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Real Wedding

Vineyard Wedding: Karli & Chrissy

Chrisman Studios

July 29, 2016

Karli and Chrissy met in New York at St. John’s University where Karli works and Chrissy went to grad school. They met through mutual friends and hit it off within the first five minutes of meeting each other. They remained friends for about six months before it developed into more. They were married at a vineyard wedding during the summer of 2016.

Both began planning proposals without the other knowing. Chrissy asked Karli one week prior to Karli’s planned proposal. She took her on a bike ride on a warm July Sunday. As they rode through Central Park, Chrissy wanted to stop at a famous gazebo made up of wood sticks. As they walked up to the top, Karli could see photos of them, rose petals on the ground and a bottle of wine in a bucket on the side. Chrissy put her bags down, took Karli by the hand and walked her up to the front. She got down on one knee and proposed.

Chrisman Studios

The following Sunday, Karli brought Chrissy home with her to Pennsylvania. The entire family was in on the proposal. They set up a fake photo shoot at the top of the Philadelphia Art Museum (a.k.a. the Rocky Steps). Karli got the “we’re ready” text from her family and challenged Chrissy to run up the steps with her. There were pink roses laid out on the last steps and a big heart in roses with a sign that said “Chrissy, Will You Marry Me?” A huge crowd of tourists took photos and looked on as Karli got down on one knee and presented Chrissy with a custom ring built around the center stone, which was her grandmother’s.

Chrisman Studios
Chrisman Studios
Chrisman Studios
Chrisman Studios

Their engagement was followed by the hardest moment of Karli’s life. She kept it secret for a week, but ultimately put it upon Facebook – it was her “coming out” moment to the world. They collectively got over 500+ likes on the post with countless comments of congratulations. Not one negative comment!

Chrisman Studios
Chrisman Studios
Chrisman Studios
Chrisman Studios

During their long-distance relationship, Karli visited Chrissy who took her to a winery. When they were walking up to the wine tasting room, they noticed a wedding rehearsal in progress.  They thought it was pretty cool and that the wine tasting room was beautiful. They had a great experience. Once they got engaged, they tried to find the right venue in New York or Pennsylvania, but nothing came close. Karli told Chrissy that since she made the sacrifice to live on the East Coast, they should have the wedding on the West Coast, and the winery was the obvious choice. The setting was amazing, especially since Karli LOVES wine.

Chrisman Studios
Chrisman Studios

Karli and Chrissy are both very creative, so they wanted to give their guests an experience they would never forget. They made sure that alcohol was available at all times and provided a trolley to pick guests up as well as a crazy party bus to take them home. The seating cards were also their gifts – mini wine bottles with custom thank you labels, wrapped in lace netting and topped with a hand made wood burnt label with the guests’ names and table assignments.

Chrisman Studios
Chrisman Studios

Each table had personalized photos of the couple from the places they had been together. During dinner they played a CD full of handpicked songs that Karli’s dad played for them on piano. Once the speeches were over the wait and bar staff put on light up bow ties, the DJ put on his custom light up outfit which was light up suspenders and a custom made hat with his name on it lit up in lights. They handed out light up clear lens glasses that everyone wore and loved all night.

Chrisman Studios
Chrisman Studios

There was a Polaroid station with photo props and afterwards Karli and Chrissy kept everyone’s photos and hung them on a frame with twine, which hangs in their house.

Chrisman Studios
Chrisman Studios

But the best surprise of all happened at the very end of the wedding. Karli and Chrissy stopped at an In n’ Out Burger and placed an order for 200 cheeseburgers with fries. They had them bring them all out onto the busses. Everyone’s minds “exploded with excitement.” They also hosted an after party with beverages, snacks and sandwiches, determined that their guests not go to bed hungry.

Chrisman Studios
Chrisman Studios
Chrisman Studios

Asked to share advice for other couples planning weddings, Karli and Chrissy wrote, “The hardest challenge for us was to redefine the wedding and figure out what our style was as a couple.  Every tiny detail should be your style and how you want the world to perceive you. It’s an opportunity to make the day however you want! Since we are same sex, we basically had a blank page in front of us where we were in charge of writing the story to tell.”

Their LGBTQ-Friendly Vendors

Venue: Murrieta’s Well // Photography: Chrisman Studios // Catering: Wente Vineyards // Cake: Wente Vineyards // Florist: The Flower House // Musician: Illana Blumberg, Second Act Music // DJ: Big Fun DJ // Transportation: Cali Party Bus  // Linens: Napa Valley Linens // Stationery and Paper Goods: Creative Union Design

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