Black and white picture of bride and groom in a church
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Seriously, Who’s Going to See Your Shoes? | Real Hindsight Advice

Eastern Sierra, CA Wedding

Mark and Casey
Bishop California
Budget: $15,000

I’m so pleased to have Mammoth Mountain Ski Area’s wedding planner on the blog today. Not only is Casey beautiful, she has great hindsight advice. And what a party she threw. I totally want to be there. Mountain people sure know how to have fun! Minaret Photography was on hand to capture every lovely detail.

DIY wedding hair and couple's baby bridal details bride with flowing veil gray and white bridesmaid dress and flowers Black and white picture of bride and groom in a church outdoor wedding details partying at an outdoor wedding bride and groom dancing

Tell us a bit about your wedding

Mark proposed to me at the Minaret Vista in Mammoth Lakes on September 2010. Mark involved our Chihuahua, Sarge, in the proposal. To make a long story short, my little dog donned a little bowtie with a ring tied to it.

In the months following our engagement, we took our time to determine our budget, select a “lower altitude” venue (to accommodate my elderly grandfather) and begin working on our guest list.

The planning process was pretty easy once we determined that our ceremony would be at Grace Lutheran Church and the reception would be held at the Serventi Villa in Bishop.

My inspiration came from the venue itself which is rustic, elegant and earthy with a touch of glam. With those inspirational elements, my hunt for decor was ON! I went to my three favorite places in Carson City – Target, Michaels and Pier 1 and found all of the decor I needed. Luckily, much of it was on sale. I found everything — mirrored vases, rustic citronella candles, pewter votives, glittery candelabras, mosaic tiled picture frames, and so much more. With the elegant venue as my backdrop, all of these simple little glittery elements were perfect finishing touches.

While Mark and I consider ourselves “Mammoth” locals, we love Bishop and everything it is known for. Who would have known that the Serventi Villa, Bishop’s little Gem, was located on East Line Street? It was a pleasant surprise for all of our guests.

What are some things you’re glad you did?

  • Stayed “local” and had all venues in walking distance from one another
  • Kept my guest list to a manageable size
  • Wore boots after the ceremony for extra comfort


Things you wish you had done?

  • Hired a designated bartender – our bar was “open” and semi-non-hosted. Although it worked out just fine, it still stressed me out.
  • Extended cocktail hour to ensure we were able to enjoy it for a few minutes.
  • Assigned seating for everyone.


Any thing you wish you hadn’t done?

  • I really only have one regret… I wish I had not bought expensive shoes to walk down the aisle. I was the only one who saw them! And, with the $400 I spent on my shoes, I could have used that for another menu item, specialty cocktail, or some more DIY/Custom decor :)


Things you wish you hadn’t worried about?

  • Weather
  • The general “flow” of the evening
  • Crying at the altar


What is your very best hindsight advice?

KISS. Keep. It. Simple. Stupid.

I think I nailed it on this one. At first I kept things simple because my budget required me to. Then, as I began to plan, I found that simplicity was the key to making our wedding day stress free. I splurged where necessary and cut in other areas that were not as important. For example, I always tell brides that there are three things that create a “wow factor”: 1. specialty linens 2. nice chairs and 3. professional floral design. I gave myself that same advice during my own wedding planning and it allowed me to focus on the important things and skip the non-important things. My budget was tight, but it allowed me to have the wedding of my dreams because it kept it simple.


Mammoth LakesWedding Vendors:

Wedding Photography: Minaret Photography | Wedding Venue: The Serventi Villa | Floral Design: Red Lily Floral | Catering: Mammoth Resort Catering | Wedding Planning Services: Mammoth Weddings | DJ: DJ Rodney O | Church/Officiant: Grace Lutheran Church (Pastor Kendon Puls) | Decor: Pier 1 Imports; Target; Michaels Crafts | Dress: Lili Bridal (Tarzana, CA) | Bridesmaid & Flower Girl Dresses: J Crew | Shoes: Zappos: Stuart Weitzman Bridal (Ceremony) & Luchesse Cowboy Boots (Reception) | Tuxes: Michelle’s Fine Jewelry | Wedding Rings: Michelle’s Fine Jewelry | Wedding Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas

Mountainside Guide

Mountainside Bride Preferred vendorsMinaret Photography is a distinguished member of the Mountainside Guide, an exclusive vendor directory featuring the best and most reliable mountain wedding vendors in North America. Mountainside Guide members are screened and vetted for quality of work, reliability, and professionalism, both among their peers and on review web sites.

See Minaret Photography’s portfolio HERE.