Happy Monday, everyone!  Thank you so much for all of your kind words on my last post — I love sharing the joy of my pregnancy with you!

Today I wanted to write a special entry about my last wedding of the 2011 season, which took place on 11.11.11.  It has been 10 days since the incredible celebration and I am still daydreaming about it.  Honestly.  This wedding affected me deeply and powerfully.  And although it is dangerous to use the word, I would dare say it was perfect.

(hauntingly beautiful image by The Image is Found)

When most people think of the “perfect” wedding, what do you think comes to mind?  A dazzling couture gown or the score-of-a-lifetime vintage frock?  Over-the-top florals, luxe linens, and a five-course dinner?  Or maybe a day where everything goes smoothly… without a single hiccup… with nary a hair out of its perfectly-coiffed place.  Of course, the perfect weather — warm and glowing sunshine with a cool breeze — is a given.

What if I told you that none of these things made my 11.11.11 ‘perfect?’  It rained.  It POURED.  It was dark and stormy.  We had to get a tent a few days prior to the wedding — the dream of a glorious outdoor wedding was going to be impossible to achieve.  We tried to start the ceremony outdoors and it started to rain, on the guests, sending everyone running for the tent.  Twice. Things got muddy.  I’m sure some ladies ruined their designer stilettos.  It was freezing cold once the evening was underway (outside the warmth of the tent, anyway).  Trips to the bathroom became treacherous jaunts through lawns-turned-marshland.  We had to fashion ponchos out of trashbags to escort umbrella-less guests to the shuttle stop at the night’s end.  I am sure that for some couples, it would have been more than they could have handled.

But not this couple.  Not these guests.  Not this wedding.

Meeting Brian and Natalia for the first time was like the perfect first date.  It was easy, natural.  We were perfectly matched in terms of style and vision.  They were planning an amazing wedding to celebrate 10+ years of love and companionship.  I fell in love with their love.  For months and months we dreamed and planned together for a day that would be warm, personable, festive and unique.  From the placesettings to the dinner music, everything was intentional.  Every detail seeped with their love for each other and the people they share their love with.  I felt truly blessed to be a part of it all.

When the weather forecast turned grim the week before the wedding, the couple was steadfast.  We carefully went over the options and they were able to wisely opt for the safest rain plan.  And then we waited to see what the day would hold.

And it was perfect.

When I greeted each of them on their wedding day (separately — they didn’t see each other until the ceremony), we shared huge hugs and undeniable excitement.  They were both just yearning for the night to unravel.  After two false starts with the ceremony, we DID get to hold the ceremony outside (praise God), underneath the great tree they fell in love with when they first picked the venue.  The bride’s dramatic entrance was heralded by shouts of joy and thunderous applause (and the festive shake of tambourines, of course).  Their truly personal ceremony, officiated by one of the most passionate and uniquely gifted ministers I have EVER seen/heard, was perfect.  I mean, I literally got the chills.  Multiple times.  I teared up throughout their vows.  I almost lost it at the end…  Their blissful kisses as the ceremony concluded (under the most dramatic sky) just MOVED you.  Forget the weather.  I don’t think anyone present could believe the heart-wrenchingly beautiful ceremony they’d just witnessed.

I was accompanied by some of my all-time favorite vendors that evening (Hi Nate, Jac, Ian, Ben & Drew!) and we all kept looking at each other, bug-eyed, throughout the evening… It was like we couldn’t believe what we were seeing.  It was the most beautiful, emotional, love-filled wedding I had ever seen.  As the night progressed, we saw the fruition of a warm and insanely romantic reception inside the tent… a first dance that made me laugh and cry… toasts that filled my heart up with so much happiness…  Brian and his AMAZING band (The Brian Buckley Band — go check them out; you’re welcome in advance.  I can’t stop listening to Hysterical Blindness) performed a set that had us all mesmerized.  More of their musically-gifted friends performed throughout the evening as well…  It was, simply, perfect.

At the end of the night, as I gave hugs and kisses to the departing couple, their heartfelt thanks reached me way down deep inside.  I was still processing all the enchantment and wonder of the evening.  It was like a dream…  And even now, as I try to recall every detail to mind, it is like a too-perfect dream.  Brian and Natalia’s wedding was perfect not because of external circumstances, but because of their powerful, one-of-a-kind love… and the beautiful people they celebrated with only amplified that love.  I will truly never, ever forget that evening and the way I felt as I watched it unfold before my eyes.

I wanted to write this post to remind any of you out there who are still planning a wedding: what makes a wedding “perfect” is the love you share, and those with whom you share it. Sometimes, we all need to be reminded to look beyond everything else and just be inspired by the core, the heart of a wedding.  Love.

Dying to share the images and video with you, and promise to do so as soon as I can.  😉  Until then, trust me.  It was perfect.



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  1. Pingback: Love and Splendor – Official Blog» Blog Archive » Natalia & Brian – 11.11.11 on December 15, 2011
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Comments (13)

  1. Allison @ Found Vintage Rentals: November 21, 2011

    I’m dying to see more pics!!! I can’t wait to hear more about their day. It sounds magical!

  2. justin: November 22, 2011


  3. anna: November 22, 2011

    i literally am OBSESSED with natalia + brian! perfect, really is thee only word that comes to mind when recalling their special day.
    SOOOO blessed to have been a part of it!

  4. Natalia Cordova-Buckley: April 5, 2012

    thank you! thank you! thank you!

  5. Perfect is right! I photograph a lot of weddings and was lucky enough to enjoy brian and nat’s as a friend and guest. It was the best! You did such a wonderful job organizing it all angel. Truly, a magical event that allowed their personalities and values to shine. I hope we can work together sometime in the future!

  6. Natalia Cordova-Buckley: April 5, 2012

    Dear Angel…this is my friend Lauren Hurt. she is an amazing photographer! look her up for future references…thank you for your lovely words lauren! and ANGEL you parents gave you the PERFECT name to define you…you are my ANGEL of love! thank you for making 11.11.11 the best day of our lifes!!

  7. michelle: November 29, 2011

    i can’t believe i was gone for this! two things i love most. powerful, one-of-a-kind love and treacherous jaunts through lawns-turned-marshland!

  8. drew: December 14, 2011

    only the perfect wedding planner could pull off a wedding like this. I was amazed.

    angel you and your team are the best.

  9. admin: December 14, 2011

    drew are you trying to make me cry?! dang you cana boys and your ability to make me cry!!! 🙂

  10. Emily @ I Love Farm Weddings: December 15, 2011

    I have to agree with you that this wedding seems perfect. I don’t even know these lovebirds but I feel like it from all of their beautiful images and videos of their big day. I’m envious you got to plan and be a part of something so magical! Kudos to you!

    I shared a couple of images and video from the wedding on my blog today: http://www.ilovefarmweddings.com/2011/12/15/farm-inspiration-magical-farm-wedding-film/

    Beautifully done!

  11. admin: December 15, 2011

    thanks for your sweet words, emily! 🙂 xo

  12. Natalia Cordova-Buckley: April 5, 2012

    THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR COMMENTS! im crying! 11.11.11 will always be remembered as the best day of our lives and its all because of ANGEL! we dreamt and she executed with such grace, love, care, patience, peace….ANGEL’s company is what a business should be and ANGEL is what a great business woman should be…she works through love and passion and it shows in all her events! The universe put you in our path so you could be the orchestrater of this event and its one of the best gifts I’ve ever received!! thank you… always and forever thank you!

  13. admin: April 6, 2012

    dearest natalia — your words mean sooo much to me!! love you and brian SO much and your friendship is a gift. working with the two of you reminds me of how blessed i am — i truly will never be the same after meeting you both!!! xoxoxo

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