Kaitlyn and Sam’s sweet wedding at Cornerstone in Sonoma is a perfect example of how simply thoughtful touches can make for a perfectly lovely celebration. Our favorite details: the welcome lemonade, the olive branch swag on the seating display, and the marquee letters made by the groom…

SEE THE GALLERY FOR EVEN MORE IMAGES FROM THIS SWEET DIY WEDDING FROM CHRISTINA MCNEILL.

Cornerstone Gardens Wedding by Christina McNeill | Snippet & Ink Cornerstone Gardens Wedding by Christina McNeill | Snippet & Ink
Cornerstone Gardens Wedding by Christina McNeill | Snippet & Ink Cornerstone Gardens Wedding by Christina McNeill | Snippet & Ink

 

Kaitlyn and her bridesmaids carried bouquets accented with olive leaves from local olive trees. The couple’s invitations from Minted featured the lovely calligraphy font, Asterism, which they then used throughout the wedding on their programs, seating display, and place cards.

 

Cornerstone Gardens Wedding by Christina McNeill | Snippet & Ink Cornerstone Gardens Wedding by Christina McNeill | Snippet & Ink
Cornerstone Gardens Wedding by Christina McNeill | Snippet & Ink Cornerstone Gardens Wedding by Christina McNeill | Snippet & Ink

 

Guests were greeted with fresh mint lemonade to help them keep cool during the outdoor ceremony.

 

Cornerstone Gardens Wedding by Christina McNeill | Snippet & Ink Cornerstone Gardens Wedding by Christina McNeill | Snippet & Ink

 

The Ceremony

“Living in San Francisco, we both enjoyed the Wine Country for its natural beauty, serene setting, amazing wines and wonderful food. From our first walk through, we knew instantly that Cornerstone was the venue for us. Cornerstone is such a dynamic property where you’re able to create all different types of atmosphere throughout the night. We loved having our ceremony by the fountain and overlooking the vineyard – it felt very Sonoma to us, especially for our out of town guests. Having dinner under the huge white tent was beautiful and the twinkling lights helped make it feel more intimate. We also loved the barn area, which had a great indoor-outdoor feel for the cocktail hour and dancing. Plus, the art installations throughout the venue was fun and represented a more playful side.”

 

Cornerstone Gardens Wedding by Christina McNeill | Snippet & Ink Cornerstone Gardens Wedding by Christina McNeill | Snippet & Ink
Cornerstone Gardens Wedding by Christina McNeill | Snippet & Ink Cornerstone Gardens Wedding by Christina McNeill | Snippet & Ink

 

Your ceremony in three words.  Beautiful, Natural, Sincere

How did you go about planning your wedding ceremony?  Throughout the whole wedding planning process, our goal was to always make sure it felt like and represented “us”. We wanted everything to be light-hearted and fun and all of our wedding elements represented our interests. We focused and prioritized which elements were more important to us and got those decisions out of the way first. Having a day-of coordinator helped us know that everything the day of would be taken care of but up until our wedding day, we planned everything!

Who officiated your ceremony?  Our good friend Jon officiated our wedding and also doubled as one of the groomsmen. Sam was roommates with Jon in college and he and his wife were the ones to introduced us! It was very meaningful to have someone who knows us and who was there in the beginning of our relationship to marry us.

What was your ceremony content?  Jon created his own script for the wedding. He asked us questions separately and then shared our responses during the ceremony. It was special to hear each other’s responses to the same questions, such as the moment we knew we wanted to marry each other, first impressions, etc. We wrote our own vows separately. It felt more personal to us to write our own vows and share with each other for the first time at the ceremony.

Ceremony music:
Wedding party processional: Latch (acoustic) by Sam Smith
Bride processional: Use Somebody (acoustic) by Boyce Avenue feat. Hannah Trigwell
Recessional: September by Earth, Wind and Fire

 

Cornerstone Gardens Wedding by Christina McNeill | Snippet & Ink Cornerstone Gardens Wedding by Christina McNeill | Snippet & Ink
Cornerstone Gardens Wedding by Christina McNeill | Snippet & Ink Cornerstone Gardens Wedding by Christina McNeill | Snippet & Ink

 

What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony?  One favorite part about our wedding ceremony was Jon’s script. His words were so meaningful to us and incorporated memories and moments that we have shared throughout our relationship. We laughed, we had happy tears and we laughed some more!

