Chileno Valley Ranch is one of the most breathtaking places you’ll ever see – it really embodies the beauty of Northern California, and it’s no wonder why Jessica and JF chose it for their May wedding. Select vendors Esla Events and Skyla Arts were also on hand for this simply elegant wedding amid the rolling hills of Petaluma.

SEE THE FULL GALLERY FOR ALL THE IMAGES FROM THIS CHILENO VALLEY RANCH WEDDING FROM MARY McHENRY.

Mary McHenry, Esla Events | Snippet & Ink Mary McHenry, Esla Events | Snippet & Ink
Mary McHenry, Esla Events | Snippet & Ink Mary McHenry, Esla Events | Snippet & Ink

 

The Venue

“We chose this location because Chileno Valley Ranch, and its owners, Sally and Mike Gale, tell a wonderful story of triumph and grace over adversity, amidst a setting of natural and human inspiration – the beauty of the rolling hills, the rich history of the Ranch, the Gales’ ongoing commitment to the land.”

 

Mary McHenry, Esla Events | Snippet & Ink Mary McHenry, Esla Events | Snippet & Ink
Mary McHenry, Esla Events | Snippet & Ink Mary McHenry, Esla Events | Snippet & Ink

 

The Ceremony

“We combined German and Jewish traditions in our wedding. For Jewish traditions, we signed a Ketubah, had a Chuppah, blessed the wine, and had our friends and family participate in our own version of the 7 Blessings. For the German, our guests threw rice on us as we walked down the aisle after the ceremony, and then we sawed a log as our first task to complete together as a married couple.”

 

Mary McHenry, Esla Events | Snippet & Ink Mary McHenry, Esla Events | Snippet & Ink
Mary McHenry, Esla Events | Snippet & Ink Mary McHenry, Esla Events | Snippet & Ink
Mary McHenry, Esla Events | Snippet & Ink Mary McHenry, Esla Events | Snippet & Ink
Mary McHenry, Esla Events | Snippet & Ink Mary McHenry, Esla Events | Snippet & Ink
Mary McHenry, Esla Events | Snippet & Ink Mary McHenry, Esla Events | Snippet & Ink

 

Your ceremony in three words.  Personal, Inclusive, Joyous.

How did you go about planning your wedding ceremony?  Jessica’s sister, Beth, officiated. With Beth’s guidance, the three of us planned the entire ceremony together. Throughout the planning, we shared many phone calls, Facetime sessions, laughs, and tears. We wrote our own vows, and chose readings that we felt reflected our commitment to each other and our community, and the values we hold dear as we build our lives together. Beth asked each of us to answer a few questions without consulting each other, and incorporated our responses into the ceremony.

What was your favorite thing about the ceremony?  That our closest friends and family were part of it, from the officiant and chuppah holders to readers, blessings, and a musical performance.

Ceremony Music:
Processional, wedding party: Winter from The Four Seasons by Vivaldi
Processional, bride: Canon in D by Pachelbel
Ceremony song (performed by bride’s cousins): Sweet Caroline by Neil Diamond
Recessional: All You Need Is Love by The Beatles

 

Mary McHenry, Esla Events | Snippet & Ink Mary McHenry, Esla Events | Snippet & Ink
Mary McHenry, Esla Events | Snippet & Ink Mary McHenry, Esla Events | Snippet & Ink
Mary McHenry, Esla Events | Snippet & Ink Mary McHenry, Esla Events | Snippet & Ink

 

The Reception

“We wanted all of the details in our wedding to be considered, thoughtful, and deliberate. We didn’t want anything that felt unnecessary, but also wanted plenty of details that would surprise guests and help them feel more connected to us, each other, and our special day. For example, we had a sign greet our guests but instead of just having arrows pointing to the ceremony and reception areas, we added both of our hometowns (from where many of our guests had traveled) as well as the Pacific Ocean, to help our out-of-town guests get oriented.”

 

Mary McHenry, Esla Events | Snippet & Ink Mary McHenry, Esla Events | Snippet & Ink
Mary McHenry, Esla Events | Snippet & Ink Mary McHenry, Esla Events | Snippet & Ink
Mary McHenry, Esla Events | Snippet & Ink Mary McHenry, Esla Events | Snippet & Ink
Mary McHenry, Esla Events | Snippet & Ink Mary McHenry, Esla Events | Snippet & Ink

 

What inspired you when you were planning your wedding?  Our friends and family coming from all corners of the earth to celebrate with us.

