When a fun couple plans a destination wedding, this is what happens: loads of gorgeous details by Alicia K Designs, the gloriously good looking backdrop of Sonoma and a whole boatload of merrymaking (including a photo booth and a s’mores pit). From the looks of the photos captured by borrowed blue old new, good times were indeed had by all. Catch every last second of the fun in the FULL gallery.
From the bride… Brian and I both have large families scattered around the world and across the U.S., so we knew that in asking people to travel such a long way, we needed to make the wedding weekend a fun and memorable destination event. It helped that Brian was from Northern California’s wine country, which was an easy sell with our international relatives. We saw the wedding reception as a celebration with and for all the people we love most. Juxtaposed with our traditional Catholic ceremony in an old Mission church, we wanted the wedding reception to be representative of our humor and character as a couple, including a touch of traditional Chinese flair. Set atop Kunde Family Estate’s beautiful hilltop vineyards in the middle of Sonoma Valley, we wanted our guests to create their own memories of the event. Guests lined up for the photo booth, while others danced, made s’mores over the open fireplace or wandered out for sunset walks through the rows of vines.
Our wedding favors were Chinese enamel cups with cute slogans and “Double Happiness” characters, meant to carry home candy from the candy buffet. Blue and white Chinese vases and teapots served as centerpieces, filled with soft, lush flowers in peach, pink and ivory. As mementos of the event, guests were asked to take these vases home with them. The toasts featured personalized drinking shanties by the brother of the bride and a good old fashioned “roast” by the brothers of the groom.
After the cake cutting, we surprised our guests and the groom’s brothers by announcing our very own “Newlywed Game.” We wanted to create something unique and fun for our guests. Our version went like this — Brian and his two married brothers sat opposite their three wives. We provided the DJ with questions like, “My wife is really good at X, but really bad at X,” “My husband’s idea of a good date is,” and “My husband would be embarrassed for people to know that he secretly loves X.” The goal was for each couple to provide matching answers to questions. But the real fun was in the mismatches and in learning things no one knew about the couples. The raucous laughter got people pumped up for a big night, and it showed on the dance floor. We were so moved to have our loved ones come from so far to be with us on our big day, and we were gratified to see that they had (almost) as much fun as we did! We are so happy with the way our wedding day turned out, and we could not thank everyone enough!
Wedding Photography: borrowed blue old new / Ceremony: St. Francis Solano Church in Sonoma, California / Reception: Kunde Family Estate in Kenwood, California / Flowers: Lavender Country Garden Florals / Event Design + Planning: Alicia K Designs / Wedding Invitations: Polina Khentov / Catering: Park Avenue Catering / Wedding Cake: Terry Nommsen of Grammyscakes / Photo Booth: Wine Country Photo Booths / Lighting: Illusions Lighting / Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier / Bride’s Belt: Lela Rose