Pretty early in the wedding planning process, Rich and I realized that we wanted a small, intimate wedding where our family and a few close friends spent the whole weekend together in celebration. We chose the Lost Coast as our location because we have both backpacked the full trail and it was a significant and meaningful experience and place for us. There is a small town, Shelter Cove, that sits right in the center of the Lost Coast Trail, and we miraculously found this incredible beach house that was willing to let us have our wedding there. And of course, Rich and his groomsmen backpacked the trail to the wedding venue as his epic bachelor trip.
While planning we knew that we wanted everything to be really simple. No big decorations, no big dress, no cheesy traditions that didn't even make sense. We chose the things that were meaningful to us - the people, the place, not trashing the environment, and the time spent together.
As Rich and I both grew up in different countries, we wanted to include Laos and Indian traditions into our wedding. The night before the wedding, we had a traditional Lao blessing ceremony called a Baci Ceremony - where you tie a string of blessing on the couple and pray for them.
My girls and I picked local flowers and leaves for table decorations and bouquets. Rich's sister made the totally delicious goat cheese/fig/caramel/walnut cake. My friends and family cooked Indian food for dinner. Everyone helped in some way, and it made everything even more special and meaningful for us.
I wouldn't have changed anything for our wedding. It was perfect.