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Elegant + Rustic Wine Country Wedding

Combing the beautiful Bride’s Chinese heritage (she wore a qipao to the reception, and their wedding date was a Chinese lucky day!) with the Groom’s Catholic faith (they had a second church ceremony the morning after the reception), this colorful fete — perfectly captured in this gallery by Erin Hearts Court – is truly stunning and filled with so many sweet, personal details, we can’t get enough!

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Styles
Rustic

From the Bride… Adam and I were set on a collision course in college, having gone to the same school, worked in Beijing at the same Chinese magazine, attended the same business school, and worked at the same company after graduation. When our paths finally crossed in our first year of grad school, we joked that we were destined to meet — or that we somehow thwarted destiny’s plan to keep us apart. Three years later, Adam proposed at one of our favorite wineries in Sonoma.

Wedding planning began with a list of activities we loved, design elements we were drawn to, and bits of our heritage and past that formed our identities and underpinned our relationship. On it, we had written “St. Louis (his hometown), New York (my hometown), travel and board games (our loves), reading and saving money (my loves), the outdoors and cookie dough (his loves)…” There were no themes that jumped out, and we tried to select a few to concentrate on, but eventually gave up. We decided: if it reflected us, it would be consistent.

So, we looked for outdoor venues with beautiful vistas that did not break the bank. We wanted something warm and intimate that could host both ceremony and reception on site. When Dan O’Connell of Vine Hill House told us that a date that fell on both a three-day weekend and a Chinese lucky date was available, we jumped at the opportunity and booked the first venue we saw.

We selected the incomparable Erin Hearts Court as our photographers, thinking we had no idea how our hodgepodge wedding would turn out and a good photographer can make anything look good! We supplemented with Andrew Hsu as videographer and a fun, high-quality photobooth from Night Owl, the photos from which I used to create a video that captures the progressive revelry of the night.

As the wedding took shape, I found myself gravitating to a little sparkle to complement the rusticity. I settled on a faint gray dress from BHLDN with an elegant sheer back and glittery front. The skirt was soft, flowy, and romantic. We sprinkled gold accents in the entryway and on the tables to complement the bright mandarin-colored bridesmaid dresses and orange flowers. The groomsmen wore navy suits with checkered bowties and pocket squares, while my two bridesmen wore gray suits with matching checkered skinny ties.

We incorporated both our cultures throughout. A Chinese tradition, my bridal party challenged the groomsmen to a series of games to prove the groom’s worth. In typical Chinese fashion, my aunt insisted at the last minute that we add an impromptu tea ceremony. We included a bilingual reading in the ceremony as well as a spiritual one reflecting Adam’s Catholic faith. We served a family-style dinner during the reception, after which I changed into a red qipao for dancing. The next day, we had a small Catholic ceremony in a church with family.

Our guest cards were homemade library cards that listed key dates of our relationship stuck into vintage card catalog holders. We created little Calvin and Hobbes cards for guests to write notes to us with memories, predictions, and advice. One of our favorite elements was a map we made showing where our guests were coming from around the world. Reflecting one of our favorite games, the table numbers were spelled out with Scrabble pieces. Our dessert station featured the “Evolution of a Cookie,” moving from cookie dough to soft baked to crunchy cookies, honoring his and my favorite desserts. We aged cocktails in mini-barrels and created a cigar-and-cocktail lounge in a small redwood grove off the dance floor.

We also tried to personalize the content as much as possible. We wrote our own vows, carefully selected passages from our favorite books and authors, and involved friends throughout the day. One of Adam’s best friends from business school served as our officiant, and family members and close friends delivered selected readings during the ceremony and gave an abundance of toasts at the reception. We were blown away by the thoughtfulness, humor, and insight of the speeches.

The day was clear and bright, and the night was warm for Sonoma. Everything, as disparate as it seemed initially, came together beautifully. Our favorite moment was at the end of the night, when everyone on the dance floor began spiraling inwards into a giant 80-person group hug with us at the center. It was an epic way to end an epic day, and one that very much reflected how we felt — enveloped by love and joy by our closest friends and family.

Photography: Erin Hearts Court | Videography: Andrew Hsu | Floral Design: Maria Philbin | Wedding Dress: BHLDN | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Watters | Catering: Trends Catering | Hair And Makeup: Susie Chhuor | Venue: Vine Hill House | Photo Booth: Night Owl Photobooth

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Elegant Gold Palm Springs Wedding

“Organic with a splash of gold” was the design mentality behind this Palm Springs beauty. And with the help of Artisan Events Floral Decor, that vision came to life in a serious way. From the stunning outdoor ceremony to the luxe ballroom celebration, Brett Hickman and Two Spoons Productions made certain no moment went un-cauptured. More pretty right this way!

