Tell us a little about yourselves!
We met at age 15 while playing waterpolo in high school. Ryan is a grade older than Gabrielle and in his junior year of high school he asked Gabrielle to be his prom date… the rest is history. After high school, Ryan joined the military and was stationed in the Bay Area, while Gabrielle followed her dreams and attended design school in San Francisco. Since moving out of their hometown, they have lived all over the Bay Area and recently settled in Marin County. They both enjoy being in nature and traveling, exploring local gems and beauties afar!
Our anniversary has always been a special date and when you have celebrated a specific date for so many years, we couldn’t possibly imagine choosing a different date to get married on. After getting engaged, the first thing we agreed on is that our wedding would be held on our 11th anniversary - 10/23/20.
Why did you decide to get married where you did?
Originally we had planned a small, intimate wedding in Italy and our goal was to travel with our family and friends who could make it out. When the pandemic hit we were faced with the decision to postpone the wedding or rapidly change plans. We decided to give up the dream of a destination wedding due to the uncertainty of everything and not knowing when we would be able to get officially married. We ultimately felt like we were at the time in our lives where marriage was the right step for us now and we didn’t want to delay that further. So we canceled everything in Italy and started researching ideas locally. Since we both love nature and hidden gems, we naturally gravitated towards one of our favorite spots: Point Reyes. We had once stayed at this boutique hotel in Olema, outside of Point Reyes National Park, and loved the overall experience so much that we decided to contact the place and see if they had rooms available for our wedding date and if they could host a reception. It was a no brainer when they said they had availability and could host a reception - we immediately booked it and put a plan in motion!
How many guests did you have?
16 total including our photographer Rachel Artime - I count her as a guest because she is my number one hype woman and such a joy to have around! The rest of our guests were immediate family and we each invited one close friend with their plus one.
Tell us about your outfits.
Gabrielle knew from the beginning that she didn’t want the typical dress that you find at a gown shop. She started her search online on retail websites and found a couple of options under $200 each. Since the wedding was originally planned for Italy, she thought that she would have a few outfit changes/ moments throughout the course of the trip. When the pandemic hit and plans changed, she felt like the options she purchased were no longer a right fit for the new direction of the wedding. Continuing her search online, she came across a dress and immediately fell in love. It was from Khaite and technically a summer dress, but the ram hems and casual feel felt perfect for their bay side rustic wedding. The jewelry was easy, Gabrielle only had eyes for these fresh water pearl hoops and wanted everything else to be simple. She wore her favorite gold elephant bracelet passed down from her grandmother, and her other bracelet was a gift from Ryan on the morning of their wedding.
The plan from the beginning was to have a monochromatic color schemed wedding, so for Ryan the classic black suit with white shirt was always the vision. Ryan is pretty low key and no fuss when it comes to shopping, so finding a suit that fit right well was all that mattered. We walked in to our local Nordstrom, found a black suit and they tailored it for free! We were in and out in an hour!
What was the most important aspect for you, in terms of planning your wedding?
It was important for us to stay true to ourselves. We didn’t want to get caught up in all the small details, stress about a large bill, or do things for the satisfaction of others. We got a lot of pressure to invite extended family members now that we were planning something more “local”, but we stayed strong and ignored outside opinions and stuck to our vision, which we are really happy about!! We still talk about our wedding day and how perfect it was for us.
Also, having an amazing photographer was extremely important! Rachel Artime did our engagement photos and the whole experience was the best, so hiring her as our wedding photographer was a no brainer! In general, having photos that you LOVE is second to having an actual amazing wedding day. The photos allow you to re-live your magical day again and again and Rachel captured our day so beautifully! We can look at a photo and feel everything we felt that day which is truly incredible!
Were there any elements that were important for you to incorporate?
The people! We wanted everything to feel intimate and have meaning to us, so we incorporated the people we love throughout the day. We had our close friend officiate the ceremony, our niece was our flower girl, our dog carried the rings, the bride’s sister did her hair and makeup. Everyone had a role in the wedding!
Any tips for couples getting married, particularly during Covid?
Remain true to yourselves as a couple. Block out the noise of everyone else (and the world) and do what feels right for you. It’s easy to stress about all the small details and especially during the pandemic when things feel unobtainable, whether your dream venue isn’t available, or the napkins you picked are on back order, etc - remember why you are getting married and focus on that. The other things don’t matter as long as you have each other.
Are there any vendors that you would like to tell us a little more about?
Sir + Star /Hotel Olema / Manka’s (they have a lot of names lol)! They are visionaries and went above and beyond in the planning!! They helped coordinate most of the vendors and the service was beyond incredible! First off, their restaurant Sir + Star is to die for! They had us write an entire story about all of our favorite foods and created a personalized menu for the entire evening - not a detail was missed! We had a meeting where we walked through the details of the day (even parts they weren’t involved in) and they organized smooth transitions and incorporated small details that made the day. For example, we planned a first look and private vow reading before the ceremony on the dock of the Boathouse. Since they knew we were doing that at a certain time, they coordinated a staff member to deliver champagne to the dock to be there after we were done doing our thing - it wasn’t something we asked for, but it made all the difference. We are so grateful for everything they did for us and the attention to detail on our special day!!
Photographer : Rachel Artime @rachelartimephoto | Ceremony Location : Inverness, CA at the Cypress Tree Tunnel | Reception Location : Inverness, CA at The Boathouse @sirandstar | Celebrant : Will Olivo (a friend of the bride and grooms) @rev.ollie | Styling + Planning : Bride with help of Hotel Olema | Flora : Patrick Merriman (a colleague of the brides) @patrick.c.merriman | HMUA : Jessica Barnard (sister of the bride) | Catering, Beverages + Cake : Sir + Star at Hotel Olema @sirandstar | Bride's Dress : Khaite @khaite_ny | Groom's Suit : Ted Baker (from Nordstrom @nordstrom) | Rings : Heidi Gibson @heidigibsondesigns + 4 Mejuri wedding bands @mejuri, Groom: Enso @ensorings | Bride's Shoes : Alias Mae @aliasmae | Groom's Shoes : Cole Haan (from Nordstrom) @nordstrom | Bride's Earrings : A.B.Ellie @a.b.ellie | Bracelets : Gift from Groom + Bride Grandmothers