Sandra and Brian were married at Barndiva in Healdsburg, Calif. on May 18. “Everything was in one place — the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception,” Sandra said. “The chef used to work at The French Laundry (3 star Michelin restaurant), and we’re BIG into food.” The bride wore an a-line wedding gown with a tiered skirt, accessorized with a gray sash and wedges, while the groom wore a black suit, accessorized with a patterned tie. “When we saw each other for the first time, we both cried hysterically,” she said. Following the Jewish and Taiwanese American nuptials, guests were served pass hors d’oueures, 5-course meal, dessert bar, and late night snacks. Wow, that’s a lot! Reception tables were decorated with all handmade items. “I loved that everyone chipped in,” Sandra said. “Our aunt sewed all of the table runners, the ‘maids made their bouquets from flowers we bought at the SF Flower Mart, my sister made the seating chart. Super special.” The table numbers were chalkboard wine bottles attached with a tag that said, “Draw on me,” and each place setting included a kitchen utensil or cutting board as a favor. The newlyweds’ best advice? “Pick the three things that are most important to you and forget about the rest,” she said. “Spend your money and your time on those three things and you won’t go crazy.”
Amy and Rocky were married at The Mountain Winery in Saratoga, Calif. on November 29. “The inspiration behind the day was of course to become husband and wife and to share the happy moment with our close friends and family,” Amy said. “What we wanted to create for our guests was a beautiful day that they would remember and cherish for as long as we would. We didn’t want to follow any of the standard wedding ‘recipes’ that we had seen in past weddings we had attended. We did this by incorporating our tastes and preferences with all of the suggestions and expertise that our vendors gave us.” Prior to the ceremony the bride and her ‘maids got ready in patterned floral kimono robes and matching glitter TOMS. Portraits were taken in the amphitheater where musical artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Ringo Starr, Stevie Wonder, ZZ Top, Gavin DeGraw, Colbie Callait, and Justin Bieber have performed. Amy wore a sweetheart lace wedding gown, accessorized with a birdcage veil. Did you know she also wore a red wedding dress too? Bridesmaids were blushing in dress in various fabrics, styles, and lengths with do-it-yourself bouquets filled with roses, gerbera daisies, and baby’s breath. Following the sunset nuptials, the newlyweds proceeded to the grapevines to share a few peaceful moments to themselves before the reception. Inside, guests were escorted to their seats with wine corks, while tables were decorated with candles and the ceiling with paper lanterns. A photo booth was nearby for them to leave a photo as well as their well wishes before the night was over too.
Julianne and Navin were married in both an American and Indian ceremony Tower Hill Botanical Garden in Boylston, Mass. on July 6. “From the beautifully landscaped grounds to the multiple breathing greenhouses, our chosen venue was one-of-a-kind,” Julianne said. The Indian ceremony was first featuring a vibrant red and orange color scheme while the American ceremony was second featuring a lavender and sage green color scheme. Cocktail hour was in between. One of the bride’s favorite moments was “when we recited our personal vows,” she said.”But then, the next day, my grandmother told me it was one of the best weddings that she had ever been to, and my grandfather was sore from dancing too much.” Doesn’t that make your heart melt? One of the groom’s favorite moments? His bride! The reception was decorated with all white circular tables and chiavari chairs, burlap table runners, and tall floral centerpieces, and table names named after flowers.
Elva and Bobby were married on July 20 at Limoneira Ranch in Santa Paula, Calif. “My husband and I knew we wanted an outdoor, rustic venue that would capture our vision of having a whimsical, festive Mexican and Persian multicultural wedding,” Elva said. “Everything about the site was picture-perfect: its rich history, the lemon orchards, the bocce ball courts, the old buildings, the green hills, the windmills, the views, the list is endless! Being able to have a hot air balloon on site for our guests didn’t hurt either.” The traditional Persian ceremony was, for many of their guests, a first introduction to the other family’s customs, since it consisted of items that symbolized a happy marriage to them — sweets, pastries, mirrors, flowers, honey and Holy Quran. The Mexican reception decor was “bright, bold, and full of fun colors,” she said. “We incorporated papel picado, maracas, Mexican sweet bread, mini pinatas, and of course, lots of tequila in our signature drinks.”
1. What was the one thing about your venue that made you know it was the one?
We knew it was the one as soon as we walked out to the courtyard and saw the canopy of big beautiful trees draped over the reception tables, the natural stone floor, grapevines growing on the walls, and dark hardwood floors in the casita. I could go on forever. The Villa is both rustic and chic, and nothing like we had previously seen in our search for a venue. It’s absolutely stunning.
2. Which three details from your wedding were your favorites?
The basilica we were married in. It is one of the most breathtaking churches I have ever stepped foot in, and it’s the one and only wedding detail my husband asked to be in charge of. Great job babe! Secondly, my Nonna’s (that’s grandma in Italian) rosary bracelet. I lost my Nonna months before my wedding day, so incorporating her rosary into my bouquet meant a lot to me. Lastly, using my parents lasso from their wedding day thirty-two years ago. It represented tradition, culture, and a bond that has kept them in love for so many years. That type of love is seldom seen these days, and I admire that.
3. Give us the one moment in your wedding day you can’t stop thinking about.
This is a tough one! There were so many beautiful memories from that day. From my very emotional father/daughter dance having my dad scoop me up into his arms at the end of the dance, only to hand me over to my husband. That brought on both tears of joy and laughter or sitting up at the altar, having sweaty palms as my husband and I held hands and quietly whispering to each other “we did it, we’re married!” The great thing about having a semi-small wedding is being surrounded by family and friends who truly exude love and happiness. It’s an out of this world feeling.