Hilary Swank, best known for her role in films and television shows like The Next Karate Kid, Beverly Hills 90210 and Million Dollar Baby, recently said I do in a breathtaking woodland ceremony.
The Oscar-winning actress, who was married to actor Chad Lowe for 10 years, tied the knot for the second time with former tennis player-turned-entrepreneur Philip Schneider two years after their secret engagement, which took place while they were on vacation in Colorado.
"We stumbled upon a beautiful sanctuary deep in the mountains," Swank recalled in an interview with Vogue. "It had a stunning waterfall that cascades down to rustic cabins built in the 1800s surrounded by beautiful pines and big skies. One evening, Philip dropped to his knee in front of the waterfall and proposed"”he sweetly made sure my dogs were nearby so they could bear witness!"
Swank and Schneider, who met on a "blind date set up by actor Misha Collins's wife, Vicki, and another close friend Jean," kept their wedding plans on the low until after the nuptials took place on August 18.
Almost a week after they exchanged vows, the 44-year-old actress is finally sharing some of the details that helped make her wedding day a "dream come true."
"I was overwhelmed with such gratitude and thanks to be marrying the man of my dreams and to see all the people we love together in the middle of such a profound setting," Swank said.
Both Swank and her new husband are nature lovers so they wanted to make sure it was a big part of the big day. They chose the Santa Lucia Preserve in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California as their venue.
"It's a stunning private community surrounded by 20,000 acres of conservancy and an intimate redwood grove populated with trees that are over 800 years old," she explained. "It was timeless."
The Boys Don't Cry star walked down the aisle to the tune of Ludovico Einaudi's "Two Sunsets" while wearing a gorgeous Elie Saab Couture Chantilly lace and embroidered dress. The gown took seven people 150 hours to complete due to the detailed and intricate embroidery.
"I've loved Elie Saab for years and was thrilled to have him design my dress," Swank confessed. "I wanted something romantic that felt as timeless as the redwood grove where we were to be married, and he delivered"”designing something that far surpassed my greatest expectations. It was everything I imagined and more."
At the reception, which took place in a 100-year-old barn, the couple treated their bridal party, which included maid of honor Mariska Hargitay, and guests to a dinner that featured salmon with tzatziki sauce, roasted beef tenderloin with chimichurri sauce, and vegan grilled cauliflower steak with pesto sauce, creamy polenta and orzo pasta.
Their wedding dessert was a decadent gluten-free and vegan chocolate cake that was created by Mexican baker Marcella Pezet and delivered via FedEx.
The newlyweds then surprised their guests with a wardrobe change and a tap dance performance inspired by Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
"I doubt we completely pulled off the modern-day version of Fred and Ginger, but we had fun, and our family and friends seemed to enjoy it," Swank shared. "We prepared for it with the stellar and unparalleled Chloe Arnold and shocked ourselves and our guests by not stepping on each other's toes!"
With the help of The Big Butter Jazz Band, everyone joined Swank and Schneider on the dance floor afterwards for a party that lasted "into the wee hours of the next day."
"Everyone was having so much fun and didn't want the party to end, so we actually had to start dancing to wireless headphones into the wee hours of the next day, so the distant neighbours wouldn't be kept up by the sound system."
Finally, the newlyweds ended the night by riding back to their rooms on bicycles that were "decorated Burning Man"“style with LED lights and streamers by our friend's children."
"It was the perfect custom creation to punctuate a perfect custom evening," Swank added.