Nestldown, is a large private estate off of the summit of Highway 17, between Los Gatos and Santa Cruz. It is a magical place, complete with not one but two ponds, a fairytale doll cottage (adults can fit into), a Craftsman-style main building, a towering redwood ceremony setting with an arbor, shaped topiaries, a lion statue, loads of whimsical and rustic touches - even a small scale train that the bride & groom can ride to make their entrance into their reception.
The coordinator there at that time, Brooke, is legendary, she kept track of everything & everyone and is calm and professional throughout. She guided us during the rehearsal and showed us the lay of the land.
C. & B. - my bride and groom - were having their wedding day on Friday the 13th - which hints at the fact that they are somewhat non-traditional. The bride was exquisite in her strapless, mermaid fit, lace gown, which showed off her full upper back tattoo. The groom & his men wore tuxes, but added red suspenders and wore Chuck Tailor Converse sneakers. The bridesmaids wore tight black retro dresses with a red bodices and towering stiletto platform red shoes. The two flowergirls wore red and black tulle tutus & looked liked goth pixies. I wore a minster outfit that would match their color theme as well.
It is a large venue, and the staff there outfitted me with a mic pack (there were speakers mounted on the redwoods) so that the guests could hear the ceremony. The couple used parts of the ceremonies I provided them from my Build Your Own Ceremony templates but each had written their own personal wedding vows (emailing it to me separately so that the vows would be a surprise). The bride ended up winging some of her vows - she was rather funny but got a little lost - so I held up my copy for her to look at so she would get back on track. The groom's vows were very personal and touching.
It was a lovely sight to see her and her father walk down the hillside between the trees, like I'd seen only online previously. Beautiful. I started and ended the ceremony with a few words in Gaelic (the groom was of American-Irish decent) which he appreciated. It turned out that my closing wish of "Health" in Gaelic was something his family would say as a toast. It look me a few times to rehearse the pronunciation of those Gaelic words, but I said it correctly on the big day. Nice.
I wish C. & B. all the luck in their future together.