‘Chance Encounters’ Lead To Love And Marriage

Our thanks to One Love Photography for their stunning photographs…

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How does a man show interest in a woman without crossing the line into stalker territory? For Michael O’Brien, he took the direct approach when it came to meeting his beautiful neighbor living in a lower duplex unit in Newport Beach.

“I was eating dinner on the patio with my roommates and Michael introduced himself,” said Kris Rusert. “They recalled the situation as he ‘bee-lined’ for me, and they made jokes about how it would be mentioned at our future wedding.”

Kris wasn’t thinking wedding right then, but wondered how she kept running into her new neighbor through “chance” encounters at the beach.

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“He’d do random drop-byes, until we finally made official plans to hang out,” she said.

Michael avoided stalker territory, but he underwent an aggressive pursuit of the woman of his dreams — a woman he would later marry in March of 2014 at Holman Ranch.
And, yes, the story of Michael’s “bee-line” toward Kris was repeated several times that day.

For their first official date, the couple actually stayed in and made dinner, “which is essentially exactly how we are as a couple now,” Kris said. “It was around Michael’s birthday and we whipped up quite a little feast in celebration. It was fun to cook together and really get to talking about our lives and families.”

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Later the couple moved from Newport Beach to Northern California for Michael’s job and the two loved to spend time in local parks.

“Cuesta Park in Mountain View was such a fun location to picnic, jog and walk the dog,” Kris said. “We would go there almost every weekend. In September right before moving into San Francisco, Michael suggested doing a picnic there. I didn’t think much of it since it was such a part of our life. Well, that night started like a normal evening and ended with him asking me to marry him. It’s a day and a place we will never forget.

The couple knew Holman Ranch was the perfect wedding venue for them from the moment they stepped foot onto the grounds.

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“Holman Ranch takes your breath away,” Kris said. “I wanted a location that required little design and it did exactly that. It’s magical.”

The couple loved how they could transition throughout the property for the event. “Every part of the property unfolds a new perspective,” Kris said. “The town (Carmel Valley) is very charming and was a great destination for our guests.”

Because their family and friends are so important in their lives, Michael and Kris felt overwhelmed emotionally. “Seeing everyone you love from different parts of life come together in one space is truly hard to explain,” Kris said.

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To honor their family and their traditions, Michael and Kris included a few blessings — one during the ceremony and one before dinner. Their pastor gave a traditional Irish blessing during the ceremony to honor the O’Brien family’s Irish heritage. Then Kris’ father Mike blessed the dinner with a prayer both the bride and groom had recited with each of their families growing up.

“Our families had a slightly different version, but it was really neat to hear a moment when both families said a familiar prayer in unison,” Kris said. “That day we really saw the unity and love amongst our families.”

The one wedding memory that stands out for the new Mr. and Mrs. O’Brien is being announced as husband and wife.

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“That is literally the happiest moment of your life,” Kris said. “We felt such ease walking back down the aisle and we had never been happier. The rest of the night you just float, at the best party you’ve ever been to, with everyone you love.”

Other wedding vendors:
Caterer: Paradise Catering
Photographer: One Love Photography
DJ/Band/Musicians: DNA Entertainment, DJ Darion
Bakery: Patisserie Bechler
Hair: Brooke Burdett
Makeup: Janelle Walker
Flowers: Whitney Rose Events

Equestrian Apparel Crossing Over Into Mainstream Fashion

The expression “clothes horse” describes a person, typically a woman, who is excessively concerned with wearing fashionable clothes. These days, the words “clothes” and “horse” go together for a slightly different reason, as equestrian wear has crossed over from the saddle into mainstream fashion.

Big designers such as Ralph Lauren and D&G have long incorporated equestrian elements into their fashion lines, from jodhpurs to dressage jackets and horsebit detailing in luxury leather goods. And Gucci recently named Bruce Springsteen’s daughter, Jessica Springsteen, to its team of equestrian ambassadors. But these days we see teens at the mall wearing faux knee patches, equestrian jackets, tall, sleek, cuffed boots and, yes, designer riding breeches. And who hasn’t seen a purse or belt with a stirrup or bit design?

Today, equestrian fashion can be found at Target, The Gap, Kohl’s, Gymboree and plenty of other stores. The trend in 2014 (ironically The Year of the Horse on the Chinese Calendar) is the commonly revisited “equestrian look,” and it’s inspired a serious resurgence of horse sense in fashion.

