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Best Wishes

Different locations, different couples, different tastes with one shared goal: to create a personal, authentic, perfect day

(page 1 of 4)

Dana Ross & Todd Rogers
Rancho Nicasio | July 29, 2007

When she was a little girl growing up in Mill Valley, Dana Ross told her mother her wedding was going to be a potluck in a field, and that anyone who wanted to come would be welcome. A couple of decades later, the details had shifted, but the sentiment hadn’t changed much. “Neither Todd nor I likes fancy at all,” says Dana, who now lives in Boston and works as a middle school history teacher. “We love the outdoors. We love to run. It is very important to both of us that we are doing good service in the world.”

Still, they looked around at some pretty spiffy places for their Marin wedding. “We wanted something rustic, but every place we looked at was really nice. Todd was pretty much resigned to getting married at a yacht club or something.” But then they considered Rancho Nicasio. “I had seen a great bluegrass band there,” Dana says, “but when I mentioned it to my mom she was like, ‘no way!’”

Once they started looking into it, however, her mother’s attitude changed. “It turns out they do a lot of weddings out there and once my mom saw the pictures, she was into it. It could look classy, but it could still feel like you were out in a field, which is what I like.”

The wedding was a weekend-long affair. A barbecue at Dana’s parents’ house in Mill Valley kicked off fours days of celebrating, including a hike in Tennessee Valley, a rehearsal dinner at the Corinthian Yacht Club in Tiburon, and a post-wedding brunch at D’Angelo in Mill Valley. “Todd and I are very dedicated to staying in touch with our friends,” Dana says. “We both had friends from kindergarten in our wedding parties. We wanted our friends to meet and have a chance to hang out before the wedding so it would all be relaxed and comfortable.”

The day itself reflected the couple’s desire for warmth and simplicity. They walked down the aisle to Travis Tritt’s “It’s a Great Day to Be Alive” (“we’re both closet country music fans”); they dined on barbecued oysters and grilled veggies among tables decorated with wildflowers. But the best part was the party. As dinner was ending, the four singers from the band started singing a cappella and leading everyone inside in one long line. “They danced us into the reception and the dance floor was packed for the rest of the night,” says Dana. “By the third song my dad had his tie around his head.”

Location and catering: Rancho Nicasio, ranchonicasio.com

Wedding coordinator: Kathryn Kenna, kathrynkenna.com

Photographer: Suzy Clement, suzyclement.com

Flowers: Leslie Grady, 510.418.9118

Music: Preston Turner and Pure Ecstasy,  jlachic.com/pe-411.html

Video: Thomas Hughes, thomashughesvideo.com

Cake: Torino Baking, torinobaking.com

Hair and makeup: Carrie L’Esperance, zenobia.com

Dress: Nicole Miller


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