Josh Gruetzmacher (one of our awesome Select vendors!) photographs some of the loveliest weddings, and I especially love it when he sends us something at a venue we’ve never seen! Kristin and Elias had a sweet, intimate wedding at the Ralston White Retreat in Mill Valley, and Josh captured it beautifully…
From the bride: “Eli and I wanted our wedding to be a reflection of both of our personalities. Eli is from rural Northern California, I’m from the San Francisco Bay Area, and we felt the Ralston White Retreat was a perfect balance of both rustic natural beauty and classic charm. As soon as we pulled up to the vast green lawn surrounded by towering redwood trees, we knew we had found the place. There was a magical feeling that overcame us as soon as we stepped out of the car.”
“On the day of, for a touch of whimsy, vintage urns and vases were used for each flower arrangement, including a trophy that was given to Eli’s great-grandfather in 1905. As a floral designer,” says Kristin, “I knew I wanted an abundance of flowers and greenery to complement this vintage style. Each arrangement and bouquet was over flowing with hydrangeas, dinner plate dahlias, hyacinths, ranunculus, olive branches, silver dollar eucalyptus and flowering jasmine.”
Kristin’s favorite part of the day? “Right after the ceremony as Eli and I walked hand-in-hand back down the aisle, seeing our family and friends grinning from ear to ear meant so much.”
After the ceremony, the newlyweds took some time during the cocktail hour to get some priceless photos among nearby redwood trees.
For dessert there was a small strawberry cake for cutting, miniature lemon pound cakes and chocolate chip cookies, plus an ice cream cart from Ici, a local ice cream shop.
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? The history and architecture of the Retreat inspired us and set the tone during the planning process. We wanted the wedding to be romantic and classic with whimsical touches. We incorporated the classic style starting with our invitation suites with the use of black and white stripes.
Please tell us about any special details from your wedding. We are extremely fortunate to have very talented family and friends, who we owe great thanks to for the details of the day. From the cake toppers, hand-written calligraphy, and delicious home-made desserts, created by my family to the custom designed invitations and creation of the floral arrangements from dear friends. Every detail of our wedding had a very personal touch and everyone involved went the extra mile to make our day special.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? My sister told me to enjoy every moment because it will go by in a flash. Leading up to the day, it was very hectic, but once the big day had arrived, I took the time to enjoy every minute, and everything fell into place. It was definitely a whirlwind, but I was able to eat, drink, dance and celebrate.
What advice do you have for other brides? Everyone has different ideas of their perfect wedding. Stay true to your vision and decide what details are most important to you. In the end, our most important detail was sharing our happiness with our family and friends.
Passed Hors d’oeuvres: Potato Gaufrette with Ahi Tuna Tartare, Virgin Olive Oil, and Wasabi Tobiko / Flat Bread with Charred Figs, mild Chèvre and Prosciutto / Vietnamese Rice Paper Spring Rolls, filled with Mango, English Cucumber and Fresh Mint, served with Nampla Dipping Sauce // First Course: West Marin Field Greens with Heirloom Tomatoes and Fresh Mozzarella tossed in a Balsamic Vinaigrette / Artisanal Breads, Rolls and Bread Sticks, Butter // Family Style Meal: Dry Aged Tri-Tip with Garlic, Sea Salt, Cracked Pepper and Rosemary served with a Creamy Horseradish Sauce served with Roasted Garlic Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes / Mahi Mahi roasted with Lemon and Capers with a Red Onion Confit served with Fresh Green Beans and Roasted Cauliflower with Crispy Shallots // Dessert: Strawberry Wedding Cake / Miniature Lemon Pound Cake / Chocolate Chip Cookies / Assorted Ice Creams