Is there anything else that you’d like to share about your wedding ceremony?  In our ceremony, it was important to us to recognize our parents. We planned a special recognition to them for their love, encouragement and support. Although we were the ones getting married, it was also a time to celebrate those close in our lives and hearts.

 

Cornerstone Gardens Wedding by Christina McNeill | Snippet & Ink Cornerstone Gardens Wedding by Christina McNeill | Snippet & Ink

 

The Reception

“Our reception was filled with a lot of laughter, fun and love. Our venue allowed us to create different sections where guests could hang out – from an oyster bar to lawn games, a fire pit and a dancing area. We loved seeing our guests enjoy all aspects of our wedding and the different elements that we incorporated.”

 

Cornerstone Gardens Wedding by Christina McNeill | Snippet & Ink Cornerstone Gardens Wedding by Christina McNeill | Snippet & Ink
Cornerstone Gardens Wedding by Christina McNeill | Snippet & Ink Cornerstone Gardens Wedding by Christina McNeill | Snippet & Ink
Cornerstone Gardens Wedding by Christina McNeill | Snippet & Ink Cornerstone Gardens Wedding by Christina McNeill | Snippet & Ink

 

What inspired you when you were planning your wedding?  We both inspired each other throughout the whole planning process. It was neat to see what parts of the wedding meant the most to us and incorporate our favorite elements throughout. A main inspiration was food and how we could share our favorite foods throughout – oyster bar, family style meal, open bar, dessert table and late night donuts - our guests did not go home hungry!

What was your favorite moment or part of the reception?  Both of our favorite moments at our wedding was seeing everyone’s reaction and enjoyment throughout the evening. From the ceremony, to the oyster bar, family style dinner and dancing in the barn, it was exciting to see our guests experience and enjoy everything we had planned. We put a lot of thought into every single detail and it made it so much fun for us to enjoy the day knowing it truly represented us!

First dance song:  You Are the Best Thing by Ray LaMontagne.

 

Cornerstone Gardens Wedding by Christina McNeill | Snippet & Ink Cornerstone Gardens Wedding by Christina McNeill | Snippet & Ink
Cornerstone Gardens Wedding by Christina McNeill | Snippet & Ink Cornerstone Gardens Wedding by Christina McNeill | Snippet & Ink

 

What was your wedding menu?  Our wedding menu was a variety of Sam’s favorite foods! We did not care if certain foods did not go together, as long as they are tasty! We love good food and company combined with great wine! During cocktail hour we had an Oyster bar from Hog Island Oyster Company and passed hors d’oeuvres. For dinner at our farm tables, we had family-style dining. Our menu started with an amuse bouche, then crab corn soup followed by a caprese salad with delicious heirloom tomatoes, buttermilk fried chicken, braised short ribs, French green beans and garlic mashed potatoes.

What type of cake or dessert did you serve?  Our cake was a confetti cake! Sam’s cousin, Racheal is also a local baker (Bake with Mee) and she made all of the beautiful desserts for our dessert table of our favorite sweets including rice krispy treats, macaroons, brownies and chocolate chip cookies. As a late night snack we provided donuts from a local baker, that were a huge hit!

 

Cornerstone Gardens Wedding by Christina McNeill | Snippet & Ink Cornerstone Gardens Wedding by Christina McNeill | Snippet & Ink
Cornerstone Gardens Wedding by Christina McNeill | Snippet & Ink Cornerstone Gardens Wedding by Christina McNeill | Snippet & Ink
Cornerstone Gardens Wedding by Christina McNeill | Snippet & Ink Cornerstone Gardens Wedding by Christina McNeill | Snippet & Ink
Cornerstone Gardens Wedding by Christina McNeill | Snippet & Ink Cornerstone Gardens Wedding by Christina McNeill | Snippet & Ink
Cornerstone Gardens Wedding by Christina McNeill | Snippet & Ink Cornerstone Gardens Wedding by Christina McNeill | Snippet & Ink

 

Are there any DIY details you’d like to tell us about?  Sam made the “K&S” marquee letters that hung and lit up the barn. The marquee letters were playful and added such a personal element to the reception. Also, Kaitlyn’s mom made all of the napkins that guests used at the wedding. We picked out a variety of fabrics to have a mix n match feel. With our flowers and wedding colors on the neutral side, it was nice to add pops of color throughout.

