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Venue: Empire Mine State Park, Grass Valley, California
Randy and I both live in San Francisco, where my husband is a director of business development at a biomedical company and I am an environmental engineer. We both attended Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, and met each other there — actually, in a bar! It worked though: we dated for five years before getting married.
We had our wedding at Empire Mine State Park, close to Nevada City, a gold-mining town in the foothills. I had grown up there, and we liked the idea of getting married in a state park, because the fees we paid for the wedding would go towards preserving the park itself. We actually wanted to plan a green wedding to be eco-friendly. We liked the idea of doing it outdoors. It's so beautiful at that time of year, you cannot beat being outside in the foothills in the evenings. My family still all live within a couple hours of the park, as well as most of our friends.
The Bourne family used to own the mine, and the wedding was on the lawn in front of the Bourne cottage. There were beautiful lawns and fountains, tons of flowers and greenery, so we got away with minimal decorating. Really, it was so beautiful that we just couldn't bring anything that wasn't already there. There were 900 species of roses in bloom! We couldn't trump the natural beauty of the place, so we blended in with it instead of trying to outdo it.
We put up all our guests at an old historic hotel with an old-fashioned saloon. We felt it was right to encourage lots of drunken debauchery, given that we did meet in bar.
Our flower girl and ring bearer were twins, two and a half years old. When they first tried on their outfits, they immediately wanted to switch and each wear what the other was wearing. Halfway through the ceremony, our little ring-bearer started crying, and abandoned his duties to go sit on his dad's lap.
We had two amazing Bella photographers, who were really attentive, yet unobtrusive. Many of our friends actually jokingly complained that every time they'd be doing something silly on the dance floor, they'd see a flash go off.
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