Kathryn Weeks and Michael Zawisza first met in May 2011 during a culinary internship in Kalamazoo, Michigan, it was immediately clear that more than just food was being cooked up in their shared kitchen. "I remember it was really easy to talk to him because I wasn't trying to flirt, I was just being myself in a kitchen," Katie says. "We realized our love of Michael Jackson music when we started dancing and singing to 'The Way You Make Me Feel' while prepping." Just four months later, on September 5, 2011, Mike popped the question in the airport before seeing Katie through security on her way back to culinary school in New York City.
The pair decided on a long engagement and planned for a March 14, 2015 (yes, Pi Day!) wedding at the Inn at Park Winters in Winters, California. "We wanted a wedding that felt more secluded and special," the bride says. "I loved how everywhere on the grounds something was growing, and the main house is gorgeous." With the help of Sasha Sousa Events, Katie and Mike planned a laid-back celebration with a family reunion feel and Damion and Julie of Damion Hamilton Photography captured their entire day.
The bride found her dream wedding dress during her very first shopping trip. The winner was a lace A-line gown from Blush by Hayley Paige, complete with a sheer back, thin straps, and a softly draped sweetheart neckline. "It had all the features I was looking for," she says. "I wanted something with lace that showed off my curves and this was perfect."
Her bouquet included a colorful mix of ranunculus, craspedia, eucalyptus, and thistle. Mike accessorized his light beige Kenneth Cole suit with a boutonniere comprised of the same mix of blooms that was used in Katie's bouquet.
The couple exchanged vows on the front porch of the Inn at Park Winters, which was decorated with floral arrangements made up of greenery and fresh white and yellow blooms. "We wrote our own vows, and they were basically personal love letters to each other," Katie remembers.
Katie and Mike's 50 guests found their seating assignments on cards that were arranged on a vintage door. Lush green, white, and yellow floral arrangements decorated the structure.
Five tables were set up on the property's patio for the couple's brunch reception. "We wanted the décor to be fairly simple but still have pretty touches," says Katie. "There were small flower arrangements on the tables and the linens varied in design, but still had the same blue and green colors." Each charger was topped with a linen napkin and menu, which detailed Katie and Mike's curated meal picks. "Choosing the menu was the easiest pat of planning," the bride says. "It was the first thing Mike and I decided on, even before we started meeting with our planner!" Since the reception was held during the day, the pair served huevos rancheros, buttermilk biscuits with gravy, a selection of charcuterie and cheese, and plenty of baked goods.
But the feasting didn't stop there. The bride and groom also served a variety of desserts, including caramel corn and meringue kisses, cheesecake, cremeux cups with hazelnut crunch, and strawberry-rhubarb tart.
In addition to the array of treats, Katie and Mike had two different wedding cakes — hers, a two-tiered ivory confection with lace fondant details and his, a one-tiered black and red Star Trek: The Next Generation themed-treat.
Since the two planned a daytime celebration, Katie and Mike wanted guests to unwind with lawn games like disc golf, bocci ball, cornhole, and ladder golf. Picnic tables held a variety of board games that their friends and family could enjoy as well. "We wanted fun background music for the games, and if people wanted to dance, they could," the bride says of the party. "Our DJ played Michael Jackson, Hall and Oates, Victor Wooten, Earth Wind and Fire, and other upbeat, funky artists." The couple also created a photo station where guests could snap a Polaroid picture.
In honor of their Pi Day wedding date, Katie and Mike gave each guest a mini pie pocket on their way home.
With busy work schedules, the couple chose to enjoy a two-day minimoon in Lake Tahoe immediately after the wedding, but are planning to enjoy a month in China.
Ceremony & Reception Venue: The Inn at Park Winters || Wedding Planner: Mellysa Levy of Sasha Souza Events || Officiant: Reverend Peadar Dalton || Bride's Wedding Dress: Hayley Paige, purchased at Bridal Galleria || Jewelry: Mednikow; Glamorous Bijoux || Shoes: Nordstrom || Hair: Shaina Cook || Makeup: Holly Neal Makeup || Groom's Attire: Kenneth Cole || Flowers: Flaxx Floral Design || Invitations & Paper Products: Stacey & Company || Music: Charlotte Wolter; Jason Mitchell || Catering: Chef and Baker Catering || Cake: Fleur de Lisa Cakes || Photographer: Damion Hamilton
Did you love this outdoor celebration? Then check out another couple's open air nuptials in the video below.