 

Cornerstone Gardens Wedding by Christina McNeill | Snippet & Ink Cornerstone Gardens Wedding by Christina McNeill | Snippet & Ink
Cornerstone Gardens Wedding by Christina McNeill | Snippet & Ink Cornerstone Gardens Wedding by Christina McNeill | Snippet & Ink

 

What was the best advice you received as a bride?  The best advice I received as a bride was for the day of, no matter what happens, just enjoy the day. Cherish the memories with your husband and guests – and don’t sweat the small stuff as the whole day just flies by!

What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding?  We’d recommend getting as much done prior to the wedding and not waiting until the final week of to finish or confirm anything. We made it a priority to have everything planned and ready at least a week prior so we could just enjoy our wedding week with our friends and family. Don’t lose track of what you want, be true to yourselves and have FUN. Everyone will have an opinion!

If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently?  No! Honestly, we loved every moment of our wedding. If we wished to change anything, it wouldn’t be the same and as corny as it sounds, it was perfect for us.

Do you have any budget tips for other brides?  The best budget tip is to track everything in an excel document. This helps you know what you’ve spent as well as how much money you have left until you reach your budget.

Is there anything else that helps tell the story of your wedding?  Our goal was to create an event that everyone would have fun at and only incorporate items we felt truly represented us. At the end of the day, sticking to this simple formula was the best planning decision we made.

 

Cornerstone Gardens Wedding by Christina McNeill | Snippet & Ink Cornerstone Gardens Wedding by Christina McNeill | Snippet & Ink
Photography: Christina McNeill / Day of Coordinator: Kelly & Company / Venue: Cornerstone Sonoma in Sonoma, California / Dress: Grace Loves Lace / Shoes: Manolo Blahnik / Bridesmaid Dresses: Asos, Nordstrom, Paper Crown, J. Crew / Suit: Thick as Thieves / Shoes: Allen Edmonds / Save The Dates: Love vs. Design / Invitations: Minted / Floral Design: The Monkey Flower Group / Hair, Makeup: Raina Rombeiro / Rentals: Wine Country Party & Events / Music: DJ Odiaka / Catering: Sage Catering / Cake, Desserts: Bake with Mee, SusieCakes, Johnny Doughnuts / Videography: Xander B Videography / Photobooth: Magbooth / Oyster Bar: Hog Island Oyster Co.

Minted is a sponsor of Snippet & Ink. Christina McNeill is a Snippet & Ink Select vendor. Thanks for supporting our sponsors!

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One last wedding before we sign off for the Thanksgiving holiday – this one is a sweet military elopement in Chattanooga. Because all you really need to say “I do” is the two of you!

SEE THE GALLERY FOR MORE IMAGES FROM THIS CHATTANOOGA ELOPEMENT BY LESLIE KERR.

Leslie Kerr | Snippet & Ink Leslie Kerr | Snippet & Ink
Lesley Kerr | Snippet & Ink Lesley Kerr | Snippet & Ink

 

The Ceremony

“We knew that we wanted to get married, but hadn’t been in too much of a rush. Our plans were to get engaged this year, but when the Navy announced Art would be deployed to the Middle East next month, we knew there was no better time than to run off and get married. So with our parents and my dearest friend and photographer, Lesley Kerr, we got married on Lover’s Leap on Lookout Mountain, Chattanooga, Tennessee. Our home base is now Atlanta, and it was so special to have a little destination elopement. It was intimate and beautiful and simple. With just under two months of planning, this little wedding was everything I hoped for.”

 

Lesley Kerr | Snippet & Ink Lesley Kerr | Snippet & Ink
Lesley Kerr | Snippet & Ink Lesley Kerr | Snippet & Ink
Lesley Kerr | Snippet & Ink Lesley Kerr | Snippet & Ink

 

Your ceremony in three words.  Spontaneous, Breathtaking, Powerful.

Why did you choose this location for your ceremony?  Having a dreamy, mountain view in my wedding was a dream. I had visited Lookout Mountain once before and I knew that view would be magical.

What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony?  Besides the breathtaking view of Chattanooga, I loved how intimate it was. Just me, my favorite person in this world, and the people that love us the most. The amount of joy we felt in those moments was outrageous. So much love, and so much happiness. We had all these onlookers that came up and congratulated us and they kept saying how perfect and happy we looked. And we were so happy.

Is there anything else that you’d like to share about your wedding ceremony?  It went by so fast! Before we knew it, we were married, and that was the happiest moment of all.