According to Lifestyle Mirror, an international online magazine (lifestylemirror.com) focusing on style and fashion: “The key to mastering this trend is to stick to clean lines, fitted silhouettes, and anything that feels like something ‘Downton Abbey’s’ Lady Mary might wear riding. The color palette is dominated by nude, white, and black accented with pops of red and rich brown leather. But rather than wearing the look from head-to-toe, try adding one key piece to your daily uniform. Switch out black jeans for slim riding pants or polish off a work look with a jaunty Hermès scarf. We’ve always loved the timeless feel of all things equestrian, which never seem to really go out of style. It’s a trend you can safely invest in now and wear forever.”

Fashionable leisure riding clothing for women has been around since the 16th century, when riding overskirts and cloaks were first introduced. Jodhpurs were originally designed to be very practical long trousers, snug from the calf to the ankle, with reinforced fabric protecting the inner calf and knee from rubbing.

Jodhpurs are longer in length than riding breeches, finishing at the ankle, and have a turn up of material that may be uncomfortable when worn with long leather boots. Breeches stop at mid-calf and fasten with a button or more commonly, Velcro, and are more suited to use with long boots, as there’s less bulk at the ankle.

Ladies began wearing jodhpurs during the 1920s, as they shifted from riding side-saddle to riding astride. Today, jodhpur-style trousers can be seen on fashion runways and are often part of everyday wear. One of the first high-profile women to redesign jodhpurs for everyday wear was Coco Chanel. She transformed it into a fashion statement, both on and off the horse.

Equestrian clothing has become popular with many who have never even set foot in a stable yard, which doesn’t sit well with some equestrian folks who think true riding boots must have a little manure on the soles, and that jodhs and breeches need to always be covered in horsehair and mud.

Where to shop for equestrian fashion depends on budget and lifestyle. Le Fash (lefashny.com) is a good place to start. The company produces the first-ever cross over clothing line suitable for equestrian competition and the fashion forward. Its goal is to “fill the void between standardized riding attire and high-end equestrian inspired sportswear by creating one product line that can cross seamlessly into both markets.”

Equestrian Fashion Outlet (efoequestrianfashionoutlet.com.au), is an online store based in Australia that specializes in competition wear that works for everyday use as well.

Wine Industry Taking Note Of Thirsty Generation Y

In the U.S., wine purchases are split along generational lines. While Baby Boomers are still the biggest spenders, Millennials (age 21 to 34) are the fastest-growing group of wine drinkers. And unlike boomers, who tend to stick with familiar varietals such as Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, the younger Millennials have a more adventurous palate and are not afraid to experiment.

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According to research conducted by Napa Technology, wine accounts for about 20 percent of alcohol purchased by consumers age 21 to 34, up from just 13 percent a decade ago. This so-called Y Generation is consuming more wine then previous generations when they turned 21, and the industry is taking note in the way it markets wine to young Americans. In short, boomers are not going to live forever and the industry sees a new era in wine and the way it’s packaged and sold.

Unlike older Americans, Millennials don’t care about the pretentiousness of a wine, instead preferring something that is authentic and speaks to them.

According to current demographic research, there are 62 million Millennials of legal drinking age, and in two years another 8 million will celebrate turning 21. Of core drinkers, or people who drink wine at least once a week, Millennials represent 30 percent of the market.

In general, polls have shown the Y Generation is more distrustful of institutions and corporations, and therefore gravitates to smaller, boutique wine producers with a unique story, a unique blend or a unique region (the mystique of French Bordeaux is perceived as old-fashioned and pretentious). What’s more, the Millennials are not impressed by large, bulk wineries with legendary names, and they certainly are not swayed by expert reviews such as those published in Wine Spectator or medals won in grand wine competitions. And in a restaurant setting, they are less apt to seek out advice from a traditional sommelier.

Wineries rely heavily on social media to attract Millennials, because they can engage with winemakers and talk about what they’re drinking with their friends. They especially prefer Twitter because their customers want to know what their friends are saying about a wine over the opinion of wine critic Robert Parker.

As far as spending goes, the Boomers still outspend their younger counterparts by a wide margin. For the Millennials, the $20 price tag seems to be the ceiling, with $10-$12 being the sweet spot.

