Kelli + Jack had one of the most stylish weddings at Cordiano Winery in Escondido that we’ve ever seen. Absolutely everything from Kelli’s custom backless wedding dress by Vera Wang, the ethereal styling by Sisti & Co., to the wide-open views of the sun melting into the mountains made this wedding stunning. There was just so much goodness happening all in one room.
Ryan and I began documenting Kelli & Jack’s day in separate locations. I arrived at Kelli’s location and gave her neighbor a good chuckle as I attempted to parallel park in a small space before giving up and choosing the driveway instead. It was an honor being welcomed into the first home Kelli and Jack have owned together where Kelli + her crew of incredible bridesmaids were getting their finishing touches on makeup and hair by Ashley Strahan. The morning started with cloud cover and icy cool hues but soon the sun was out and the fun was out! Kelli and her girls popped bubbly in the backyard of her home and showed me their mad acrobatic skills.
Kelli slipped into her embroidered halter neck wedding gown in the company of her sister Morgan and her elementary school friend Bree, the tears welled up in their eyes as Kelli stood in front of her bedroom mirror taking it all in. Deep breaths for Kelli and tears for everyone else, I literally got the goosebumps as they talked about the journey to this day. Kelli’s bridesmaids awaited her bridal reveal in the living room, lovingly commanding Alexa to play “I’m Coming Out” by the Notorious B.I.G. to set the mood for the moment. There were audible gasps, tears and in a knee jerk reaction the hands all went to the cheeks for what I can only define as the O.M.G. face.
As Kelli’s bridesmaids slid into their flowing greige bridesmaid’s dresses from Azazie Kelli put the finishing touches on her bridal look. A serenity prayer bracelet and rose gold earrings were the last delicate touches before capturing a few bridal portraits of the bombshell in her backyard. Then we grabbed a few frames of Kelli and her girls dressed to the nines and nailing the Vanity Fair shot. I departed for their Cordiano Winery wedding leaving the ladies behind as they awaited their limo. The winding road leading up to the Cordiano property was speckled with sun beams coming through the trees, wild yellow mustard plants laced the roads driving up to the sprawling vineyard.
Saxophonist Tyler Varnell serenaded guests as they took their seats at the ceremony site drenched in the hazy late afternoon light. John Garcia of Urban Art brought the ceremony scene to life on his canvas with every brush stroke setting the scene before Kelli and Jack began their vows. This was the first time we’d seen a live painting of a wedding ceremony take place and the keepsake it offers is so touching. The windows were open allowing the soft mountain breeze into the space. Kelli and Jack said their vows to one another beneath a hanging chandelier of greenery. After 10 years together you could feel the history, love and anticipation in the room. Their friends, family and fur baby Winston cheered (and barked) as the couple was announced husband and wife by Jack’s brother in law who married them.
After family formals and bridal party portraits we took the couple off-roading for their wedding portrait session. We trekked down the winding road kicking up the loose soil adding to the suns haze. Passers-by honked and hung their heads out their windows to congratulate the newlyweds as Kelli threw her bouquet up in the air in celebration.
The reception space designed by Kim Sisti owner of Sisti & Co. was striking. The tablescapes were ethereal with textured gauze draped loosely over the neutral tablecloths and shadows dancing across the glassware. Smoked crystal votives and cement vessels were juxtaposed against the scalloped edge of the flatware and the delicate nature of the florals. The contemporary shape of the stemware accented the cylindrical floral vessels. The colors were kept neutral allowing the layered textures to take center stage.
Guests dined beneath glistening market lights on some delicious Cordiano Italian food. The dancing and the toasts had smiles painted across everyone’s faces. DJ David Newton had the dance floor brimming with guests all night and even hopped in to teach everyone the cupid shuffle. After venturing out for some night shots and popping a little bubbly the newlyweds were back to the dance floor. The night ended with the iconic “I’ve had the time of my life” and Jack performing the dirty dancing lift for a hesitant but trusting Kelli as she lunged herself blindly into his arms (kind of like love you just have to go all in). This was a heartfelt day that we won’t soon forget and we feel incredibly lucky to have been a part of it. Thank you from the bottoms of our hearts you amazing people!!
Their Love Story…As Told By Kelli
We met and started dating in high school (2008), I was not a fan of Jack at first, he spit sunflower seeds in my hair during a football game! I feel I should note that Jack denies it to this day and says it was his friend next to him, but I had witnesses (haha). A few weeks later, we had mutual friends that brought us all together to go to Knott’s Scary Farm and as strange as it sounds that is where we ended up falling in love and have been together ever since. After that I always knew he was the one, he’s my best friend, ready for the next adventure, pushes me out of my comfort zone, and makes me a better person, but what solidified it was senior year graduation Jack gave me a promise ring with three diamonds on it and told me those represented our past, present, and future and that one day it would be replaced with an engagement and wedding ring. Even at 18 looking at this guy I had met 2 years earlier, knowing we had so much life ahead of us I knew it was true. Fast forward to 2018, Jack, fur baby Winston (Corgi), and I went to Yosemite to spend 3 days camping then another 2 in Sequoia. We spent day 1 setting up camp then day 2 we went down into the valley for hikes, a picnic, and waterfalls. We walked around and explored for hours, unknown to me that Jack had the ring in his pocket the ENTIRE time trying to figure out which spot to do it. Like I can’t emphasize this enough, we walked for 6-8 miles before lunch/picnic and had the ring in his pocket! So, we were heading back to have our picnic which we planned to set up in the back of Jack’s truck that was parked overlooking this beautiful meadow with the Yosemite falls in the background. On our way back Jack kept saying let’s take a picture in the middle of the meadow before. Which is odd, I’m obsessed with pictures, Jack’s neutral and at this point we were both starving, but I was so pumped I didn’t think anything of it. We make it to the meadow and walked to this log sitting in the middle, Jack sticks me and Winston up on the log and tells me he will take a picture of us and I should face the waterfall because it’ll look cool. So, I do it totally oblivious and I’m facing the waterfall and yelling back to him “should I put my hand on my hip or just down, what looks better.” He responds by telling me to turn around and when I do so I see him on his knee with the most beautiful ring I could imagine facing up toward me. I simultaneously said yes, started crying, and jumped into his arms. The rest of the trip was a dream we went back to his car ate our picnic, popped champagne that he had hidden, and here we are.
Rad Creative Team: Photography: Emry Photography | Venue: Cordiano Winery| Planning/Styling/Florals/Cake: Sisti & Co.| DJ: David Newton| Live Performer/Saxophonist: Tyler Varnell| Painter: John Garcia of Urban Art| Hair & Makeup Artist: Ashley Strahan| Brides Dress: Vera Wang from Davids Bridal| Bridesmaids Gowns: Azazie|Rentals: Archive | Table Top: Crate & Barrel