A beautiful, emotional, and sunny summertime wedding day in California. Caitlin & Kyle’s day was punctuated by changes they made due to planning a wedding during a pandemic, their love for each other, and the care they took to have their wedding day a wonderful celebration for those closest to them!
from the planner: “Caitlin and Kyle tied the knot at Cielo Farms in August of 2021 after a long waiting period of anticipation. The detail-oriented bride put thought into each and every detail and wowed guests with the overall look of the guest tables and scene set up in the beautiful surroundings of Malibu’s wine country. Caitlin created her mirror seating chart herself, creating a color gradient resembling a paint strip with each guests name and table assignment neatly printed. Another guest and friend of the couple’s family contributed an over-the-top exquisitely hand carved fruit carving with their names, date, and two illustrious swans on either side of the transformed watermelon.
Caitlin & Kyle’s love story is very special, having started in high school where they met. Throughout the evening, those giving toasts alluded to the two going to prom together and Caitlin’s mother even brought along her high school prom dress which hung on the side of Cielo’s barn which—very appropriately—was in fact white in color.
Caitlin decided to do a first look with her father which was one of the most touching moments of the couple’s day. Not to be topped, Kyle’s reaction to seeing Caitlin in her dress during the couple’s First Look on the venue’s gorgeous outlook overlooking the vineyards and mountains was extremely emotional and heartwarmingly genuine.
Another important guest at their wedding was Caitlin and Kyle’s cocker spaniel, Daisy, who stunned the guests with her performance as their flower girl.
The couple took care to take dance lessons and wowed their guests with surprise choreography to ‘This Will Be (An Everlasting Love”) by Natalie Cole as the misters sprayed over the dance floor given it was a blistering hot August day which only seemed to add to the charm of their dance moves: spins, twirls, and dips very much included.
One of the more special moments happened when one of Caitlin’s bridesmaids and maids of honor was able to dial in Caitlin’s childhood best friend who was not able to make the journey from Australia because of the country being on lockdown due to the pandemic. Tears were shed all around and Caitlin was visibly touched by the gesture of her closest girlfriends.
Then it was time to party! There was not a dull moment on the dance floor—parents of the bride and groom very much included— as the guests partied it up all night long right up until closing time. The photo booth line was populated all night long as guests sought to capture precious moments from this unforgettable night celebrating Caitlin and Kyle.”
How did you two meet? What were your first impressions of one another?
We met at a high school volleyball practice when we were fourteen. There wasn’t an instant romantic connection, but we were friends all throughout high school. We finally started dating at seventeen. Those three years of friendship prior to dating are such a solid foundation for our relationship and have allowed us to remain truly best friends for the twelve years we have been together.
Describe a hurdle you had to overcome in your relationship or during your wedding planning.
Like many couples, we struggled to plan our wedding during the pandemic. When we got engaged in September 2019, we wanted to spend six months enjoying our engagement without bringing in any stress of wedding planning. I started emailing venues in March 2020, but you can guess how that turned out…
In July 2020, we booked a wedding for August 2021 with full confidence that the pandemic would be over by then. In January of 2021, we decided to proactively postpone our wedding until 2022. We had watched so many of our friends struggle with the heartache of postponing their weddings at the last minute, and we wanted to take matters into our own hands. We started planning an intimate wedding for 2021, but then California announced that they were reopening events for the summer. We called our venue and vendors and were thrilled to discover that they were all still available on our original date. We managed to pull everything off in just four months (all we had at that time was our venue, photographer, coordinator, and my dress). It was certainly stressful, but we had a blast.
One silver lining that came out of the process was that planning around the pandemic forced us to really narrow down our guest list and focus on who was most important to us. We ended up cutting about 50% of our guest list (fortunately, we hadn’t yet sent save the dates). It may sound harsh, but it allowed us to have a much more intimate event. We got to spend a few minutes with every single guest and still had plenty of time left for the two of us.
Any special ways you incorporated your family or family history into your wedding day?
Because of the pandemic, not all of our family was able to join us in person on our wedding day. We chose our DJ not only because of the great reviews, but also because they offered a livestream service. It was really important to us that my grandparents could still be a part of the celebration from the other side of the country.
We worked in some other special nods to family throughout the day. For example, my bouquet was wrapped with lace from my mother’s and late grandmother’s wedding dresses. We had a child-free wedding, so our dog Daisy was our flower girl.
What part of your wedding day was/is most important to you?
As cliche as it may be, the ceremony was the most important part for us. It’s so easy to get caught up in all the other parts of the day, especially because our ceremony was a quick fifteen minutes out of the whole day. We got some advice to “keep the main event the main event”. That advice not only helped us keep things in perspective as we struggled with multiple reschedules and all the associated planning, but also kept us grounded throughout the whole process. At the end of the day, the only thing that mattered was getting married. Everything else was just a bonus.
What was your favorite part about planning your wedding?
Our favorite part about planning the wedding was getting ready for our first dance. We secretly took lessons before the wedding. The only people who knew were our coordinator, our photographer, and the couple who recommended the dance instructor. We had so much fun learning our dance and practicing. It was the perfect distraction from all the stressful parts of wedding planning, and we loved that it was something we got to do together.
When it came time for our dance at the reception, we absolutely nailed it. Our guests were so shocked but so thrilled. It was so fun to watch everyone’s reactions and to talk to them afterward. Our parents were particularly shocked and couldn’t stop talking about it for weeks. It was such a fun surprise for everyone and the photos came out beautifully.
As a bonus, we now have a repertoire of dance moves that we can break out from time to time. It was definitely the most fun part of planning our wedding and it was a complete highlight of our wedding day.
If you had one piece of advice for other couples, what would it be?
On the relationship side, it’s to never expect your partner to read your mind. If you want or need something, communicate it. Don’t put it on your partner to figure it out.
In terms of wedding planning, it would be to figure out what’s most important to you and invest in those things. For us, it was a beautiful venue, an incredible photographer to capture all the memories, and a coordinator to take the stress off our plates. Figure out what your nonnegotiables are and then work everything else out from there.
Photographer: Natalie Schutt
Venue: Cielo Farms
Stylist / Planner / Designer: Threshold Event Co.
Floral Designer: Blooms Done Right
Cake Designer: Susie Cakes
Makeup Artist: BeNYLA
Hair Stylist: BeNYLA
Rentals: Premiere Party Rentals
Catering: Tres LA Catering
DJ: Second Song