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  • Writer's pictureCate Lau

A Fairytale Princess Wedding

When deciding on a wedding venue, I was initially reluctant when my mother said I should have it at the vineyard. In my mind, it was still the dirt patch that my family had purchased 10 years ago in the middle of a town I had never dreamed of living in. I had envisioned being married in a classy hotel with a sprawling green golf course. The rustic-elegant look of the country was not exactly what I had in mind. However, reflecting on the beautiful day that was my wedding, I could not imagine having it anywhere else.

In order to make this wedding day what it was, I had some incredibly selfless and loving people come alongside me. When you get asked to be a bridesmaid, what do you think it will entail? Maybe holding the brides bouquet while she declares her vows? Wiping her tears while she prepares to marry the man of her dreams? Well for the Choy-Lau bride squad, they weren't quite so lucky.

These gems of humans spent multiple weekends coming down from LA to Ramona to prepare the winery to be a wedding venue. They landscaped. And I'm not talking the dainty backyard garden type, these girls dug upwards of 30 holes along the entire embankment that was to be my wedding ceremony backdrop. Being the visionary princess bride that I am, I wanted seven mismatched chandeliers all spray painted the same color. My sweet bridesmaids covered every single glass gem on those thrift shopped chandeliers with masking tape and got the job done. These girls are rockstars...but I imagine they'll have to sleep on it next time they get asked to be a part of the bridal party.


Despite our year long efforts to have everything at the vineyard ready in time for the big day, the week before the wedding arrived and there was still SO much to be done. My family showed their love for me by putting in 16 hour days every day that last week. I had a slight meltdown because you could see the port-a-potty in the backdrop of what was supposed to be my ceremony photos.

Do you know what my sweet little brother did? He built me an entire wall in a day and a half to cover it.

I had a vision of having all our food served on shining silver platters, yet we only had two to our name. My mom spent multiple days that week driving to every single thrift store from Ramona to Rancho Bernardo to buy every last one. My darling husband spent the evening before his wedding shoveling 2 tons of gravel so that all the guests cars could make it safely across our dirt driveway--and earned himself a macho farmers tan the next day for his hard work. Our sweet neighbors could see our high level of need. They spent days at our place wrapping party favors in cellophane and peeling and washing every bar code sticker off of our new party flatware. Girls from my church came down early to bake me a beautiful cake and help our florist prepare table decorations. One of my dearest friends came to coordinate the day and walked all of us through the rehearsal. There was so much to be done, yet every person that I love came together to make my dream a reality.

The day finally arrived and it was even more beautiful and special than I could have imagined. The Ramona weather in the dead middle of August cooperated for once. The entire ceremony was full of light and joy and peace. We were surrounded by those we love dearly as we declared our love and lifelong commitment to each other. We celebrated with a gigantic party right in the middle of all the vines. The hanging cafe lights my dad built up were strung with dangling flowers and perfectly mismatched (evenly spray painted) chandeliers. The tables sparkled with candles and shining platters and smiling faces of loved ones that I couldn't take my eyes off of the entire reception. We danced, drank wine made just for our wedding with its Kiss Me Cate custom label, and enjoyed delightful smoked meat and wedding cake.

As we made our way to our getaway car, flanked on each side by our guests waving sparklers and smiling, I couldn't help but walk slowly so I could take it all in. I had a fairytale wedding at a beautiful winery that my family had built from the ground up. I had such lofty dreams for the day, and the people I loved contributed greatly to make it a reality. We are blessed to start our marriage surrounded by such a giving and loving community!

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Feb 06, 2021

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