Intimate Victorian Inspired DIY Mountain Wedding

Real Hindsight Advice

Mountain bride Kimee is a gal after my own heart. Her priorities: surround herself with family, and keep things simple, fun and meaningful. She and her hubs wrote their own vows. Because they were both so nervous during the wedding, and the vow recital flew by, they took their vows home and read them to each other again in the intimacy of a private moment together. Now *that* is beautiful! Kimmee is also glad she had great photographers. So am I! These picts are gorgeous!

vintage western-style bridal boots

Briefly tell us a bit about your wedding, the planning process

This was  our second wedding for both of us. Rob eloped the first time and I did a quick backyard ceremony with no traditional elements at all. We debated about what we were going to do for a ceremony until I found a website offering free wedding dresses to fiance’s of deployed soldiers or to the soldiers themselves. ( When we discovered that, we decided we’d have a “real” ceremony and do a low-cost but traditional wedding. Neither of us wanted to spend a bunch of money on the event, but we did want to do it right! Rob was deployed through this entire process. We were engaged in October 2010, he deployed in April 2010, and we married June 18th 2011. He and I both began looking online to find wedding venues in our area that would be in our budget. We wanted a small wedding so we were looking in the range of 50-75 people. Neither of us had ever dreamed of a wedding or knew what we wanted either so we decided on an all-inclusive wedding venue.

We did know was that we wanted to get married in the mountains or outdoors at a nice location. We also both wanted to have a great photographer to chronicle the day. I had been following my grade school friend’s photo posts on facebook and knew I had to hire her and her husband. We continued to search online until we found Arrowhead Pine Rose Cabins. I made an appointment to go check out the venue, took lots of pictures to email to Rob and we decided that was the place we were going to get married at! Since it was an all-inclusive wedding package, they handled everything but the clothing, rings and wedding favors. Our wedding theme seemed to emerge from the dress I bought. I had seen an antique Victorian brooch/necklace at a jewelry shop weeks before I picked out my dress and I figured if it was still there after I picked out my dress, and if my dress even matched it (I didn’t know what styles of free dresses would be available) then I would purchase it. The dress that I fell in love with just happened to have beadwork that matched the brooch wonderfully so I was able to talk myself into the necklace as well!

twin peaks wedding dress and vintage jewelry


Things I’m glad we did

  1. Make it simple and all about the family. Not having to worry about the little details made the day so much fun for us! We were able to enjoy our family and friends the entire day. We didn’t worry about any of the details of what and when and how. Sarai at Pine Rose Cabins took care of everything for us and she is such a sweetheart!
  2. Hire a good photographer. My pictures are amazing and I can look through those photos and remember all the details of the day. Rob and I had a blast taking the photos and wouldn’t change the experience for anything! We’re normally not big on being the center of attention by any means but Brynn and Mike D’Avello of D’Avello photography made the picture process a fun and relaxing event.
  3. Chose a venue where we could stay the weekend as well. Having the cabins right there was really convenient. Guests changed into comfy clothes after the ceremony. Our daughters were able to nap upstairs while we continued to have our reception on the lower level/ deck of the cabins. It just made it really easy and comfortable to enjoy the whole afternoon with those we love!
  4. I’m really glad we wrote our own vows. We have them framed with pictures of us on our wedding day and it’s a really special item for us. We were both so nervous during the ceremony that they didn’t really sink in the day of our wedding but when we got home and sat down with each other to read the vows each other had wrote, it was a very intense and special moment for us.

Something you wish you had done

  1. I wish I would have thought out the wedding time better. We decided on a 1pm wedding. It was perfect except for the fact that it’s our daughters nap time right around that time of day. She made it through the ceremony but not for much of the reception before she took a nap. I don’t have many pictures of her from that day and that saddens me out a bit.

Something I wish we hadn’t done

  1. Worried so much about it! It all fell together really nicely and Sarai is so amazing. She had it all handled.

Something I wish I hadn’t worried about

  1. Being in front of the camera all day and being the center of attention in general. Our photographers were super easy to work with and the ceremony was short and sweet so it was wonderful for us!

Best Hindsight advice…

Find an all-inclusive venue! Doing that allowed us to focus on what really mattered to us. Our family and a couple little details we really wanted like the vows.


rustic welcome sign at twin peaks wedding

flower girl and favors

wolf cake toppers and irises

twin peaks wedding rings and heart shaped sculpture

bride in boots

twin peaks bridal portraits

wedding family

Team Wedding

  • Photography: D’Avello Photography
  • Dress: Castles for Brides: 24012 Avenida de la Carlota, Ste D, Laguna Hills, CA 714-891-6800
  • His Clothes & her shoes: Gentleman’s Emporium
  • Flower Girl Dresses: Davids Bridal
  • Tailor/Designer: Delcine Hughes, Delcine’s Collections (Romantic, Vintage Clothing and accessories, fashion art): by appointment only 760-961-8014, [email protected]
  • Hair Styling/Make-up: Marites Killion, Area Manager Arbonne Intl. – [email protected] All makeup used was Arbonne Intl.
  • Hair Color: Jesse at Lloyds Salon in Victorville,CA 760-245-6084
  • Favors: Kimee Powers. We used Arbonne’s Sea Source Detox Spa Purifying Sea Soak. or 760-954-8302
  • Venue: Arrowhead Pine Rose Cabins. Sarai was our coordinator.
  • Cake & Flowers: Jensens Market in Lake Arrowhead (all arranged via Sarai at Pine Rose Cabins)
  • Officiant: Mike Wakefield [email protected] (arranged via Sarai at Pine Rose Cabins)