The Day We Got Married – Part Three | Party Time

And just like that the two of us are a new family – ready to celebrate with the ones that love us! My buddy Christian played DJ for the night and Chris Shore was our totes cool MC – so happy they could take part! The reception introduction was awesome – and we went straight from that into a couple toasts and then an amazing dinner.ย  To facilitate the backyard feel we wanted, we had a mix of round tables and long family style seating arrangements (so all my college friends could sit together) Muffie and Shirley arranged eucalyptus up the center and so many people helped set all the place settings while us girls were getting ready that morning. A huge shout out to the Lang Family for helping all weekend with a myriad of boring chores. It’s crazy that I used to babysit your kids when we first moved to the US, and now they’re helping set up and serve at my wedding 14 years later! (Menu cards and wedding programs designed by yours truly.)

The menu was out of control!! I don’t know if you can read this photo, but we had Tri-tip, chicken, garlic mashed potatoes, green beans, multiple salads and dinner rolls. Having a mum with dietary restrictions for arthritis has given me empathy for guests at parties and weddings. When we sat down with Cassie Shepherd to talk about the menu, I stressed the need to provide a spread that catered to everyone’s needs. No one was to go hungry at the Hawkins/Woodfield wedding!! We also made sure that three out of our nine desserts were gluten free and others were dairy free. (I know. It was insane to have nine… but we had a lot of people to sugar up!) Cassie did an incredible job catering and there was more than enough delicious food for everyone – she is a legend!

This photobooth shot is possibly my favorite photo of all of us!
We went back and forth on getting a wedding cake – if we did have one I wanted it to be simple and covered in sprinkles. Unbeknownst to me, a church friend – Serene Asire – makes incredible cakes for her friends and family. I was talking with some older friends after church one night and Darryl, a man who doesn’t even eat sugar, started raving about the cakes Serene makes. He convincedย  me that I NEEDED one of her cakes in my life – it was no longer a ‘maybe’. Thankfully she agreed, because it turned out to be the best cake I have ever eaten in my entire life. I can’t even describe how good it was. People were talking about it for weeks!ย  Devin and I cut the cake and then served dessert to all out guests. A long line quickly formed as talk spread of how delicious the cake was.. and best of all, we got to serve all our friends and see everyone as they moved through. It’s so hard to find time to talk to everyone during a 4 hour reception, so I’m so glad we did this. (Even if we aren’t the best cake cutters in the world)ย  Devin and I have a history of not dancing. (a miserably failed swing dancing class back in college that ended in tears – not mine. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) A few months after that disaster, Devin sent me a song through Spotify called I Don’t Dance by Lee Brice. It had the caption – “Heard this today and it made me cry. This is how I feel” (Thank you music for helping men express their feelings on the daily!!) It was only fitting then, that our ‘first dance’ would be that tune. Not a typical wedding song I’m sure, but it means a lot to us. <3 Devin and his momma danced to Boyz II Men ‘A Song for Mamma‘ – a fitting tribute for them. My Dad and I rocked out to Paul Simon’s ‘Father and Daughter‘. It has the best dancing beat and the sweetest lyrics. My Daddy is my hero, my personality twin, and dancing with him is as easy as moving around the dance floor by myself. We’re so in sync.

As the Father/Daughter dance slowed to an end, Christian flipped on another tune and my bold and beautiful friend Bonnie (alliteration for the win) jumped onto the dance floor with me… leading the way for everyone else to join us!ย  And then the CRAZIEST thing happened. From behind the DJ booth, two dinosaurs appeared, ready to dance the night away! I was grabbing some water at the time and heard the roar of the dancers and the laughter everyone else as Devin and Trent appeared on the scene as a couple of energetic T-Rex’s. Every wedding needs a T-Rex to do the ChaCha Slide. Are you having a wedding? Get a T-Rex. Trust me.ย Best $100 I’ve ever spent! (Sorry to the little girls who we scared in the process) More than getting married, this wedding was a time for Devin and I to bring our families and friends together from all around the world! We were humbled at the distances that people drove/flew to celebrate with us. Julie Hughes was assistant photographer for the day, and the one thing I asked was that she got lots of pictures of our guests. I wanted a memory of the people who love us enough to sit in the hot sun and party on a homemade dance floor and fly halfway across the world to be with us on such an amazing day. I never wanted it to end… if I had my way, I’d want all these people to become friends because we happen to have the best friends in the universe! Thank you so much to everyone who celebrated with us! We love you all!! And these are my people – it’s been almost 10 years since we graduated college together and we’re still meeting up at each others weddings. TMC may be different things to different people, but to me it’s where I met most of my favorite people on earth. To those who have kids and lived a million miles away and couldn’t make it, we missed you all!! (Also, there are still 8 single people in this photo – so 8 more weddings to come!! Whoohoo – I’m looking at you Jon ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) My parents made this giant H for me one night out of scraps they had in the garage. It was massive!! Seriously, I have the coolest parents!

