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My Real Wedding

Real Brides. Real Vendors. Real Weddings.

Nicole & Doug Barker 
October 9, 2010 

My favorite moments included the father daughter dance, which was very special to me; smashing cake in my husband’s face, awesome!; watching my five year old son break it down on the dance floor and of course walking down the aisle. My advice, slow down! There was so much to do and so many details, it was overwhelming. When you are not using a wedding planner you feel like it is all on you. I wish I had given myself an hour before it all started just to breathe and take it all in.


We had beautiful weather on a seaside cliff on the California coast. We rented a house that my husband's family was familiar with. We did the outdoor giant white tent thing which we bought and assembled ourselves. My friend and former co-worker, Vince is ordained. Having someone that is special to you be the one to marry you adds a personal note to the ceremony and he kept it light and fun, just the way we wanted it.


We had a DIY wedding in which we pretty much enslaved our family and friends to pull it off. Everything turned out great. My aunt made gorgeous handmade very personal invitations. I made a small cake myself and ordered 10 dozen donuts from a wonderful bakery in Napa and had my husband's aunt bring them down with her. My father in law cooked (slaved) for hours making carnitas for dinner, that I never ate by the way. My brother in law played DJ. My sister in law, who was also the maid of honor pulled all of the details together and played coordinator for getting things set up. It was hectic! Craziness to say the least. Everything turned out and I had a smashing good time. The only regret I have from my wedding is that I feel like I shouldn't have put so many tasks on my family. I feel like my father in law and mother in law missed out on a lot because they were busy cooking and serving food and cleaning up. They were amazing and did a fantastic job, but if I had to do it over, I would have hired help so they could have enjoyed the day more.


I love the granulation of the film and developing process with 35mm film shot by David Rizzoli (my uncle). The kind of shots I was looking for, artsy and not cheesy. I love the vintage feel and the somehow timelessness that my uncle David captured. This was right after the ceremony. I was so happy at this moment (left)! Probably my favorite picture; me and my dad walking down the aisle (right).


Oh and one thing ladies, wedding dresses are designed to be photographed head on, the normal trick of turning at a diagonal to look thinner does not apply when you are in most wedding dresses. This is something I knew, but wasn't thinking about in the moment, I wish my photographer would have said something. I had a lot of wasted shots because of this angle issue. Also, I wish I had scheduled one more meeting with my photographer a week before the wedding to make sure we were on exactly the same page. I didn't get some of the shots I wanted, even though I made a list.

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