Colors
Seasons
Fall

From the Bride… Overall, we wanted our wedding to be organic and chic, with a splash of gold! A night of candlelight and romance, flowers as art with creativity and style throughout.

Brandon (Nickname Bubba) surprised me in the middle of Central Park while my parents and I were out visiting my younger brother in New York! The story goes something like this… On Saturday night of our vacation my family “had tickets to go to a broadway show.” Meanwhile, to the best of my knowledge, Bubba was back home working a baseball camp in San Diego. Because I had never been to Central Park before my parents suggested walking through the park before heading to our nearby dinner reservations. As we were walking through the park my parents pointed out the gazebo up on the hill that looked like it might provide some shelter from all the snow. We made our way up the winding pathway which eventually, to my SURPRISE, led to Bubba, surrounded by rose petals in the middle of a snowy Central Park. He got down on one knee under the Treehouse for Dreaming and I said YES!

For the wedding,  above all, our family. Of course I spent countless hours on Pinterest and wedding websites searching for every perfect detail but at the end of the day all we really wanted was to plan a day of celebration with our closest family and friends. Our colors were blush, champagne and gold. In my mind the theme was rustic glam with a touch of romance. Some of the handmade elements we included were our chalkboards, signs, corn hole, stained wine crates, and card box. Artisan was a huge help in tying all of my creative ideas together.

Our favorite part of the wedding was the kiss (of course!) and my first look with my dad and brother. Bubba’s family and friends have a long standing tradition of singing Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” at every wedding. It was such a special moment to be surrounded by our friends and family at OUR wedding singing the song with the people we love most. Not to mention it was followed by Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin” which was the perfect end to an even better day!

My best advice for planning a wedding would be to start early and try not to get wrapped up too much in the details. Pinterest can get rather overwhelming to say the least. It’s important to remember that you are pinning things from several DIFFERENT weddings and incorporating each individual piece of “perfection” from Pinterest into ONE wedding is a daunting task. Don’t forget to focus on why you are planning a wedding in the first place – you get to marry the love of your life and have a lifetime of adventures ahead of you with them by your side! That, at the end of it all, is the very best part!

Photography: Brett Hickman Photographers | Videographer: Two Spoons Productions | Event Design: Artisan Events Floral Decor | Coordination: Artisan Events Floral Decor | Floral Design: Artisan Events Floral Decor | Ceremony Venue: Riviera Palm Springs | Reception Venue: Riviera Palm Springs | Calligraphy: Project Watermark | Officiant: Casey Caston | Bridal Gown: Olva By Blue By Enzoani | Engagement Ring And Wedding Bands: Marvel Jewelry | Linens: La Tavola

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A Romantic Affair in Healdsburg

I’m 100% convinced onelove photography has the coolest clients in the world. With wedding after gorgeous wedding, it’s clear her couples have style for days, and this sweet duo is the perfect example. They opted for a relaxed yet completely romantic vibe, with nods to their relationship sprinkled in along the way. Treat yourself to more eye candy in the gallery.













Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Winery
Styles
Rustic

From The Bride and Groom…We wanted a relaxed romantic vibe, with subtle hints of what our relationship is made of. By trying to keep the colors softer, it left room for details that wouldn’t overwhelm. We wanted guests to feel comfortable with a little sparkle here and there.

Joe’s blue suit was a big deal, Im not certain I had the forethought to realize the impact it would have, but was so elated by the outcome! Granted the traditional mindset is that “all eyes are on the bride”, but when I walked down the aisle my eyes were glued on the man in blue;) During our first look I could just tell he felt important, the details had really made a lasting memory. We had spent so much time debating tie colors, pocket squares, getting the fit just right…and it was fun seeing him invested in a process that didn’t include a flower or linen. Knowing that I wasn’t the only one getting the bridal “ooh’s” and “ah’s” was priceless, and he truly was a looker.

For inspiration, I looked everywhere! It’s been a hard habit to break, walking in to a grocery store and not filling my basket with bridal magazines. And Pinterest was like the rabbit hole in Alice and Wonderland, I’d click on one link that would lead me to another blog…and another idea….and so on, too much fun (my groom would have different thoughts on that one though.) That being said, I started searching with more of an agenda or goal. On some evenings I’d limit myself to find inspiration for the aisle, another for the table decor, etc.