To end all of this, I need to give the biggest shout out to Nauna Guttenbeil who came over from New Zealand to photograph the wedding. She brought her whole family of 8 with her for a once in a lifetime vacation in the US and her husband Darryl filmed a bunch of drone footage of the wedding. (It’s going to be awhile till I get to that, haha) I love this woman so much and was so glad she could be there, let alone that she would photograph the day in such a dreamy way!
Then Julie Hughes second shot – getting the most incredible images of my niece Rosie and the rest of my friends. She was a miracle worker – the friendliest person you’ll ever meet.
Finally – Mike of Resistance Photography filmed the day and was absolutely incredible! 10/10 would recommend him! I wasn’t sure what to expect, because videograhers can be a bit hit or miss, but Mike was quick, friendly, funny, and got some incredible shots. (His work really speaks for itself!)

Reception Venue: Hickman Community Church
Photography: Nauna Photography + Julie Hughes Photography
Videographer: Resistance Videography
Brideโ€™s Dress: Mira’s Bridal
Dress Designer: Essence of Australia
Jewelry: Kendra Scott
Flowers: Muffie Farinha + Shirley Griggs
Makeup: Bitsy B Beautyย  +ย  Marie Rojo
Hair: Rebecca Carnes
Luncheon Catering: Panera Bread
Reception Catering: Cassie Shepherd
Photobooth: Creative Smiles Photo Booth
Cake: Serene Asire
DJ: Christian Herrera

The Day We Got Married – Part Two | First Look + Ceremony

After lunch, us girls finished getting ready and bundled into cars for a quick ride over to Riverpointe Park in Waterford. My family’s home is in the adjoining development, and over the years I have spent countless hours on this bridal path and further down in the river. (I’ve also photographed a bunch of people here – it’s a pretty little spot for the area) The boys had already arrived, looking super spiffy in their suspenders and bowties! This is totally Devin’s go-to when we have to go anywhere and it was fun to see his friends rocking the same look.

Muffie Farinha and Shirley Griggs were in charge of flowers for the day and not only did they make the most amazing bouquets, but they also made little thistle boutonnieres for the guys. Little known fact – I was OBSESSED with Eeyore in High School and getting thistles (Eeyore’s fave) into the wedding was a major win!! 17 year old Beckie would be proud!

We did a cute little ‘First Look’ where Dev and I got a couple moments to ourselves (and three photographers) to talk about the day and have a quick prayer together. It’s a miracle that we were even getting married (let alone still friends) after a rough few years. We know that the strong relationship we have now is not something we could have managed to build on our own and we’re quick to be grateful for God’s grace and love that brought us together. Pretty soon the girls joined us and Julie Hughes took Devin back to the guys to photograph them. The amazing Nauna shot some images of me alone, and then me with the besties.ย Didn’t I tell you this veil was amazing?? I’ve been to a lot of weddings and I’m yet to see one with such bold trim, but I love it so much!!! Such a perfect addition to the whole thing.Thanks again for the flowers Muffie and Shirley – these give me all the heart eyes!! I love these women so much – there are really no words to fully express how much I owe to these five. Funnily enough, they also each represent a really major part of my life – Church, high school, family, career, and college!! (In that order) Mindy Lahiri says that ‘Best Friend’ is a tier, not a person, and I would have to agree. These five are so different in personalities, but they have all been faithful friends who add to me as a person in different ways and make me more complete.

