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Real Wedding: Courtney & Christopher

Bride: Courtney St. Clair
Groom: Christopher Werner
Wedding gown style: Diana
Wedding date: 
September 4th 2010
Boutique purchased: Erin Cole (Costa Mesa, CA)
LocationLake Almanor, California
Photographer: John Schnack

First things first, where did you meet your husband and was it love at first site? Chris and I met twelve years ago at a friend’s party in San Diego. I instantly fell in love with him and called my parents to tell them I had met the man I was going marry. We had so many things in common like the fact that both of our families owned vacation homes in Lake Almanor, California. That in itself is truly fate! Lake Almanor is the smallest hidden gem of a city that no one knows about (the best kind!). We also both grew up going to The Newport Harbor Yacht Club with our families. He was really funny, I laugh at my own jokes. We both love music and could live off Mexican food. One night he asked me to slow dance in the middle of a music-less crowded room and I was hooked…I had found my match!! Well needless to say we both ended up in relationships with other people and the timing was always off. We remained friends for 10 years and he always filled a portion of my heart and my head. One day I woke up and realized that I couldn’t live without him. He was my best friend, my best kiss, my biggest crush and the patch to fix my heart. You pray and wish all of your life to find someone that you want to rush home to every night and who loves you more than anyone has ever loved you…I just got to marry that person! Like our first dance song states – “True Love Waits.”

How did he propose? Tell us the story! The night he asked me to marry him he took me out on his family’s boat for a sunset bay cruise. It was a normal weekend ritual for us until I noticed that the boat had come to a complete stop directly in front of the house he had just finished building. When I looked back to ask him why he had stopped, the song ‘To make you feel my love’ by Garth Brooks came on and he was down on bended knee (I had once told my best friend Heather I would marry the man that played that song for me….I had no idea Chris knew that). He told me how he wanted to make that house our home and spend the rest of his life with me, to be honest I don’t remember everything that he said because I was too busy yelling “Is this really happening” and “YES” over and over again!!

Once the wedding plans started, what made you decide on a Vera Wang gown? I saw an ad for the Diana dress in a wedding magazine and I immediately fell in love! It was truly my dream dress because it was elegant yet its imperfections (uneven layering of various fabrics) gave it a casual character which I wanted for our rustic barn wedding. It illustrated my every day style and personality and it was the key piece of ‘art’ that I planned our vision/wedding around.

As Vera has started to veer away from traditional white/ivory gowns shown in her recent Fall 2012 Collection, was an alternate color something you considered? If I could go back in time I would definitely have gone with an alternate color. In a perfect world I would’ve stuck with the Diana in Ivory and I would have different shades of taupe and Ivory as the layers on the train. I’m truly obsessed with all of the colored dresses in the Fall line!! Maybe we should renew our vows so I can wear one?!

How did you accessorize to make your wedding day unique? I really didn’t want to take away from the dress so I kept it simple. I wore a vintage pair of diamond earrings and a pair of Christian Louboutin’s that Chris had bought me for the wedding. My dress gave everyone so much to look at that I didn’t want to interrupt it with too many accessories.

What was the inspiration or theme for your wedding? Our main vision/goal was to have a romantic, rustic yet chic wedding with an emphasis on natural elements, monochromatic single statements and an overall stylish rural theme.

* A little background on our wedding location: Chris and I, along with our friends and family, spent the summer restoring my Uncle Steve’s 140 year old barn to create our dream wedding. We spent months painting, sanding, mowing, dusting and hammering to make it even feasible for people to walk into the barn. The barn hadn’t been used in over 40 years so needless to say we had a lot of work on our hands! After all of our hard work we had high hopes that the barn could/would turn out beautifully but we had no idea that the creative team helping us would blow our wildest dreams out of the water! It was the most magical, breathtaking, awe -inspiring thing I have ever seen in my life!

Did you incorporate any other Vera Wang products into your wedding? (I.e. fragrance, fine papers etc.) If so, how? The china and silverware we registered for was Vera Wang.

Did you stay true to the Old English wedding rhyme: Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. If so, what were yours? Old: Vintage flower hair piece; New: Louboutin’s; Borrowed: Pearl necklace I wore for a few of the photos; Blue: Underwear.

What tips do you have for new brides picking out their wedding dress? Find a dress that’s truly YOU!! You don’t want to look like you played dress up in someone else’s closet on your big day. Find a dress that illustrates your personality and always, always, always stick with your gut feeling!

What was your favorite part of the day? And, are there any other anecdotes you would like to share? My absolute favorite part of the day was when our florist and wedding planner did a private reveal of the barn (reception area) for Chris and I after we walked down the aisle. It gave us some time to stand in awe of the barn we had worked so hard on. We were able to soak everything in and walk around and see all of the details before anything had been touched by our guests. It was magical!

A small tip when planning your wedding: Create a Vision Board!! The most crucial of all planning tools!! Whether you are a clothing designer, building a home or planning a wedding…a vision board is one of the easiest and most beneficial tools you will need!! Chris and I first used a vision board while building our home. We would go to the local book store and buy a bunch of magazines that we felt fit our taste. It was a fun project to sit around together and exchange the picture we had cut out to see if we were on the same page. When Chris and I got engaged I knew I had to start my board ASAP! I would cut out fabrics, color swatches, textures, photos, blog pieces, etc. and add them to my board (the key is to tape them down! You need to have the option to change your mind so steer clear of the glue stick). Over the nine month planning process we would add and remove photos and swatches as our visions would change. When we finally met with our florist, Paul Fenner, he could look at my vision board and immediately zone in on the general feel and style of the wedding we wanted. He could pin point the important aspects and build off of them. Not only does your florist benefit from actually seeing your vision in one place…your photographer, caterer, lighting company, party rental company and even your hair/makeup person can glance at your vision board to see what your goal, vision and feel for the day actually looks like. (Fun fact: The first photo that I built my vision board around was a photo of my Vera Wang ‘Diana’ dress!! It was truly the centerpiece of my vision)

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