CHILL DIY WATERSIDE WEDDING OF MY DREAMS + DEAR TKB: “Veil? Or no veil. Tell me what to do and I’ll do it.” | Photography by M David Media | Also, The Bambeeen.

You guys.  The only thing I think this wedding needs is maaaaybe more cowbell.  But that’s really it.

Ok let me just get the niceties out of the way, I’m not a barbarian.  So, happy Friday afternoon, pretties!  Love ya faces!  Are those hotpants you’re wearing?  Oooohh you are en fuego!  Mama like.  Ok, DONE.  

Now.  HOLY EFFITY EFFINGTON TO THE FACE.  I’ve been looking forward to sharing this wedding with you guys, and without a doubt wanted it to be one of the weekenders.  So before I get to today’s Reader Question which by the way I need your help on as usual, I need to start out by saying that Matt of M David Media and his cohorts simply know how to photograph a wedding.  It seems like whenever he sends me new work, the images remind me that you’re kinda either born with the eye, or you’re not.  And he’s kinda that guy who’s born with it and it’s oozing out of his pores uncontrollably (ew, sorry Matt), and you just know he doesn’t take that ish for granted.  But he doesn’t just sit on that talent, either.  He continues to hone it, and experiment with it, like only the best photographers do.  It’s just something I appreciate about his work.

I also enjoy this about him:

Sorry Matt.  You had to know I was going to use your cat in a post one day.  You had to.  It’s me.  Alison.  You know this.

Listen, I feel like my brain is doing the equivalent of this right now.  But I own a Mac, so lemme get my ish under control and keep down the weird brain spam and randomness against which only Macs can defend, and reel things in a bit here.  Yeesh Alison.  I’m all over the place today.


Dear TKB,

Veil?  Or no veil.  Tell me what to do and I’ll do it.  I’ve been going back and forth for so long that I don’t even feel completely confident that that’s definitely how you spell “veil.”  The word looks crazy to my eyes now.  Alien.


Dear L,

I say veil.  Whether or not you’ve got someone walking you down the aisle, still, I say veil.  Everybody’s got their own feelings about veils, but to me, they’re one of those traditional things with which I just cannot part.  It’s part of a wedding, for me.  To each her own, but you’re asking me for direction here, so I say veil, definitely.

There’s a moment in this wedding that’ll show you why I feel that way.  Images like the one I’m referencing (you’ll know which one) bring tears to my eyes every time.  Because I imagine myself under that veil, and I imagine the moment it’s lifted over my head, and how wonderful that moment will be.

… ok, I’m turning it over to you guys now… what do you think?


You guys know me.  Pretty well, I think it’s safe to say.  And you guys are obviously quite used to me blogging weddings that have not only killer details throughout, but also often killer emotion attached to them that might make tears fly out of your sockets, in an uncontrollable but highly satisfying manner.  Right?  Well anyway, I’m moderately pumped to share with you this wedding fiasco, because it’s kind of exactly the kind of wedding (I keep using *kind* I gotta stop that, too much) that I imagine when I envision my own.  By the water.  Buckets of crying.  Simple colors.  Easy going.  Happy people.  DANCE PARTY REVOLUTION.  (Not the actual game – but oh boy how fun would THAT BE.)

Here, let me wrap up my feelings for this wedding with two of it’s own images:


There.  That’s how I feel about it.  Like a sappy crying mess, and like a little schoolgirl who just finished chasing down her kindergarten crush and finally got to kiss him.  This is actually something I did.  In kindergarten.  To a boy.  His name was Matt.  I chased him all over the playground.  But he was I think like a sprinter on the track team or something and I never got the kiss.  YES, at age five, shut up just let me tell the story.  Anyway, the unrequited kiss thing SUCKED.  I really, really wanted it.

I feel compelled to let you know that I wasn’t promiscuous in high school.  Or kindergarten for that matter.

Of course, first, a few words from Leigh, our beautiful bride:

Casey and I grew up together and have dated since high school.  We wanted our wedding to be a celebration with our closest loved ones.  80 adults and 7 kids joined us, and we kept the focus on celebrating the rare opportunity for all of us to be together in one place.  We chose Truckee, CA because my family has a home there and, with its stunning natural beauty, it is one of our favorite places on earth.