Natalieย โ€ขย  Alie โ€ขย  Nickiย โ€ข Beckieย โ€ขย Hollyย โ€ขย Liz

I’m totally biased, but I think this man is so handsome!ย 

Stephenย โ€ขย ย Reubenย โ€ขย ย Devinย โ€ข Tylerย โ€ข Timย โ€ข Trent

Bitsy, my makeup artist, followed us around all day to make sure my makeup was fresh and wasn’t being rubbed off with the excessive amounts of hugs!! Rosie was a bit overwhelmed when we took group photos, but Bitsy was on it and let her rummage through her bag of touch up makeup to keep her happy and occupied. (Told you she was the best!) Rosie was in heaven – she is all about the girly stuff! Devin and I were so glad that his mom (MiRanda) could be there with us! There’s such a special bond between single mother and only son – they love each other so much! She flew up a few days before the wedding and was able to join us on our trip to Yosemite. Now I have a Mom and a Mum. ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ย Before we get to the ceremony, I have to take a second to tell you about Kayla and her mom Debbie. Where do I even start?? Kayla and I lived together in the House at 267 for about a year. We got close over that time, and she was one of the main reasons I stayed sane in 2016. When Devin proposed in July, Kayla told me that she would be coming to the wedding in California… to be honest, I know how things go in life and I was glad for her support but didn’t really think it would happen. She’s a woman of her word though, and she and her mom flew over (via LA and NYC) to celebrate with us. Not only were they there to celebrate, both of them dove headfirst into the last minute jobs that needed to be done. Kayla was an unofficial bridesmaid and took initiative in finding things she could help with. Debbie was the same – helping my mom in all sorts of ways and bringing a little bit more New Zealand to the week! I should’ve known – Kayla is a true friend and having her meet my other friends and family (which she had heard so much about) was a total highlight!ย  My Mum didn’t want to walk me down the aisle initially – she’s much more traditional than that – but it was very important for me to have both my parents stand by me as we came to the ceremony. I have my Dad’s personality and I easily fall into the roles he is strong in, but it’s my Mum who has taught me over the years and instilled good traits in me that aren’t my natural inclination. Her wins were hard fought. I am so thankful she has always been open with her ‘why’ and expected logic, good grammar, methodical thinking, order, etc from a child who pushed back against them constantly. I am a better person because of her and I wanted to honor that in front of so many people we know. (I would not be an ENFP without her influence. Nature AND nurture! haha)

We walked down the aisle to the theme song from Forrest Gump – it’s such a beautiful song and it always brings a tear to my eye.

We had a very very simple ceremony – something we had agreed on early on. Besides a ‘quick’ word from my Dad (who married us), we only had our personal vows, rings, and a kiss. It was so hot that I’m glad we didn’t do anything more, haha. I’ve always loved when couples wrote their own vows and made them a surprise on the day – it seems so genuine to me and I can’t imagine us doing it any other way.
After the I Do’s, we danced back down the aisle to “You are the Best Thing” by Ray LaMontagne – the best recessional song!! (press play to listen)

After the ceremony, we took family photos and some simple portraits in the alley – we were on cloud nine for the rest of the night!

Reception Venue: Hickman Community Church
Photography: Nauna Photography + Julie Hughes Photography
Videographer: Resistance Videography
Brideโ€™s Dress: Mira’s Bridal
Dress Designer: Essence of Australia
Jewelry: Kendra Scott
Flowers: Muffie Farinha + Shirley Griggs
Makeup: Bitsy B Beautyย  +ย  Marie Rojo
Hair: Rebecca Carnes
Luncheon Catering: Panera Bread
Reception Catering: Cassie Shepherd
Photobooth: Creative Smiles Photo Booth
Cake: Serene Asire
DJ: Christian Herrera

The Day We Got Married – Part One | Getting Ready!

2017 was a crazy busy year with a lot of moving around and hours in front of a screen – with the break, I finally have time to blog about our May wedding. I am in love with the photos of the day and am so thankful for everyone who helped pull together our ‘small backyard wedding’ for 300. Most importantly, after 7 months of marriage, I can look back at that day and say that marrying Devin Hawkins was one of the best decisions I have ever made! Welcome to 1/3 of these posts – I’ve got to get everything down in writing so I don’t forget.

I saw this Essence of Australia bridal gown at Mira’s Bridal over a year before the wedding and fell in love with the skirt and the color! I never even tried on another dress, haha. There was a bit of a mixup with the bodice and it wasn’t what I wanted at all (cue the irrational tears) but my amazing sister spent a couple days as seamstress changing the whole shape of the upper gown to be more of what I wanted. She’s an angel and I felt like a princess all day. <3

Devin and I didn’t want a big matchy matchy wedding, we were going for a classy backyard wedding that was fun for all our friends and family. Part of that meant that I wanted my bridesmaids to have it simple too – they could choose their own dresses and shoes, and I’d have hair and makeup for them on the day. I loved the gowns they picked – my only requirement being that they were black and full length. I feel like their choices really matched their personalities in a way. (And how does that saying go? “You can easily wear it somewhere else”)My accessories all fell together as we got closer to the day – my girls were amazing and helped me pull off all the rose gold pieces that I envisioned. (Soooo 2017, but sill my favorite metal!) Natalie bought me the Rose Gold glitter Keds (Kate Spade Edition) for Christmas 2016. I’d been looking at all the different rose sneakers on the market and hadn’t even seen these ones… how great of a sister in law is she?? Then Liz picked up all the Kendra Scott jewelry – my earrings and bracelet, and matching earrings for the girls – she flew them all the way out from DC and gifted me the bracelet that matched everything else! She also grabbed the matching nail polish for me, and I have to tell you, the KS polish is incredible – such an amazing color and it’s easy to apply and stays on forever. 10/10 would recommend.ย 

Talking about mix ups, my makeup artist cancelled on me 10 days before the wedding. It wasn’t the end of the world, but I was definitely upset. I wanted to let everyone feel pampered and get glammed up. I called Holly with the bad news and she recommended her personal MUA from Fresno… incredibly, Marie Rojo drove all the way to Hickman to help Holly, Nicki, Liz, and Alie get their war paintย makeup on point.

