We’re off to sunny California with the amazingly talented Cameron Ingalls this afternoon. A women’s health club is not exactly where you expect to find true love but that’s exactly what happened to this gorgeous couple. Make sure you read on to find out more about their lovely story and big day. Oh and before I forget… the gorgeous bride surprised her groom with a flash mob at their own wedding – check out the film here.
“In college I became a group fitness instructor and started teaching yoga, kickboxing, dance, and resistance training at a local all women’s health club (not exactly a place most go looking for love). After working there for about a year, I found that the gym was being purchased by a buyer who would own and manage the club. Little did I know that the guy turning our little gym into Equilibrium Fitness would one day be my husband!
For the next year we flirted at work, but we both felt a true relationship between owner and employee wouldn’t be appropriate. Dave would come take the dance classes I would teach. It was very endearing to see him trying so hard, even after he accidentally spun into one of the other female participants. Finally, after weeks of talking on the phone for hours each day like high-schoolers, we went out on our first date. From that night on we were completely inseparable. We kept our relationship a secret for a few weeks, but after only a month, we knew that what we had was serious enough to go public! Five years later, we were married on the anniversary of that first date.
For Christmas Dave presented me with an invitation that said, “Please join me for an exciting adventure on December 31, 2011.” We live in the country and our backyard looks out onto several acres of vineyards. On New Year’s Eve day, Dave took me on a zip-lining excursion through those very vineyards. At the end of the final zip-line, he caught me as I landed, removed my bulky zip-lining gloves, and said, “Are you happy?”
I replied, “Yes!”
“Did you have a good day?”
“Did you have a good adventure?”
After asking me, “Do you want the adventure to continue forever?” he got down on one knee and proposed. I was ecstatic and shaking and in disbelief and so ready to start our new adventure together!”
What was the inspiration for your wedding? Immediately after getting engaged, Dave and I sat down and promised each other that we wouldn’t lose sight of what this wedding was about to us: celebrating our love with the ones we love most. We wanted to have a day that was sacred and meaningful, but also fun and joyous. Above all else, we wanted to use this day as a beginning to our new adventure, and we wanted to feel free to express how meaningful and monumental this was for us to start our life as a new family of two. Because of all of this, our wedding was incredibly personal to us. We wrote our ceremony and our vows, and hand-picked each song that would be played all night. It felt like a true expression of us as a couple and of our love. To be able to share that with our friends and family was incredibly special.
Any DIY/budget elements? Most of our wedding was DIY. We dedicated countless weekends to all of our wedding projects in the months leading up to the big day. Dave rescued some old fence boards from a structure being torn down and we created the signs that told the story of our relationship. We used the boards to create the escort card frame and then hung a clue for each guest. In order to find their table number, the guest had to find which clue best described them (it could be a memory, and inside joke, or description) and then flip the card over to find their table. I also hand-painted the names of seven special places to us on placards that Dave had made to serve as our table “numbers.” Dave took the rings from old wine barrels we had on our property, along with a few mason and antique jelly jars, to make the gorgeous homemade chandelier that hung above our sweetheart table. My mom’s best friend planted 68 succulents into pots for our favors, and picked lavender from her property to decorate the ceremony chairs. We also designed our own wedding invitations with the help of a friend who has her degree in graphic arts.
There were so many details that made our day so completely us. I loved our journal, which had our handwritten vows inside. We each wrote our vows inside the journal beforehand (making sure that we didn’t accidentally peek at the other’s entry before the big day). During the ceremony we passed it back and forth to read to our words to each other. Now we fill the journal with love notes and reflections on our marriage that we write to each other on special days.
I also loved my wedding gift to Dave, which was a flashmob in the middle of dinner. He loves Ke$ha (a fact which he gets teased about mercilessly), so I choreographed a dance that a ton of our friends learned in the weeks before the wedding to Tik Tok by Ke$ha. It was amazing that our friends took the time and effort to really perfect it for Dave. The look on his face when we all went up there was amazing (and watching all my girlfriends’ husbands try to dance was pretty great too)!
The ceremony was the most amazing event of my life. Seeing Dave for the first time after walking down the aisle, I couldn’t stop touching his face and wiping his tears away. We were both complete cry babies! To hear him read me the vows he wrote for me and to be able to share my heart with him was so incredible. Dave’s uncle was our officiant. Together, we created our perfect ceremony with him. His uncle wrote a sweet piece about each of us and why we belonged together which he read to us for the first time during the ceremony. We also had our mothers each write a letter that expressed their love for us and their wishes for our marriage, which they read to us for the first time during the ceremony as well. We felt our ceremony really set the stage for the rest of the wedding, and sharing our love so intimately and openly with everyone there felt like such a special start to our marriage.
I never expected our day to be so incredibly emotional. Dave and I were crying and laughing for pretty much six hours straight. We chose to have a fairly small wedding and we were so happy we did. We were able to connect with everyone intimately, and to be able to have each of those individuals there solely to celebrate our love was an amazing thing.
Dave’s father passed away when he was 26. He was there in spirit in many ways. Dave wore his father’s boots and we used his father’s wedding ring as Dave’s band. The ring had his parents’ wedding date inscribed on the inside, so I surprised Dave by inscribing our date, along with the words, “Let the adventures begin,” as a play off of his proposal.
Donuts from SLO Donut Company, Venue | Lago Giuseppe, Dress Designer | Jim Hjelm, Shoes | J Crew
Jewellery | Bhldn necklace; vintage bracelet, Hair | Janina Cannon, Make up | Rhyan Townsend
Bridesmaids Dresses | Parker, Grooms Attire | Nordstrom, Caterer | La Donna Dolce Catering, DJ | Chris Clark