Casey and I are incredibly lucky to be surrounded by energetic, generous, and talented friends and family.  We not only had an amazing time at our wedding–because everyone we love was in one place–but working on the projects leading up to the day allowed us to spend time with many of the people who make our life rich.

Our insanely-talented-graphic-designer-friend, Rachel Glotter, created our save-the-dates, wedding invitations, a North Lake Tahoe wildflower field guide, and the bunting.  Together, Rachel and I made the giant fabric banners (we are now making custom pieces, if you would like one!).  I made the menus and also the muslin bags filled with wildflower seeds as our favor.  The escort card buttons, the escort cards, and the card display board were made with a crack team of dear friends.  My Mom sewed all of the table runners from a gorgeous rough linen.  Casey’s mom created the dried flower arrangements in Casey’s dad’s collection of antique bottles.  Our friend Bonnie made our amazing guest book, which is a collection of recipes from each wedding guest.

Casey and I wrote our vows, which we didn’t share with one another until the ceremony.  This was the first time since middle school that I wrote something that Casey did not edit for me!  Casey and I also took the dance party play-list seriously.  We spent late nights in our apartment playing potential songs to determine “dance-ability.”  We ended up with a dance set that kept guests of all ages on the dance floor throughout the night.  Unexpectedly, my Mom’s insistence on hula hoops for the kids at the wedding ended up being one of the best parts of the dance party for the adults!

As for vendors, Patty Baird from The Cedar House in Truckee wove everything together perfectly.  Patty shared our vision and was just as excited as we were by the projects we were working on.  She was the perfect partner-in-crime.  We had envisioned our wedding as a delicious dinner party, and the chefs at Stella served an incredible meal.  Our guests are still talking about it!  Then, of course, our photographers, Matt Allen and Peter and Bess Friday.  Not only are they lovely and chill people, but we are over the moon about the photographs they created.

Now faces, take THIS:

I love that guys reaction, he seems really touched ↴

I have shivers from that dude’s reaction to the walk down the aisle.  If I focus any harder on it I’m probably going to tear up.  GET ME OUT OF HERE.  I WANT OUT OF THIS MIND SPACE…

GREAT.  THANKS, natural photo progression into the even more emotional ceremony.  CRYING ENGAGED.

Hey, check out this shot taken with a Polaroid camera (yeah I’m better now.):

I heart Polaroid film.  And not in like that hipster way or whatever it is.  In that “it makes me feel like I’m a kid again playing on the swingset with my Mom taking pictures” kind of way.  It’s the reason I collect Polaroid cameras from tag sales.  If only the film was less than 100 million dollars and still existed.  I know there’s a new company that makes it and that they have new film.  But I want the old kind; the original.  For the nostalgia.  Stupid?  Maybe I’m being ridic about it.  I dunno.  Waaaaaaaaahhh.

Ohhh what a day that would be.  To get Polaroid film to exist for real again, and for it to be less than 1 mil.  I’m keeping hope alive.  Sorry I’ll shut up and show you more pictures…

I like seeing ladies over 30 shake what their mama gave them on the dance floor.  It’s guaranteed to mean the party was KILLAH.

And now, for your Friday installment of A Day in the Life of Bambino McPuppyPants:

Bambino’s inner dialogue…

“ok is she looking at me right now.  craaaaaap ok, I think she is, I’m pretty sur- yup,  she is DEFINITELY looking at me right now WHY IS SHE LOOKING AT ME???  I kind of want to not return the look but I feel as though my eyes have reached that point of no return place, and that to look back down at the floor that I was so enjoying licking just a bit ago would be just as weird and obvious as continuing to stare blankly at a space between the floor and her eyes.

Oh man.  All I really wanna do right now is shake my yellow toy really hard and occasionally lose control of it so that it flies RIGHT OUT OF MY MOUTH.  That’s all I want to do.  And possibly drink too much water and then go over to the corner and throw it up, by the couch, you know, if it was too much water.  And then maybe ingest some of her hair that’s on the floor so that my poop comes out like sausages.  I hate how it feels when I actually have to poop it out, but I can’t seem to get enough of her hair!

