location: Holman Ranch
Event Planning and Design: Engaged & Inspired
Catering: Café Rustica
Flowers: Studio Mondine
Photography: Delbarr Moradi
Stationery and Signage: Wayfarer’s Creative
Cake: The Whole Cake
Rentals: One True Love Vintage Rentals
Gown: Sarah Seven
Hair and Makeup: Melissa Hoffmann
Groom’s Attire: J.Crew
Ceremony Backdrop and Side Table: Statsky Design
Brass Mobile: Hruskaa