 

Lesley Kerr | Snippet & Ink Lesley Kerr | Snippet & Ink

 

Did you include any other traditions in your wedding?  Even though the ceremony was scripted and quick, we had a nice little Jewish touch at the end. I grew up culturally Jewish, and my parents provided the glass at the end for Art to crush. My mom tried to place it on the ground, and it broke when she did, which made everyone laugh. It’s funny to remember in times like those how much a wedding is a family affair.

Are there any DIY details you’d like to tell us about?  All the flowers were put together by Lesley, the photographer, and me. We used several things from her personal garden, like rosemary and sage, and it smelled incredible!

What was the best advice you received as a bride?  Relax and keep your focus on what matters: you and your future husband. Don’t let yourself get lost in the planning, or the opinions of others. My mother told me this, and it was something I reminded myself daily. Running off and getting married can bring on a lot of negative comments. It’s easy to get lost in stress and negativity. Stay focused on your love and the reasons you’re getting married.

What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding?  Take a deep breath, and do what makes sense for you. If doing a tiny, intimate wedding is the most meaningful to you, then do that.

If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently?  It was the most perfect day. Beautiful in every aspect and more lovely than I ever imagined. We never played any music, but with that mountain view, we didn’t even notice.

 

Lesley Kerr | Snippet & Ink Lesley Kerr | Snippet & Ink
Lesley Kerr | Snippet & Ink Lesley Kerr | Snippet & Ink
Lesley Kerr | Snippet & Ink Lesley Kerr | Snippet & Ink
Photography: Lesley Kerr / Venue: Lover’s Leap, Rock City in Chattanooga, Tennessee / Dress: ASOS / Shoes & Trenchcoat: Madewell, Engagement Ring: Satomi Kawakita
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I absolutely love this beautiful wedding – it’s got so many special touches, not to mention these beautiful photos from Nancy Ray. I especially love the private sweetheart dinner that the bride and groom enjoyed before joining their guests at the reception – what a nice way to really take everything in after saying your vows, to just be together as brand newlyweds, and to actually eat something!

SEE THE GALLERY FOR MORE PHOTOS FROM THIS NORTH CAROLINA WEDDING BY NANCY RAY.

Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink
Camp Eseeola Wedding by Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Camp Eseeola Wedding by Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink

 

Did you do any DIY projects?  With a 20-month engagement, I had a lot of free time before starting graduate school, and one of the projects I took on was to draw a map of events, which I first painted as a Save the Date postcard. The image was later used as a weekend itinerary, rolled up like an old-fashioned map, and tied onto Cheerwine bottles with red-and-white twine. I also designed custom napkins, koozies, and cups using a twig-themed monogram. I made the escort cards and table numbers on Zazzle. For our friends who rented houses, we lined baskets with Spanish moss, and filled with goodies from the local Mast General Store, as well as Krispy Kreme Coffee. Finally, my friend’s sweet mom helped me design a personalized needlepoint belt for one of Dex’s wedding gifts. I was surprised how little time I had for the wedding once school began, and I am grateful for all that I accomplished at the beginning.

 

Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink

 

Are there any special details you’d like to tell us about?  In honor of Dex’s father, his mother mailed me monogrammed buttons from an old sports coat, which I wanted to secretly sew into Dex’s suit coat. The day of the wedding, just an hour before the ceremony, I finally located the button, and Dex’s cousin quickly led me to the suits. It was later that we realized that I had sewn the button onto the wrong jacket (which should have been obvious, as it was made for someone 6’10″!). It’s the thought that counts, right?

 

Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink
Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink
Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink
Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink

 

The Ceremony

“The first time Dex brought me to his grandparent’s mountain home in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, it was our senior year of college, and we had not been dating very long… at all. The first thing Dex showed me was the bark-shingled chapel directly across the street, and I told him that I wanted to get married there one day, quickly adding, “to anyone!” Over countless trips, I never faltered that it was the perfect place to get married… and it is equidistant from our home states of Pennsylvania and Alabama. Five years later, my dream came true!”

 

Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink

 

Your ceremony in three words. Rustic, quaint, sweet

How did you go about planning your wedding ceremony?  All Saints Episcopal Church is a historic, sacred space. Designed by Henry Bacon over one hundred years ago, we are honored to be allowed to marry there, and followed the traditional Episcopalian marriage ceremony procedures, including vows from the Book of Common Prayer.

Who officiated your ceremony?  Luckily, the visiting officiant during the month of August was the former Bishop of Alabama, whom Dex’s family knew and rightfully admired. We planned our ceremony over phone calls and emails, but Bishop Parsley felt like an old friend.

