Nicole and John were married in a traditional church ceremony at Sacred Heart followed by a reception at The Parker Palm Springs hotel in Palm Springs, Calif. on September 13. “It reminded me of my mother with it’s high style yet approachable and comfortable with great outdoor and interior intimate spaces,” Nicole said. The bride wore a v-neck lace wedding gown, accessorized with a cathedral length veil, while the groom wore a dark gray suit, accessorized with a bow tie. Bridesmaids wore mix ‘n’ matched navy blue dresses and carried bouquets of coral dahlias. Following the nuptials, guests enjoyed signature “Mr.” and “Mrs.” cocktails and were asked to follow their “animal instinct” to their seats with handmade paper turtles, rabbits, snakes, etc. Tables were decorated with geometric patterned runners, pinwheel centerpieces, and “for richer and poorer” lottery tickets at each place setting. The newlyweds’ best piece of advice? “Use Excel and Pinterest to help organize your event, but be open to letting go of perfection and try to have most everything done one month prior,” she said. Besides the irony of it being Friday the 13th, everything went off without a hitch! “There was an overwhelming amount of fun spent with family and friends escaping and eating together for the weekend,” Nicole said.
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.”
Aimee and Michael were married at Jacuzzi Family Vineyards in Sonoma, Calif. on September 16. “We were really looking for a place that had all the elements of ‘us,’ and a venue that would allow us to create a bespoke experience for our guests,” Aimee said. “When we visited . . . it was a blank canvas beset among a bucolic landscape that just couldn’t be replicated elsewhere. The owners were incredibly accommodating, and the site was fully customizable, which would allow us to showcase our Italian heritage, our urban side, and our love of all things wine country while maintaining that rustic feel we had been hoping to achieve.” She walked down the aisle wearing a Reem Acra ruched bodice wedding gown, accessorized with her hair half-up/half-down in loose curls, while Michael looked handsome in his black tuxedo, accessorized with monogrammed cufflinks. Following the outdoor ceremony, guests were seated at a long communal farm table decorated with vases and vessels filled with dahlias and berries, and burlap runners. “We hired a specialty cocktail service, and they made craft cocktails with fresh local ingredients,” she said. Her favorite memory? “During dinner, there was a moment where Mike and I stood at the end of our tables and looked down at all our friends and family eating, drinking, and laughing,” Aimee said. “It sort of hit me that we had pulled this off, our vision had come to fruition, and it was even better than we could have dreamed of.”
Can’t decide what to serve at your wedding reception? From hors d’oeuvres to entrees and desserts to late-night snacks, every guest secretly expects the food to be absolutely amazing. Create a standout menu with some of these top 10 options that they can chow down on: