The Big Day

Kristi Ziegler + Travis Miller

White Orchid Beach House, Maui, October 11, 2012

White Orchid Beach House, Marin Magazine, Weddings

KRISTI AND TRAVIS, now living in Mill Valley, became acquainted during nursing school in Pennsylvania, but their mothers were a step ahead of them, in more ways than one. For years, both moms worked as registered nurses in the same cardiac catheterization lab. Despite their parents’ coworker status, Kristi and Travis formed a relationship on their own accord, first as study partners, then as best friends and finally as husband and wife. “It’s the ongoing joke in our family that my mom used to say to Trav’s, ‘I wish my Kristi would meet someone like your Travis’ — and it happened,” says Kristi. “I like to think of it as our little fairy tale come true.” Travis had planned on popping the question on a trip to New York City, but could not find a spot that felt just right. Soon after, the couple flew to San Francisco to visit the groom’s mother and stumbled upon Rodeo Beach. Travis and Kristi returned to their newfound treasure the next day, with Travis’ mother (and a video camera) in tow. “I feel so silly looking back, but even as he asked me to sit down on the rock and got down on one knee, I didn’t have a clue that he was about to propose,” says Kristi. The couple knew immediately where they wanted to tie the knot: Maui. With the help of Patty Heath Flax from White Orchid Wedding, the two planned their nuptials from afar, settling on the coveted date of October 11, 2012. They also knew they wanted an intimate event. “I never wanted a large wedding where I felt obligated to invite everyone I know,” says Travis. “On our wedding day, I found myself very thankful to be surrounded by our core group of family and friends. It was truly a celebration of our marriage.” For Kristi, the location brought the experience full circle. “Just being at my favorite place since I was a little girl, the beach, with my toes in the sand and hearing the waves kiss the shore, all while standing next to my best friend and now husband was breathtaking,” says Kristi. “This was very much my dream wedding.”

CEREMONY White Orchid Beach House,

COORDINATOR Patty Flax, White Orchid Wedding,

PHOTOGRAPHER J. Anthony Martinez,

DRESS Maggie Sottero,

MUSIC Kawika Regidor,; Kristine Snyder,

INVITATIONS Magnet Street,

HAIR AND MAKEUP Heather Ellison,


Kim Chapot + Eric Schmitt

St. Vincent’s School for Boys, San Rafael, July 27, 2013

St. Vincent’s School for Boys, Marin Magazine, WeddingsIT DIDN’T TAKE Kim and Eric long to find each other — the high school sweethearts met and fell in love during their sophomore year at Marin Catholic and were each other’s dates for junior and senior prom. “We grew extremely close our senior year of high school and before I left for college in San Diego, I knew I was going to marry Kim,” says Eric. Kim’s mutual assuredness happened when her mother fell ill and was taken to the hospital. “When Eric found out that we were there, he waited in the parking lot for hours until I came out,” says Kim. “He had collected a bunch of little things that reminded me of my childhood, and it was so comforting that he knew what would make me feel better.” Soon after, Eric proposed on the roof of their first shared apartment in San Francisco, where they took in the lights and discussed the ideal ceremony, which would take place the following July at St. Vincent’s School for Boys. The food was easy — chef Heidi Krahling, a longtime friend of the groom’s family, catered via her San Anselmo restaurant Insalata’s. Both bride and groom describe the meal as one of the best they’ve ever had. They also agree that they wouldn’t change a thing about the event; Eric credits Kim for the ceremony’s success. “Everything about it was so special,” he says. “Kim put so much effort and thought behind everything, and everyone who came saw it.” Personal details, like a cake in the likeness of their French bulldog Cooper, ensured the event was uniquely “Kim and Eric.” “The best part of the entire wedding, for me, was walking down the aisle and keeping my eyes on Eric,” says Kim. “As soon as I saw him, all my nerves went away.”

CEREMONY St. Vincent’s School for Boys

COORDINATOR Lindsey Relyea,


FLORIST Marcia, Main Street Floragardens,

CATERING Insalata’s,

DRESS Modern Trousseau,

BRIDESMAID DRESSES Jenny Yoo Collection,


MUSIC Chris Fox, Boutique DJs,

HAIR Sloan, Showroom 383 Salon,

MAKEUP Danielle, Laura Mercier,


Caitlin Bechelli + Michael McSunas

Deer Park Villa, Fairfax, August 31, 2013

Deer Park Villa, Marin Magazine, WEddings

CAITLIN HAD ONLY been attending UCLA for one week before she found Michael. The couple met at a mutual friend’s apartment, and events were immediately set in motion. A few months later, they shared their first kiss at midnight on New Year’s Eve, and went on their first date — to Tennessee Valley Beach — on New Year’s Day. “We started dating in January of 2008. I was in love with her by February,” says Michael. “I fell pretty hard and fast.” When they returned to Tennessee Valley Beach four-and-a-half years later, Michael proposed (spoiler: she said yes). A Marin native, Caitlin knew she wanted to get married locally. She and her mother, who work together at their family-owned business, Happy Feet Dance School, planned the wedding, which took place at Deer Park Villa last August. “I really appreciated the family feel of Deer Park Villa; there was absolutely no pretention,” says Caitlin. “They have been a local business for so many years, just like my family’s business, and I could tell that they care a lot about each of their clients.” The wedding was very intimate, with toasts from Caitlin’s father, brother and twin sister, and from Michael’s best man. The setting also made for a memorable experience. “It truly feels like my wedding took place in an amazing enchanted forest,” says Caitlin. “The twinkly lights that are strung from the trees add such elegance to the natural beauty of the redwoods.” And as Caitlin’s (and now Michael’s) life is all about dance, it makes sense that a favorite moment took place on the floor. “Our DJs played “Hit The Road Jack” and my family and coworkers, many of whom are tap dancers, broke into an impromptu Shim Sham, the national anthem of tap dance,” says Caitlin. “From there, my brother and I improvised a swing-tap dance. We didn’t want the night to end!”

