Melanie & Michael’s Fun & Games Cinnabar Hills Wedding

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You might recall the cute engagement session we did with high-school sweethearts Melanie and Michael (and Tugs, their trusty owl sidekick) this past summer, on their 12th dating anniversary. A few months later, we had the pleasure of capturing their lighthearted, fun-filled wedding at San Jose’s Cinnabar Hills Golf Course.

The day kicked off with them getting ready for their big day. Melanie was a knockout in a white, strapless, beaded lace gown with sweetheart neckline and long train; for her “something old,” she donned the same shoes she wore to a high school dance with Michael. Michael cut a dashing figure in a three-piece charcoal suit with eggplant tie. With the help of YouTube, his groomsmen expertly pinned on everyone’s boutonnieres. Michael thanked them with Star Wars Lego watches that featured Stormtroopers (detachable, as Lily accidentally found out when she bumped into one).

Their first look under a grand oak tree was peppered with lots of hugs, kisses, exuberant laughter and smiles, and high fives, which set the tone for the rest of their day. In one memorable moment, the flower girl fastidiously dropped petals down the aisle, only to realize she didn’t know what to do once she reached the end. Without a word, she whipped around and ran back down the aisle, much to the delight of the guests. Hopefully she found solace in her new, plush Snuffles Gund bear (Melanie and Mike both own three each and gave all their pint-sized guests goodie bags that included one)! The rest of the touching ceremony, set against rolling green hills, went off without a hitch.

The reception perfectly reflected who they are as both a couple and individuals, and we love all the thought that went into the details and activities. The table numbers were actually words and numbers that are significant to Melanie and Michael (how cute that Michael thinks Melanie would be an otter if she were an animal!). The wedding program complemented the invitation Michael had hand-drawn nicely, and not only included the day’s schedule but a single playing card. Guests were encouraged to mingle and form poker hands in exchange for raffle tickets that would be drawn for prizes at the end of the night. Guests could also earn raffle tickets by finding plastic eggs that were hidden around the property, and had a chance to win prizes by correctly answering trivia questions about our newlyweds. (Prizes were awarded towards the end of the night.) The Fun Facts wall was a spot where their “fun, eclectic group of friends” could “share their experience, knowledge, and eccentric personalities.” Instead of signing a guestbook, guests left notes in specially marked jars for our couple to read on their first, fifth, and tenth anniversaries.

They made a lavender-and-purple backdrop for the wildbooth, which guests enthusiastically jumped into. The candy bar was also a hit, and showcased purple and lavender M&Ms that matched the color theme. Speaking of sweets, they love cake so much that they offered three flavors: burnt almond (one of Michael’s favorites), chocolate with fresh strawberry cream, and a light cake with mango mousse. A to-go cake station made sure all the cake found a good home.

Melanie and Michael weren’t the only ones who did some planning for the wedding. At the end of Melanie’s sister’s toast/roast, she said that since Melanie was her best friend, it was only appropriate that she take a leaf from My Best Friend’s Wedding. She surprised Melanie with a live performance by Melanie’s friend Josephine, who sang two of her favorite songs: John Legend’s “All of Me” and Rascal Flatts’ “Bless the Broken Road.” Josephine went to elementary, middle, high school, and college with Melanie and has known our couple throughout their lives. The look of surprise on Melanie’s face is priceless, and we hope you enjoy viewing that as well as the rest of their wonderful day.

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hand-drawn invitations
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star wars watches
wedding troopers
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choose a seat not a side
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reception timeline
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personal trivia table numbers
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wedding poker
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Bride’s dress: Casablanca Bridal
Hair & make-up: Joanne Kim
Groom’s suit: Banana Republic’s Monogram collection
Tie: Tie Bar
Bridesmaids’ dresses: J.Crew (Nadia)
Flowers: Bloomsters
Caterer: Cinnabar Hills Golf Course
Cake: La Patisserie
DJ: Benomix
Wedding planner: Kimberley Capp

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