All those things seem so extra fun right now, while I’m stuck in this position.

Ok maybe she doesn’t see me.  It’s possible she doesn’t see me.  It’s possible, right?

No.  No, she definitely sees me.  Of course she does.  I’m like right *here*.  But maybe if I stay perfectly still.  Maybe she’ll walk away and everything will be oh crap I’m gonna look at her…”


~ fin ~

Next week, Bam meets kittens.  Bam likes kittens.

Kittens, they don’t like Bam.

So, my loves, do let me know -

1) What do you think L should do on the veil thing?  Wear a veil, or not wear a veil?

2) What think you of today’s wedding?  And if I may… do you love the rockin’ dance party action?  It’s one of my absolute fave parts, and I adore it when it’s captured on film.  Dancing + getting married = PROFITS.

xoxo!  - Alison

M David Media is member of TKB’s Vendor Love. You can explore more of M David Media in our guide!

Photography: Matt Allen - M David Media / Ceremony and reception venue: The Cedar House Sport Hotel / Coordinator- Patty Baird with The Cedar House / Catering: “Stella” * *by Chef Jacob Burton, at The Cedar House / Florist: Elizabeth’s Creations / Cakes and desserts- Kevin Futamachi – Pastry Chef/Stella / Save the Dates/Invitations/Cake table bunting/Botanical field guide: Rachel Glotter / Hair and makeup: Shampoo Hair and Makeup Studio (530-587-8494) / DJ: Rob Farmer – Root One Music

Label(s): "DEAR TKB..." Advice Column, Blue, Color, Green, Mr. McPuppyPants, {DIY + Freebies}, {Real Weddings}

Love all of this...


  1. Lena on September 30, 2011

    That WEDDING! The crying, the dress, the dancing-I love it all. I wish I had been their friend, because I would never have stopped telling that bride how freaking fantastic she looked. And a bride likes that stuff.

    And it was the perfect wedding for the veil conversation, because it would be easy to say “Short dress=no veil”, but she rocked one and I loved it.

    That said, L, do what you want to do. I also happy to love veils, but maybe you want to do a birdcage or a little blusher, instead of something full length. Consider the dress, the formality of the event, and your guy lifting it to give you a kiss. Knee trembling, no?

  2. Casey on September 30, 2011

    I may be especially emo today but that wedding brought me to tears!!! What beautiful moments captured.

  3. Ilana on September 30, 2011

    Bam’s inner dialogue made my day. I just about peed my pants laughing. Thank you for that. I now have bleary mascara eyes from crying over the beautiful wedding pictures and then laughing until I couldn’t BREEEATHE!


  4. Linna on October 1, 2011

    I’m obsessed with her shoes. I’ve scrolled up like 5 times already to see them again. Loving those shots of the couple on the dock. Breathtaking, clean, sunny. Love!

    As for L.’s question: I agree with the advice given. L- I’m telling you, you’ve got to wear a veil! I don’t know your personal circumstances, so I can’t get too specific here, but generally speaking I think it’s a beautiful way to embellish your overall look and it makes for a great moment at the altar!

  5. Ann on October 1, 2011

    As always…loving the Bambino pics! And love the pictures you posted. I love the shoes and the short dress. I actually have never seen a “short veil” (for a lack of a better word) and it just works with the entire look.

    As for L’s question…I agree with the others and say go veil! Even if it’s a birdcage or the “short veil” like the one above (I’m sure there’s a real word for it), it’s just something that completes the bridal look :)

  6. Adventures in Dressmaking on October 1, 2011

    What a sweet wedding!! Love the short dress. I’m a veil fan, but love when they’re short and contemporary like hers–mine was a little birdcage veil, and I wore it for half of the wedding and pics. It made my ankle-length pale grey and ivory dress feel so much more bridal and special!

  7. libby on October 1, 2011

    Don’t even have to think about this one…Veil.

  8. Chantal on October 1, 2011

    I also agree that a veil is more traditional and add to the brides class and sophistication. In my book, its a must have, and I also prefer when brides where a blusher which makes the ceremony feel more intimate and special.

