We love inspiration shoots. It gives the best of the best in the wedding industry an opportunity to show off their new ideas and stay just ahead of the trends. But when we can’t tell if a wedding is a shoot or if it’s real, until we spot the love and excitement radiating between the two lovebirds, that is even higher on the list of our loves. Especially if it’s as fabulous as this REAL wedding designed by Alchemy Fine Events & Invitations. With a gallery full of lovely images from Lindsey Hahn Photography, your morning has just been made fabulous!
Mike and I were East Coast college sweethearts, and he proposed to me (in the rain!) on a remote, windswept stretch of dunes on Cape Cod. We had originally planned to have a beach wedding on the Cape, but Mike’s job brought us to San Francisco not long after our engagement, and we soon fell in love with the idea of a West Coast wedding instead. We knew we wanted an outdoor wedding in the fall, the season when we first met, but we didn’t have a location in mind. After nixing Yosemite for logistical reasons, we turned to Paso Robles, an up-and-coming wine region on the Central Coast. When we saw photos of HammerSky Vineyards, we knew instantly it was the one. We were enamored with its storied 1904 farmhouse, and its ancient, sprawling oak tree, which stands on a hillside among rows of black grape vines, was like something out of a dream. Its picturesque white barn was also ideal for a small, intimate reception with our closest friends and family.
The location and venue, with all its white-painted wood, gave rise to our theme of old-world Provence charm meets American country comfort with a dash of whimsy. We were inspired by romantic pastoral toiles, and our ah-mazing wedding planner, the insanely creative designer and stylist Vanessa Van Wieren of Alchemy Fine Events, found many ways to bring our toile motif to life, harmoniously blending vintage and contemporary elements. She designed every toile detail, from bespoke toile + ticking fabric decorative pillows and table runners, to a custom toile light pattern for our dance floor, to toile to-go cups for an end-of-the-night spiked hot cocoa treat.
In my search for tarnished vintage teapots to serve as centerpiece vases, I was lucky enough to stumble across Etsy shop La Pomme. Based in Aigues-Mortes, a little town in the south of France, it sells French country wares and salvaged antique finds. The owners, a husband-and-wife team, were able to round up an eclectic mix of vintage vessels, including Sheffield teapots, country pewter measuring cups, and a weathered, oversized copper pitcher that served as inspiration for the many copper elements we incorporated into the décor.
I’m kind of obsessed with anything that’s laser cut, so I wanted to achieve that effect on a large scale. Vanessa designed a leafy scrollwork pattern that included our monogram, and we had it water jet cut into copper sheets to create one-of-a-kind signage. A smaller, freestanding copper sign greeted guests with a warm “welcome” in French, and a larger copper sign was strung in a tree over our open-air bar, decorated with hanging dried flowers, and backlit at night.
Trumpet Vine Catering served up delicious cocktail and dinner fare, fusing French and American country cuisine, and was even able to recreate my late grandmother’s famous fried green tomato recipe. Vanessa designed the letterpressed menu, which was laser cut in two corners and bolted onto antiqued copper backings.
Our color palette consisted of bold, romantic reds, deep maroons, and charcoal black softened by sun-bleached shades of peach, pink, and yellow. I wanted the flowers to be lush and dramatic but still earthy and autumny, with touches of fall foliage. Laurel White (who is just the sweetest ever and a masterful, thoughtful floral designer with exquisite taste) did a spectacular job with the flowers, which included David Austin English garden roses, Black Magic roses, Queen Anne’s lace, cream Majolica roses, dahlias, chocolate cosmos, scabiosa, razzleberry, olive, apple branches, and figs.
We also incorporated lots of dried flowers, from a mix-your-own-potpourri station to dried rosebud boutonnieres. In the barn, I wanted to replicate the feel of an old drying shed, and Laurel turned my vision into a magical reality, hanging lace-tied dried flowers (including tea and garden roses, lavender, larkspur, coxcomb, hydrangea, delphinium, and nigella pods) from the crossbeams, interspersed with French flea market chandeliers and cloche-shaped hanging votives.
My mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law made all the fabric toppers (using red toile and oyster burlap) for our California sage honey favors and also brought hand-dried lavender buds from a farm in their hometown to toss during the recessional.
Our rings were strung on a strand of fragrant tuberose florets tied around an heirloom pocket Bible that was draped with my husband’s great-grandmother’s wedding handkerchief, which was my something blue. The rings were carried by our adorable nephew, James. Our niece, Ella, made a beautiful flower girl, carrying a ribboned basket festooned with leaves and rosebuds, filled with cream rose petals, and covered in pages from an old songbook. We were very fortunate to have Mike’s family pastor serve as our officiant.
Our photographer, Lindsey Hahn, was a joy to work with and captured every moment beautifully with a style all her own.
We are so beyond grateful for our wonderful families, who made our dream wedding possible. And we are thankful for each and every one of our wedding vendors, who went above and beyond to make our day special. Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts!
Event design, Coordination, Menus & Signage: Alchemy Fine Events & Invitations / Photography: Lindsey Hahn Photography / Venue: Hammersky Vineyard / Flowers + Linens: Flowers Adornments / Vintage Rentals: Marigold Vintage Rentals and Found Vintage Rentals / Tableware + Party Rentals: Classic Party Rentals Santa Barbara, Classic Party Rentals Napa, and Small Masterpiece / Lighting: Kramer Entertainment / DJ: Josh Jones of Goodbeat Productions / Live Music: Candlelight Strings / Hair: Keith James (bride) and Faces and Alamode (bridesmaids) / Makeup: Kimberley Bosso / Caterer: Trumpet Vine Catering / Cheese: Cheese Plus San Francisco and Vivant Fine Cheese / Dessert Bar + Cake: Two Little Birds Bakery / Transportation: Central Coast Trolley Company / Letterpress: Porridge Papers / Laser Cutting: Pagoda Arts / Waterjet Cutting: SchGo Engineered Products / Invitations: Kid Icarus / Calligraphy: Barbara Callow / Etsy Vendors: La Pomme, Queen of Tarts Wafers, Wooden Hive, Lisa’s Craftiques, and 5 Dollar French Market / Bride’s Dress: Watters via La Jeune Mariee / Bride’s Shoes: Christian Louboutin / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Lela Rose / Groom’s Attire: Jim’s Formal Wear / Bride’s Ring: Cathy Waterman / Groom’s Ring: Valerie Kasinskas