Why did you choose this location for your wedding? Rikard proposed in Monet’s garden in Giverny, France so Monet’s garden was what we had in mind when we were looking for a wedding location. Plus we always dreamt about having the reception outside, so it made the choice very simple when we found the green house.
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? Nature and flowers. The inspiration for our stationary came from an old floral book called “Nordic flora.”
What was your favorite moment or part of the day?From Emma: The ceremony! Walking down the hill with my father, seeing Rikard and all our family and friends was an amazing feeling. We put a lot of effort into choosing the right music for the ceremony and having the band play really made the feeling extra special. From Rikard: When Emma said “I do,” when I got to lift her up in the greenhouse during dinner, when she came walking down the hill with her father, when we danced together all night long.. The whole day was like magic and I was forced to pinch my arm every now and then to make sure I was not dreaming!
What was the best advice you received as a bride? The best advice I got was to pick a comfortable dress that you’r actually able to walk in without three people lifting your skirt. And to wear flats all day! Also, dance, dance, dance! If you want your guests to dance, you have to be dancing!
Today’s chic black tie wedding comes to us from the lovely Laurie Arons (who planned my wedding!) and the talented Jose Villa. With black and white stripes, a unique wine country setting, blush pink roses and candlelight, Stephanie and Tyler’s wedding is a perfectly chic blend of preppy, rustic, romantic, and modern.
The black and white stripes at Durham Ranch inspired other details, like the gray and white stripes in some of the printed items, and the black and white photography that appeared in the invitation suite and in the photo booth at the reception. (The MVS Studio photo booth not only made for a fun keepsake, but the images were also immediately projected onto a big screen the served as a backdrop for the stage.)
Why did you choose this location for your wedding? We fell in love with the fact that it was a home, and we didn’t have to shut down at 10:00PM like vineyards in the area. Also, the moss on the trees is such a beautiful thing – just stunning. That really set a romantic mood, almost like you’re in the movie The Notebook. We loved the barn, and I loved being able to get ready in the cottage and peek out the window to see what was going on.
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? We really wanted an intimate wedding. We’ve been to so many weddings with hundreds of guests – we just wanted to have our closest family and friends there with us. We wanted to be able to talk to everyone – really have a conversation, not just say hi and move on. For the design, I like everything really clean, white, soft pinks, romantic. We kept it clean and somewhat minimal – we had just the right things, nothing more. No favors on the tables that people would forget at the end of the night.
What was your favorite moment or part of the day? Holding Tyler’s hands and looking into his eyes at the ceremony – it was like no one else was there, and it was just us. That was very special. My uncle is a minister and he married us, so we automatically felt comfortable, and totally tuned into each other. There was a gust of wind and my veil blew off my head completely – I was so in the moment that I didn’t even notice or care.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? My dear dear friend told me that when you’re walking down the aisle, you want to look at everyone there, you want to smile and them, look at them, and acknowledge them since they’re there for you. But you also want to look directly at your husband, look him in the eye as you walk toward him – he’s why you’re there. That was great advice.
Kelly and Brian’s wine country wedding is a glamorous blend of unique and classic, with a mix of neutral colors and jewel tones running throughout the day. Enjoy Events Co. brought to life the bride’s vision of a classic celebration with a twist.
Why did you choose this location for your wedding? We have spent a lot of time up in Napa because my husband’s aunt and uncle live there. It really became one of our most favorite places to escape to. We love good wine and of course gourmet food. There isn’t a more beautiful place to soak up all these amazing things.
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? The 1920′s was a huge inspiration. Plus, Napa’s landscape was an amazing canvas to work with. I loved the idea of having touches of Old Hollywood meet rustic.
What was your favorite moment or part of the day? The entire day was just perfect so it is hard to choose. I think the ceremony was the most unbelievable part of the day for us. There are so many feelings and emotions in your body. That was a very powerful moment.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? To do exactly what you envision. Have the wedding that will make you most happy. I made many decisions during the planning process my mother may not have totally agreed with in the moment, but in the end she totally understood my vision and my dream and she couldn’t have imagined it to be any different once she experienced it all. And I have to agree, I wouldn’t have changed a thing. It really was the best day of my life.
