Carly + Kevin

How did you meet?

After several failed dates, I was complaining to a family friend that dating in a small town is near impossible. He suggested I meet a “tall fireman” named Kevin that he knew – and with that description alone I was sold! This mutual friend set us up, Kevin and I met at a local beer garden and enjoyed a long and memorable first date.

When did you know they were the one?

I knew Kevin was the one after he met my family. My parents took the two of us wine tasting early in our relationship. I had no idea that Kevin had never been wine tasting or that he didn’t even like wine but had kept this to himself as not to appear rude or ungrateful towards my parents. With each pour of wine in the flight, Kevin would throw the glass back as if he were taking a shot of whiskey, imbibing the entirety of its contents with one swift gulp. A little stunned but thoroughly amused, we would ask him after each glass – “so did you like that one?” and he would answer “yep, tastes like wine”. We knew then he would fit in well with our family and I was smitten with him.

What are your three favourite attributes of your partner?

Kindness, Respect, and Honesty.

Who proposed and how?

After working a night shift in Emergency Department (I am an RN), I was exhausted. After few hours of sleep, Kevin and I were relaxing in front of the fire at home with our Chocolate Lab Merle Doggard and our black kitty Salem. Kevin asked me “what do you want for Christmas this year?”. I was still grouchy from lack of sleep and quipped, “an engagement ring” – At this point we had been dating for 6 years and living together for 3. He answered, “ok standby” and proceeded to get down on one knee to propose. It was perfect. In fact, my coworker the evening before had asked me if I would prefer a big public proposal or a private one to which I answered the latter.

Where did you fall in love with your dress and why?

Another coworker had recommended a small bridal shop in Walnut Creek called Flares. I had actually saved the MWL Ryder dress as my favorite before heading to the shop because I loved the unique beading and low v-neckline. When I got to Flares though I quickly realized that most of the fitted gowns would not fit over my big hips and booty, including my beloved Ryder gown. Luckily, the associate that was helping me grabbed the Louie Flowy and I fell in love with it immediately. The lace was intricate and not like any other traditional pattern I had seen. The low V neck and A line skirt were flattering on my figure and of course the POCKETS. So stunning on the rack then made me feel both comfortable and beautiful when I was wearing it.

What was the best moment for you at your wedding? 

The best moment of my wedding was when I saw my husband having the time of his life. Usually Kevin is a bit more reserved, keeps his emotions close to the cuff and had stated multiple times that he didn’t want to dance beyond what was required on him (ie first dance, mother and son dance, etc.). As soon as the reception started and after we had made our rounds to each table, Kevin was laughing and dancing on the floor even before me!

What were your favourite details? 

Kevin inherited a vintage 1950 Ford Truck from his late Grandfather Charley, we had the truck there along with a photo memory table so that our lost loved ones could be present as we celebrated. Also, autumn is my favorite season so having a late October wedding was a dream. I kept my florals limited to white and greens and then had scattered heirloom pumpkins throughout the venue. The weather was sunny and clear for our ceremony on the lawn and the barn for the reception was rustic and hosted everyone comfortably. I also loved that there were historic cottages onsite for lodging as well as a camping area for RVs/Trailers. This way family, the wedding party and our dog Merle was able to stay all weekend to celebrate with us.

What advice would you tell other brides?

Be organized – securing all my big ticket vendors a year out made it much easier and less stressful for plan smaller details and the date got closer and closer. Don’t be afraid to delegate tasks and be honest about your preferences.

Any standout vendors?

Venue – Paicines Ranch
Coordinator – Emily Skow
Photography – Alicia Arcidiacono
Catering – Chef Carlos of Paicines Ranch
DJ – Trevor Williams
Beauty – Blush Monterey


Louie Flowy


Chasing Chickadees


Flares Bridal