While Spencer Carlson was settling into his new apartment for a grad program in San Francisco, he received a text from his mom with only a contact card for Emily Blackwell. Her aunt and uncle were staying with his parents in Long Island, and they learned at dinner one night that their niece and son, respectively, were both single, living in the same city, and interested in psychology. Spencer texted Emily to meet for drinks, and while she was initially hesitant, the rest was history after their first meeting. 

Exactly one year before their wedding date, Spencer and Emily walked along the beach in the sleepy town of Bolinas in Marin County, California. He seated her down on a nice log bench, which seemed to have been placed there just for them, and gave her a sweet card. The end of his love note read, “There’s something that just can’t be said in a card.” As his beloved read that line during the special moment, he proposed, leaving Emily speechless before she of course said yes. 

When planning their nuptials, the pair focused on selecting a team of wedding professionals who were both sweet natured and calm, which allowed them to stay mostly stress-free throughout the process. Choosing to host their wedding at Villa De Amis – Spencer’s family home and gardens in The Hamptons, the couple was surprised by all of the moving parts that went into having their celebration at a private residence in lieu of a typical wedding venue. Thus, they relied on their wedding team to ensure the day went off without a hitch. 

“We planned all aspects [of the wedding] and each one of them represented us, our desires, and our personalities.”

“We didn’t want a traditional wedding in the sense of the typical language of a wedding ceremony,” shares Emily. Instead, “we incorporated elements from other religious and cultural traditions,” she adds. “We reimagined what a ceremony should be and what it should be about, namely that marriage is not about sacrificing oneself in any way.” Meaningful touches, such as the bride’s processional to “Blackbird” – a song by The Beatles Spencer would play on his guitar for dinner guests growing up, also added to the personalized elements of the day, as well as the sweetness and love attendees felt at the pair’s nuptials. 

Desiring a black-tie optional soirée with a theme inspired by a formal garden party, the reception held on the lawn beneath a sailcloth tent fulfilled Emily’s elegant vision. Lush floral arrangements were arranged by her good friend, as the two had worked as floral designers together in the past. Thus, the bride was very hands-on throughout the process of creating the look for traditional arrangements, as well as smaller pieces comprised of ranunculus arranged in the Japanese Ikebana style. Place settings showcased blue-and-white wedding china, which contrasted wonderfully with the punch-toned florals on each table. 

After dinner, friends and family danced to the sounds of a live band until “everyone couldn’t possibly move another muscle on the dance floor,” smiles Emily. While they followed the typical wedding schedule and hosted an alfresco ceremony, poolside cocktail hour, and tented reception, Emily and Spencer’s wedding day is a true testament that planning a unique event that feels like the couple, instead of following trends, pays off beautifully. “There wasn’t one aspect that didn’t reflect us,” confirms the bride. “We planned all aspects and each one of them represented us, our desires, and our personalities.”

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