Finally, the younger generation is changing the packaging of wine and having a cultural influence in society. The traditional 750ml bottle might be on its way out — at least for the younger demographic that is more eco-conscious. Consumers have already seen more boxed wine (while a bottle can serve 1-3 people, the average box holds 4 bottles-worth of wine, making it better equipped for an impromptu gathering of Millennials), aluminum vessels and packages with cool designs and informative verbiage that tells a story. There is also an uptick in tapped wine, an industry many experts predict will explode in the coming decade.

In the end, companies targeting Millennials are going to have to face the group’s lack of purchasing power, compared to the more financially secure Boomers, but those getting ahead of the trend will have a large wine-drinking audience for decades to come.

Man’s Romantic Gesture Leads To Dream Wedding

Society is under the impression that real men aren’t romantic. The truth? All men have the ability but many are just afraid to step out on that limb.

Relationship experts say there are five elements to an effective romantic gesture; surprise (don’t be boring or predictable), thoughtfulness (show time, energy and effort), calibration (cater it to her tastes and comfort level), self-initiation (be original) and simplicity (complex isn’t always better).
Kristin Miller knew her husband-to-be Jason Gates had a romantic side, and he showed all five elements in his proposal to her.

Jason proposed on Nov. 30, 2013, in San Francisco where they both lived and worked.

“I had a friend’s birthday party to attend on Friday after work. Jason had previously made dinner plans but wouldn’t tell me where we were going,” Kristin said.

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She attended the friend’s happy hour party for a short while before meeting Jason back at her apartment to head to dinner.

“When I got to my apartment there were rose petals leading up the stairs to the living room, candles were lining the entire house and there was a fire in the fireplace,” she said. “He was waiting for me in front of the fireplace where he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.”

She said yes.

From there Jason took his fiancée to dinner at Terzo (where they had their first date) and they headed back to Kristin’s apartment for dessert.

“As I walked up the stairs to my apartment my family and Jason’s family were standing at the top of the stairs with Champagne yelling congratulations!” she said.

Kristin’s family lives in Southern California so Jason had secretly arranged for them to fly up and surprise her.

“Best day ever!” she said.

Until the wedding that is. The couple married on April 5, 2014, as 168 guests gathered at Holman Ranch in Carmel Valley.

“We had a pastor from my childhood church come up and marry us,” Kristin said. “Growing up going to Mariners Church in Orange County, I had always envisioned getting married there, but when we decided on Holman Ranch, I knew I wanted to incorporate a piece of Mariners into our ceremony. It was the perfect touch.”

The couple decided not to see each other before the wedding, waiting for that special moment when the bride walks down the aisle.

“Seeing Jason’s face for the first time and his reaction is something I will never forget,” Kristin said. “I also chose to have a first look with my Dad. Seeing him for the first time in my wedding dress was really special.”

The close-knit, simple couple that first met while playing in a kickball tournament in San Francisco chose Holman Ranch because “it has the perfect combination of rustic and romantic touches and is hidden amongst the gorgeous hills of the valley where you feel like no one else is around. We loved its beauty and uniqueness and felt it was the perfect place for us to say I do.”

The couple’s only regret? Not having a videographer chronicle their special day so they could watch it over and over again.

But for this romantic couple, the images will never leave them. For a honeymoon they flew to Kauai, Hawaii. “It was a very relaxing island and the perfect place to recap all of the fun wedding activities,” Kristin said.

Ten Questions You Should Always Ask Your Wedding Caterer

Food can make a wedding reception truly memorable, and the caterer plays a pivotal role in whether the meal is a delicious standout or an unappetizing dud. Whether you are having a gourmet sit-down affair or a casual buffet, pre-planning is the key — along with asking your catering candidates all the right questions.

Want to avoid sticker shock? Ask what’s included in the per-person price, and whether there are hidden costs. Do you want to taste the items before the big day? Work that out beforehand. Want your leftovers to go to charity? Ask if that’s allowed.

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To make your reception go off without a hitch, here is a list of important questions your caterer must be able to answer:

1) Do they specialize in certain types of food or service? They should provide you with sample menus to review, and be able to accommodate reasonable requests.

2) Can they arrange for a tasting of the specific foods you’re interested in prior to the event? Every reputable cater should be able to schedule a tasting based on your menu requests.

