Our Hand-in-Hand blog posts series celebrates one of life's most memorable moments: weddings! It's a marvelous day filled with love, laughter, and lasting memories.
This month, I interviewed Aide-mémoire customers Shiloh and Katie, who recently tied the knot in Northern California. Catch a glimpse of their big day with us!
Can you tell us a little bit about your proposal story?
We got engaged in June 2020 in Monterey, CA. Monterey was the first place we went on a weekend getaway as a couple, and on that trip we took our first photo booth picture as a couple. Ever since we've taken a picture in every photo booth we've encountered together. Shiloh knew pretty early on that they wanted to propose to Katie inside the photo booth as it captured the moment, but with COVID, they didn't know if that photo booth was still in operation. Shiloh called every gift shop in the area and finally found the right store and confirmed the photo booth was working. The next day, Shiloh told Katie to pack a bag because we were heading to Monterey. Katie had an idea of what was happening that weekend, so she also came prepared.
On that Saturday morning, we grabbed breakfast and walked around the Wharf. As we walked on the boardwalk, Katie remembered about the photo booth and suggested that we take a picture in it, but couldn't remember which store it was in. Shiloh knew exactly where to go but was playing it cool and peering into all the stores until they "found" the right one. The two of us and our dog, Dakota, piled in the photo booth, and as it started snapping our pictures, Shiloh held up the ring box and proposed. The moment was perfect! When we finished we waited excitedly for the photos to print but nothing came out. The store attendant tried her best to help us recover the pictures to no avail so you'll just have to take our word that the moment truly was picture-perfect.
After we left the gift shop buzzing with bliss, we headed back to the hotel and got a bottle of champagne before heading down to the property's private beach. There wasn't a cloud in the sky and the weather was incredible, so we made a little picnic on the beach and Katie proposed back to Shiloh. It truly was the most perfect day.
Did you both write your own vows for the ceremony? How did you approach the writing, and what advice would you give to couples who also want to write personal vows?
We both wrote our own vows. We agreed that we wanted our vows to be similar in length and not longer than a particular amount of time, which helped to figure out how much we were going to be able to cover. When actually writing the vows, we both didn't know where to start so we separately began to keep notes of our favorite memories or things that reminded us of each other. About a month before the wedding we put our thoughts down on paper and refined them all the way up until hours before the ceremony. It was helpful for us to do some research on the flow of vows, and watch videos of how to deliver them. But honestly, all of that goes out of your memory when you're up there with your person -- your vows will be perfect however they turn out.
Shiloh — my colleague Alaina told me you purchased our Something Blue Charm Bracelet for Katie. Was this Katie's "something blue" for the wedding? Are there any other wedding traditions you incorporated on your wedding day, or did you start any new ones?
Katie's Something Blue Charm Bracelet was for the wedding, but not necessarily to a traditional "something blue". I wanted to get Katie a gift for the wedding and I knew Katie had been looking for a bracelet. It just so happened that the Something Blue Charm Bracelet was what Katie had been looking for, and the name of the piece being a nod to a wedding just made the stars align and assured me that this was the one. Overall, we didn't want to let typical wedding traditions influence our big day. We wanted the day to feel authentic to us, so we incorporated our personalities and only did what felt right to us which made our wedding the best day we have ever had.
The Aide-mémoire rings you both chose all look so harmonious together. How did you find our shop and what drew you to us?
We love our rings so much! We were open with each other about wanting to get married, so we independently were looking at different jewelers and makers. When Shiloh was looking for Katie's engagement ring, they were seeking out jewelry that was ethically sourced and was a small business that was queer, female, and/or BIPOC-owned. Shiloh was drawn to Aide-mémoire by how they didn't gender the jewelry as "men" or "women" but used descriptive/inclusive language to categorize a style. As a nonbinary person, this made Shiloh feel instantly comfortable and provided a refreshing experience as so much of the wedding planning process can be binary. Shiloh shared Aide-mémoire with Katie and we were both able to find rings that were perfect for one another other. We each had great experiences with the staff at Aide-mémoire who helped answer any of our questions and gave us very sound guidance along the way.
When you think back on your wedding day, what's the very first memory that comes to mind?
Our first memory of the day was waking up very early, basically at the same time, and being excited for the day. We couldn't believe it was here already. The rest of the day was a bit of a blur but our favorite moments throughout the day were the times that we both were able to take in our surroundings together and absorb the palpable love from our friends and family.
Do you have a song you both danced to at your wedding?
Our first dance song was Our House by Crosby, Stills, and Nash. We often slow danced to this song in the kitchen of the first apartment we moved into together in San Francisco, and we continued this tradition with every move since. The song symbolizes how easy and comforting our love feels, especially as we experience new chapters in life together.
I love this photo of the two of you with Dakota. What's the story behind it?
This picture was taken the day after our wedding at Spark Social in San Francisco where we hosted a picnic for anybody who was in town. We rented this cute (stationary) double-decker bus where we all gathered, nursed our hangovers, and relived memories from the wedding. It was the perfect way to cap off the best weekend of our lives. Dakota also loved being able to socialize with some of her favorite people.
Congratulations Shiloh and Katie! Thank you so much for sharing your wedding day with us. May the three of you make many more happy memories together!