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…
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.
Guests were greeted with fresh mint lemonade to help them keep cool during the outdoor 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.”
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.
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
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.
“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.”
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.
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!
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.
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.