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True love begins with frenemies.

Nicole and Paul Zeichick met when, at a college party, she tore off his favorite pooka shell necklace and threw it in a bush, claiming to have done him a favor. Despite the traumatic experience, they remained friends, always knowing that there was a spark. They didn't take a chance on each other until they reconnected a few years later. A two-year long-distance relationship turned into a life together in an apartment in San Diego. After another year of living happily with their two overweight cats, Paul proposed with a tuxedo and a plan.


After a regular nail appointment, Nicole came home to an empty house full of balloons, candles, petals and their favorite song playing on repeat—which she described as cryptic. Not sure if this was the moment or not, she brushed her hair, teeth and threw on some lipstick before she was met by their mutual friend and his dog—both in tuxedos. She was then blindfolded and dropped off at a stunning lookout point at sunset, where Paul was waiting for her with a picnic—Champagne and ribs from their favorite barbecue spot at the ready. Before she could even close the car door, he was on one knee. The rest of the evening was spent celebrating at a local wine bar, where he disclosed all of the behind-the-scenes efforts that led up to the big moment—which included a lost ring and several scrapped proposal ideas.

"He nailed it," said Nicole. We couldn't agree more.

For the ceremony, the two returned to their beginnings at UCSC, in a beautiful redwood forest in the Santa Cruz mountains. Saratoga Springs was the first venue they toured; and they immediately knew it was the one. They were able to combine their love for the outdoors and old stomping grounds in a night to share with their loved ones.

"Campy glam," is the term they coined to describe their theme while planning with their florist—rich hues of burgundy, blush, slate, and sage made for an undeniably romantic and moody setting. In stark contrast, their first look location—a carnival—was beyond vibrant. It was a last minute find; while driving to the venue for rehearsal, they noticed the fair and decided on the spot.

"It felt very true to us as a couple, and the playfulness we have in our relationship," said Nicole.

The wedding day itself went off "with flying colors," including a splash of red wine on her gown. "Nothing a little carpet cleaner can't fix," she said nonchalantly. The rest of the day went by flawlessly with handwritten vows, gorgeous Persian rugs to dance the night away, and an afterparty at the newlywed's penthouse at Hotel De Anza; where the dancing continued as well as a few rounds of flip cup.

"It was like a dream!"

Venue + Day of Coordinator: Saratoga Springs

Hotel: Hotel De Anza San Jose

Wedding Dress: Venice by Sarah Seven

Grooms Suit: Topman

Shoes: Badgley Mischka ordered online from Nordstom

Photography: Encarnacion Photography

Photo booth: IndyBooth

Planner: Indyheart Events

Flowers: Bethany Wuerch, Bonjour Bloom

Invitations/ table numbers/ other printed materials: Minted

Decor: Indyheart Events and Seventh Heaven Vintage Rentals

Cake & Donuts: Cest Si Bon Bakery San Jose and Psycho Donuts Campbell

Hair and Makeup: April Joy Victorino, A-List Makeup

Catering: Saratoga Springs

Grooms Wedding Ring: Nested Yellow

Brides Engagement Ring: Brilliance

Brides Wedding Band: Marrow Fine

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