A sprawling, working farm dating back to the 1850s, Ardenwood Historic Farm boasts lush gardens and orchards, tidy fields, a Victorian mansion, antique machinery, friendly livestock, a roving peacock with an ear-piercing call, and a horse-drawn train. It that’s not enough, it also harbors several towering redwood trees. It was in the shadow of one of these majestic giants that Tyra and Mike (whom you might recall from their forest and bayfront engagement session earlier this year) tied the knot this spring.
When we joined Tyra at Aloft Silicon Valley, she, her daughter Mae, and sister Laura were readying themselves for the joyous occasion. There, they carefully steamed two beautiful, old, lace handkerchiefs from Denmark that Mike’s Danish mother had presented to Tyra and Mae last Christmas. The handkerchiefs would come in very handy later that day, absorbing Tyra and Mike’s tears during their emotional first look and again during the poignant toasts at the end of the night.
On a special day full of special moments, the ceremony was especially heartwarming. Says Tyra, “We used the processional to signify that we were all officially becoming a family. My dad walked me partway down the aisle because I’ll always be his little girl and I’ll always need him in my life. My children [Mae and her younger brother Henry] met us and took him to his seat. The three of us then walked the rest of the aisle to Mike. It meant a lot to all of us to walk up to Mike together.”
Tyra and Mike also wanted to incorporate a symbol of unity into their wedding that was unique to them and their family. “Wine is a special part of our relationship so we sealed a bottle in a box to be opened on our tenth wedding anniversary,” says Tyra. Along with the wine, they included four letters: letters that Mike and Tyra wrote to each other as well as letters that Mae and Henry wrote. They plan to read them and drink the wine when they celebrate their first ten years of marriage.
Tyra, incidentally, was a knockout in a full-length, lace-appointed gown with voluminous skirt and navy bejeweled heels, while Mike rocked a dark gray tuxedo, as did Hani, Mike’s brother, and Henry. Mae, darling in a turquoise dress and sparkle flats, dabbed at her eyes with her handkerchief throughout the ceremony. So cute!
The rest of the day was a blur of beaming smiles, warm hugs, and glow-stick adornments. Hani and an old family friend performed an acoustic song for our newlyweds and their guests. Adults and kids alike showed off their fancy footwork on the dancefloor and even rocked out hard during an epic Phish jam (Mike is apparently a huge fan) that came on midway during the dance party.
Complementing the wonderful feels was an impressive array of personal touches. Guests signed a wooden bench that would eventually make its home in Tyra and Mike’s garden. Tyra and her crafty elves put together the centerpieces using wine bottles and corks because our couple had started drinking wine together when they met and it’s since become one of their favorite pastimes; each table also featured a selfie that they had snapped while hiking (another of their favorite pastimes) as well as flowers that were similar to those in Tyra’s bouquet. Tyra and Mike’s talented friends made the signs (check out the 3-D “event listing” sign!), mint favors, table runners, invitations, and programs. What a great collaborative affair! “We couldn’t have pulled it off without the love, support, and help from our friends and family!” says Tyra.
Before we knew it, Ardenwood was shutting its gates. Happily, Tyra and Mike’s forever has just begun and it was an absolute honor capturing a part of it. Here’s a look at their lovely wedding.
Bride’s dress: Allure Bridal, Romance Collection, purchased from Weddings and Dreams
Groom’s tuxedo: Allure Bridal, Allure Men, rented from Tuxedo Wearhouse
Rings: A. Jaffe
Hair: Erin Schneider at Sinor Salons (Woodland, CA)
Make-up: Sabrina Foster
Caterer: Miraglia Catering
Cake: Johanna’s Bake Shop
DJ: Jason Shires at Quantum Music Event Planners (Martinez, CA)
Officiant: Mark Torresan
Bouquets/corsages/boutonnieres & floral arrangements: Randy Pinto at Fremont Flowers
Flowers for centerpieces: East Bay Wholesale Flower
Sign-in bench: Wayfair