 

Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink
Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink

 

Did you include any traditions in your ceremony?  We did not want a large wedding party crowding the tiny chapel. Therefore, we only had four people in the conventional bridal party – our sisters, a cousin, and an oldest friend – to stand beside us. To honor special friends, we had eight friends each proceed down the aisle and sit in the choir pews, facing us. Not only did it free up space, it really helped us focus on each other, which is the point after all!

What was your ceremony music?  With such a small, intimate chapel, we opted for a string duo, both violin and cello. The ceremony music was classic, from the processional through the declaration. Our only two requests were to end the prelude music with “Carolina In My Mind” (by James Taylor,) and to play “God Only Knows” (by The Beach Boys) for the recessional.

What were your ceremony readings?  Having met during our senior year at UNC, it was fitting that both of our readers were our college roommates. The first reading was from Song of Solomon (Song of Songs), followed by Living in Love by Dr. Gerald May.

 

Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink
Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink

 

What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony?  Before the ceremony, our bridal party and family gathered in the backyard of Dex’s grandparents’ house. With such a small chapel, some guests stood in the lawn, and I got to see so many of our favorite people from the house all the way to the altar.

Is there anything else that you’d like to share about your wedding ceremony?  We have already been back to Linville twice since our wedding, and it is so wonderful to wake up in Dex’s grandparents’ house and see “our church” across the street before the day even begins. It is something we will cherish for many years to come.

 

Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink
Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink
Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink
Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink

 

The Reception

“Following pictures on the golf course, we drove directly to the boat house, which is downhill from the Camp. A private dinner was waiting for us, and as we sipped champagne and enjoyed our first meal as a married couple, we could not only see, but hear, our most loved people all in one place!”

 

Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink
Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink
Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink

 

How would you describe your reception?  We really wanted our guests, who came from so far, to experience the Linville we love – including a bluegrass band party on Friday, hiking and a picnic lunch on Saturday, and a poolside brunch on Sunday – for their entire visit. The epitome of the mountain weekend experience, however, is always an evening at Camp Yonahnoka (also known as The Camp at Eseeola Lodge,) where you have a panorama of Grandfather Mountain, and an expansive view of the stars. With a gorgeous view of the mountain reflecting onto a lake, the Camp itself is a wooden, open-air pavilion, with a centralized floor plan, encouraging everyone to mingle and join in on the dance floor.

What was your first dance song? Father/daughter or mother/son dance?  Our first dance was to “You Are the Best Thing” by Ray Lamontagne. We took lessons and surprised people with a choreographed dance. My father and I danced to “The Way You Look Tonight” by Frank Sinatra. Dex and his mother danced to “Mack the Knife” by Bobby Darin, a favorite of Dex’s father who passed away.

What was your wedding menu?  The Eseeola Lodge serves the most decadent and rich Southern food! There were buffet stations for flexibility, yet assigned tables, so people could sit and enjoy. The stations served shrimp and grits, pork tenderloin, butternut squash souffle, mac and cheese, fried green tomatoes, grilled summer vegetables, salad, and corn bread with various sauces. The only perk of going to school the Monday after your wedding is having delicious leftovers in your lunchbox all week!

What type of cake or dessert did you serve?  Instead of a large cake, there was a simple cake for us to cut (almond with fresh strawberries and buttercream frosting,) and four cupcake flavors for our guests: cafe au lait, raspberry lemonade, red velvet, and chocolate-peanut butter ganache. My father works for Krispy Kreme, so we also served warm doughnuts. There were mini boxes of doughnuts for favors. I did not know until the pictures arrived that Dex was carrying trays of doughnuts around the dance floor!

Please tell us about any other special details or moments from your reception.  For the entrances to the restrooms, I blew up and framed black and white photos of both of us at about 5 years old. In typical fashion, I was dressing up as the prim and proper bride, while Dex was barefoot, with a wrinkled tie and an untucked shirt. Some things never change.

 

Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink

 

What was the best advice you received as a bride?  No one knows what you had in mind. If something is forgotten or goes awry, no one will know what could have been!

What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding?  I was so lucky to have such an opinionated groom, which was helpful, as my parents refrained from any opinions. I would suggest finding ways in which to get grooms excited and to feel important in the process, which makes for fun teamwork. We really let this be our idea of our perfect weekend.

