There is something about a winery wedding that never gets old; this especially holds true for Kunde Family Winery. The huge oak trees, sprawling vineyards as far as the eye can see, and some pretty amazing stone ruins—it’s easy to fall in love with this location. Kate and Josh knew from the moment they visited there was no other place they wanted to celebrate their wedding. Christina McNeill photographed this gorgeous wedding filled with so much love and joy!
“Don’t underestimate the time it takes to plan all the pieces that go into a wedding. Ask for help—whether from family, friends or a wedding planner. As we were planning long distance, finding a planner was the best decision we made.”
What was the best advice you received as a bride? Deep breaths.
What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? You will be surrounded by a huge group of people who love you unconditionally and want to you succeed—no matter what goes right or wrong on this day, they will be supportive and excited to share the moment with you. So don’t sweat the small stuff. Let it go the day of the wedding and just have fun!
Are there any DIY details you’d like to tell us about? Our moms created fabulous gift bags for guests, including various local items such as dried lavender, California poppy seeds, lotion and chocolate.
“We went on a whirlwind Northern California trip checking out various wedding locations about a year prior to our anticipated wedding date. During a wine and cheese hour at a hotel, we were chatting with the host about our plans and she was shocked we weren’t looking at Kunde. On a whim, we scheduled a last minute appointment after a second look at a place down the road—and were immediately sold. From the moment we walked into the tasting room to the drive up through the vineyards to the wedding site we were smiling ear to ear and knew this was it. Kunde was everything we imagined and more, and certainly delivered on that first impression.”
Your ceremony in three words. Non-traditional, comfortable, DIY
How did you go about planning your ceremony? We researched various templates and traditions then adapted to make them our own.
Is there anything else that you’d like to share about your wedding ceremony? I appeared out of the vineyard, escorted by all 3 of my parents. We also liked the Jewish tradition of the groom walking down the aisle by his parents and used that for Josh and his parents.
What was your ceremony music? Processional: “Glasgow Love Theme” (from Love Actually), played by our family friend guitarist Bryce Wilson / Recessional: “You are the best thing” by Ray LaMontagne
Did you include any traditions in your ceremony? We adapted a Mexican wedding tradition involving a long lasso or rosary placed in an infinity symbol around the couple as an expression of their commitment and everlasting partnership. As we were somewhat lacking for cowboys and Catholics at our gathering, we chose to substitute a large, 6 foot lei instead as a representation of the special place that the island of Maui holds for us as my father lives there. We had my parents drape the lei over Josh and vice versa, welcoming us into the family.
Who was your officiant and how did you choose him/her? A close family friend of Josh. We essentially wanted someone who could draw upon their own marriage experiences to share valuable advice and wisdom as we entered this new phase.
What were your ceremony readings?
Velveteen Rabbit and a Personal blessing from my mother.
What were your vows like? We wrote our own, adapted from and inspired by a variety of sources.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? Our Vows.
“We snuck away for photos in the ruins and the vineyards at the end of dinner—a difficult decision at first as we were hesitant to miss a big piece of the reception—but ended up producing some of our best photos. Most people had no idea we were missing for 30 minutes anyways!”
Katie carried a colorful bouquet filled with Icelandic poppies with pops of citrus .
“The focus was truly the event, the people and the setting. We had been to a number of weddings that felt very personal and as though guests were able to connect with the bride and groom—which we hoped to recreate. Most of all, we wanted to create a fun, comfortable and memorable event to share with our closest friends and family. ”
Please tell us about any other special details or moments from your reception. Josh was part of an acappella group in college, many of whom were in attendance, and sang Van Morrison’s “Crazy Love” during the cocktail hour as a gift to us.
How would you describe your reception? Elegant, comfortable, per one friend “fancy/farm.” Low stress given our incredible wedding planner support!
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? Certainly Kunde as a venue was quite inspiring. Given the beautiful surroundings, we didn’t feel pressured to dress the space up or the need to cover any eyesores.
Did you have a signature cocktail? As liquor is not permitted at Kunde, we served rose champagne with raspberries as people migrated from the ceremony space into cocktail hour—definitely a success!
Why did you choose this location for your reception? We intentionally decided to use separate parts of the Boot Hill venue for the ceremony, cocktail hour and dinner, which flowed well into one another but still allowed each part of the night to feel unique.
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? We were fortunate to have an incredible sunset over the vineyards just before dancing began, which created a special, intimate moment for us and the guests before the party kicked off.
What type of cake or dessert did you serve? Cupcakes! With a small cake for us to cut.
What was your first dance song? Father/daughter or mother/son dance?
Louis Armstrong, “What a wonderful world” / Sam Cooke, “Nothing can change this love”
Menu: As guest arrived: lavender lemonade / chilled cucumber water // Cocktail hour: ahi tartare in crispy cones / grilled rosemary flatbread with dried tomatoes / scallop ceviche / rosemary skewered lamb noisettes / Bermuda Triangle goat cheese & almond crisps / mahogany lacquered duck on sweet potato pancakes // Dinner: salad of baby organic greens / parmesan bread sticks and rustic Italian breads / seared Pacific salmon with basil beurre blanc sauce / Swiss chard, asiago and ricotta ravioli / baby arugula, asparagus and parmesan // After dinner treats: Elaine Bell Catering French roast coffee / mini cheese burgers / mini chocolate milk shakes
If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently?
We wish we’d had a bit more time to visit with each table during dinner.