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In a social-media-run-world we LOVE blogging because it gives us a space to share more of our work that just "the highlight reel". Honestly, anyone can take 3 great photos from a wedding to share on Instagram. We love sharing an ENTIRE wedding day so that you can see how consistently beautiful our work is. Plus, it's a fun way for our clients to share their wedding images with friends and family online. We hope you enjoy!

Kirstin & Colin

A Vista Valley Country Club Wedding in Vista, California

Love Story

Creighton University is where we met. We went on a few dates and he asked me to be his girlfriend. As we got to know each other, we came to find out that our dads were in the same dental class and Creighton University is where our families came together.


Growing up, all little girl’s dream of their wedding day.  My dream consisted of feeling like a princess, but with a little bit of country girl flair. My dress was the first inspiration for our wedding. It was a strapless Watters dress with a sweetheart neckline and flowed into a mermaid style at the bottom. It was made with imported french lace with multiple layers of tulle beneath layers of lace, and with cascading covered buttons down the back of the dress. My dress was a perfect combination between princess and french country, and I accessorized with blush pink glittery high heels for the ceremony, and tan and white lace cowgirl boots for the reception for dancing.

We looked at many venues for our wedding. When we visited Vista Valley Country Club, I knew it was my “glass slipper,” because it was such a perfect fit. Vista Valley Country Club has many unique elements from France and the countryside, along with almost a castle-like feel that had resonated in my dreams. Colin loves to golf and the country club is his style, but it also has big beautiful trees that surround the ceremony site and cocktail area that give this unique space a vintage country style. This is exactly what we were looking for. Our reception was in the club house, it had an elegant and sophisticated style that gave me that princess feel. To sum it up it was a little bit of country, a little bit of country club, but with a whole lot of a princess’ dream. 

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Special Details

As soon as Colin and I were engaged, we started collecting vintage items and handmade items that were used throughout the wedding.

The first were handkerchiefs. We collected them from all over, from coast to coast. They were displayed on a vintage wire rack with tiny gold clothespins. The handkerchiefs were in shades of pink, white, floral, lace, and embroidered. As the guest arrived there was a chalkboard that read “Please take one for your tears of joy, tears of laughter & for your tears of happily Ever After.”

On my bridal bouquet, there were two vintage brooches. On my wedding day, my mother gave me a opalescent floral brooch that looked like a rose, and the second one was a gold and pearl swan that was Colin’s great grandmother’s. In addition, on both my bouquet and Colin’s boutonniere there were two tiny gold keys that symbolized that we each had the key to the other’s heart.

In my bridal suite, on a silver tray were items that were important to me. First was a handmade pink velvet monogrammed ring box that my mother gave me on the eve of my wedding. I also had the belt for my wedding dress, which was handmade from a woman in NYC, and the earrings that I wore were handmade from vintage elements, which were a shower gift from my mother.  

Inside my dress, I had the seamstress stitch a blue heart. This blue heart was not only my “something blue,” but it was a heart to symbolize a dear friend of our family who passed away a month prior to my wedding from brain cancer. She was very close to me, and it was a reminder to myself that she would be walking with me throughout my wedding day.

A very special gift I had made and gave to Colin on our wedding day was the bow tie he wore. This was made from extra French lace from my wedding dress. I also gave him handmade cufflinks with our wedding date on them.

Each bridesmaid received a monogrammed burlap bag with a pink floral robe, pink and gold floral earrings, two handmade pink beaded bracelets made by my mother, and a silver knot tied bracelet by Kate Spade thanking them for helping me “tie the knot.”

Each groomsman received handmade small burlap bag with monogrammed pink socks to be worn that day, along with small whiskey barrels with their names on them.

Handmade messaged handkerchiefs were given to each parent.

At the front of the ceremony site was a frame with a Unity Wedding braid known as “Cord of Three Strands.” It was handmade, and constructed by a very close family friend and given to us as a wedding gift. This was actually presented at a party for our family and wedding party, the night before our wedding. Colin and I braided this during our ceremony, uniting us together with God.

Vintage frames with handwritten messages my mother had written directed guests to the next location or

explaining to them that our wedding was an “unplugged wedding” as we wanted everyone to be present during our ceremony. “Please turn off all cell phones & cameras and enjoy this moment with us” was etched on a frame, while another was used at the cocktail hour that read, “Oh Snap! Have Fun & Tag #foreverhodges to help us capture our night.”