What was your favorite moment or part of the day?  Our first dance and sawing the log together [a German tradition representing the first obstacle to overcome as a married couple].

What was the best advice you received as a bride?  To have a glass of champagne with my girlfriends before the ceremony. And to take a moment to step away from the party and just take in all in, together.

What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding?  Hire Laurel Anderson [from Esla Events].

 

Mary McHenry, Esla Events | Snippet & Ink Mary McHenry, Esla Events | Snippet & Ink
Mary McHenry, Esla Events | Snippet & Ink Mary McHenry, Esla Events | Snippet & Ink
Mary McHenry, Esla Events | Snippet & Ink Mary McHenry, Esla Events | Snippet & Ink

 

Are there any other special details to share?  A sense of place was reflected in details like our menus, which were designed with the menu on one side, and a map of northern California on the back. We also wanted to make each and every one of our guests feel welcomed and connected. Our dinner table layout included two long tables, which helped create a great a sense of togetherness.

 

Mary McHenry, Esla Events | Snippet & Ink Mary McHenry, Esla Events | Snippet & Ink
Mary McHenry, Esla Events | Snippet & Ink Mary McHenry, Esla Events | Snippet & Ink

 

Menu:
Signature Drink: “Der Anleger” (Sparkling Wine, St. Germain, Seltzer, Strawberries)  //  Salad: Arugula, Butter Lettuce, Golden Red and Yellow Beets, Walnuts, Citrus Dressing  //  Entrees: Miso Glazed Black Cod with Green Papaya Salad / Lemon Pepper Rubbed Tri-Tip with Housemade Tomato Jam and Peppered Syrah Sauce / Crisp Mascarpone Polenta Cake with Kalamata Olives, Thyme, Tomato Coulis  //  Sides: Grilled Farm-Fresh Vegetables / Saffron Risotto Cakes  //  Dessert: Chocolate Coupes with Coffee-Molasses Ganache / Mini Key Lime Pies with Meringue Lids / Mini Balsamic Strawberry Tarts with Fresh Strawberries / Chocolate Chip Cookies

First Dance Song: Bring It On Home by Sam Cooke

 

Mary McHenry, Esla Events | Snippet & Ink Mary McHenry, Esla Events | Snippet & Ink
Mary McHenry, Esla Events | Snippet & Ink Mary McHenry, Esla Events | Snippet & Ink
Photography: Mary McHenry / Event Planning & Design: Esla Events / Venue: Chileno Valley Ranch in Petaluma, California / Hair, Makeup: Skyla Arts / Dress: Jenny Packham via Nouvelle Vague / Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Earrings: Links of London / Suit: Andreas Gorges Tailoring / Ties, Pocket Squares: Tie Rack / Stationery: Minted / Floral Design: Flora Grubb / Rentals: Wine Country Party, Frances Lane, La Tavola / Music: Synchronicity Strings, HIP Service / Catering: Park Avenue / Directions Sign: Birdhouse Boutique Art / Restrooms: Northbay Portables

Esla Events and Skyla Arts are Snippet & Ink Select vendors.
Minted is a sponsor of Snippet & Ink.

SEE THE FULL GALLERY
  • Chileno Valley Ranch Wedding from Mary McHenry

    9 September 2014
  • 7 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Real Weddings

    Jen Huang has just launched a lovely new website, and she sent over Amanda and Phillip’s breezy destination wedding to celebrate! I can’t think of a better way to spend a Monday morning than by dipping my toes in the sand of a Caribbean beach…

    SEE THE FULL GALLERY FOR ALL THE IMAGES FROM THIS DESTINATION WEDDING BY JEN HUANG.

    Jen Huang | Snippet & Ink Jen Huang | Snippet & Ink
    Jen Huang | Snippet & Ink Jen Huang | Snippet & Ink
    Jen Huang | Snippet & Ink Jen Huang | Snippet & Ink

     

    The Ceremony

    “We had Phillip’s very best friend in the world officiate our ceremony,” says Amanda. “He knows us both so well and he also just might be the greatest public speaker I have ever witnessed. It was remarkable to have him standing with us during the ceremony and made it even more personal. We also chose to write our own vows. Phillip’s words were kind, moving and confirmed what I already knew – that he is my perfect partner and that we are dedicated to a life of being the best we can be for each other.”