  9. alex on October 1, 2011

    I love love love the e.e. cummings quote sheet! I need that for my wedding! do you know where they got it or if it was homemade? This whole wedding is just so incredibly beautiful!

  10. Mary Garnes on October 2, 2011

    Love the bridesmaid dresses! Where are they from/which designer? :)

  11. Ilana on October 2, 2011

    I am also on the fence about veil and I have a short dress like said bride above. Her veil was quite nice, I must say, but it still doesn’t make my mind up for me. I was just talking to my mom about it last night and she said (stand by because this starts out like all the other advice you’ve ever gotten about what to do on your wedding day): “you want to feel like yourself on your wedding day [okay done], not like you’re wearing a costume. If you feel uncomfortable or like the veil isn’t making you feel more bride-like – don’t wear it. It’s about YOU on YOUR wedding day and that’s all that matters.” My mom is probably one of the most untraditional wedding mothers you’ll ever meet. Which is good because if she wasn’t and wanted me to wear a cathedral satin beaded dress with a long veil – which I find absolutely beautiful, it’s just not me – I would probably cry and then we would elope to Vegas.

    Bottom line. It’s okay not to wear a veil if you feel like it’s too costumey!

  12. Kim on October 2, 2011

    I HAVE to know where those shoes are from. Such a beautiful wedding, and I love the photography. My vote is in favor of the veil.

  13. Katie on October 2, 2011

    Alison, Love the post as usual! Beautiful wedding, love everything about, especially the awesome dance party!
    I say yes on the veil, because there are SO many beautiful options (case in point, bride above!) and when else can you wear one!
    LOVE the brides short dress and I might need one. Anyone know who makes it???

  14. Alison from Canada on October 3, 2011

    Alison, love your blog, love your dog, love how you spell your name correctly :).

    When I was married for the first time many years ago, I did everything I thought I “should” do.. what is traditional, what everyone expects, including a veil. I remember looking back at the photos and thinking that it really didn’t look like me. I think I was also uncomfortable about the originations of the veil… in the end, do what makes you feel *fabulous*.

  15. Alison on October 3, 2011

    Alex – re the quote banner, it’s our understanding that the bride made it herself! Apparently she’s starting to sell them for other brides; I’ll check ip on that and get back to you :)

    Mary – I think the bridesmaids’ dresses are Anthropologie! Just checked and it doesn’t look like they’re for sale any longer there, but maybe try eBay? If you can’t find them elsewhere, I suggest checking out sites like Lulus, ASOS, and now even Zara has made online shopping available in the US! Good luck!

  16. Brancoprata on October 3, 2011

    This wedding is drop dead gorgeous!! Love the photography and yes… i LOVE her veil!!!!

  17. arizona pastor on October 3, 2011

    Beautiful Wedding and I LOVE those bridesmaid dresses btw!

  18. Shoes=gorgeous. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. Veil=a must for me, but whatever makes a bride feel pretty is 100% what should be done!

  19. bridal girl on October 5, 2011

    Everything is perfect! The setting, the location, the concept for the photo shoot plus the dog! Everything really is beautiful!

  20. Isabel on October 6, 2011

    Wow, this was one amazing wedding! Great location, beautiful photos and… Well, that kitty in a bag! LOL! Thanks for sharing!

  21. Barn Weddings on October 10, 2011

    Love the dress and that head piece so nice. :D

  22. alex on October 11, 2011

    Allison, that would be awesome if you could let me know if the bride will be selling the e.e cummings banners! Or maybe a DIY project template!

  23. Leigh on October 13, 2011

    Thanks to everyone for their very sweet comments about our wedding!!

    Alex, I am taking custom orders on banners! Email me at SideHustleDesigns[AT] so we can chat about what you have in mind!

    Thanks again!

  24. alex on October 14, 2011

    Hi Leigh, The email did not work. Are you sure it is correct.

  25. Emily on January 27, 2012

    Leigh – I too am interested in the banner! The email really didn’t work, so…it would be great if you could get back to us!


  26. Leigh on February 18, 2012

    Thank you for the comments on our banners!
    I am sorry about the email address–please email me at curran.leigh[AT]


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