CEREMONY Deer Park Villa,

PHOTOGRAPHER Jocelyn Knight,

DRESS Allure Bridals,



HAIR Kara Humphreys, ElementsSalon,

CAKE Sweet Things,

Kathleen McEwen + Raymond Cage

Marin Civic Center, San Rafael, February 28, 2013

Marin Civic Center, Marin Magazine, WEddings

KATE AND RAYMOND’S initial interaction was the quintessential meet-cute — the two met while enjoying solo lunches at the Buckeye Roadhouse on the afternoon of Christmas Eve, which meant Cupid was working overtime, considering Kate was living in Washington state. “We sat next to each other, me with my pulled pork sandwich, Raymond with his Oysters Bingo. He was rather taken with my enthusiasm towards my sandwich,” says Kate. Mutual admiration bloomed and soon Kate relocated her flower business to Marin with a commitment and an eventual wedding in the plans. “I just didn’t want my days to not include him; there was this emptiness without him in my life. He’s quite special,” says Kate. “Plus, he has season tickets to the Giants.” Kate and Raymond settled into their life together, renovating their home and the Kate’s Blossoms studio, and one Saturday afternoon the couple decided they would wed the following week. After reserving their license and service at the Marin County courthouse, they took to the phones to share their “save the dates” for the reception at Cavallo Point’s Murray Circle, a location Kate chose from her experience designing weddings there. “As we began to plan the ceremony, we knew we just wanted the two of us at the service. The reception part was easy — knowing firsthand how magical this location is at the mouth of the Gate, there was no other choice for us,” says Kate. Twenty-eight other guests joined the newlyweds at their after-party, with toasts being a favorite moment. “Kathleen’s brother toasted us on behalf of her family and our friend Kirk toasted us on behalf of all friends present,” says Raymond. “We still have lumps in our throats from the love shared with us that day.” Although the couple enjoyed the reception, Raymond does have one regret: “While one serving of scallops was plenty, I really should have ordered two servings,” he says. But he certainly doesn’t regret taking his vows. “Life is never dull with Kate,” he says. “And I can’t fall asleep unless she’s snoring next to me.”

CEREMONY Marin Civic Center,

RECEPTION Murray Circle Restaurant at Cavallo Point,

PHOTOGRAPHER Sabine Scherer,

FLORIST Kate’s Blossoms,

DRESS Adrianna Papell,


LINEN La Tavola Linen,

Somer Flaherty + Sam Tejwani

Calistoga Ranch, Calistoga, June 8, 2013

Calistoga Ranch, Marin Magazine, Weddings

A BABY SHOWER IS probably the last place you’d expect to spark an encounter with a future husband, but when Somer, working in Marin and living in San Francisco, traveled to one such event in her hometown in Orange County, sparks flew. At an après-event group dinner, she met her perfect match — Sam, an orthopedic surgeon who had just relocated to Newport Beach weeks earlier. After linking up on Facebook the next morning, the two immediately began dating long-distance. “Right away I knew Sam was such a special person,” says Somer. “We both had so many of the same interests and goals and I felt so happy when I was with him.” A few years later, during a spring trip to Calistoga Ranch, Sam surprised Somer with a day of pampering that culminated with a private dinner in the ranch’s wine cave. “All of our favorite songs were arranged to be playing throughout the night,” says Somer. “He proposed while Dean Martin was singing ‘How Lucky Can One Guy Be.’ ” Fast-forward to the wedding planning, and there wasn’t anywhere else the two could imagine getting married than back at Calistoga Ranch. “California wine country is always one of our favorite destinations, but Calistoga Ranch specifically has a special place in our hearts — there is nowhere more beautiful, peaceful, restful and romantic than the ranch, and we wanted those closest to us to experience all that it has to offer,” Somer says. In June, a small group of friends and family descended upon Napa for a weekend of food, wine and laughter at numerous private events. Wedding day at the ranch was flawless, with the ceremony for 45 guests set on the lakefront lawn, followed by a delectable four-course dinner. “The ranch was an absolutely beautiful place for our ceremony and dinner,” says Sam. “Dining lakeside in the canyon with all of our guests seated at a single, communal table was intimate and perfect on the warm summer night.”

CEREMONY Calistoga Ranch,


PHOTOGRAPHER Urloved Photography,


FLORIST Kate Stanley,

SITE CATERER Calistoga Ranch,

CUSTOM DECOR Queen Tut Events & Design,

FURNITURE RENTAL Classic Party Rentals,


HAIR AND MAKEUP Vanessa Hernandez

DJ Greg Gioia,

GUITARIST Carlos Herrera,

OFFICIANT Kimberly Thompson, A Beautiful Ceremony,

LINEN La Tavola,