We’re ending our three part feature of Sarah and Lee’s wedding weekend with their beautiful wedding day. Photographed by Anna Kuperberg, this wedding was nothing short of amazing. In case you missed it, take a look at the welcome dinner and rehearsal dinner. The thought that went into every personal detail of the weekend tied all three days together perfectly. We know you’ll fall in love with this glamorous summer celebration at the bride’s parents’ home just as much as we have!
What was the best advice you received as a bride? Have fun and hire a good planner. A good planner is worth every penny. We had so much fun with our planner—and friend—Rebecca Johnson, of Kristi Amoroso Special Events.
What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? Planning is stressful, even for someone in the events industry. Make sure that your families are happy and comfortable with all of the decisions. Even if it seems like a small detail, be sure to include them.
How did you go about planning your ceremony? Neither of us is very religious, but it was important to Lee to keep with tradition and have a Jewish ceremony. We spoke with our Rabbi about the many Jewish wedding traditions and picked the ones that felt like they had meaning to us—getting married under a Chuppa, circling each other during the ceremony, and breaking the glass.
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? We took a lot of inspiration from the property itself. I grew up showing horses and wanted the dinner tent to have a “Ralph Lauren” equestrian feel. The cocktail area was more bright and vibrant with pops of pinks and coral.
“We held our ceremony and reception at my parents’ house in Glen Ellen, where I grew up. I always wanted to get married on the property—it’s so beautiful, but more importantly, it’s sentimental and unique. We decided to get married next to the pond.”
Your ceremony in three words. Warm, casual, and beautiful
What was your ceremony music? We had a solo guitarist play several songs during the ceremony:
Officiant, groom and parents processional: “All You Need Is Love” by the Beatles Wedding party processional: “Harvest Moon” by Neil Young
Bride and parents processional: “Cannon in D” by Pachabel
Recessional: “In the Summertime” by Mungo Jerry
What were your vows like? We exchanged our vows under the Chuppah in sealed envelopes that we would open later together in private. We ended up opening our vows on our honeymoon. We now have our vows framed in our bedroom.
Fine artist, Sergio Lopez created a beautiful painting during the ceremony. This is such a creative detail the couple can cherish forever!
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? The kiss! We couldn’t wait for it to be official and celebrate with our family and friends.
“The reception was spectacular! We worked with the best vendors and were totally blown away. We held the cocktail reception by the pool in my parents’ backyard. We wanted it to feel like an intimate gathering and it did—even with 250 people!”
Did you have a signature cocktail? My cocktail was a Grapefruit Paloma and Lee’s was a Front Porch Cooler, a nod to his Texan roots.
Why did you choose this location for your reception? Both the cocktail area next to the pool and the dinner tent in the pasture provided beautiful views of the valley. It was an easy choice!
How would you describe your reception? Kathleen Deery, our Event Designer and Florist, thought of every detail. Paula Le Duc Fine Catering wowed us and our guests with the most amazing food and drinks. We selected a spot overlooking the valley for dinner, so people could soak up the view in between courses and dance sets. We spent a lot of time thinking about our music selections and Pop Rocks blew it out of the water. They kept the party going from the minute guests entered the tent to the very last song.
What was your wedding menu? Having worked at Paula Le Duc Fine Catering for over five years, I knew exactly what I wanted when it came to the menu. Lee was onboard with all of the selections. Our dinner kicked off with an amuse bouche of sweet corn soup. The first course was a peach, arugula and pesto salad. For the entree, we gave our guests an option of roasted lamb with a tomato and artichoke panzanella or Halibut with fennel potato gratin and vegetables.
What type of cake or dessert did you serve? We used Susie’s Cakes celebration cake for our wedding cake – Lee’s absolute favorite! I also surprised Lee with a Groom’s cake from Amber at Sweet on Cake. I asked Amber to create a large version of Lee’s favorite ice cream pint, Ben and Jerry’s Heath Bar Crunch – she nailed it. We also had a sweets table with mini fruit crumbles, chocolate pot de cremes, panna cotta and, of course, Paula Le Duc’s cheesecake lollipops.
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? There were so many great moments! The speeches were really heartfelt and loving—definitely a few happy tears. Lee and I are big food people so the food was really important to us and everything served was top notch. However, the real star of the night was our guests – the energy was electric. It was definitely a party, which is exactly what we’d hoped for.
What was your first dance song? Father/daughter or mother/son dance?
First dance: “Lovely Day” by Bill Withers
Father/daughter: “My Girl” by The Temptations
Mother/son: “The Secret of Life” by James Taylor
Please tell us about any other special details or moments from your reception. One of the best moments of the night is when my mom, Lee’s dad, and Lee’s uncle joined the band onstage. It was such special moment. My mom sang Etta James’ “At Last” and Natalie Cole’s “This Will Be”. They had months to prep and blew everyone away. The crowd was cheering and clapping the entire time.
If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently? It goes by so quickly. I would have tried to take a few minutes with just Lee and I to watch everyone around us. I wish we could do it all over again!