Will & Jane got married in a gorgeos setting at the Chileno Valley Ranch in Petaluma – under an arbor made entirely of greenery in the middle of a field, on a perfect Californian summer’s day. Afterwards, the groom’s band kept everyone entertained before a seated dinner in a barn that had been decorated beautifully with simple, modern touches – including some seriously fabulous blooms in ivory and coral.
Why did you choose this location for your ceremony? We are both from Northern California so we wanted something in the region, which was also convenient for our friends and families. Choosing a location became easy when we met Sally and Mike, the owners of Chileno Valley Ranch. It was immediately clear that the Gales were genuine, warmhearted people who gave great care to their home – we felt a special connection to them and to the ranch.
Your ceremony in three words. Relaxed, warm, personal.
What was your ceremony music?
Processional: The Beatles’ Across the Universe (played live by our musicians)
Recessional: Stevie Wonder’s For Once in My Life
How did you go about planning your ceremony? We talked about what we liked and didn’t like in ceremonies and planned accordingly. Generally we wanted the ceremony to feel personal to us, avoid platitudes, and be short and sweet.
Who officiated your ceremony? How did you choose him/her? Our friend Mo officiated our wedding. Mo has been Jane’s friend for many years and has also spent a lot of time with us as a couple – she put a lot of time into making the ceremony specific to us.
Did you include any traditions in your ceremony? We performed a traditional Korean ceremony of bowing to our parents before exchanging our vows.
What were your vows like? We wrote our own vows.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? The personal nature of the vows and the intimate natural setting.
After leaving the ceremony, the couple went back to the beautiful home on the property to take these portraits. How fabulous is bride Jane’s bright coral lipstick, especially against the softer coral tones of her bouquet?
How would you describe your reception? We wanted the reception to feel like a party we would want to attend. More backyard-sit-back-and-relax and less formal-event-constantly-herding-people-around. Will played music with some old friends, and we encouraged our guests to roam the grounds, pet the sheep, and generally make themselves feel at home.
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? The groom’s band performing songs.
Did you have a signature cocktail? We served Manhattans and Mexican Mules. Plus, we served Cooper Barbera wine from Amador County where Will grew up.
Tell us about your reception. Sally’s daughter, Katie Gordon, has a great collection of antique furniture we opted to have included in our reception. We gave her complete control, so all the vignettes are 100% her creations.
How did you plan your reception? For planning the reception we tried to keep it as simple as possible – our general approach was to choose vendors we trusted and relinquish most control to their experience and taste. One example of this was our family friends, Nasrin and Momo of La Lavande, who did all the flowers with very little direction. They deserve complete credit for the design of the arrangements and bouquets!
How great does the barn look? With two dramatic feasting tables dominating the space, the decor on each table was kept simple, but still had major impact. Glamorous gold cutlery and the stunning coral blooms balance out the bare tables and simple white linens. It looks exactly right for a special occasion, but is still sympaethitc to the vibe of the barn itself.
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? We wanted to replicate the feeling of family and having an intimate family get together.
What was your first dance song? Sam Cooke’s Bring it on Home.