If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently?  I wish we had entered the reception to House of Pain’s Jump Around, but did not think of that in time. Hopefully another Tar Heel couple will take note!

Is there anything else that helps tell the story of your wedding?  We truly made our wedding a weekend affair, with events from Thursday to Sunday, thanks to the help of many hosts, hostesses, and helpers. Housing worked out wonderfully, with friends and family on every corner, as we took over the little mountain community.

 

Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink Nancy Ray | Snippet & Ink
Photographer: Nancy Ray Photography / Event Planning & Design: Viva L’Event NC   / Reception Venue: Camp at Eseeola in Linville, North Carolina / Church: All Saints Episcopal / Dress: Allure via Victorian Rose / Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Bridesmaid Dresses, Ties: J.Crew / Jewelry: Mikimoto / Cake: Hallmark Cakes / Catering:  The Eseeola Lodge  / Floral Design: Callista Designs / Hair, Makeup: Hair 101 / Stationery: Opus 1 Weddings / Ceremony & Cocktail Hour Band:  Summit Strings  / Reception Band: The Voltage Brothers / Grooms Attire:  Martin Greenfield Clothiers
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  • Camp Eseeola Wedding in North Carolina by Nancy Ray

    24 November 2014
  • 5 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Real Weddings, Some Favorites

    Classic elegance, blooming gardens, and Spanish-style architecture made this couple and their guests feel as though they were transported to a European garden… and if it’s freezing cold wherever you are, then let their sunny SoCal wedding at Rancho Las Lomas transport you too!

    SEE THE GALLERY FOR MORE PHOTOS FROM THIS CALIFORNIA WEDDING BY ESTHER SUN.

    Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink
    Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink

     

    The Ceremony

    “We chose this location for our ceremony because it was so beautiful – it’s almost hard to describe! The venue itself is a unique, private resort with beautiful architecture, and also had a small zoo. With the property and Spanish-style architecture, it felt like being transported to Europe. The ceremony site was an outdoor courtyard surrounded by trees with a beautiful ceremonial stage which was a perfect setting for us to exchange our sacred vows.”

     

    Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink
    Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink
    Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink

     

    Your ceremony in three words.  Traditional, Light-hearted, Religious.

    Who officiated your ceremony?  It was important to Matt’s mother and grandmother that we have a Catholic ceremony for our wedding. We had Father Christopher from St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Irvine, California officiate our ceremony.

     

    Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink

     

    What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony?  Our wedding ceremony was very traditional – we said traditional vows and had traditional Catholic readings. But, Father Christopher incorporated a brief Q&A with Matt and me and asked us personal questions which allowed our ceremony to be more light hearted and fun. Our guests also had a good laugh which we enjoyed as well. We weren’t expecting Father Christopher to incorporate the Q&A into the ceremony, so it was a pleasant surprise for us.

     

    Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink

     

    The Reception

    “After the ceremony our guests went upstairs to another courtyard located above the ceremony site with a beautiful fountain and our guests enjoyed cocktails and food. We transformed our ceremony site for the reception, using all round tables for our guests and a head table for us and our wedding party. Market lights strung across the dance floor set a romantic mood especially at dusk.”

     

    Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink
    Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink
    Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink

     

    Did you work with a wedding planner?  Matt and I planned our wedding in six months. Due to our time constraints we hired Jenna Kang from Divine Day and she was a huge help. She was able to help us from the initial stages to the final stages of our wedding and we went with her guidance and knowledge. Planning was exhausting but it was nice to know we had an expert guiding us and making sure we had everything covered.

    What inspired you when you were planning your wedding?  The venue really inspired us during the planning stages of our wedding. With its rustic, romantic, outdoor setting, we wanted to base the rest of the wedding details around that.

    First dance song:  “Your Song” by Elton John
    Father/daughter, mother/son dance:  “In My Life” by The Beatles

    What type of cake or dessert did you serve?  We had a rustic buttercream cake decorated with greenery. We had two flavors, coconut and Nutella, and both tasted delicious. We also had a dessert table with an assortment macarons, cupcakes, cake pops and mini parfaits.

    Did you include any other traditions in your wedding?  My something old and something borrowed was a diamond bracelet I borrowed from my aunt. It was a beautiful bracelet that matched my dress perfectly. I also had a blue charm bracelet that I used for my something blue. // During our cocktail hour we incorporated foods from our ethnic background. Matt brought Vietnamese spring rolls and I brought Korean rice cakes to serve to our guests.