3) Do they have references? Ask for and follow up on references, and ask your friends and family to help dig up information on the caterer’s reputation. Review sites such as Yelp could be useful toward this purpose.

4) How will they handle last-minute requests? A good caterer should be able to adjust the menu or the table setup to accommodate reasonable last-minute guest changes or menu requests.

5) Does the cost-per-person include all charges? Some caterers include the cost of the staff, rentals, linens and food in their cost-per-person. Knowing whether this is the case will help you comparison shop.

6) Can they provide a detailed list of included and additional charges? Caterers will charge you for every service provided so be aware of all the charges. A reputable caterer will list out all charges, including overtime and set-up/cleanup chargers.

7) Will the client be able to see the event order? All the information you’ve discussed with the caterer about your party will be listed on this order sheet. Review the details carefully so you know that all your requests have been chronicled accurately.

8) Does the caterer have the proper licenses? This applies to health department requirements and liability insurance. Caterers that don’t readily provide this information should be avoided.

9) How long will it take to set up and break down? The reception venue will undoubtedly provide you with an allotted timeline. Make sure the caterer can work within that timeframe.

10) Who will be on site and responsible for the catering? It’s a good idea to meet the point person, and hopefully it’s the person you’ve dealt with from the beginning.

At Holman Ranch, the bride and groom are welcome to bring any vendor, as long as they are licensed and insured. They do offer a preferred vendors list as a suggestion, and those on the list are familiar with the property, services and restrictions. Their knowledge, coupled with their individual expertise, will help reduce the planning workload so that you can enjoy the planning process. Any vendor not on the list would also need Holman Ranch management approval.

Find out more about Holman Ranch weddings at www.holmanranch.com.

The Uniquely Rich History of Carmel Valley

From high in the Ventana Wilderness, the Carmel River winds 36 miles through steep canyons into the verdant Carmel Valley. For centuries, native tribes fished along this river, first chronicled in 1602 by Sebastian de Vizcaino.
Vizcaino called the waterway El Rio del Carmelo, describing it as “lined with black poplars and other trees of Castile.” The shallow riverbanks also welcomed deer, mountain lions, and waterfowl, and soon ranches, dairies and orchards thrived under the flags of Spain, Mexico and, finally, the United States.

Long before that, of course, Native Americans settled in the valley, with the Esselen tribe well established by the time Spanish explorers documented them in the late 1760s. (In 2010 the skeletal remains of a Native American woman who likely lived more than 3,000 years ago were uncovered by trenching work at Carmel Valley Ranch).

When the Spanish arrived, most of the Esselen people were rounded up and forced to live within the Mission San Carlos Borromeo del Rio Carmelo, leaving much of their traditions behind. When the Mexican government secularized the mission lands, one of the first ranchers in Carmel Valley, Don Jose Manuel Boronda, was granted the Los Laureles Rancho — 6,625 acres that included what is now Holman Ranch.

In 1928, San Francisco businessman Gordon Armsby was attracted to the rich farmland and leisurely pace of Carmel Valley, and purchased 600 acres in the Los Laureles area of the Valley, including the parcel that would be the Holman Ranch.

Carmel Valley’s true modern era began in 1946 when Byington Ford and his brother Tirey Ford developed the Carmel Valley Village and Airway Market, first known as the General Store, and accommodated a barber shop, a drug store and soda fountain, a beauty shop, and a liquor store. All were in walking distance of the Airpark and decorated to resemble a Mexican village.

Today vineyards, tasting rooms, boutiques, golf courses and resorts decorate the landscape, attracting visitors and locals alike. Most don’t realize that Carmel Valley is home to the Jamesburg Earth Station, one of the world’s largest tracking satellite dish antennas. NASA used this telecommunications facility during its Apollo moon landings. Currently, a SETI project called Lone Signal uses the antenna to send messages from Earth to would-be extraterrestrial civilizations.

Tracking, preserving and promoting Carmel Valley’s uniquely rich California history is the From its first meeting in 1987 it soon incorporated and became a nonprofit organization. As it claims in its motto, the society is: “Dedicated to the Future of Our Past.”
Through fundraisers, the society’s board constructed a new building for its museum in 2012. It has acquired a significant collection of artifacts and memorabilia through the years. One of the Society’s primary goals has been the documenting of oral histories from old timers who knew the valley “as it used to be” — when farming and ranching were the primary way of life. Audio and videotapes capture a fast-fading insight into historic Carmel Valley life.

