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September 7, 2019

Hotel Californian Wedding: Eric & Meredith

Filed in: Uncategorized

We first met Eric & Meredith when we both just happened to be in the right place at the right time. I (Jess), happened to be at a sohohouse brunch at Hotel Californian while Eric & Meredith were touring wedding venues. The incredible event coordinator sent me a quick text which led to us all having an impromptu meeting – it was friends at first sight! And after we met their adorable dog Sadie, we truly fell in love!

We love these two! You can feel their joy when they walk in the room. They truly bring out the best in each other, and make such a great team! And we loved capturing their chemistry during their engagement session in Carmel. They are seriously so cute!

They make each other better people, and it’s rare that they aren’t laughing together about some inside joke. They ended their personal vows with “Same team. Forever.” We love when our couples have an incredible connection and these two have chemistry that is off the charts! They also are the couple who taught us how to saber champagne and they effortlessly sabered champagne with their bridal party on the wedding day – it was such a treat to watch the pros in action!!

When the day finally arrived, the girls got ready in a suite at Hotel Californian and when Jess walked in they were dancing! Now THAT is how every bridal suite should be in the morning! Meredith was so happy and excited that she and her girls had a dance party as they were getting ready, while the boys were getting ready in another room. While they didn’t exactly have a dance party they still had a great time too. You see, the bride and one of the groomsmen were planning to prank the groom and we were in on it. We knew it was gonna be a good one.

Eric was so excited for the first look! His nerves were high and his heart was racing as soon as we set him in place. But little did he know, he was not about to see his bride. Meredith had one of the groomsmen put a white dress and veil on and pretend to be her for the first look. As Eric stood there with his back turned, he heard footsteps and thought “her shoes must be heavy because they’re so loud!” He felt a tap on the shoulder and turned around and… gasped, looked slightly terrified and then so so so happy. Well done Meredith!!! After a good laugh and a few happy tears, we put Eric into place again for the real first look. Meredith had been watching the whole thing and she was so excited to see him!

They had a beautiful first look moment, and they had such a great laugh about the prank too! After the first look, they read letters to each other and we cried all over again. We love the way these two love each other and it was an honor to be present in such an incredible moment.

Something that made this day all the more special was how they valued celebrating with their friends and family and prioritized spending quality time with all of their guests. Amazing Days Events helped create a timeline that reflected that. They did their first look and the majority of their portraits before the ceremony so that they could enjoy cocktail hour with their guests.

The ceremony was on the Serena rooftop deck and they had cocktail hour on the lawn below. During the ceremony, there was a funny story told that one of Eric’s uncles approached him shortly after Meredith had met his family, and told him that Meredith was the real deal, and advised him to not let this one get away. If Eric did let her get away, he would hunt Eric down and hit him upside the head with a 2×4!

They picked specific wines for the cocktail hour, and one of the wines was actually the bride’s Father’s personal wine. A jazz trio played acoustic versions of popular hits while guests mixed and mingled with the newlyweds. So fun!

After a lively cocktail hour, guests went into the ballroom for an incredible night. The multi course dinner was delicious and their family gave the funniest, most beautiful speeches. Eric’s brother and Best Man started with the funniest story of when he knew Meredith was the one for Eric. 

“I’m going to share a quick story of when I knew this was going to be something special. When me and Bethany, found out we were pregnant with our first child, we called Eric before we told anyone else. “Hey Eric, we have this idea for a practical joke, and we think it’s gonna be pretty good.” We asked if he would announce to our parents that they would be grandparents again. He said “YES WE’RE DOING IT”. We said “Do you want to check with Meredith?” They had only been dating a month. A couple days later, they were tailgating for Stagecoach, we had my parents over for dinner and the Facetime call came in and Eric’s gripping Meredith pretty tightly. And Eric pulled off one of the best practical jokes ever. No heart attacks happened, no regrettable words happened, and Meredith was still liking us afterward. This was our first impression of Meredith. We could tell how fun and adventurous she was because she went along with this. And more importantly, she really liked Eric for going along with this. Meredith, you handled the initiation with flying colors.”

Afterwards, Meredith’s Maid of Honor, and sister, got up and brought us all to tears. “Given that Meredith and I are so close, Eric could’ve had a tough time making his way into this family. But he never tried to split up this dynamic duo, he enhanced our shenanigans, brought more laughter in our lives and truly became the brother I never had. I couldn’t be luckier to have not one, but two incredible role models, who even before getting married, demonstrated their commitment to tackling life together. You work together and you constantly make each other better. Together you challenge each other, you teach each other, and as a team, your sum is greater than its parts. I think I can speak for everyone here when I say we feel honored to watch your journey together.”

There is nothing better than speeches given by the people closest to our couples that affirm every single thing we feel about them as well. After speeches, Meredith danced with her dad to the song they played in the car on the way to every sporting game, Mustang Sally! It was adorable. And Eric had a beautiful dance with his Mother as well! Then the guests packed the dance floor and danced all night long!! JVM Entertainment kept the energy high and the dance floor jammin all night long. We loved everything about their day and we are so excited to share it with you!

Venue: Hotel Californian

Photographers: James & Jess

Planner: Amazing Days Events

Florals: Haute Blossoms Floral

Makeup: 805 Makeup

Dress: The Dress Bride

Music: JMV Entertainment

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