Lauren and Boyd Kestrel Park Wedding
From the Bride as seen in Style me Pretty... Boyd and I met in 2011 when we were both living in San Francisco through our mutual friend (and Boyd’s groomsman) Jimmy. We started dating in July 2012 and got married almost exactly 6 years from our first date! Beginning our relationship as twenty-somethings living in the heart of San Francisco was a blast – every weekend was a different festival, concert, party, or fun weekend trip outside the city. Four months into officially dating, Boyd’s company moved him to Barcelona to work for a few months, just as I was beginning my Master’s degree in Teaching at University of San Francisco. We made the decision to stay together and do the long distance thing, which ultimately made us so much stronger as a couple. A month after he left I flew out to visit him and we got to spend Thanksgiving together in Paris, which was so romantic and a memory we will always cherish. When Boyd returned to the Bay area a few months later we moved in together and rest was history!
For our wedding, we envisioned a beautiful, warm, outdoor celebration under the stars with all our closest friends and family. For our style vision, I wanted something that was classic and elegant, that would never be “out” of style with a color palette of white, shades of grey, greenery and touches of gold. I kept the overall style very simple and timeless, which is how I would describe my personal style as well. So many times, I think weddings are filled with unnecessary amounts of décor that they end up looking cluttered. Instead, I went the more minimalist route. Everything we included in our wedding was a thoughtful decision was there for a reason. Seeing all the months of hard work and decisions come together on our wedding day was such a feeling I will never forget. Then in the weeks that followed, hearing all our guest’s reactions to the wedding, things like it was the most beautiful and real wedding they had ever been to, or that it was the most delicious meal, or the most they’ve danced in years etc,,. Was so rewarding. If I could define our wedding in three ways, I’d say it was magical, love-filled and perfect.
We really wanted our wedding day to feel personal and genuine to the two of us and our relationship. One choice we made was having my uncle, Frank officiate the ceremony. His personal connection to us and my family made the ceremony really special to us. We also had Boyd’s grandmother, Pauline, read the lyrics of the Led Zeppelin song “Thank You” during the ceremony because Boyd insisted on somehow working Led Zeppelin (his favorite band) into our wedding. It was surprisingly a very emotional reading and had almost everyone in tears!
Another unique touch we included in our wedding was our escort cards. When Boyd was planning his proposal to me, he was worried a ring box in his jeans pocket would be too obvious, since he never carries anything in his pockets. He cleverly (thanks to his mom) decided to store the engagement ring in a mini altoid box. So when Boyd got down on one knee to propose (on a birthday wine tasting trip to Healdsburg) he pulled an altoid box out of his pocket! He had even kept all the altoids in there in case I had noticed the mints earlier in the day and asked for one! So we wanted to somehow incorporate mini altoid tins into our wedding day because it had been such a funny memory from our proposal. Our calligrapher, Seniman Calligraphy helped create hand written paper wraps for the mini altoid tins which served as our escort cards, telling each guest where they were sitting. We displayed them all on an antique wooden bookcase. Another special part of our wedding day was our sweetheart table where Boyd and I sat for the dinner reception. My brother, Carter, and dad, Steve, built a beautiful table out of reclaimed Douglas fir that we used for our welcome table and then again for our sweetheart table. It is a memento from our wedding that we will cherish in our home forever.
A hilarious and unexpected surprise on our wedding day was the groomsmen’s grand entrance to the reception. Unannounced to us, Boyd’s groomsmen all got together and planned a surprise entrance to the reception. Boyd’s nickname in high school and still today is “Dino,” short for dinosaur. Playing on his nickname the groomsmen all stampeded into the dinner area pretending like they were dinosaurs, rawring and everything. Everyone thought it was hilarious, and it’s one of our favorite memories from the night.
Our two signature cocktails were based off of our two favorite cocktails from the early days of our relationship living in San Francisco. The “Strawberry Fields” was fresh strawberries, lemonade, and vodka, muddled with mint. We used to drink a similar drink on the back patio of the bar “Tipsy Pig” in the Marina on warm (and foggy) San Francisco days. And the “Pasion” was a fresh passion fruit, tequila, lime, and chili margarita, which was based off our favorite margarita from Mexican restaurant, Tacolicious, where we went of our first date.
Later in the evening we served Espresso Martini’s (Dino-mites) to keep everyone going on the dance floor, which are another favorite drink of ours. Dinner was served family style under the stars. The food was a very important element of our wedding to us. My mom, Julie, is a chef, so she played an integral role in helping us select the caterer and craft a delicious menu. We choose local caterer, Field to Table, because we liked their ability to source local organic produce and meats. Ice cream has always been my favorite dessert so having an ice cream truck was one of the first wedding choices we made! It was a big hit!
My fondest wedding moment was my dad walking me down the aisle to the Beatles, “Here Comes the Sun.” It was such a special moment for me and my dad, and then when I locked eyes with Boyd, I couldn’t take my eyes off of him. I had never been so excited to marry him as I was in that moment. Boyd said his fondest moment was when we shared our personal vows with each other during our first look. It was a special moment and was very emotional. That was the moment he played in his head the most prior to the wedding, so when it actually happened it was surreal. Boyd and I both wanted to write our own vows but didn’t really want to recite them for everyone there to hear. We felt like we would say something different if it was for an audience rather than just for the other person. For this reason, we decided to write our own vows and read them to each other during our first look when we were alone. We both agree that this was one of our favorite moments during the day and we were so glad we chose to do this. We also crafted, more simple vows to read during the ceremony, that still reflected “us.”
Finding my wedding dress was surprisingly the hardest, and least fun part of wedding planning for me. I should have known that is would be a challenge, since I’m very particular about things, but I never imagined it would be as hard as it was. After trying on over 100 dresses, I made one last trip up to LA to go shopping with my bridesmaid and friend, Christine. She took me to the Oscar de la Renta boutique on Melrose Ave., where I finally found my dress. I didn’t cry or have that “aha” moment that brides talk about but I did feel beautiful and loved the way it made me feel.
One of the best pieces of advice I read prior to planning our wedding was, “Your wedding guests won’t remember what your wedding looked like, but they will remember how it made them feel.” As hard as it was I tried to remind myself of this throughout the planning process. Keep your guests and the experience they will have in mind rather than focusing on the appearance of everything. The little gestures and extras touches you do will go a long way with guests. For example, we served grilled artichokes at our reception because they are a favorite of ours. We were concerned that guests might not want to eat them since they can be messy, so we had the waiters pass moist hand toilettes that said “for your Grubby hands” on them – playing off our last name, Grubbs. For grooms, Boyd says “good luck…hahah. But honestly, be there for your partner as an emotional support. That’s was the best help I could give Lauren throughout the process.”
Planning LVL Weddings | Venue Kestrel Park | Photography Brandon Kidd Photo | Videography By Design Films | Floral Alt Flowers | Catering Field to Table Catering and Event | Cake Lilac Patisserie | Bar Flair Project | Ice Cream Truck Negranti Creamery | Coffee Welcome Coffee Cart | Rentals Theoni Collection, Ventura Rental | Linens La Tavola Linen | Entertainment That Vibe Band | Beauty Chiali Meng Artistry | Stationery Seniman Calligraphy | Lighting Spark Creative Events | Wedding Gown Oscar de la Renta via Marina Morrison | Bridesmaid Dresses Joanna August |