     

    Jen Huang | Snippet & Ink Jen Huang | Snippet & Ink
    Jen Huang | Snippet & Ink Jen Huang | Snippet & Ink

     

    Your ceremony in three words.  Ethereal, Intimate, Heartwarming.

    What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony?  I loved our photographer’s suggestion to skip the First Look and wait for the aisle. Phillip and I both had so much to look forward to and it made the moment even more real for us. I am forever grateful to her for that gift. We will never forget seeing each other for the first time and recognizing the power of what we were doing. It was full of love and emotions – just a beautiful memory.  //  And that handsome husband of mine and how excited we both were. We couldn’t stop giggling! It was so surreal to have our family and friends join us in this idyllic place for such a momentous occasion.

    Is there anything else that you’d like to share about your wedding ceremony?  I loved that the walk down the aisle wasn’t very long, so everyone felt comfortable with the time it took to get to the front.

    Ceremony Music:
    Pre-processional: Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring, Air on G, Ave Maria, Only Time, Hallelujah.
    Processional: Pachelbel’s Canon in D
    Recessional: How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) by James Taylor

     

    Jen Huang | Snippet & Ink Jen Huang | Snippet & Ink
    Jen Huang | Snippet & Ink Jen Huang | Snippet & Ink

     

    The Venue

    “It all started with a New Year’s trip to the island of Anguilla with friends, before we were engaged. Our first stop was to Cap Juluca Resort’s Maunday’s Bay beach. The view was breathtaking, as was the contrast between the blue, crystal clear waters and the white Greco-Moorish architecture. It was my vision of heaven, and Phillip asked if we could get married there. At the time, he was joking and I teased that there was a very important question that he had to ask me first (and that I had to agree to!). When we started discussing where we would like to have the wedding, we couldn’t stop thinking about our first impression of that beautiful beach.

    “Also, the West Indies are my happy place. My grandparents first came to the island of Nevis, West Indies in 1963 and eventually moved there. I have spent time there every year of my life there, save a few due to blizzards or my work schedule. However, getting to Nevis is a bit difficult and we didn’t want to subject our guests to that level of travel. Anguilla was the perfect compromise to having that same welcoming island feel with more affordable flights and easier travel routes!”

     

    Jen Huang | Snippet & Ink Jen Huang | Snippet & Ink
    Jen Huang | Snippet & Ink Jen Huang | Snippet & Ink

     

    The Reception

    What inspired you when you were planning your wedding?  When we were deciding on colors, we looked to the setting and the venue for inspiration. The bright blue of the water, along with Cap Juluca’s appropriately named “Blue” Restaurant, inspired the color we chose for the men’s suits. The hot pink bougainvillea is a vibrant local flower that catches your eye all over the island. We decided it would be the perfect complement to the blue and also very much a part of the landscape. We wanted everything to be pure, lush and elegant. Cap Juluca is quite simply paradisal, so there was very little to do beyond finishing the fine details that made the evening special and unique to our love story.

    Please tell us about any special details from your wedding.  Phillip and I both decided to honor the memory of our grandparents by wearing something of theirs. I chose a simple pearl necklace from my grandmother and Phillip wore cuff links from his grandfather.  //  We found ways to incorporate the things we love the most into the reception, from a bonfire on the beach with s’mores to a tiered “cake” of cheeses to chocolate chip cookies and milk. We surrounded ourselves with the people we love the most and a few of our favorite things to have an evening we’ll never forget.  //  I also cannot get over the bridesmaids’ attire. Hayley Paige’s chiffon creation had a neckline that flattered everyone and made it contemporary and elegant. They looked like goddesses and the softness of the pink astilbe added to just how delicate they seemed. I designed and created the belts with the help of my Mother and Maid of Honor, which tied it all together.

    First Dance Song: One Love, Bob Marley

     

    Jen Huang | Snippet & Ink Jen Huang | Snippet & Ink

     

    What was the best advice you received as a bride?  To let the little things go. Part of my profession has been creating seamless special events for clients in New York City and I had to take a step back from that level of execution. At the end of the day, my best friend and I were celebrating the extraordinary moment of becoming family. That’s all that really mattered!

