As a wedding photographer herself, bride Kristy has seen it all. When it came to marrying her sweetheart Eric at Sonoma’s MacArthur Place, she knew just what she wanted. That included fantastic photography, thanks to Tanja Lippert, and a botanical stationery suite designed by the bride’s sister. Be sure to check out the gorgeous magnolia branches she scored for the head table!
Photography by Tanja Lippert.
The bride says “my sister Andrea of Print Your Party designed our invitations and many other paper goods for the big day. One of my favorite parts of planning was working with my sister on these designs. It meant a lot to Eric and I to have her work be a large part of our wedding.”
Having found her Sarah Seven gown the very first day she tried on dresses, Eric’s aunt then created a custom belt and coverlet to finish the look.
How did you choose your ceremony location? After searching Sonoma venues far and wide, we stumbled upon MacArthur Place. This location just so happened to be around the corner from where Eric asked me to marry him. When I took my first step onto the enchanting pathways through the venue’s unique gardens and cozy cottages, I knew it was where we’d say, “I do.” I also have to mention that the staff at this venue is incredibly accommodating and they are wonderful to work with.
The couple made sure the venue was within close reach to where the majority of their loved ones live, and selected a wedding date around the weather. Says Kristy, “I took the time at our venue to scope out the sunlight during certain times of the day to make sure the ceremony space would provide shade for all the guests and the bridal party.”
Who officiated your ceremony? A family friend of ours wrote and performed our ceremony, which provided a very personal touch and better connection for our guests.
What were your vows like? Eric and I wrote our own vows, which we really enjoyed sharing with everyone. We wanted to put extra effort into the most important part the day and we felt that our vows should come from the heart. Our guests told us our vows are what they’ll remember most about our day.
“I very carefully planned out the timeline and made sure Eric and I and the bridal party would be able to attend the cocktail hour. We feel that our guests appreciated being able to spend some time with us, and it certainly made our bridal party happy!”
“Because I am a wedding photographer, you can believe that the photos and video from the day were extremely important! I hired Tanja Lippert to capture our day on film. Tanja got me into wedding photography nearly a decade ago, and I always knew I wanted her photograph my wedding day. It was special and emotional for me to have her there. I would say that photography inspired many of the decisions I made in planning- I planned a lot of the day around light, which is most important for photography and cinematography, and that effort truly paid off. I cannot stress enough the importance of considering your photos and video as you plan your wedding, from start to finish.”
Bride Kristy tells us her day job isn’t without its pitfalls when it comes to planning your own celebrations – in short, that everyone thinks you know exactly what you want. For this creative and organised bride, it just happened to be true. She says “I absolutely did have a good idea of how I wanted my special day to look, feel, sound and then some. This vision of a charming venue, clean and classic colors, flavorful food, handpicked music, and a touch of retro style, became crystal clear when Eric proposed.”
Kristy wanted their wedding to have a ‘wow factor’, but to stay within their budget. Between the string lights, magnolia bush centerpieces, and the open-air veranda, she was sure they had put together the perfect space for “a night to remember”.
A “devoted gardener and plant lover”, Kristy was excited to choose the flowers for their day, but wanted to keep her budget in mind. “The guidance from Bryce at Vanda Floral Design allowed us plan the flowers in a way that stayed completely true to our vision but in the most sensible way. Though I did splurge on the marble and cast iron pedestals, because I knew they’d make the head table stand out, especially with the deep green magnolia branches they displayed.”
The couple honeymooned in Palm Springs, indulging in their love of decor from the 1950s and 60s. Kirsty had previously found some ornate floral plaques dating back to this period, which she chose to place against their clean-cut cake.
What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? If you decide to give a toast at your reception, write it all down prior to the event! Both Eric and I said a few words at dinner and the next day we had so many thoughts that we wished we had included in what we said. “Why didn’t I think to say that!?” It is so easy to get overwhelmed with emotion as you look out at all your loved ones, and without writing down all the important things you want to express, its so easy to leave something unintentionally.
“My favorite detail of the day, hands down, was our wedding cake. Amber at Sweet On Cake understood my vision 100%, and she executed it flawlessly. The 3-tier cake design, complete with a surreal sugar Magnolia and edible black ribbon was absolutely perfect. It was also the best tasting! Lemon blackberry and caramel toffee were the two flavors we selected, and our guests are still talking about them.”
The couple’s favorite moment of the entire day was their first dance. Kristy tell us “Eric and I had our first dance while everyone was still seated for dinner, which allowed everyone to be involved in the most intimate way. Afterwards, Eric and I handpicked nearly every song Boutique DJs played, ensuring tasteful and fun tunes from start to finish, that guests of all ages would love. We love that our DJ mixed up the music on the spot to keep the dance floor busy the entire night.”
“In place of favors, we provided a photo booth for our guests that allowed everyone to take home printed copies of their photos. We hired Glass Goat Photo Booth for a few reasons: They provide traditional, clean looking booths (the original kind with the curtain you close, which we love!) and the owner of the company is a wonderful friend of ours, who builds the booths himself from scratch.”
The couple are so in love with their wedding video that they couldn’t recommend it more highly to others planning their own weddings. Kristy says “do whatever you can to fit a cinematographer into your budget. Having a video to watch after the wedding and forever afterwards is so priceless. I can’t even begin to describe the feeling we had when we watched the video footage Luke Goodman delivered. We cried harder watching the video than we did on the actual day!”