From the photographer: “Emily and Skyler had a unique situation while planning their summer winery wedding. Skyler was off in Parris Island becoming a United States Marine while Emily stayed back home planning their nuptials. Because boot camp and the military in general can be a little hush-hush, they had to move their wedding date a couple times! In fact, it was so sporadic that Skyler didn’t even get back home until THE DAY BEFORE THE WEDDING! Talk about cutting it close! But the wait was well worth it for Emily because when she arrived for their first look, she had another first waiting, Skyler in his Marine dress blues for the very first time! Love letters in tow from their time apart during the engagement, they were ready to finally tie the knot. The couple chose the song “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri for their first dance, and it was a perfect way to express the time they had to spend apart as Skyler trained to serve his country. But my favorite part of the day? Seeing Skyler walk halfway up the aisle to escort his beautiful bride the rest of the way since she walked down alone. These two are so sweet together and are now living their happily ever after in America’s true wine country: California!” — LeiLani Golden of Elle Golden Photography
What was the one thing about your venue that made you know it was the one?
What sold us on our venue was the beauty of the ceremony site itself, as well as the fact that we could have an outdoor reception a short distance away on the same property. (The facility also had an indoor option as a bad weather back-up, which is something that put our minds at ease while planning our event). The ceremony site at the Weingarten is at the bottom of a large but shallow depression in the ground, so it provides privacy and serenity in a setting of natural beauty. The several large trees that stand around the wedding arch itself provide not only some structure to what is otherwise an open space, but also filter the sun to create patterns of light and shadow that fill the area with a gentle summer ambiance.
Which three details from your wedding were your favorites?
Our hand-made, Quaker-style marriage certificate that our guests signed as witnesses to the wedding (and that was produced by Sharon and Steven Schwartz of Calligraphica.com); the traditional Scottish cup (known as a quaich) that we used as a centerpiece in our ceremony (and that we purchased from http://quaichshop.co.uk/); and the powerful and yet subtle way that our themes and colors worked together to create a beautiful and memorable experience for us and for all of our guests. Until we saw it all together, we didn’t know how much our hard work was going to pay off.
Give us the one moment in your wedding day you can’t stop thinking about.
The moment that most stands out in our minds is Rachel coming down the long, unpaved path to the ceremony site on foot. Everyone was expecting her to be driven down in a golf cart, but suddenly there she was—one hand holding her bouquet and the other holding up the bottom of her dress—marching confidently (and quickly!) down the path. She met her father partway down the hill and they walked together. Waiting for her to come closer and more fully into view created a bit of suspense for everyone, and it also put a personal stamp on the ceremony before it even began.
1.What was the one thing about your venue that made you know it was the one?
The vineyard view. The moment we stepped onto the property and caught a glimpse of the breathtaking view of the surrounding vineyards, we fell in love with it. We automatically pictured our guests during dinner – laughing and enjoying themselves, while overlooking the sun setting in the vineyards, sipping a glass of wine and chowing down on some comfort food in wine country.
2.Which three details from your wedding were your favorites?
1. Our guestbook: We asked guests to write down their advice, notes and wishes on a hanging tag. The tags were then hung in a rustic keepsake box that we now have displayed in our home. 2. Our DIY favors:We filled small kraft paper bags with caramel popcorn and stamped the front with a personalized ink stamp that read “Thanks for sharing in our sweet beginning.” What we loved most about this detail was the fun we had making them – an assembly line of three family generations, including Grandma! 3. Our cakes: We wanted something simple that looked like a real cake you wanted to take a bite out of (and they were delicious!). We displayed three small buttercream frosting cakes with a few fresh dahlias on various cake stands we found at a vintage shop.
3. Give us the one moment from your wedding that you can’t stop thinking about.
Our first dance to Ray LaMontagne’s “You Are the Best Thing.” It was a really fun and relaxed moment in the day. Every time I hear the song, it brings me right back.
From the Planner: “Carrie and Mike came out from Ohio to Sonoma, CA as a referral from another of my brides. The wanted to create an excursion for their guests and we gave them a fantastic wine country experience and showcased both the Napa and Sonoma valleys in all their beauty over four amazing days. On day one, we started out on the Sonoma side touring fabulous wineries including BR Cohn, Cline Cellars and Jacuzzi Family vineyards. On day two, we experienced the Napa side at Alpha Omega, Flora Springs and White Hall Lane, followed by a delicious rehearsal dinner at Hurley’s in Yountville. Day three – wedding day was at the Harvest Inn in St. Helena….one of the most romantic places in the valley. The bride was gifted by her parents, her grandmother’s diamond bracelet and a beautiful Tiffany’s pearl necklace from her loving groom and a note that left us all in tears. Unfortunately months prior to the wedding, the bride faced some health challenges and his letter not only professed his love for her, but that no matter what, he would be there for her till his last breath. Our final day of this wine country wedding was capped off with a ride on the Wine Train, complete with a gourmet dinner and wines from all of the wineries we visited. The perfect way for guests to relax and unwind before heading back home.”
From the Photographer: “Jessie and Johnny’s wedding took place at Whyte Horse Winery in Monticello, Indiana– a beautiful winery hidden in the cornfields. Jessie made many of the details of the day, including the wedding programs that served as fans and entertainment for the guests (there were crosswords and word searches about the couple on the back).” -Sarah Parent Photography