On October 20th, Dustin and Heather of All Set Events, Co. were married at a private home in Hillsborough, California, where they decided to create an outrageously memorable evening not only for themselves, but 140 of their closest family and friends as they gathered to witness us make the most paramount vows of their lives.
Taralynn Lawton was there to capture all of these amazing details, Elysium to film, and Heather the bride and owner of All Set Events, Co planned every detail. You can see all the completely amazing images in the full gallery so get your Pin button ready. Read on to hear from Heather about her epic wedding. It may have ended with In-N-Out Burger and be sure to scroll all the way down to see all of the amazing “friendors” who helped make this the most amazing day.
Let's rewind twelve years - Dustin and I first met in a bar in San Luis Obispo, CA. It was a simple exchange of pleasantries and we went our separate ways. Three years later, I was back in San Luis Obispo visiting my college best friend when serendipitously Dustin and I met again... in a different bar. This time we were both single and we were very interested in getting to know each other. I knew Dustin was someone very special after our first date. He was unlike anyone I had ever met. I was captivated by his down to earth demeanor, genuine care and consideration and overall goodness. Not to mention he is a stone-cold fox. Simply put I adored him from day one. So, when he proposed just after dawn on the summit of Haleakala in Maui – to say I was ecstatic would be an understatement!
The memories extended beyond Dustin, I also created unforgettable moments with my mother and sister. Most notably, dress shopping. I knew what I wanted from the get go – a simple silhouette. I took to Instagram to see if there were any local designers that had what I was looking for. That is when I came across Sarah Seven.
It was the third dress I tried on and ironically named “The Belmont” which happens to be my hometown. I did my due diligence and went to the remaining four appointments that we had scheduled that day, but nothing compared to The Belmont. Planner Tip that my Friend Morgan at PRIM Event Studio shared with me - take photos AND videos of your dress options, this way you can watch back how it made you feel. Super helpful. We went back the following week and purchased The Belmont.
I started the planning process for our wedding the same way I start the process when planning for a client... the budget. Every event must start with the budget conversation. Once we got that piece nailed down we were able to talk through our priorities for the day and determined our “limits” in each budget category; Food & Beverage, Entertainment, Attire, etc. We had 11 months to plan our wedding – which was the perfect amount of time for us. We kept ourselves on track and stress free by conquering our “wedding chores” one weekend at a time and always paired it with some fun. For example, when we went searching for Dustin’s tux, we spent the first three hours of the day shopping, then followed it up with delicious craft cocktails (something we love) at our favorite bar Pacific Cocktail Haven. It’s so important to keep the process fun! If it’s just about the singular day, you are missing out on making so many lovely memories with your partner.
The result? An event artfully painted with 35 of my dearest “friendors” a-la tray-passed cotton-candy rosé, SF’s best food trucks, 30’ balloon garland, a 6,000 (plus) hand-tied ribbon installation, rotating flow of gastronomic appetizers by Foxtail Catering, espresso cart, silent disco, Willie Wonka worthy late night treats, custom neon signs by LA Signs Tech and Ashley Smith Events and brass-stamped ice cubes, cups and napkins branded in the theme and logo of our wedding, #motherbuffalo, from For Your Party.
As a professional Wedding and Event Planner, I instinctually took the lead on the majority of the wedding work, but I was adamant on making sure that Dustin was properly represented and had a say in it all. Dustin picked our wedding date. Naturally, he picked October, as he is an autumnal enthusiast.
I let the season dictate the wedding palette; rich warm hues of merlot, mulberry, copper and soft pink to give it that feminine touch. This played out so beautifully, especially in the florals. Michelle Lywood is a floral goddess. She mixed together big blooms like peonies with small but mighty accents like privet berries and chocolate cosmos. And of course, a ton of fall foliage for Dustin’s delight. Texture was the name of the game and she nailed it!
Amongst all of the details, three of my favorite moments were the VOG, ribbon installation and custom dance floor. The Voice of God (VOG) was a pre-recorded sound clip that played just prior to our ceremony that told the playful story of how Dustin and I met.
I wanted everyone to feel a part of our story and connected to us. Ultimately I knew there were going to be guests in the audience that I had never met; my dad’s golf friends, my college roommate's new boyfriend, etc. The VOG got everyone on the same page and engaged in what was about to happen.
Dustin and I knew that our reception was going to be total over-stimulation, so it was extra important to us to cherish the serenity and peace of the ceremony and invited our guests to do the same without the distraction of technology. We had a strict “no cell phone / camera” policy during the ceremony. I have unfortunately witnessed once in a lifetime moments get interrupted by cell phones or unruly guests doubling as photographers a few too many times. I wanted to get in front of that – so we posted a sign and incorporated it into the narrative read by the VOG requesting that guests just be present. The result – an incredible 30 minutes with an undistracted crowd. The ceremony was where I recognized my Italian Catholic upbringing. I employed church pews as ceremony seating and had an Italian prayer read and then translated mid ceremony. Both of our parents exchanged traditional vows when they wed – we thought it would be lovely to share those same words. Life is a wild ride and I don’t know where it will take me, but I am certain I have found my forever in Dustin and a love that is unlike any other.
Every SINGLE detail of the wedding was deliberate – nothing was a filler; everything was there for a reason. Just to name a few... the cocktails were curated by our favorite San Francisco bar and then renamed to pay homage to our favorite TV series; “The Draper”, “The Sterling”, “Riggins 33” and one named after our beloved pup “The Miss (Cassie) May”. It didn’t stop there – the hand-cut block ice cubes featured in the pertaining cocktails were brass-stamped with our wedding logo, a custom drawing of a (“Mother”) Buffalo, an amalgamation of the two bars in which Dustin and I first met - Mothers Tavern and Buffalo. Monthly, Dustin and I indulge in donuts or In-N-Out Burger. So obviously, both were featured as our tray passed late night snacks.
Instead of a customary guest book, we opted for guests to sign the coffee table book that has been in our living room since the day we moved in together. And the list goes on - the wedding was US through and through.
The 6,000+ hand-tied ribbon installation was well worth the 93 hours it took to produce with my mom and besties. It really was a showstopper, especially paired with the custom made neon “BAR” sign. And last but not least, the custom dance floor by Barker Decor adorned with our Mother Buffalo logo, every guest's name and the names of our beloved that have passed on. Because we threw “traditional” to the wind and pursued an open format reception with no seated dinner, I wanted to find a really special way to acknowledge every guest. Our dance floor did just that.
The custom dance floor adorned with our Mother Buffalo logo, every guest's name and the names of our beloved that have passed on.