As a young girl growing up on the breathtaking Beltane Ranch watching weddings on the property, this beautiful Bride dreamed of the day when she could do the same. When that day finally showed it’s pretty face, it turned out to be a stop-in-your-tracks, succulent-filled soiree that surpassed her wildest dreams. With Kate Harrison Photography behind the lens to capture all the magic and some of Sonoma’s finest to make her dream day a reality – like the deliciously talented caterers at The Girl & the Fig – it most certainly turned into a soiree that will go down in Sonoma history. See it all here!
From the Bride… This was a life-long dream in the making as I was lucky enough to grow up on the beautiful Beltane Ranch. My family’s historic ranch in the heart of Sonoma Valley has hosted many absolutely gorgeous weddings over the decades. My mom and my grandmother first started welcoming these magical occasions in the ’70s, and I’ve observed the numerous, carefully-curated details from as early as I can remember. The experience was one as personal and special as I could imagine is possible. It was an honor to be able to unite my husband and his fantastic family with mine, in the meaningful setting of the land my family has cared for for five generations. The incredibly talented Kate Harrison photographed our dream day.
Steven and I are both native Californians and chose to honor our home state’s unique history, including our Mexican-American heritage as “Alta California” in the style of our wedding. We included accents such as extraordinary Latin-inspired cuisine by The Girl & The Fig and the best Mariachi band around! Starting 10 months ahead, my mom and I grew everything we wanted for the flowers (personal, centerpieces, aisle, etc) including thousands of succulents, Calla lilies and Lobelia. The morning of our wedding we picked everything we needed, including tons of Spanish moss, olive branches and over 10 varieties of succulents, which doubled as favors as guests helped themselves (from the brunch the next morning) and replanted all over the country! Wine & Olive Oil: Our estate-grown wine and olive oil proved an ideal match for the seared scallops, and we also gave half bottles of wine with custom labels as favors. My mom and I designed the flower girl dresses, searched endlessly for the perfect ribbon and tulle, and my mom cut the patterns and sewed each dress. We bent old ranch vineyard ties into long hooks, stuck them into the ground and hung with recycled mason jars, each wrapped in gold mesh, holding a votive and strung up with rusty baling wire. For the table runners, I sourced bulk black cotton and loose burlap to hand-make each of our double-layer, frayed burlap runners. We made escort tags by spray painting Kraft tags black and punching with a Martha Stewart hole punch. My brother, husband and his father hung Mexican Tin star lights in the trees (a gift my dad bought us in Los Barriles, Mexico), and accented with hand-punched recycled cans in the lounge area.
My husband recently completed photographing Chef Sondra Bernstein’s (of The Girl & the Fig) new coffee table cookbook, Plats du Jour. We were ecstatic to have Sondra not only attend our wedding, but design the most extraordinary Latin-influenced menu, served family-style, including locally sourced ingredients with an adventurous edge. Our spectacular cake was a gift from my best friend’s parents, and it was served alongside handmade natural ice cream by our local Michoacana. We were incredibly lucky to serve and enjoy the fabulous wines hand-crafted by our our neighbors, friends and guests, including the Benziger family, Kunde family, Unti, MacLeod family and our Beltane Ranch Sauvignon Blanc. It was such a unique experience to actually attend an event and enjoy the setting at its prime in the company of the people who make it what it is….our entire staff was there! That was a real treat!
Wedding Photography: Kate Harrison Photography / Wedding Venue: Beltane Ranch in Glen Ellen, California (The Bride’s Family Home) / Wedding Consultation + Coordination: Off the Beaten Path Weddings / Personal Flowers: Jenny Powers, Using All Home-Grown Flowers from the Ranch / Centerpieces: Home-Grown + DIY by the Bride & Friends / Catering: Chef Sondra Bernstein of The Girl & the Fig / Wedding Cake: Michele’s Corner Cakers / Ice Cream: Michoacana Natural Ice Cream of Sonoma / Officiant: Chief Peter Van Fleet of Glen Ellen Volunteer Fire Department (The Father of a Friend of the Bride) / Wedding Invitations + Menus: William Arthur via Corrick’s / Ceremony Guitar: San Francisco Conservatory of Music / Cocktail + First Dance Music: Mariachi Jalisco de Sacramento (916-455-8631) / DJ: Matt Napier of Santa Ana / Rentals: Bright Event Rentals / Favors: Half Bottles of Beltane Ranch Estate Sauvignon Blanc / Lighting: Punched Tin Stars Purchased in Los Barriles, Mexico / After-Party Food: Tacos el Gitano / Transportation: Sonoma Valley Unified School District Buses / Wedding Dress: Angel Sanchez Spring 2011 Collection (Look #13 in the Website’s Slideshow) via Saks Fifth Avenue / Shoes: Martinez Valero / Earrings: TEJANI / Hair: Heather at Salon Novo / Makeup: Rahnie Smith / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: LulaKate in Phantom Silk Dupioni via Bella Bridesmaid / Flower Girl Dresses: DIY by the Mother of Bride / Rings: Custom by Dan at Halem & Company in Sonoma / Additional Consulting: Mary Dann Wedding and Party Coordinators