    Do you have any budget tips for other brides?  I highly recommend paying for what you can in cash. Vendors appreciate it and will meet you in a better place during negotiations – just make sure you have a solid contract signed before handing over the cash! Also, I wish someone had told us that when dealing with a resort or restaurant, always go for the open bar negotiation. If your guests are a social group, you want to rest easy knowing exactly how much is going towards that number instead of having to tally up with the planner the next day. // I love beauty products and have had the pleasure of growing up with and working with Bobbi Brown. From a young age, she influenced my beauty regiment to focus on healthy living, happiness from the inside out, and accentuating your naturally striking features. I knew when it came to my wedding day that I wanted a subtle, glowing look that would just look like the best version of me on a Tuesday morning. I consulted my beauty guru and former colleague, the wonderful Rachel Adler, Beauty Director for StyleCaster Media Group. She has always been the person I turn to for any beauty emergencies, how-tos and favorites. Once she heard what I was looking for, she was kind enough to put me in touch with the gorgeous and talented Creative Director at e.l.f. Cosmetics, Achelle Dunaway, to come to my rescue. Achelle helped me create a beauty plan of attack for my wedding day – i.e. a lasting look with minimal touch ups that would withstand the Caribbean weather while not looking too “done up. She is a genius with products and colors, which saved the day. I ended up with a look that was easy to recreate, that I knew I would be happy with, and that didn’t require me flying down a team of specialists.

    Is there anything else that helps tell the story of your wedding?  I have an obsession with the moon when I am down in the islands and as the evening wore on, a huge yellow moon rose to watch over us. It was more than I could have asked for or planned on our wedding night. To have our feet in the sand and watch the moon rise over the ocean, while we ate and looked around at everyone in amazement – it was just spectacular.

     

    Jen Huang | Snippet & Ink Jen Huang | Snippet & Ink
    Photography: Jen Huang / Venue, Catering, Cake: Cap Juluca Resort in Maundays Bay, Anguilla / Event Planning: Verna Rogers, Monica Bryan, Cap Juluca / Getting Ready Dress: Jenny Packham / Wedding Dress, Veil: Hayley Paige / Shoes: Oscar de la Renta / Suit: Délavé Italian Linen in Heather Indigo from J.Crew / Bridesmaid Dresses: Hayley Paige / Jewelry: Morrison Smith Jewelers / Stationery: Arzberger Stationers / Calligraphy: Stacey Shapiro Calligraphy / Band: Boss and the Horsepower Band / Wedding Registry:  Elizabeth Bruns
    SEE THE FULL GALLERY
  • Anguilla Destination Wedding from Jen Huang

    8 September 2014
  • 4 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Real Weddings

    Did I tell you that I’m doing the Couch to 5K program? Somehow I got the idea into my head that I wanted to take up running, despite having next to zero athletic ability or interest, and hanging on to some baby weight (it’s not actually baby weight; it’s newlywed weight – that’s a thing right? even though I’ve been married almost 4 years?). And since my main motivator in life is not looking stupid in front of other people, I signed up to run a 5K in December, then downloaded the Couch to 5K app. Let’s just say I’m glad I gave myself 16 weeks to do a 9 week program.

    Basically I’m telling you this so that you’ll tell me you were once also totally out of shape until you did a similar program and it was hard but worth it and now you’re a Runner and not just someone who shuffles along sort of quickly (which is what running looks like when I do it). Thanks!

    In totally unrelated news, did you see our new series, Words to Love By? I think it’s going to be the loveliest way to end the week. Except for weekend links, of course…

    Steph Goralnick Steph Goralnick

    Desert rainbow.

    Smitten with Anna Church‘s Insignia series.

    Would love to wear this sweet skirt to a party.

    And this dress to a fancier party.

    Get your office in shape with good lookin’ file storage.

    Too early for maple-apple upside down cake?

    This is my kind of DIY: swirl some paint around in a jar and done.

    I don’t usually pay much attention to celebrity weddings, but I’m in love with what Angelina wore to wed.

    Also, a bride in separates? Beautiful.

    How would you describe yourself in five words?

    An updo for shorter hair.

    Erin is killing me with her wisdom lately. The Choice, and The Myth of Effortless.

    Would you carry this Marry Me book clutch on your wedding day? Or maybe engagement party? Ooh! Rehearsal dinner!

    I love lockets and charms and obviously I want one of these necklaces.

     

    In case you missed it, this week on Snippet & Ink:

    Retro glamour meets garden romance.
    Rainy day wedding inspired by Jane Austen.
    Plus their full wedding ceremony.
    Ribbons and bows for your wedding.
    A calligraphy and art workshop with Stephanie Fishwick.
    A new series: words to love by.

     

    This post contains affiliate links.

    11 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Weekend Round-Ups