Destination Wedding: Laura and Dustin, Guerneville, California
Laura and Dustin
Laura Maestrelli and Dustin Frazier met at work, started dating, and talked about quitting their jobs and traveling the world together. After their intimate December 26, 2009, wedding (only their parents and siblings were there) in Naples, Florida, they did just that -- on a yearlong honeymoon to 20 countries on six continents.
Shortly after returning to California, on June 11, 2011, they tied the knot again, in front of more than 100 of their nearest and dearest. They incorporated finds from their travels into their weekend celebrations, among the redwoods and landscapes of the Russian River Valley.
The Welcome Bag
The welcome bag included dark chocolate (one of Dustin's favorites), apples (a nod to the dinner in the orchard), and a bottle of zinfandel from nearby Alexander Valley vineyards.
The bride and her mother, Mary Maestrelli. Laura's bouquet contained peonies, local garden roses, Boston ivy, wild jasmine, and local 'Cecil Bruner' roses.
Dustin's boutonniere was made of redwood greenery, ranunculus, and local flora.
A Special Touch
The groom wore the cuff links he received from Laura on their first wedding day. Laura thought the compass was a fitting symbol, given that they were about to embark on an around-the-globe honeymoon.
The Bridal Party
The couple planned to take most of their portraits with their photographers, Brooke and Nanishka Duthie of B&N Wedding Photography prior to the ceremony.
The program -- and all of the printed pieces for the wedding day -- incorporated the double-knot icon from the invitation suite (it was a nod to the couple's second round of "tying the knot"). Hello!Lucky designed the paper items for the wedding day.
The sun shone over the 125 guests seated in the meadow.
Laura and Dustin's friends Christi Moyle and Ilan Gur wrote and performed the ceremony. "It was moving and funny -- it couldn't have been more perfect," Laura said. Readings included a favorite passage on marriage by Anne Morrow Lindbergh, some quotes by John Muir, and a poem by Li-Young Lee called "On Blossoms."
Since this time their vows were being witnessed by extended family and friends, the rites incorporated a ring warming ceremony: Their bands were passed to guests, who were encouraged to "warm them with love and imbue them with a wish for happiness and hope for a wonderful future together." The sapling that the rings were looped over was planted later at Laura and Dustin's San Francisco home.
The music-loving couple wanted to include their favorite tunes. Dustin and his parents walked down the aisle to Ever Music Group's jazz rendition of U2's "Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own," and Laura, accompanied by her parents, walked in to "Songbird."
During the ceremony, a good friend played an acoustic version of "Falling Slowly" from one of the couple's favorite movies, "Once." And as the newlyweds sauntered back up the aisle, the musicians played Sarah McLachlan's "Ice Cream."
A Nature Lover
Anna, the daughter of friends, came to the wedding with a sprained arm. Earlier in the day she had stumbled across a butterfly with an injured wing of its own and cared for it, even taking it home later.
Escort cards were set out on a table and held in place by simple strands of twine.
The friends who officiated the ceremony surprised the newlyweds with a wedding tree that guests could sign and ink their fingerprints as leaves. "Given all of the redwood symbolism throughout the ceremony, this guest book was the perfect fit," Laura said.
A map showing the countries the couple had visited and the languages spoken in each was displayed near the escort cards. In lieu of numbers, each table had the word "love" in a foreign language and its country of origin.
The al fresco sunset dinner took place in the apple orchard. Farm tables were set with blue napkins and centerpieces of ranunculus, passionflower vine, sweet William, garden roses, and peonies.
The printed menu included "Litany," by Billy Collins, a playful poem that mentions food and wine, on the back. Guests dined on a mixed greens salad with Granny Smith apples, Point Reyes blue cheese, toasted pecans, and honey-Dijon vinaigrette, followed by the choice of roasted Alaskan halibut, beef medallions, or polenta lasagna. They moved to the pool area for coffee, tea, and dessert.
The Table Names
Stories about the couple's visits to each country were printed on the backsides of the table cards.
The Photo Booth
topped their cupcakes -- Pink Champagne, 24 Carrot, Snickerdoodle, Car Bomb, Snowball, and standard vanilla -- with fondant flowers.
The couple projected a slide show throughout their reception. The make-shift "drive-in" had blankets and pillows surrounding the screen, perfect for guests looking for a dancing break.
Photography: B&N Wedding Photography
Wedding Planning: Kelsey Sheofsky of Alison Events
Location and Catering: Dawn Ranch Lodge
Engagement Ring and Wedding Bands: Brilliant Earth
Day-Of Paperie: Hello!Lucky
Flowers: Brown Paper Design
Event Planning and Stationery: Clifton Creative
Cupcakes: Sift Cupcake and Dessert Bar
Hair and Makeup: Nellie Muganda at Neja Cosmetics