Traditionally Elegant Villa del Sol d'Oro Wedding
May 11, 2015
California
Classic WeddingsReligious InstitutionVilla
When it comes to weddings, there is nothing (and I mean nothing) that I love more than a classic Black Tie affair. So, it's no surprise that I am borderline obsessed with this elegant celebration. From their romantic fall day ceremony filled with California sunshine, to the vintage getaway car, every dreamy detail Ryon:Lockhart snapped in the gallery leaves me wanting more.
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From the beautiful Bride... Jonathan and I met in college while I was a senior in undergrad and he was a first-year graduate student. From the moment I met that handsome 6 ft 6 inch Southern gentleman from Texas, I knew he was a special one. Over the next two years we became each others’ closest confidants, encouragers, and best friends...which finally led us to boyfriend and girlfriend (everyone knew it was a long time coming, except us!). It was such a natural progression in our relationship, that after a few weeks of dating we knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. Jonathan proposed the following Christmas at my annual gingerbread-decorating party with a house full of friends and family.

We specifically chose to get married in the fall because of the unbelievably gorgeous weather California consistently brings every October. We wanted the day to feel timeless and sophisticated -- romantic yet traditional. We wanted to be able to look back at the photos and not cringe at some ultra-modern decor (or fashion) choice. I’m Italian (don’t let the blonde hair and blue eyes fool you!) and have spent quite a bit of time amidst the rolling hills of Umbria. When we found Villa del Sol d’Oro, it felt like we had been transported to Italy. It was absolutely perfect. From there, the villa really dictated the “Italian elegance” theme of the whole day.

We chose the nearby church for it’s stunning european gothic design and architectural details. As the light streamed in from the stunning stained-glass windows and the organist played a medley of old and new hymns, we felt this was the most sacred place for us to say “I do.”

Within two months of our engagement our dream team of vendors had been booked, ready to bring our vision to life. SMP was my saving grace of inspiration! Every day I’d browse through the gorgeous weddings, incorporating ideas from the blog into our own vision of the day. We wanted to highlight the warm colors of fall (deep wine burgundy, gold, and cream), starting with copious amounts of beautiful florals. We went for an ethereal, bountiful feel of lush greens and pops of color with long table garlands and overflowing table urns.

We worked to be intentional with every single piece of the day -- wanting our guests to feel as if they had been welcomed into our home. From designing our invitations to sourcing the vintage gold-framed signage throughout the villa -- to our thoughtfully-written ceremony, to every song choice, to the specialty cocktails with an Italian twist: every single part was crafted with care. In the main villa foyer and library we scattered over a hundred individually framed photos (some dating back to the 1800s) of our respective families.

One of our favorite parts of the day (apart from becoming husband and wife) was my father’s reception speech where he encouraged us both to, “Stop, and take it in.” At that moment, we briefly stopped and surveyed the terrace where all of our beautiful friends and family were beaming back at us with such joy. What an incredible moment! Throughout the craziness that comes when planning a wedding, my father continually reminded us that being engaged is a “season” -- a crazy, overwhelming and equally amazing time you will never get to experience again. He encouraged us to be mindful through each step, to appreciate one another, and to be fully present as we prepared to spend the rest of our lives together.

Advice to couples: Your wedding day will go VERY quickly! Quicker than you could imagine. Your adrenaline, excitement, nerves, and overwhelming waves of emotion will make the day seem like a blur. But don’t let it! Be mindful. Be reflective. Be fully, 100% present in each and every moment. You will want to remember this incredibly special day.