If you’ve been a reader of SMP for some time now, you know California winery weddings have a certain spot reserved in our wedding-loving hearts. We simply can’t resist their West Coast allure. That warm California sunshine mixed with miles of vineyards set the perfect scene for two lovebirds to tie the knot. And when you throw in a Groom in uniform, pretty pink details and a Bride so lovely we can’t believe she’s real all captured beautifully by We Heart Photography? Well then, my lovelies, we are officially done for. See it all here!

From the Bride… With Dave in the Navy, a lot of our relationship has been spent apart. But even when we are apart, we are still together. We wanted our wedding day to be a reflection of who we are as a couple. The wedding site with the winery, Stephanie’s family heritage, the vineyard and breathtaking views of the Monterey Bay inspired us to have an “Italian family style” wedding. It was a perfect reception where dinner wasn’t rushed; the timeline we had planned went out the window but still there was plenty of time for dancing and enjoying everyone’s company. 

My Dad and his winery partners made individual bottles of Soquel Vineyard’s Zinfandel, our favorite varietal, for us to give as wedding favors. We designed our own wedding label for the front and chose a favorite quote for the back. It turned out to be a beautiful personal touch! As a winemaker my Dad always says, “Just drink what you like.” Dave and I enjoy sharing wine together so we thought it would be fun to taste some of our favorites with our guests. We chose 11 of our favorite bottles of wine (some of them bargains at under $10), labeled them and used them to number our tables. During dinner we walked around to each table and opened the bottles of wine with our guests. We got to share a little story with them about why it was one of our favorites and most importantly welcome guests individually.

My favorite moment was right before my Dad gave me away to Dave. As I stood there clinging to my Dad in anticipation of joining Dave all my butterflies and nervousness vanished. I was overjoyed knowing our entire family and closest friends were surrounding us as we were about to commit our lives to one another. My advice for other brides would be to slow down and enjoy each moment of your wedding day because it goes by so fast. Throughout the day I tried to just stop what I was doing and take that moment in. Many times throughout our reception Dave and I would look at each other and say, “Wow, this is so amazing…”

Wedding Photography: We Heart Photography / Wedding Venue: Private Vineyard in Soquel, California / Floral Design: Ace’s Flowers / Wedding Catering: Barbara & Company / Wedding Cake: Original Sin Desserts / Music: Mike Hadley and the Groove / Linens: Alexis Party Rental / Wedding Dress: Allure Bridals / Hair + Makeup: Rebecca Bergland / Men’s Formalwear: US Navy + Men’s Wearhouse