Mags took us off to take photos after the cake cutting, right as the sun was setting. All the formalities were done and I really felt like we had a chance to breathe and make a memory. We walked out to this country road lined with vineyards, and in the distance you could hear our guests cheering, and we couldn’t help but laugh. Knowing that they were all having so much fun, with or without us, truly made us happy. And being able to start our life together surrounded by that much unapologetic celebration was pure bliss.

Photography: onelove photography | Coordination: Megan Clark | Floral Design: Papillion Floral Design | Wedding Dress: Sottero & Midgley | Cake: Forget Me Not Cakes | Stationery: Minted | Ceremony: Private Winery | Reception: Private Winery | Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Catering: Feast Catering | DJ: Chris AMS DJ/MC | Groom's Attire: Men's Wearhouse | Linens: La Tavola | Makeup & Hair: Susie Chhuor

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Bright Florals at Whimsical Sonoma Wedding

Bright, vibrant colors fill this whimsical Sonoma wedding captured beautifully by One Love Photography. Tucked underneath a white tent from One True Love Vintage Rentals, the bride looks gorgeous in a romantic Hayley Paige design, while the groom is dapper in Indochino. You can see every moment and detail here!

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Vineyard
Styles
Whimsical

From The Bride…Jerome and I met in college. We were basically just kids when we met and have been by each other’s sides while we each grew into successful adults with real careers. He wanted me to finish graduate school before moving on to the next chapter of our lives together, and we dated for almost 8 years before he proposed in the vineyards outside a castle in Napa. We got married exactly on our 9 year dating anniversary, so we really wanted our wedding to feel like a big celebration of LOVE! Since Jerome proposed in a vineyard, we wanted to continue with the theme and have a wine country wedding. And because really, in my opinion, it does not get anymore beautiful than an outdoor summer wedding in wine country! My idea of our perfect wedding design included modern elements (for the groom), vintage details (for the bride) surrounded by romance, with a dash of whimsy and fun. It was really important to us that the wedding truly reflected us as a couple, with respect to both our tastes and our personalities. My husband and I are pretty much polar opposites, but we worked with each other and with our planner to create something beautiful for our big day, and we could not have been happier with the end product.

When we first started the wedding planning process, I had these wild dreams of a beautiful DIY wedding. I had lists of projects that I wanted to accomplish to truly make our wedding bespoke. However, I had just finished graduate school and started a new career so of course my big plans didn’t work out. We were still able to have custom items for our wedding, though, which I absolutely was thrilled about. With some help from our loving family and friends, we managed to personalize several things including our bar menu and other signage, our version of the Mr. and Mrs. chair sign, custom gold marquee lights, escort cards, programs, hand embroidered bridesmaid hankies, and hand planted succulent favors. I feel these small details added a very special touch to our wedding.

Since my husband and I have very different tastes, it was difficult to come up with a design that would reflect us both. We decided on neutral base colors of grey, white, and gold for a classic and clean feel, and had a spectrum of the rose family included in our floral design for added whimsy. The neutral base colors contributed an elegant feel, vintage furniture brought in the details I craved, the gorgeous flowers added romance, and our glitter sequin linen completed the look with the sprinkle of whimsy I was looking for. The result was just magic. Another aspect of our wedding that I love was our custom invitation suite and wedding paper goods. This was designed by my good friend and bridesmaid. The flowers were hand water colored by her and added such a unique touch to our paper goods.

It is easy to get sucked into the glitz and glam of the wedding world. You begin to want and dream of things you never even knew existed! To keep yourselves from becoming overwhelmed (and staying within budget), I recommend sitting down with your partner and making a list of a few things that are really important to you. That way, you can focus and splurge on these things. For us, it was food, photography, and design. Being self proclaimed foodies, catering was important to us. We hired our day of coordinator to help us pull together themes and elements we loved, and to assist in putting together a design we truly were happy with. And of course, we had to find the perfect photographer to document our magical day. Ours were able to capture the love and magic of our big day just beautifully. We were so happy when our guests ranted and raved about how the wedding truly felt very “us”.

There were so many special moments from our big day, including the anticipation of our first look, walking down the aisle with both my parents by my side, and literally being surrounded by love during the last song of the night. However, my dad passed away very recently and I want to share my memories of him from our wedding day.