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The Society’s barn-like architecture building is just north of the Carmel Valley Road on the southeast corner of the Carmel Valley Village’s Community Park. Information: 831-659-5715

Handmade Wine..?

Handcrafted wine no longer requires using one’s feet In one of television’s most memorable comedic moments, Lucille Ball trampled wine grapes in a large wooden vat before a having a messy tussle with a feisty Italian villager.

While that episode of “I Love Lucy” romanticized this fun, personalized wine crush, no commercial winery of any significance uses foot-stomping as a method anymore. Issues of hygiene aside, mechanized wine presses do a far better job in less time.

Grape-stomping (also known as pigeage) is part of a method of maceration once used in traditional winemaking. Workers crushed grapes by foot to release the juices and allow fermentation to begin.

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One of the earliest visual representations of the practice appears on a Roman sarcophagus from the 3rd century. The drawing depicts an idealized pastoral scene with a group of Erotes harvesting and stomping grapes at Vindemia, a rural Roman vintage festival.

Winemaking in ancient Egypt undoubtedly used people’s feet for crushing and pressing the grapes. Tomb paintings show that they also developed some innovations to the process, such as the use of long bars hanging over the vats that the workers could hold onto while treading. There is also evidence that around 1,500 BC the Egyptians were using a type of cloth “sack press” where grapes would be twisted and squeezed by a tourniquet to release the juice. This early wine press not only had the benefit of exerting more pressure on the skins and extracting more juice than treading but the cloth also acted an early form of filtration.

In the Middle Ages, religious orders (particularly in France and Germany) owned vast amounts of vineyard land and produced large quantities of wines. They employed the use of a basket press, with a large cylindrical basket made of wood staves with a heavy horizontal disc fitted at the top. The disc would depress downward, with juice seeping out between the staves into a waiting basin.

As the use of the basket press became more popular, winemakers started to recognize a distinction between the quality of wine that came from different levels of pressing. The highest quality was the vin de goutte or the “free run” juice that was released by the mere weight of the grapes squeezing and bumping together.

In the 17th and 18th century, France led the way in producing heartier, more full-bodied wines that could age and survive long ocean voyages. They did this by blending in a bit of the vin de presse to enhance color, body and tannins. By the end of the 18th century, most prestigious Bordeaux wine estates were allowing the grapes more time to ferment in the vat and then using a basket press before putting the wine into new oak barrels.

In the 20th century, wine presses advanced from the vertical style pressing of the basket press to horizontal pressing with pressure either being applied at one or both ends or from the side from an airbag or bladder.

Another advancement in the horizontal batch press was the complete enclosure of the press (sometimes called “tank press”) that reduced the exposure of the grape must to air. Additionally, many of today’s modern presses are computerized which allows the operator to control exactly how much pressure is being applied to the grape skins and for how many cycles.

Many modern wineries hold grape-stomping contests to attract visitors, but it’s just for show. No longer is wine hand-made (or foot-made), but the mechanized process satisfies a high demand – California alone produces nearly 700 million gallons of wine per year – without undermining the integrity of this ancient tradition.

More Couples Embracing The Idea Of A Modern Elopement

Once upon a time couples eloped because they had to get married in a hurry, or because warring families objected to the match. We all imagine that scene where the young man, under the cloak of darkness, extends a ladder to the bedroom window of his love, and they sneak away to begin a life of secret wedded bliss.

Experts say more and more couples are embracing this once-covert form of nuptials, but turning it into a more public affair and boosting a cottage industry along with them.

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While there are no firm statistics on different types of marriages in America, experts say elopement is becoming an increasingly attractive option for many — an option that’s much less expensive than the full-blown modern American wedding.

Today, couples elope not out of shame or secrecy but because they feel they can make their wedding feel more personal, romantic and memorable. Plans are made ahead of time, often in full view of their families, and elopement is viewed as a fun way to begin a life together.

Couples now use the term to describe many different kinds of small weddings — both spontaneous and pre-planned. There is even a book on the subject titled “Let’s Elope: The Definitive Guide to Eloping, Destination Weddings, and Other Creative Wedding Options.”