     

    Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink
    Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink

     

    What was the best advice you received as a bride?  To slow down and take a moment amidst all the chaos during the wedding day because the day goes by too fast!

    What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding?  Although stressful and overwhelming at times, enjoy the planning process have fun, and don’t stress too much because it is one day and the most important thing is that you are getting married to the most important person in your life and that is what counts, not the minor details that may consume your time.

    If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently?  Start the wedding earlier in the day because it goes by too fast.

    What was your favorite moment or part of the reception?  Our favorite moment of the reception was just looking around the room and seeing all of our loved ones, our family, our friends who took the time to spend this special day in our lives.

     

    Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink
    Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink Esther Sun | Snippet & Ink
    Photography: Esther Sun / Event Planning: Divine D-day / Venue: Rancho Las Lomas in Silverado, California / Dress: Cymbeline from Panache Bridal / Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bracelet: Van Cleef and Arpel / Bridesmaid Dresses: Little Borrowed Dress / Suit: Ralph Lauren / Groomsmen Attire: Friar Tux / Floral Design: Kristine Shin / Catering, Rentals: 24 Carrots / Hair, Makeup: Studio MM&B / Videography: The Seven Production / Cake, Desserts: Sweet and Saucy / Stationery: Exclusively Weddings / Strings Trio: Seaside Strings /
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  • Orange County Wedding by Esther Sun

    20 November 2014
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    We’re well on our way toward the winter holidays, and as a December bride myself, I always love seeing how couples bring this festive season into their weddings. Larkyn and Jim included red flowers and linens and a jingle bell send-off – plus how gorgeous is the bride’s vintage-inspired look?!

    SEE THE GALLERY FOR MORE PHOTOS FROM THIS FESTIVE WINTER WEDDING BY A BRYAN PHOTO.

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    “I didn’t even look at traditional white dresses,” says Larkyn. “When I found the Jenny Packham dress, it became the focal point of our Southern winter wedding”

     

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    A Bryan Photo | Snippet & Ink A Bryan Photo | Snippet & Ink

     

    Larkyn and her bridesmaids carried bouquets of red ranunculus, pale pink roses, privet berries, lamb’s ear, and brunia berries.

     

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    The Ceremony

    “I always knew I wanted to get married at the church I which I grew up, in my hometown of Birmingham, Alabama,” says the bride.

     

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    Your wedding ceremony in three words. Glamorous, Vintage, Classic.

    How did you go about planning your ceremony?  The upside (in my opinion) to getting married in a church is that the choices are sometimes limited – I actually spent much less time thinking about our ceremony than our reception because I didn’t have a desire to stray too far from the traditional vows, the traditional music, the traditional processional. We did feel like it was very important to have family involved in the ceremony, so all of my cousins’ children played roles, which was really special.

    Ceremony Music:
    Processional: Trumpet Voluntary by Jeremiah Clarke
    Recessional: Water Music – Hornpipe by Handel

    What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony?  We incorporated bagpipes at the end of our ceremony and it felt pretty magical – I studied abroad in Scotland and thought the unique sound of bagpipes would be pretty remarkable in the grand church in which we were married – and indeed it was!

     

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    A Bryan Photo | Snippet & Ink A Bryan Photo | Snippet & Ink
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    What was the best advice you received as a bride?  Try to throw your stress out the window once the wedding day arrives – I admit I didn’t take this advice myself, but I would pass it along to other brides! Also try not to lose your new husband at the reception. You are talking to so many friends and family, but you can’t forget the party is to celebrate your new life together, and you should enjoy that celebration together.

    What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding?  If your parents are helping to plan (and/or pay) for your wedding, find a middle ground that reflects your style as a couple but also allows for some compromises (such as the guest list) that will ensure they feel appropriately represented. It’s not going to be perfect, but some give-and-take is important on both sides.

    Do you have any budget tips for other brides?  It was helpful for us to start with an overall number to keep us organized and to prioritize. Often during the planning process, I wanted to splurge on everything, but there are many ways you can save money, and having a budget helps you identify which elements are the most important to you and where you want to splurge (the band and the photographer, in our case).

