Matt and I met on Bumble and our first text conversation was about our favorite candies. So… we decided our first date would be at a candy store! Come to find out, Matt has a serious candy addiction and we both grew up watching the move “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” on a regular basis. We fell in love within two weeks and knew that we had found our perfect match. When we were dating, and much to my chagrin, Matt joked daily before our engagement that he thought we should have a “Willy Wonka” wedding. Which at first I thought was ridiculous… A few jelly beans, peach rings and chocolate covered almonds later and the rest is history! 10 months after meeting, as we planned our wedding we knew candy would need to be a part of it. As an event planner for nonprofit organizations, I knew I could plan my wedding on my own and bring in the most amazing vendors to create a vision. That vision… Willy Wonka! I wanted the wedding to be fun, playful, vibrant, and enjoyable for our guests, but most importantly, I wanted the wedding to reflect not only who we were as a couple, but both of our wedding ideas, no matter how silly! I just knew Willy Wonka, done in a classy and upscale way would be best to achieve this tone.
Matt and I wrote our own ceremony with input from my brother, who was our officiant. As a surprise to my dad, we incorporated a poem that he had written for my mom 35 years earlier. We had each member of our bridal party select their favorite quote about love from a movie and recite it during the ceremony. We also wrote our own vows. We all laughed just as much as we cried and it was so personal and memorable that many guests remarked that it was the best wedding ceremony they had ever been to. That was so meaningful to me.
Our reception was not “sit-down”. We wanted people to feel free to have fun and move around, rather than being stuck at a table throughout the night. We had delicious finger foods throughout the night, a gelato cart featuring home-made gelato from Santa Barbara, and of course, a candy bar! While we did hire a DJ to play our favorite music throughout, my dad, who once was a radio dj and part-time sports announcer, emceed the whole reception. Another touch which made the whole night so personal.
We didn’t see each other before the wedding and reserved the “first-look” to when I was walking down the isle. It was amazing. We did our photos after the wedding and then Matt and I snuck away during the reception to take sunset photos on top of the hill by our reception area. We literally ran up the hill, took 20 pictures and then ran down to rejoin the party. At the time I remember thinking it was so silly to do that, but the photos of the light behind us turned out so beautifully, I am glad we did it!
I’ve never been one of those girls who dreams of their wedding, but this night was truly my favorite night of my life. Not only because I got to marry the love of my life in a wedding that was exactly as I envisioned and planned it, but because it was personal in every aspect. Our friends and family are very important to us and we wanted each and every one of them to feel like they were the reason for the party.