You might recognize Bridget and Matt from their adorable wine country engagement session – such a treat to share their beautiful July wedding with you too! Some of my favorite details from their wedding: the beautiful wedding cake made by the bride, the olive branch garlands, and the advice “guest book.” Photos by Select vendor Christina McNeill.
“The ceremony really is the most important part of the wedding although it’s often the part people try to rush through so they can get to the party. We chose a priest to officiate that had so much personality and warmth that he involved the whole crowd with questions and got them laughing, which made it enjoyable to everyone. He also provided some suggested readings that we could look through which helped to make our decisions a little easier. We did end up writing our own vows, but we didn’t end up reading them during the ceremony!”
Your ceremony in three words. Fun. Bliss. Love.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? My favorite part of the ceremony was walking down the aisle with my dad. It was so fun to stand on the sidelines watching the wedding unfold as we stood aside, hidden from the crowd, and the incredible love and spirituality you feel as you walk down the aisle toward the man that makes your heart melt. It’s also such a special time for a father and daughter – it is truly a unique and inseparable bond and having that moment with your dad to give you away and support you and your future with your husband in all that you do is heartwarming and unforgettable.
Processional, wedding party: O mio babbino caro (instrumental)
Processional, bride: Canon in D by Pachelbel
Ceremony Psalm: You Are Mine (sung by bride’s cousins)
Recessional: You Make My Dreams Come True by Hall and Oats
Did you include any traditions in your wedding? The one tradition that was important to us on both sides of our family was to be married in the Catholic Church. In order to have our dream of getting married outside overlooking the beautiful Carmel Valley and still keep our Catholic tradition, we actually got married the evening before (prior to the rehearsal) with only our parents and our best man and maid and matron of honor. It was the most intimate moment of our entire weekend and we were able to say our vows in the church then do the full wedding the next day in front of family and friends. // Another tradition that I loved was incorporating my mother’s wedding dress. I wore it the day before to our private ceremony in the church as well as for our rehearsal. It fit like a glove and it was touching to wear a gown that my mom was married in 35 years prior when she married my dad.
Anything else about your ceremony? I don’t think any wedding should be perfect because the funny mistakes or unplanned events sometimes make the best stories. One of our favorite mishaps of the day is when our priest got so caught up in the ceremony that he forgot we had written our own vows. Since we had adorable books that contained our heartfelt thoughts and both of us were so looking forward to hearing the other persons and sharing our love, we decided to read them at the end of dinner in front of our guests. It ended up being one of my favorite moments of the entire day and a great way to end a beautiful dinner and the speeches. So don’t worry if not everything is perfect because it’s the imperfections that make it unique and special (and tell a good story!). // Also, one of the little details we both liked was that the day of the wedding we decided (through texting that morning) that we wanted to do a unity glass of wine. Our priest suggested it the day before and we thought it would be a great addition to the ceremony. Halfway through on a very hot day, the cork popped right out making a loud “pop” and made for a fun tension breaker when everyone was getting choked up and emotional. It was perfect!
“From the moment Matt and I stepped foot at Holman Ranch we knew we landed on something special. I had always dreamt of a place that had it all – a rustic barn, different spaces to create a feel and atmosphere that suited everyone’s needs, and on top of it a beautiful setting that people wanted to travel to. Well, we found it at Holman Ranch and it was truly a perfect location to celebrate the weekend with all of our favorite people.”
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? I envisioned a sort of rustic elegance, and was inspired by the look of the Tuscan countryside. We wanted to keep the color palette simple so not to take away from the beauty of the property and to create a romantic and soft feel for the day. The flowers and colors were creams, whites and a hint of peachy pink accented by olive branches. Once we knew the overall look, my mom created a beautiful logo and invitation suite that really led the rest of the planning. We used the logo in many aspects of the day from the menus to the corn hole board game and it tied everything together perfectly.
Please tell us about any special details from your wedding. We wanted to look around on our wedding day and for everything there to have meaning. A few examples: I created an advice box using my mom’s old suitcase that she used as a little girl, for people to put write their advice to us on note cards my mom created; my parents baked limoncello biscotti and had our family help package them up using the adorable tags my mom made; we both work in the wine industry so incorporated wood wine boxes as containers for items like programs. It was so fun seeing our vision come to life.
What was your favorite moment or part of the day? It’s a tough call between that moment when my father walked me down the aisle (and proceeded to chest bump my groom), and when Matt and I were sitting down to dinner at our sweetheart table, looking out at family and friends who traveled near and far to be with us on our day. We just kept looking at each other and saying “This is amazing.” To be surrounded by that much love was truly a remarkable experience.
Cake: Buttermilk cake with raspberry puree and buttercream icing, made by the bride.
Signature Drinks: The Arizona Sunset (New Amsterdam Vodka, Grapefuit Juice, Lime Juice, Lemon-Lime Soda) and The Grand Canyon Margarita (Camarena Silver Tequila, Limeade Concentrate, Triple Sec), both created by the groom.
First Dance Song: Ain’t That a Kick In the Head by Dean Martin
What was the best advice you received as a bride? The worst advice I got turned out to be the best. It was to be prepared for the following on my wedding day: 1) You and your husband will not have a chance to eat dinner and you’ll barely touch a glass of wine. 2) You’ll be shaking hands for most of the night. 3) It will go by so quickly. // All of that forewarning seemed so daunting. For how much effort goes into planning, not to mention the sheer cost, I wanted to make sure none of the above happened because the opposite was so important to us. We had a kick-off event on Friday the 4th hosted by the groom’s parents so we could enjoy more time with everyone and not feel rushed to shake hands on Saturday at the wedding, and we made the time to really sit together for dinner and eat and drink. We felt like royalty at our own little sweetheart table and with all the dancing we did later in the night we certainly needed the energy from eating our dinners!
What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? Book vendors early. Once your vendors are set in place, you have less to worry about until the nitty gritty of the planning begins. If you are particular about the vendors you chose, do it as far in advance as possible because they will book up fast!
Do you have any budget tips for other brides? My budget tip is to prioritize what you feel is important, whether it be a band or the most extravagant cake, make your list and start determining costs. Coming from corporate event planning, I can say that wedding costs are significantly higher than general event costs, so everything you want comes with a price tag. Go into it with a budget and don’t cough up money to do something that isn’t important to the two of you.