Photography by Jude Mooney.
Sometimes we come across a wedding that just looks like so much fun, we wish we’d been invited! We love nothing more than a bride who is both practical and stylish – Anne picked a soft tulle overskirt and dreamy cathedral length veil for her romantic ceremony in the middle of a field, then removed them later to reveal her Alexandra Grecco satin sheath and gold leaf crown, perfect for a spin on the dance floor with her handsome new husband. And just wait until you see the barn where they held their reception, made extra special with giant palm fronds and curtains full of twinkle lights! Plus, if you’re after ceremony inspiration, look no further – this couple have shared their vows they wrote themselves as well as their entire ceremony script, which they put together using our collection of ceremony scripts!
Why did you choose this location for your ceremony? We toured eleven venues in the Northern California area before we finally found Bloomfield Farms. We knew we wanted to be married in Northern California and initially we had our hearts set on the idea of a vineyard but we slowly realized they were too ‘sweet’ for us. What we loved about Bloomfield, particularly the ceremony site, was that it was like our love – very dramatic and beautiful! When you look beyond the site where we were married there was nothing but rolling hills.
What was your ceremony music? We had live music during the ceremony. We have an extremely talented friend sing Crazy Love by Van Morrison while the bridal party walked in, and then You Send Me by Sam Cooke as I walked down with parents. The live music really added to the tender atmosphere leading up to the ceremony, I would highly recommend it.
Your ceremony in three words. Cherished, thoughtful, blustery!
Who officiated your ceremony? How did you choose him/her? And did you include any traditions in your ceremony? Our choice of officiant was sort of a family tradition in itself – he was Spencer’s headmaster from elementary school, has been a tremendous support to his family throughout years and performed the marriage of his older brother almost seven years ago. It may not be a tradition at non-Jewish weddings, but I had always wanted both my parents to walk me down the aisle, and it ended up being a really special moment. I know it meant the world to my mom to be included.
How did you go about planning your ceremony? Our officiant gave us an outline of what he usually provides for wedding ceremonies. He is Episcopalian but it was really important to us that our ceremony was secular. (Because neither of us is religious, we felt we had had the freedom to make the ceremony our own.) I took what he had given us and then added personal touches, and removed any prayer. I spent an embarrassing amount of time googling ceremonies (and used Snippet & Ink!) to find various segments and quotes that I pieced together into the outline that we were given. We spent a long time debating adding readings, but ultimately decided we preferred the uninterrupted flow.
Is there anything else that you’d like to share about your wedding ceremony? We had the bridal party (with the exception of the Maid of Honor and Best Man) sit during the ceremony. It made our vows feel even more intimate with fewer people, but what I loved most was I was able to see them. Any time I looked out I caught the eye of at least one of my bridesmaids and it would instantly get me excited all over again!
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? Beyond the obvious (the kiss!), there are a few favorite parts. We started by thanking everyone for coming and while the officiant spoke we faced the audience. Outside of the rehearsal dinner, we hadn’t seen most of our guests so it was really special to be able have a chance to see everyone who had traveled so far to be with us and realize how lucky we were to have so much support on such a special day. Another thing I loved is how we acknowledged other mothers. We hid two roses in the arbor and when the time came we each hugged and each gave our new mother-in-law a rose. We kept it a surprise and I think it really meant a lot to them to feel included.
What were your vows like? We wrote our own vows which I am extremely thankful for; we reread them a lot on our honeymoon. For mine I wanted to acknowledge not only our love and commitment but I also wanted to show our playfulness; it was a mix of seriousness and inside jokes. Spencer’s were equally well rounded and he read a passage he wrote about me during the early stages of our relationship.
You can read the vows Anne & Spencer shared with one another right here!
Is there anything else that helps tell the story of your wedding? Shout out to our bridal party! We could not have asked for a more supportive, loving, and easy on the eyes group of people. Words can’t even begin to describe how special they made not only the day but the entire wedding planning process.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? Something will definitely go wrong but it doesn’t matter. The weather was disastrous; we were worried all year that it was going to be too hot and there we were in 60 degrees. Everyone smiled through the wind and fog during the cocktail hour; because what else are you going to do? Plus, the clouds made for gorgeous pictures.
Are there any DIY details you’d like to tell us about? Something fun was the denim jacket I had embroidered. The day turned out to be absolutely freezing (the coldest the planner had ever seen in September) so the ‘after party jacket’ made an early appearance. It’s an old Levi trucker jacket that I had embroidered with Bride on the front and our initials on the back.
How would you describe your reception? We wanted it to feel like a ’60s bohemian, tropical-infused, glamorous dancehall soiree. The space in itself is extremely rustic and we wanted to elevate that but still have a funky feel. Also, because it was freezing during the cocktail hour, the barn really felt extra inviting. I’m obsessed with the tall centerpieces, they turned out exactly as I had envisioned.
What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? Split things between the two of you as they come up and follow up with each other, otherwise it’s easy to become disorganized – especially dealing with contracts and payment schedules with all our different vendors and contacts. If one person handles a task or vendor relationship from start to finish it’s easier to track deadlines.
Do you have any budget tips for other brides? If you can, get a planner! Ours was lifesaver. Also when you plan your total budget don’t forget things like the rehearsal dinner. Make sure you know from the start if those big items are a part of what you are budgeting because they make a huge difference.
Please tell us about any other special details or moments from your reception. Spencer and I sat alone at a sweetheart table. I’m so glad we did that because while everyone was eating we were actually able to sit down and eat, too. We shared a bottle of wine and were able to really stop and cherish everything happening around us and just be the two of us.
What type of wedding cake or dessert did you serve? For dessert we had cookies, s’mores bars, lemon bars, and personalized truffles. I’m glad we didn’t do a cake because there is no way we could have been dragged off the dance floor!
If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently? Nothing, it was perfect – flaws and all!