Elopement can take the pressure away from the planning and allow the couple to better enjoy the sentiment of the ceremony. Not only does it ease responsibilities, it can also cost a whole lot less.

Traditional weddings are not cheap, and many couples choose to go into debt for many years to pay off a single day of flowers and food and music and wine and party planners.

Some couples go the cost-efficient route by heading to a local courthouse or a weekend getaway to their favorite resort. Others want to go all out, and end up wrapping the wedding and honeymoon together at a dream destination — without the huge guest list.

Holman Ranch offers an all-inclusive micro-wedding package for those who do not want to deal with the planning details and expense of a large wedding, but still want the magic, memories and traditions of a small, intimate, private and special day. The wedding ceremony can be performed in one of Holman’s many beautiful settings, and can be scheduled on a nontraditional weekday. Find out more at www.holmanranch.com.

If elopement is in your future, you will find that many of the planning details fall away, but it’s important to remember all the legal requirements. You will still need a marriage license, and requirements vary depending on the city, state and country. It’s important to call ahead to see if you need to do special paperwork or have physical tests done, such as blood work.

It’s also important to have all of your documentation on hand: a photo ID, certified birth certificate and proof of divorce or death if either of you has been married before. Some places may require a two- to three-week waiting period, and weddings in a foreign country may come with their own set of requirements.

All this proves that even spontaneous, small, detail-free weddings require at least some planning.

Online Couple Shares Bliss at Holman Ranch

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According to a recent study, more than one third of all marriages in the United States start with the click of a mouse, and those online couples may be slightly happier than couples who meet through other means.

That’s good news for Julian and Tristen James, who met on eHarmony.com five years ago before tying the knot in April at a grand wedding at Holman Ranch.

“It sounds cheesy, but whenever we see those commercials we feel like it is a reflection of how we would describe our relationship,” said Julian, who went on a string of bad dates before he found Tristen online. As it turned out, Julian was the first and only person Tristen met through the dating site.

Online dating has ballooned into a billion-dollar industry and the Internet “may be altering the dynamics and outcome of marriage itself,” according to the 2013 study by U.S. researchers in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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The research is based on a nationally representative survey of 19,131 people who married between 2005 and 2012.

“We found evidence for a dramatic shift since the advent of the Internet in how people are meeting their spouse,” said the study, led by John Cacioppo of the University of Chicago’s Department of Psychology.

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Some experts took issue with the findings because the survey was commissioned by eHarmony.com, which attracts one quarter of all online marriages according to the research.

So who is happier? Among couples who were still married during the survey, those who met online reported higher marital satisfaction — an average score of 5.64 on a satisfaction survey — than those who met offline and averaged 5.48. Those who met through family, work, bars/clubs or blind dates reported the lowest satisfaction rates.

After their online connection, Julian and Tristen had their first date at the de Young Museum in San Francisco — and Tristen was late! Held up in Bay Area traffic, Tristen arrived 45 minutes late, and it took another 15 minutes or so to locate each other in the expansive, multilevel lobby. Despite her tardiness, Julian said, “we hit it off like we had known each other for years.”

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Julian proposed on a secluded beach on isolated Little Corn Island off the coast of Nicaragua. Tristen was dropping hints of wanting to be proposed to and Julian, very convincingly, stated how “ridiculous” that plan would be to travel with a diamond ring internationally. But as they walked along the beach during the sunset with no one else in sight, Julian dropped to one knee and asked Tristen to marry him.

The couple chose to have their wedding at Holman Ranch because “it is absolutely stunning and so much more amazing in person than in the pictures.”

“The reason for a wedding is the ceremony and this space had such a beautiful view, beautiful sky, mountains, the vineyards, the area where everyone sits. It all just makes everything so picturesque.”

In terms of traditions, they were pretty non-traditional. They did not have a bridal party, they held a non-secular ceremony, they saw each other before they walked down the aisle (Tristen blissfully giggled the entire walk down the aisle), there was no garter or bouquet toss, and they had cupcakes for dessert.

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Tristen did wear an ivory lace dress with a veil (she figured the wedding would be the only time she would wear a veil and she couldn’t pass up that opportunity!)

And it rained that day. But this modern couple who met on the Internet, let it roll off their backs.

“We considered that good luck,” they said.

Other Vendors:
Wedding Planner: Coastside Couture- Sonia -http://www.coastsidecouture.com/
Caterer: Paradise Catering – http://www.paradisecater.com/
Photographer: Albert from Scott Campbell Photography – http://www.scottcampbellphoto.com/
DJ/Band/Musicians: Jon Belmont- http://www.belmontentertainment.com
Bakery: Nothing Bundt Cakes – http://www.nothingbundtcakes.com
Hair and Makeup: Christine from Beauty Bar- Makeup – http://beautybarskincare.com
Florist: Gavita Flora – http://gavitaflora.com

No Horsing Around! Horse Idioms Are Everywhere…

Horses have long been a important part of American culture. As we have shaped these spirited animals to suit our needs on battlefields, farms, roads and racetracks, they in turn have shaped human history.

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So it’s no surprise that these adored companions have become such a part of popular culture and language. Even when it comes to idioms — words, phrases, or expressions that cannot be taken literally — horses make their presence known. And that’s straight from the horse’s mouth.
Here are the top English-language idioms about horses, and their origins:

1) You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink
Meaning: People, like horses, will only do what they have a mind to do.
Origin: This saying appears to be the oldest English proverb still in regular use today. It was recorded as early as 1175 in “Old English Homilies.”

2) Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth
Meaning: When one receives a gift, it would be rude to inspect it to ensure it’s what you want.
Origin: For centuries, horse buyers always inspect a horse’s mouth and teeth to gauge the animal’s age.

3) Straight from the horse’s mouth
Meaning: Getting information from the highest authority.
Origin: When you get a tip for a horse race, the tip is more valuable the closer it comes from the horse’s inner circle.

4) Don’t beat a dead horse
Meaning: Said when a particular request or line of conversation is already resolved, and any attempt to continue it is futile.
Origin: The first recorded use of the expression in its modern sense was by the English politician John Bright, referring to the Reform Act of 1867. Trying to rouse Parliament from its apathy on the issue of more democratic representation, he said, would be like “trying to flog a dead horse to make it pull a load.”

5) A horse of another different color
Meaning: It metaphorically represents something that may be completely separate from what one originally expected.
Origin: Horses are registered at birth and the registration includes a record of their color. When a horse trades hands due to sale, sometimes the color recorded on the registration may not match the actual color of the horse.

6) Get off your high horse
Meaning: A request to have someone stop behaving in a haughty and self-righteous manner.
Origin: “High” has long been a synonym for “powerful.” It’s used in terms such as “high and mighty,” “high-handed” and “high finance.” Mediaeval soldiers and political leaders bolstered their claims to supremacy by appearing in public in the full regalia of power and mounted on large and expensive horses.

7) Hold your horses!
Meaning: A colorful admonishment used to exercise a degree of patience, or to avoid acting rashly.
Origin: The imagery of the English saying has to do with the need to rein in horses that are somewhat jittery and are about to run away.

8) Horsing around
Meaning: To participate in boisterous, silly play, especially play with a child-like aspect.
Origin: People first started using the term in the late 1500s, and is linked to the concept of young horses at play. Colts and fillies tend to play hard and rough, especially when they are turned out to pasture.

9) Dark horse
Meaning: Someone who emerges to prominence; being previously little known.
Origin: This was originally horse racing parlance. A dark horse was one that wasn’t well know and difficult to place odds on. Benjamin Disraeli provides the earliest known reference to the phrase in “The Young Duke,” 1831: “A dark horse, which had never been thought of … rushed past the grand stand in sweeping triumph.”

10) Charley horse
Meaning: A cramp or pulled muscle in the leg.
Origin: Originally a baseball term, the most plausible origin comes from former Chicago White Stockings player Joe Quest, who owned a horse named Charley who often suffered leg ailments after pulling heavy loads. Playing for Chicago (1878-1882), he and several of his teammates were troubled with a peculiar stiffness of the legs. Remembering his old horse, he dubbed the injury a “Charley horse.”

Other popular horse idioms:
• A one-horse race
• A Trojan horse
• I could eat a horse
• He eats like a horse
• Don’t back the wrong horse
• Don’t change horses in midstream
• Don’t put the cart before the horse
• Horse sense
• This is a one-horse town
• Put a horse out to pasture
• Don’t put the cart before the horse
• He’s strong as a horse
• Wild horses couldn’t drag him away

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