We had two other antique frames that included professional calligraphy. One was on a French gold mirror that had our monogram that read, “Welcome to our wedding, Kirstin & Colin 7-16-16,” and the other was a large gold frame that announced table assignments at dinner. They were a beautiful addition.

There were several antique candelabras lined with beautiful gold glitter candles that were used during the reception.

Our guest book was photographs of our wedding date on a canvas that our guests signed, and will now double as art in our home.

Our wedding cake had two vintage heirlooms intertwined in the flowers, along with a antique cake server.

Favorite Moments

There were a lot of favorite moments from our wedding day.  In the morning when I first arrived at Vista Valley, I walked to the ceremony site by myself. I sat in solitude and envisioned what was about to take place in a few hours. This greatly helped with all the emotions of the day.

Before getting ready, I spent time with my mom out on the balcony.  It was a special time with her, and I will never forget how she would just sat there and stared at me, and told me how proud she was of me.

The first touch with Colin was super memorable because that was a special time we spent together before walking down the aisle. The letter Colin wrote was touching and heartfelt. I’ll never forget the words he said on our wedding day, they will be in my heart forever..

 Another special moment was the “first look” with my father.  While growing up, I always gave my father a fashion show of my prom dresses. This time would be my last fashion show for him, but the look on his face said it all and made me feel so incredibly beautiful.

A second special memory with my father was walking down the aisle.  He would not stop talking about how proud of me he was, and about the strong woman I had become.  It is something I will never forget.

Upon arriving at the wedding site and approaching the alter, the look on Colin’s face was unforgettable. He would not stop telling me how beautiful I looked. The way he looked at me made me feel so loved.

During the reception there was many favorite moments. Colin’s and my first dance and all the speeches were so incredible. There was several times where I got emotional because I was overwhelmed with happiness and love.

The father daughter dance was a huge time for my father.  Growing up I had danced for years, but never let my dad dance with me at the yearly dance recitals. I refused to dance with him because he wasn’t the best dancer. Weeks leading up to the wedding day, I knew that this would be the last time I could have a chance to dance with him with an audience. I asked my dad if he wanted to do a flash dance during our father daughter dance, and he was so excited!  He worked so hard perfecting his dance moves. It took a lot of patience with him during practice time, but when we got on that dance floor at the wedding he rocked it! During the dance I couldn’t stop smiling. It was a moment with my father and I will never forget. 


Take time with your husband, just the two of you. Walk away from everyone and go to a quiet place. Colin and I did. We walked away and sat overlooking the beautiful golf course. This private time together will be forever one of my favorite memories that I will cherish from this day. The other special time was looking at our guest book and cake table, as it causes you to slow down, breathe and enjoy the time together.  The day goes by so fast, stepping away and soaking it all in was so important.  


The music choice we used for the bridal processional, “Canon in D,” was a song I have always imagined walking down the aisle to ever since I was a little girl. While waiting to walk down the aisle with my dad, my dad wanted to go right away but I made him wait because there was a point in the music where I knew exactly when to start walking.

The first dance song was a country song called “From the Ground Up” by Dan + Shay. When choosing our first dance song, Colin and I were torn between two songs. When trying to decide, we decided to open a bottle of wine and practice dancing to the two songs. Both song were great song choices, however when “From the Ground Up” came on, a tear of happiness just started rolling down my cheek. Colin told me this was our song. I was so excited because I am totally a country girl at heart.

The father daughter dance was called “I Loved Her First.” The title says it all. My father’s love for me is so strong. That’s the reason why I chose that song. However, our dance was not all that song. We did a mash-up flash dance. The reason why we did a flash dance was because growing up I was a dancer and the father daughter dance was something we never did, he was not the best dancer. This father daughter dance had a lot of meaning because my father always dreamed of dancing with me. My wedding was that day we could make this dream become a reality. [/read]


Photography: We Heart Photography | Photobooth: The Heartbooth | Coordinator: To La Lune | Wedding Florist: Lisa Duff | Wedding Venue: Vista Valley Country Club | Cake and Dessert Bar: Sweet Cheeks

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