A Midsummer Night's Dream Inspired This Couple's Wedding in Carmel Valley, California

Real Weddings

Although Kathy Nguyen and Dave Blanzy first met in 2009, it took nearly three years for the pair to go on a proper first date. Just under a year after that, on February 18, 2013 the couple was enjoying a sunset beach bonfire in San Francisco when Dave popped the question. They decided to tie the knot in Carmel Valley, California on April 12, 2015 in what the bride calls A Midsummer Night's Dream-themed bash. "It wasn't going to be exactly like the play, but I wanted lots of lush greenery and a forest feel," Kathy says.

The couple worked with Jutta Lammerts of A Day Like No Other to plan their outdoor nuptials at the Holman Ranch. Keep reading to see all of Clane Gessel Photography's photos of their open-air ceremony and reception!

Kathy was adamant about finding a wedding dress that reflected her personality. "I had tried on so many beautiful dresses, but this one was different from what I saw other brides choosing," she says of her beaded Galia Lahav gown. She loved that it had straps, a dropped waist, and sheer back. She finished her look with a low bun that was accented with fresh flowers, drop earrings, and a simple diamond necklace.

Her five bridesmaids wore mint-colored long strapless dresses that they accessorized with a sash of their choosing. "I wanted them to have some individualization," she says. Kathy's bouquet was made up of cascading white-and-peach blooms, including ranunculus, dahlias, and garden roses. Her attendants carried similar arrangements in a smaller scale.

Dave, clad in a black tux and white vest, met Kathy for their first look before the ceremony.

The couple loved that their ceremony space offered sweeping views of Carmel Valley, so keeping décor simple was a must. "The backdrop alone, plus the abundance of trees and blooming flowers that were already part of the venue, had set the scene for our ceremony," Kathy says. "We had large branches dotted with hydrangeas that made a natural arbor." Additionally, they lined the aisle with pastel-hued flower petals and lanterns.

As guests arrived, they could pour themselves a cool glass of lemonade or ice tea to sip on throughout the sunny ceremony. Nearby, a sign with the couple's hashtag (#GoTeamBlanzy!) was displayed on a table decorated with moss and a mini birdcage for cards and gifts.

"Since my parents are divorced, I wanted to give them both the honor of walking me down the aisle," Kathy says of making her entrance with both her mother and father. "They both had such a major role in my life." The couple recited their own vows, but the bride admits crafting their sentimental statements was a last-minute task. "We're both pretty bad procrastinators, but we took time the night before to write them," she remembers. To make the ceremony even more special, the groom's father officiated!

After the ceremony, the new husband and wife exited to OneRepublic's "Feel Again."

Kathy and Dave felt strongly that they wanted their reception to feel more relaxed than most weddings they had been to. "I wanted it to feel more like a lounge," the bride says. "I didn't want people to feel that they were confined to a specific table and stuck there. I want people to mingle and walk around." To achieve that, the pair set up long tables topped with white linens, coffee tables with benches, and couches. For their long tables, the couple chose centerpieces that were a nod to their garden theme and their jobs as pharmacists. Small and medium arrangements of flowers and moss were paired with cloches and apothecary jars.

Rather than a typical buffet dinner, Kathy and Dave chose to have food stations where guests could watch their meals be prepped right before their eyes. Offerings included a salad station, grilled cheese and tomato soup station, and grilled meat and veggie station. "The idea might seem ordinary, but the taste was anything but!" Kathy says. For dessert, they served three miniature cakes, in flavors like sticky toffee pudding and chocolate with whipped cream.

But with so many options for dinner, the couple couldn't simply select one treat for dessert. In addition to cake, the couple also chose a selection of macarons, rice krispy treats, cookies and milk, and cupcakes for guests to enjoy.

After dinner, the couple invited their guests to join them in the property's Carriage House for dancing. There, they shared their first dance to "Falling in Love at a Coffee Shop" by Landon Pigg before their DJ took requests from guests.

"If I could offer one piece of advice to other brides, it would be to get a wedding planner," Kathy says. "When you are so busy with work and you add the stress of planning your wedding it can cause a lot of anxiety and tension."

Ceremony & Reception Venue: Holman Ranch Vineyards and Winery || Wedding Planner: Jutta Lammerts of A Day Like No Other || Bride's Wedding Dress: Galia Lahav || Jewelry: Steve Padis Jewelry || Shoes: Badgley Mischka || Hair & Makeup: Beauteme Makeup || Groom's & Groomsmen's Attire: Men's Warehouse || Flowers: Natasha Kolenko Designs || Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas || Music: DNA Entertainment || Catering: Paradise Catering || Cake: Om Nom Confections || Rentals: Chic Event Rentals || Videographer: D.P. Weddings || Photographer: Clane Gessel Photography

Find Local Vendors Wedding Wire

Did you love this garden-inspired wedding? Then check out another couple's flower-filled event in the video below!

Give a Subscription to Brides Magazine as a Gift

Get personalized planning advice, exclusive offers and must-read wedding news.

Thank You
for Signing Up!

Check your e-mail inbox for the latest updates from brides.com