Let me just preface this pretty wedding by saying that each and every time we feature nuptials in the golden fields of Sonoma, our socks are completely rocked right off. It could be the generous amounts of California sun or maybe it's something in the water out there. Who knows. We're too busy gawking at the lovely pictures from Sasha Gulish Photography and the flowers, oh the flowers – those pretty petals are courtesy of Savage Rose Florals. Don't forget, this is but a wee snippet of the gorgeous. See the FULL sunshiny wedding in the gallery.
From the Bride... My wedding was everything I imagined it would be. Nic proposed Christmas morning of 2009 and during our year and a half engagement I moved back home to the Bay Area while Nic traveled every month to several hospitals to finish up his medical school rotations for the Air Force. With Nic gone for most of the planning and engagement period, we decided to come up with a clear vision and goal of what we both wanted our wedding. Easy enough, we decided we wanted our wedding to be fun, informal, uniquely us, and nontraditional.
Nic and I both love the outdoors and a glass of wine so we thought a wedding near my hometown in Northern California’s wine country would be perfect for us. We decided on Atwood Ranch in Glen Ellen that not only had the natural beauty of the ranch, vineyards and surrounding hillsides, it also provided the organic look and feel we wanted. The venue helped inspire my overall theme, “Rustic Vintage Chic”. As for my color scheme for a May wedding, I went for fun vibrant yellows and oranges along with gray and black accents for a hint of modern-chic, and then tied them both together with a soft antique ivory.
Because nothing in Northern California’s wine country comes cheap, I tried to find ways to save money where I could. I found that going with “green” options were a great way to save money and even add to our overall theme such as hanging chalkboards to display our dinner menu or sending e-save the dates and having our guests RSVP on our wedding website. I saved money on rentals, lighting and other décor by using the venue to really be the main focus and only accent it by simple things like going with string lighting and candles in glass jars my mom brought from home or that the venue already had. We used wine barrels already available at the ranch as cocktail tables and to display our floral designs. I also found that working with vendors we already knew helped keep the costs down and just made the overall planning process and wedding so personal and fun to work with, like our photographer, Sasha Gulish, who was with us throughout the entire wedding. My friend’s mother did the beautiful flowers, an old neighbor of mine did my makeup and a friend from work’s mother baked the delicious cakes. Overall, we hired very few vendors that we didn’t have a previous relationship with. Other affordable but special tidbits that added to our wedding as a whole was incorporating friends and family into the wedding, like having Nic’s cousin sing our first song and dance or my cousin’s beautiful calligraphy on our invites and menu boards. My girlfriend even helped me with the graphic art for our table names. Our favors were even homemade chocolates by Nic’s mother.
I had a lot of fun coming up with unique ways to keep the wedding truly “us” by representing Nic and I as much as I could. To show Nic’s love for the Beatles, I surprised him with an acoustic performance of “Blackbird” as I walked down the aisle. Being that Nic is in the Air Force, I had a custom Air Force garter belt (also my something “blue”) made on Etsy and displayed my father’s antique airplane lighter collection on our bar tables. Our tables were named after our favorite ski resorts and with our family style seating arrangement I was able to sit at the Squaw Valley table and be next to Nic who was on the Park City table where he grew up ski racing.
One of the many non-traditional elements in our wedding was having my bridesmaids pick a gray (any darker shade of gray was fine) dress they liked, in a style that suited their personality and body type. Instead of having one big cake we had many small cakes in two. We even asked Nic’s dad to marry us. Nic’s dad did an amazing job representing both Nic and I as during the ceremony he included cultural traditions from my Irish and Jewish heritage and Nic’s Greek heritage. It was so special and so unique.
Flowers: Marian LeBrun of Savage Rose Florals / Wedding Photography: Sasha Gulish Photography / Wedding Venue: Atwood Ranch / Wedding Coordinator: Julie Atwood Events / Wedding Cake: Anna Pier Cakes / Catering: Sage / Beverage Catering: BBC / Bridal Hair: Jordan Tircuit / Makeup: Kathryn Favaro / Wedding Gown: Amsale / Bride's Shoes: Betsey Johnson