As my 7th wedding anniversary approaches, I love to go back through the photos and reminisce about that magical day. I’d give anything to go back in time just to live it once more – it all went by so devastatingly fast. A year and a half of planning (and with no Pinterest back then, mind you!) all came down to the fastest 7 hours on my life. The entire 200 guest wedding was held outdoors on a balmy, early fall afternoon at the rustic and romantic Walnut Grove at Tierra Rejada Ranch in Moorpark (a perfect location that I had searched high and low for). I remember Wiley had Glen Miller’s “Moonlight Serenade” playing as I arrived in my raw silk, ivory wedding dress with my bridesmaids in their long, red gowns. I was so nervous I could faint.
The property is a beautiful California ranch where you can wed under the canopy of a lush, green walnut grove that was planted 50 years prior. I was so nervous walking down the aisle but finally meeting Wiley’s gaze made everyone else disappear. To be honest, I don’t remember a single word of the ceremony actually. I was busy trying to keep from crying the whole time by staring only at Wiley (thank god we filmed it!). As we exchanged rings, kissed, and paraded down the aisle as newlyweds to a string version of the Beatles “When I’m 64”, all the butterflies were gone and I was suddenly on a total adrenaline buzz.
After a slightly tedious photo shoot marathon (but still so fun), we entered the reception as Mr. and Mrs. Wiley Hodgden. The crowd parted like the Red Sea as we made our way to the dance floor and, under the warm glow of the market lights to Ray Charles’ “Come Rain or Come Shine”, we had our first married dance. The speeches were hysterical and emotional at the same time (like all good ones tend to be) and I will never forget how loved we felt knowing that all our most beloved family and friends came together from near and far to be with us on our special day. After a California Ranch BBQ dinner, and plenty of Moet and red velvet cake, the debauchery began. Fortunately much of that debauchery was frozen in time in the bright red photo booth we rented (best money spent). We had such an amazing time dancing that we didn’t want to leave when the limo arrived to take us to our suite at Westlake Village Inn. To this day, that was the most perfect night of my life. Everything about it was so beautiful and perfect and 7 years later I still long to go back to it. I married my best friend and love of my life surrounded by all the most important people to me. It was absolute magic.
Check out some snippets from my wedding album below. I had serious trouble narrowing down the photos I wanted to share with you, so it’s a bit of a long one, folks (you’ve been warned!). So pour yourself a cup of tea, settle into a comfy chair and enjoy!