     

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    A Bryan Photo | Snippet & Ink A Bryan Photo | Snippet & Ink

     

    The Reception

    “My grandmother was a collector of all things vintage and antique – furniture, clothes and of course, jewelry. One of my favorite memories as a child when going to visit her house in Alabama was going through her piles of jewelry – and on special occasions, receiving a token of my own. I grew up with an affection for vintage jewelry and carried this with me to New York, where I currently live. When I got engaged, I knew I would get married back in Alabama and I wanted our wedding to feel classic and Southern, and to reflect my affection for vintage style. I didn’t even look at traditional white dresses; when I found the Jenny Packham dress, it became the focal point of our Southern winter wedding – with a bit of glitz, plenty of glamour and a nod to my grandmother who inspired it all.”

     

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    A Bryan Photo | Snippet & Ink A Bryan Photo | Snippet & Ink

     

    Why did you choose this location for your reception?  I knew I wanted to do something somewhat traditional and vintage-inspired, but within a non-traditional venue, and BridgeStreet fit that mold.

    Did you include any traditions in your wedding?  One of my favorite traditions is one my college friends began when the first of us got married in 2009. We have passed around a garter – monogrammed with our maiden initials and wedding date – to each friend on her wedding day. The most recent friend to have gotten married presents the garter while we are getting ready. It’s always a very special moment!

    Please tell us about any special details from your wedding.  I wanted the boys to look classic and really honed in on finding the right bowties. We found them at Billy Reid, a vintage-inspired clothing store based in Alabama – I got stuck on herringbone, so when we found them, we grabbed them all! // The flower arrangements that Buffy Hargett created were absolutely beautiful and really stood out as a uniquely winter element of the wedding that I was excited to incorporate – I gave her a general color scheme but let her run with it, and on the wedding day she emerged with bouquets that were richly colored and textured – a subtle acknowledgment of the holiday season but not overtly so. // In addition to my dress, my paper suite also served early on as a blueprint for the wedding – simple and classic but with uniquely vintage, art-deco elements. Mary came up with the idea to use the shell pattern found on F. Scott Fitzgerald book covers and we incorporated that into the save-the-dates, welcome bag cards and church programs (we kept the formal invitation simple and classic – a hint of red on the edges and a gold band).

    Signature Drink: Bourbon Apple Cider on Ice
    Cake Flavor: Red Velvet and French Vanilla with Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting
    First Dance Song: Book of Love by Peter Gabriel

     

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    A Bryan Photo | Snippet & Ink A Bryan Photo | Snippet & Ink
    A Bryan Photo | Snippet & Ink A Bryan Photo | Snippet & Ink

     

    Did you include any DIY elements in your wedding?  Although I would not qualify my wedding as DIY, there were a few homemade elements that were very special. My mom hand-embroidered the initials of every member of the wedding party onto vintage handkerchiefs of my grandmother’s that she had been saving away for the right occasion. We also used pearls from one of my grandmother’s many strands to create bracelets for each of my bridesmaids and readers. My dad and sister also get credit for a truly DIY element – as a family, we created an assembly line of hole poking and jingle bell threading to create the mini jingle bell tambourines that guests shook as we were departing.

    What was your favorite moment or part of the day?  As I was getting ready to leave for the church, I snuck away to read a letter that Jim had given me the night before. I didn’t have any photographers around, so it was a special moment to have alone. Although I won’t say all nerves dissipated, it was very special to read those words and remember the reason I was about to walk down the aisle in the first place!

     

    A Bryan Photo | Snippet & Ink A Bryan Photo | Snippet & Ink
    A Bryan Photo | Snippet & Ink A Bryan Photo | Snippet & Ink
    A Bryan Photo | Snippet & Ink A Bryan Photo | Snippet & Ink
    Photography: A Bryan Photo / Event Planning and Design: Mariée Ami / Venue: BridgeStreet Gallery and Loft in Birmingham, Alabama / Church: United Methodist Church / Dress: Jenny Packham via Carriage House/ Shoes: Christian Louboutin / Earrings: Oscar de la Renta / Hair, Makeup: Celine Russell / Bridesmaid Dresses: Swoon, Bella Bridesmaid / Suit: Freeman’s Sporting Club / Bow Ties: Billy Reid / Stationery: Mary Baugh / Calligraphy: Steve Logan / Floral Design: Buffy Hargett / Rentals: Event Rentals Unlimited / Music: Robert Williamson Band / Catering: Savoie / Cake: Barb Sullivan / Bag Piper: Jim McGraw / Drummer: Todd Kelly / Lighting, Drapery: AG Lighting / Linens: BBJ
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  • Christmas Wedding by A Bryan Photo

    18 November 2014
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