My dad’s health has been deteriorating over the past couple of years, and we did not know if he would be able to make it to the wedding. However, luckily he ended up being well enough to walk me down the aisle and to my surprise, even make a beautiful speech during dinner! About six months after the wedding, just as we thought he was on the road to gaining his health back, my dad unexpectedly passed away. His loss has been more difficult than I could ever imagine, but I am comforted by some of our last memories together on my wedding day. Before the wedding, my dad mustered what little strength he had and with heavy determination, helped my mom build our wedding arch. It was truly special to exchange vows under something my parents lovingly built, especially now looking back and knowing that it was one of my dad’s last gifts to us. I also fondly remembered our father/daughter dance. My dad twirled me, and I must say he was not the twirling type! During our dance when I asked him if he was happy, he smiled, nodded and said, “Ba happy.” (Ba is Vietnamese for father)

From The Groom…The day started off with me waking up bright and early, sneaking out of the groom/groomsmen house, and heading to a coffee shop so that I could gather my thoughts and write the letters I would be putting into our wine capsule (we would read these letters 1 year, 5 years, and 10 years later). Of course I had waited until the last minute to get them done. I was making great progress until I looked at the clock and realized I had been there longer than I anticipated. In fact, I needed to get back and get ready! And that sort of set the tone for the whole day. It went by in a blur. My bride looked stunning in her gorgeous dress. The beautiful outdoor ceremony was perfect. The food was delicious. The speeches were all so heart felt. I guess in general, what I will remember most is all the love I felt from our friends and family. When else will you ever attend a party of 150 people in their best attire where you’re the center of attention, you know all the attendants, and everyone is wishing you nothing but happiness? Just once in your lifetime and our wedding day could not have been more perfect.

Photography: One Love Photography | Videography: Marmalade Sky Films | Coordination: Sugar Rush Events | Flowers: The Flower House | Invitations: Cecilia Aranez | Ceremony : Cornerstone Gardens Vineyard Lawn | Reception: Cornerstone Gardens Tent/Barn | Jewelry: Nordstrom | Jewelry: Bauble Bar | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Catering: Elaine Bell Catering | DJ: Verducci Event Productions | Groom's Attire: Indochino | Officiant : Reverend Rick Tan | Dress Designer : Hayley Paige | Groom/Groomsmen Ties: The Tie Bar | Rentals: One True Love Vintage Rentals | Rentals : Hartmann Rentals | Shoe Designer : Badgley Mischka

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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Abby Capalbo

Design, Styling, Parties
Intimate Nature-Inspired Ojai Wedding

When it comes to rustic romance, this next outdoor affair from LB Event Planning takes the cake.  Despite enduring unrelenting temps, this intimate gathering nestled amongst a hidden forest is overflowing with cool details. From the eucalyptus leaves place-cards that were sourced from the Bride’s childhood home, to heirloom antiques dotting the day, Shannen Natasha has it all waiting for you in the gallery!

Colors
Seasons
Summer

From LB Event PlanningThis wedding was set on one of the hottest days in October in Ojai amongst the trees in a hidden yoga retreat. There was little air conditioning involved but the nerves and excitement were plentiful. The vendors worked like a well oiled machine during set up and throughout the entire wedding to ensure that everything was perfection. The highlight certainly was, once everything had been set out and sunbeams dripped out from behind the mountains and through the tree branches, when the bride stepped out from the retreat house gripping her father’s arm – it was like magic. The day only got better from there on, I’ll let the bride tell you all about it.

From the beautiful Bride… I am a lover of words, so adjectives were a natural place for me to start my planning journey. After discussing what we both hoped the wedding would be, my husband and I settled on vintage, rustic, elegant, whimsical, and comfortable. An intimate gathering in a beautiful outdoor setting was always our goal.

While we loved the idea of getting married in a remote forest, practicality was also important to us. Ojai was a perfect fit: nestled at the base of the Los Padres National Forest, an excellent weekend get-away for our out of town guests, and within 2hrs of our home in LA.

Determined to find a venue that provided lodging as well as outdoor space for our ceremony and reception, I spent countless hours scouring vacation rental websites and making innumerable variations of google searches. The modern amenities and amazing privacy provided by Calliote Canyon were truly a dream come true. When we learned that Calliote was available on the one year anniversary of our engagement, we knew that we had our wedding date and our location. From there, our challenge was to make décor choices that would celebrate, rather than distract from, our amazing venue.

Once the venue was set, our mission was to find vendors who understood and were excited about our aesthetic and goals for our wedding. Kiersten, with LB Events, was the perfect team captain. She’s the only coordinator we met with, and we are still so impressed with how she and the LB ladies put all of the pieces together. Our vendor search was a mix of doing a lot of research and then throwing it out the window and following our gut.

In retrospect, this was one of the most important things we did. Weddings have so many moving parts; it’s unavoidable for some things to go wrong. For us, the crisp fall wedding we envisioned turned into a balmy California heat-wave wedding. We were so lucky to have people like Kiersten and Wildflora on hand to find ways to still accomplish our foresty-found-object aesthetic while negotiating the unrelenting heat.

