There are brides who totally rock the DIY, and then there is this bride. A seriously stunning graduate of the French Culinary Institute who not only had one epic vision for her big day (think rustic romance meets ranch glam), but took it upon herself to also bake.the.cake. Yep… she’s as awesome as you think. And her wedding day captured by The Edges Wedding Photography and planned to perfection by Vibrant Events is, well… all sorts of amazing. See it in THE VAULT right this way.
From the Bride… When my fiancé and I started planning our wedding, we’d just recently moved to San Francisco from the East Coast, where nearly all our friends and family reside. We decided that if our guests flew all the way across the country for our wedding, we wanted them to have a real wine country experience and show off everything Northern California has to offer. Sonoma was an easy choice because of its proximity to San Francisco, and its unpretentious, laid back, authentic vibe. When we first visited Beltane Ranch at the suggestion of our wedding planner Corina, we immediately fell in love with it and knew it would be our spot. Beltane just has the most gorgeous, magical light that makes everything feel super special. We loved the history of the property, and how authentic everything felt there. The old trees draped in moss, the beautiful historical yellow home, and the stunning vineyard views sealed the deal, and we put our names down for the last available wedding date on our first visit.
In planning our wedding, Corina our wedding planner guided us through the multitude of choices, and was instrumental in creating our Sonoma wedding weekend. She has a knack for knowing what you want before you can even articulate it, and balanced all our families’ opinions and needs seamlessly. She was a real bright spot in our year of wedding planning, always ready with a solution and her contagious laugh that always lightened the mood. She helped us create a wedding weekend filled with amazing local food, fun live music, fantastic California wines, and all the small, thoughtful, bespoke details we’d hoped for.
My husband and I chose to do a first look on our wedding day, which I’d definitely suggest to anyone planning their own wedding. My nerves before that moment were though the roof, but once we saw each other, nerves gave way to excitement and the rest of the day was just pure joy.
As a graduate of the French Culinary Institute, I’d always dreamed of baking my own wedding cake. I loved the personalized element it would add to our wedding, and the wonderful story I knew it would become for my husband and I. When I told people of my DIY wedding cake plans, nearly everyone told me I was crazy! A lot of research, lots of thoughtful planning, and only a few moments of self doubt where I did indeed feel crazy, led up to my homemade wedding cake that was entirely worth it. It definitely wasn’t perfect, but it was beautiful and delicious, and very meaningful.
Our wedding day was filled with dozens of special small moments, but seeing our friends and family, who’d traveled across the country, and some from half way around the world just for our wedding, really made the whole day feel extra special. The love packed into that day was almost overwhelming, and my husband and I reveled in it for weeks after. We decided to go with a family style menu for our dinner, and that was a real highlight for us and for our guests. Sage catering put together an incredible local, seasonal menu for us, and everyone raved about the gorgeous dishes. The family style meal really helped set the tone for the night, and felt very “California” to our East Coast guests. As the sun set across the vineyard and light filtered through the mossy trees, everyone just pinched themselves because it all looked so stunning.
The best advice I received as a bride came from a close family friend who’d recently gotten married. She told me to look out at our guests during the ceremony, and just soak up that rare, special moment with all our favorite people. I looked out several times throughout our ceremony, and it really helped me revel in that moment, and see the love that surrounded us.
For other couples planning a wedding, we’d definitely advise working with a planner, at least for the day of your wedding. Everything goes by in a split second, and having a professional there ensuring everything runs smoothly truly is invaluable. And make sure you love your planner, because you’ll spend more time with them than almost anyone else! We’d also suggest picking your battles. Pick five main things for your wedding that are the most important to you, and fight for those five things. Everything else is background, and stressing about each minute detail will drive you crazy, and take the fun out of this special time.
Photography: The Edges Wedding Photography | Cinematography: Forward Motion | Event Planning + Design: Vibrant Events | Floral Design: La Fleuriste | Wedding Dress: Liancarlo | Cake: The Bride | Stationery: DiSanto Designs | Bride's Shoes: Kate Spade | Rings: Union Street Goldsmith | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Weddington Way | Catering: Sage Catering | Hair + Makeup: Wallett | DJ: Dave Tutton | Groom's Attire: Kenneth Cole | Officiant: Reverend Dr. Joe | String Quartet: San Francisco Music Consortium | Venue: Beltane Ranch | Bridal Boutique: Marina Morrison | Linen Rentals: La Tavola Linen | Photo Booth: Say Ya Photobooth