Vivian is a wedding photographer who found herself on the other side of the lens as a bride. “Having seen countless weddings throughout the years, I’ve witnessed just how easily the outside pressure of the wedding fantasy can cause brides to lose sight of what a wedding is really about,” she says. “What helped me stay focused was knowing that I didn’t have to do everything and that a few simple and elegant details could be just as beautiful as a wedding that was full of them.”
Vivian shares a special moment from before the ceremony: “Len and I had chosen to walk down the aisle together and when he came into the bedroom to get me, I could see his face brimming with tears. I asked what was wrong and he gave me a huge hug and said, ‘Nothing. I just love you so much!’ It was a small moment that is forever cemented in my heart.”
Says the bride, “When it came to choosing a reception location, I knew I wanted to do it at a restaurant. I didn’t want to have to worry about selecting linens, chairs, figuring out where the caterer would setup, and I knew that a restaurant would have all that taken care of.”
Vivian on the look of their reception venue: “El Dorado Kitchen had a front room with a wall of white and green vases which were in our wedding colors and in the modern and elegant style that we were going for. Because the room itself was so beautifully decorated, I knew that I didn’t have to do much else. My florist, Nancy Liu Chin, designed the perfect simple floral arrangements for our reception that complemented the restaurant’s decor. Our cake designer also beautifully paired geometric designs as well as succulent accents.”
Why did you choose this location for your wedding? We knew we wanted to keep the wedding small and intimate. This allowed us to stretch our limited wedding funds and provide our guests with more. The idea for our wedding was to make a relaxing weekend out of it. We rented a beautiful house in Sonoma that provided enough space and amenities for everyone to enjoy themselves. The large backyard was equally beautiful and I knew that underneath the trees would be the perfect place for a ceremony. As a photographer, I deliberately chose locations that I knew would have the best natural light.
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? I was inspired by the natural beauty in Sonoma. We are so fortunate in Northern California to have this natural beauty at our fingertips. Our wedding style was a combination of rustic natural elements paired with modern elegance. Len and I both have a love for the outdoors and nature as well as mid-century modern design and we were able to recreate the balance between the two with our wedding.
Is there anything else that helps tell the story of the day? Oh yes. I would say my husband having to go to the ER for appendicitis on our wedding night was an unexpected surprised that flipped our wedding weekend and honeymoon on its head. Our Sunday barbecue was canceled, our Palm Springs honeymoon was canceled. Len and I spent the rest of our stay in wine country at the hospital. (You can read all of the details of Vivian and Leonard’s ordeal over on A Practical Wedding.)
What advice do you have for other brides? Prioritize and be realistic. And learn to let go. I knew that choosing locations that were naturally beautiful would save me a lot of planning and decor headaches. And I also knew that I didn’t want or need a million little DIY details since I did not want to spend the weeks leading up to my wedding in a wedding DIY sweatshop. (And those DIY details weren’t missed at all.) Learning to let go was important as well. There comes a point during the wedding planning process when you have done all you can do and there’s no point in worrying about what’s out of your hands so it’s best to let go and settle in and enjoy your wedding day! The unexpected is bound to happen and all you can do is roll with the punches and focus on what’s really important: celebrating your love with friends and family.
The bride wore a lace dress by Rivini that she found just a month before the wedding: “The dress was perfect – the problem?” she says. “The wedding was in one month and there was not enough time to order a dress! The stars were aligned for me that day – the sample was in perfect condition and only needed minor alterations.”
Mindy Rice designed all of the romantic floral decor. Says Tiffany, “I knew I wanted a soft and romantic ambience for the wedding and ceremony. Mindy Rice truly helped to make that vision come true through her floral and event design.”
This bride is a girl after my own heart – her favorite details from the day? “The cake! When I close my eyes, I can still taste the fresh berries and lemon! To be honest, my husband and I couldn’t wait the full year to eat the top layer of the cake. I think we ended up only waiting one day!”