Michelle Parcell and Travis Durbin first met through mutual friends in high school. Although nothing romantic came from it at the time, they both always had an eye for each other. Fast forward six years, when they reconnected, and it took Travis six months of convincing for Michelle to agree to a first date. Ever since that night, they’ve been inseparable. Travis said he knew Michelle was the one; he had never met a girl that could make him laugh so hard and was so easy to talk to. Michelle, on the other hand, was slower to come around; but once she did, the feelings were strong.
Michelle always said she wanted her proposal to be private with no one else around, so Travis did just that. On July 23, 2021, Travis got down on one knee in their home with no one else present except their dog, Jaxson. Upon her acceptance, he had an Aston Martin waiting for them outside, and the newly engaged pair went to The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay to celebrate with just the two of them. Shortly after, what Michelle thought was a private dinner that evening, ended up being a surprise celebration at Domenico Winery with all their closest friends and family.
“She wanted glam mixed with elegance, sophistication, and uniqueness.”
The wedding planning process was a dream, thanks to the couple’s amazing planner, Stephanie Cole from Cole Drake Events, and their team of wedding vendors: Edgar from Flowers by Edgar, Macio from Fine Linen Creations, and Michelle’s dream photographer, John & Joseph. Their wedding venue, Stanly Ranch, lent itself as a perfect décor canvas.
Michelle dreamt of having an all-white ceremony with a flower lined mirrored catwalk, followed by a black and white reception. She wanted glam mixed with elegance, sophistication, and uniqueness. Her vision included over the top florals, and for the reception, a ceiling installation that would wow her guests upon entering. Her bridesmaids wore long black dresses with a high slit to keep with the theme.
Leading up to the ceremony was a mix of emotions from excitement, nervousness, humor, and laughter. Michelle and Travis decided to write their vows and have them handed to each other ahead of the ceremony with gifts. Michelle was gifted a beautiful 10-carat diamond tennis necklace, which she then wore with her reception dress, and Travis was gifted a black faced Rolex to go with his tux.
Guests were greeted with a pre-ceremony welcome drink of champagne or homemade lavender lemonade from the venue’s garden. The wedding party walked down the aisle to “Firestone” by Kygo, played on an electric violin. This led into the bride’s dramatic bridal march to “Experience” by Ludovico Einaudi, which was performed by a violinist and pianist. The ceremony was short and sweet, ordained by a Catholic minister to honor Michelle’s Catholic roots.
During the ceremony planning with the minister, Michelle and Travis were asked to fill out a questionnaire about each other (positive traits about your future spouse, what bothers them the most about each other, what are your differences, etc.). These were then shared with each other during a wedding prep session. Little did they know, the minister was going to share some of their responses with their guests at the end of their ceremony. It was a fantastic bit of comic relief that the couple was hoping to have.
The wedding reception was filled with dancing, espresso martinis from a monogrammed ice luge, and an amazing performance from sax player, Justin Ward. As for the wedding menu, guests were served truffle risotto, Chilean seabass, and filet mignon. Their cake, from Flour & Bloom, was a five-tiered white chocolate raspberry cake adorned with white cascading sugar flowers. The icing on the cake (no pun), was a small sugar figurine of their dog, Jaxson, at the base. Although Jaxson wasn’t physically present at the wedding, his presence was known at cocktail hour via “Jaxon’s Bar.”
For their honeymoon, the newlyweds traveled to Bora Bora for a luxe stay in an overwater bungalow at the St. Regis Bora Bora. Travis’ parents had honeymooned in Bora Bora years ago and it was always his dream to be able to do the same. Both Michelle and Travis say they’ll never forget the initial decent onto the island – the water was so blue that it didn’t even look real. As avid travelers, the couple maintains that it was their best vacation thus far; and between the beauty of the island and being on that newlywed high, it’s a trip they’ll never forget.
Location: Stanly Ranch, Napa California; Wedding Dress: Pnina Tornai; Photography: John & Joseph, Santa Monica, CA