With half the girls covered, I reached out to an old friend –ย Bitsy Briones – down in Santa Clarita who does incredible work, and practically begged her to be my Makeup Artist for the day. I should have known I didn’t need to beg, she was quick to say yes and then drove up the night before to do a trial run with me before the day of. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ How incredible are these wedding vendors?? I was absolutely blown away and I can’t say enough about how personable Bitsy was and how incredible her work is. If you live in Santa Clarita and need a glam look, seriously hire her – you will not be disappointed!! (And thanks to Tai for housing Bitsy while she was here so she wasn’t alone in some hotel room somewhere)ย Shoutout to Holly for making sure I got a ‘basic bride’ Starbucks cup – Cool Lime Refreshers are 100% better than coffee. I’d fight you on that.I was super laid back in planning the wedding day – I probably should have cared more, but 2017 was a weird year for me and it wasn’t in the cards to be the Type A planner I always thought I’d be. (Living on the other side of the world didn’t help) Basically, I pulled together a group of incredible professionals (and some friends), gave them a general idea of what I was wanting, and let them do whatever they wanted. I think that’s why I’m so rave-y about everyone who helped make the day feel super special for Devin and me.

One such woman was Rebecca Carnes – hair stylist extraordinaire. We had talked a couple weeks before the wedding about what I was looking for, how many girls there were, and what the timeline was. She and her assistant turned up early and rocked amazing styles for everyone pretty much on the fly. I am 100% terrible with hair – ponytails are the extent of my skills – so I am in awe at what these ladies were able to pull together from the millions of strands of hair we all have. When I’d mention to friends who I had booked to do hair, it was a anonymous “Oh great, she’s the best there is!!” We met again later in the year when she was the hair stylist for Emma’s wedding. So so good.

My bridesmaids have the best smiles and are soooo beautiful!!

Marie finishing up on the left while Bitsy get’s my OK for my mom’s makeup on the right.ย 

Not only did Nicki help me fix my dress, she also made a matching dress from scratch for Rosie AND helped me put together my veil. Initially I wasn’t going to do a veil, but a couple weeks before the wedding, I changed my mind. I’m allowed to do that, right? Nicki and I went down to JoAnnes to find lace. As soon as I saw this bold Art Deco styled lace I KNEW it had to be for me. It was slightly browner than my dress color, but I think it actually added a pop of contrast. (We made sure the body of the veil was a perfect match to the dress.) My sister is seriously amazing… there is no way I would have been able to do everything I wanted without her.

These Kendra Scott earring were the perfect size – dainty and delicate while still being visible and staying out of the way. I also hadn’t used the Michael Kors perfume before that day, so that smelling it in the future will bring back all the amazing memories.
The one thing I knew I wanted to do from day one of wedding planning, was to throw a luncheon for my closer gal pals after we had gotten ready, but before the Ceremony. We all had to eat anyway, but I wanted some extra time with college friends who were driving in from out of town, and I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone for the impact they’ve had in my life over the years. I have so so so much love for all these women and what better day to celebrate them? Not everyone could make it, but I am so thankful that I put this in the timeline.. and we all ate well!! I ordered Panera Bread weeks earlier and Rachel picked it up on the morning so that none of the wedding party had to leave. (Yay friends) I looooove Panera catering – It comes out at around $8 a person and is more than enough food. We were giving food away to all the people helping set up and we still had some leftover for snacking on after the ceremony!
I lived with the most amazing girls in college (GO DIXON) and was so excited to see some of them – they all had to travel in from out of town!! I love these girls so much!ย 

Reception Venue: Hickman Community Church
Photography: Nauna Photography + Julie Hughes Photography
Videographer: Resistance Videography
Brideโ€™s Dress: Mira’s Bridal
Dress Designer: Essence of Australia
Jewelry: Kendra Scott
Flowers: Muffie Farinha + Shirley Griggs
Makeup: Bitsy B Beautyย  +ย  Marie Rojo
Hair: Rebecca Carnes
Luncheon Catering: Panera Bread
Reception Catering: Cassie Shepherd
Photobooth: Creative Smiles Photo Booth
Cake: Serene Asire
DJ: Christian Herrera

Part Two | First Look and the Ceremony Coming right up!! ๐Ÿ™‚