Nature was definitely an over-arching theme for our ceremony and reception. For me, following a natural aesthetic meant eschewing the matching elements you often find at formal events. This was especially evident in our china, florals, and wedding party attire. My bridesmaids were asked to choose their own dresses in a neutral color scheme. I had a lot of fun assembling a Pinterest inspiration board for them and they did a pretty amazing job! The groomsmen wore their own black suits and we gifted them white wrinkle-resistant shirts, so that they would still look cohesive.
The groomsmen’s wacky socks were an homage to my husband, who is a passionate collector of vibrant socks, and my getting ready robe was borrowed from my MOH, who wore it before her wedding.

People didn’t realize it, but the eucalyptus leaves we used as place-cards were actually taken from my childhood home, which was sold during wedding planning. Most of the antiques were originally my parent’s and the books were from my personal collection. My mother passed away when I was in elementary school and the family photo and “In Memoriam” projects I had planned ended up being really hard for me. My bridesmaids and officiant rescued me 2 weeks before the wedding, picking up all supplies from my house and assembling everything in a secret wedding-party pow-pow. It meant a lot for them to step in and create such beautiful pieces for our wedding.

Using a vacation rental was a lot of extra work, but gave us the flexibility to have a rehearsal dinner, after party, and post-wedding brunch without obliterating our budget. Having our friends from all over the country stay at Calliote and hang out like old friends turned into one of the most rewarding parts of the weekend. We had a low-key, taco-cart catered rehearsal dinner onsite (best decision ever!) and spent that evening eating left-overs and finishing projects. Our wedding after-party started on the dance floor (thanks, Wes!) and ended in the kitchen, eating what remained of MJB’s amazing desserts.

Photography: Shannen Natasha | Coordination: LB Event Planning | Floral Design: Wildflora LA | Wedding Dress: Leanne Marshall | Cake: MJB Cakes | Stationery: Minted | Catering: Danny Douglas Catering | DJ : Red Shoe LA | Venue: Calliote Canyon | Rentals: A Rental Connection | Table Numbers And Welcome Sign: Etsy | Table Top Rentals : Dish Wish

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Romantic California Estate Cultural Wedding

Marrying California sunshine and cultural significance, Dream A Little Dream Events planned not one, but two elaborate celebrations overflowing with loveliness. It’s a marriage graced with gorgeous colors and plenty of pink peonies. A formal garden party weaved with gorgeous gold touches, lovely lit lanterns, and even a few elephants. Josh Gruetzmacher captured it all in the gallery!

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Estate

From the beautiful Bride… I had always imagined getting married in a Sikh Temple while Erik had imagined his wife walking towards him in a white dress. We decided to have both. We first held a small Lutheran ceremony in at Bethany Lutheran Church in Menlo Park, followed by a large Sikh wedding the following day. The Sikh wedding was held at the Gurdwara Sahib of San Jose, followed a few hours later by a reception at Caballo Estate in Los Altos Hills.

The Lutheran wedding style was garden-themed. The reception was held in the groom’s parents’ beautiful backyard – a location that did not need much additional décor. The Sikh wedding began a week earlier with a Sangeet near the bride’s parents’ home. The theme was traditional Indian with lots of lanterns, pillows, and traditional decorations the bride’s family had picked up while traveling through India.

The wedding and reception was a week later. The San Jose Gurdwara is located in a beautiful setting in the Evergreen Hills of San Jose. The event began with a breakfast, followed by a “milni” in which family members from both sides present each other with garlands. The event is an important tradition that honors certain family members and signifies that the wedding is a union of both families. The wedding ceremony (Anand Karaj) came next and is ended by family members and friends coming forward to individual give well wishes to the couple. Lunch is next!

The reception came a few hours later in the day. Simrin had always wanted an outdoor wedding reception and Caballo Estate was a perfect (and unique!) setting. The style was a formal garden party with certain gold and Indian accents, like an Indian style tent and lots of gold elephants. The florist was amazing and even decorated an elephant in flowers! The reception was exactly what the couple wanted – a fun party where all their loved ones were able to get together and dance into the night.

Photography: Josh Gruetzmacher Photography | Wedding Planner: Dream A Little Dream Events | Floral Design: Soulflower Design | Invitations: Twin Ravens Press | Reception Venue: Caballo Estate | Caterer: Sakoon Restaurant | DJ: RanCan | Transportation: Corinthian | Beverage Catering: Best Beverage Catering | Cake Baker: Cake Coquette | Ceremony Musician: The Stan Erchart Band | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals | Rentals: A Party Place | Tent Rental: Raj Tents | Valet: Penninsula Parking

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