High school sweethearts Rebecca and Omar wanted a wedding where they would be surrounded by nature and their closest friends and family. The chose Campovida in Hopland, California for its gardens and romantic natural setting, and enjoyed a ceremony under the arbor, dinner in a Tuscan garden, and dancing under the stars.
Did you include any other traditions in your wedding? My something old was my grandmother’s cocktail ring. She passed during the planning of the wedding and I was devastated that she could not be there, but I felt that wearing her ring meant that she was with me. My something new was my shoes for the day. My something borrowed and something blue was a handkerchief that belonged to my great grandmother.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? Someone told me to stay in your wedding dress as long as you can because once you take it off, it’s really over. That really stuck with me.
What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? Get a planner! They are a godsend!
Why did you choose this location for your wedding? My husband and I feel very close to nature. I studied viticulture (the study of grape growing) and my husband spent time as a ranger in Yosemite. We wanted to pick a venue that surrounded us and our guests with nature and beauty. That was Campovida for us. The first time I saw it, I fell in love with its vineyards and gardens. It seemed like I had been transported to the Shire. I could immediately envision my friends and family seated in the learning arbor, enjoying a meal in the Tuscan garden and dancing amongst the Cyprus trees.
Your ceremony in three words. Whimsical, natural, intimate.
Who officiated your ceremony? Omar’s family friend, Sammy officiated for us. Omar and I are of different religious upbringings so we didn’t want our ceremony to lean one way or the other, and we wanted to make sure that we had someone who knew us and loved us to officiate the ceremony.
What was your ceremony music? Prelude: Ode to Joy by Beethoven / Bridal Party: Canon in D by Pachelbel / Bride’s Processional: Only You by Joshua Radin / Recessional: Still the One by Orleans
What were your vows like? We wrote our own. They were short, sweet and personal.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? My favorite part was seeing Omar’s face and kissing my Aunt Mimi on the cheek as we left the altar.
“Our reception was breathtakingly beautiful. It took place in the Tuscan Garden at Campovida. The tables were set around a fountain under wisteria.”
How did you go about planning your ceremony? We had a month-of planner who kept us in line and put our minds at ease. We took our time to plan. The small details meant a lot to us, from the pinwheel toothpicks in the mini cupcakes to the personalized bug spray/ sunscreen favors. We wanted to make sure that we thought of everything.
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? I made a Pinterest board and found myself pinning a lot of vintage images. I noticed that I was drawn to a lot of the aesthetics of the 1920s and 1930s. We even designed our save the dates after pre-prohibition wine bottles and packaged our favors in boxes to resemble wine bricks (prohibition wine products).
What was your wedding menu? We served our menu family style. We thought that having guests pass the plates to one another would help make conversation. The menu consisted of bread from Della Fattoria, plated garden salads, grilled vegetables, penne pomodoro, miso bass, and steak.
Did you have a signature cocktail? We had a groom’s cocktail, a Damascus Mule ( a take on a Moscow Mule, we wanted to incorporate Omar’s Arab side) and a bride’s cocktail, A Very Perry Gimlet (Perry is my maiden name, we muddled blackberries and basil in it).
What type of cake or dessert did you serve? We are not big cake fans so we went with a dessert table. We had a small lemon pound cake just for cutting. We had the same flavor in mini cupcakes so the guests could try the cake. We had several other cupcakes (I made pinwheel toothpicks to stick in them), chocolate chip cookies, Mexican wedding cookies, strawberry pie, pumpkin pie, fruit tarts and pecan tassies.
Special songs: First dance: Can’t Help Falling in Love With You by UB40 / Father/daughter dance: The Way you Look Tonight by Frank Sinatra / Mother/son dance: What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong.
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? I loved dancing the night away. The dance floor was packed from the first song to the last. I’ve always wanted my wedding to be one big party and I think we accomplished that.