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Rustic Northern California Summer Wedding

I bet I’m not the only one who could use a little energy on this hump day, so I think it’s only fair that we all treat ourselves today. Let’s run off to the Golden State for a full day of California celebrations, starting off with this elegant-meets-rustic wedding captured by the uber talented Josh Gruetzmacher and Uforia Films for us all to enjoy. Settle in and get comfy, we have a fun day ahead, starting off right here!

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Seasons
Summer
Settings
ChurchClub
Styles
Rustic

From The Bride… Lucky Number 13. Most people say that the number 13 is quite unlucky. For us, it’s just the opposite.

Brian and I attended the same middle school; we even had algebra class together. After eighth grade, however, it would be 13 years until a Match.com date would bring us together again. We are complete opposites (and the speeches given at our wedding definitely highlighted this fact). I am organized; Brian is not. Brian is spontaneous; I am not. He is an accountant; I am an English teacher. When we reconnected in 2010, we were exactly what the other person needed at exactly the right time. Brian’s proposal was very “him” — he pretended he had lost his keys and had me frantically engaged in a search for them until I ended up reaching into my coat pocket to find a ring. Oh, and it was April Fool’s Day.

We knew that we wanted to have our reception at Mayacama because it is a very special place for us. The venue is beautiful on its own, with Tuscan vibes, gorgeous views, winding walkways, and neutral stone composing breathtaking architecture. We wanted the beauty of the venue to speak for itself, our love to be the theme and the day, and the personalities of our family, our wedding party, and our guests, to be the most important “decoration.”

We chose a neutral color scheme of grays and blushes to complement Mayacama’s ambiance. We had visions of mercury glass and candles adorning the tables, so I set out on a hunt for all the mercury glass I could find (thank goodness for West Elm, sale prices, and teacher discounts).

Our florist – Cathy Cowman, owner of The Bud Stop in San Francisco – understood the vision right away. She promised peonies for the bridal bouquet, no matter what lengths she had to go to in order to get them in the middle of July. Her eyes lit up with inspiration when she first saw the fountain in the middle of the courtyard that we wanted full of candles and floating flowers. We asked that the table bouquets be simple but full; the different sized mercury glass vases were perfect details.

I knew I wanted long bridesmaids dresses from the start, but I had to find a style that worked for bridesmaids ranging in age from 13 to 34. A local wedding shop, Bella Bridesmaid, had the perfect Joanna August dresses in a beautiful shade of gray.

While we chose traditional over contemporary for some things — we did not have a “first look,” for example, and we were married in a church with a full Mass service, we did choose the non-traditional route for some things. I processed into the church to a piano rendition of Adele’s “Hometown Glory” as a nod to our shared history together; and we walked out as man and wife to The Lumineers’ “Ho Hey” on piano. We opted for miniature bite-sized bundt cakes for dessert; guests sampled three different flavors throughout the night. We also chose a DJ over a band and hand selected the playlist, knowing exactly what our friends and family wanted to hear after asking for requests on our wedding website. It was a success — most guests did not leave the dance floor until the lights came on.

The gentlemen in attendance particularly enjoyed the selection of scotch and cigars outside overlooking the golf course beside the fire pit as the night progressed. Our signature drink was a John Daly, and my priority was to keep champagne available to all throughout the night.

And we, the bride and the groom, enjoyed a few stolen moments of our own, our favorite at the end of the night alongside the fountain, at which all of the table arrangements, candles, and bouquets had been arranged for guests to admire as they departed. It was exquisite.

We were married on July 13, 2013. A very lucky day for us.

Photography: Josh Gruetzmacher Photography | Videographer: Uforia Films | Wedding Coordinator: Covenant Coordinating | Floral Design: The Bud Stop - Cathy Cowman | Invitations: William Arthur Fine Stationery | Ceremony Venue: Our Lady Of Perpetual Help Calistoga | Reception Venue: Mayacama | Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Joanna August | Hair And Makeup: Sophia Coyne Of Painted Ladies | DJ: California Mobile DJ | Bride's Dress: Carolina Herrera | Ceremony Music - Piano: Dan Zemelman | Ceremony Music - Vocals: Carol Menke | Dessert: Nothing Bundt Cakes | Rentals: Wine Country Party

These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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Winery Wedding full of Hand-Picked Details

Vintage books and pretty garland by INTHEMIX Events are just the tip of the iceberg with this winery wedding. If you peel back the layers, you’ll find beautiful details hand-selected by the Bride and Groom as they spent weekends at local flea markets, choosing just the right wares for their affair. A day built around love and personalized to a t with gorgeous imagery captured by Delbarr Moradi.

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Settings
Winery
Styles
Vintage

From The Bride…Adam and I were both extremely hands-on with planning our wedding. We wanted it to feel very intimate and personal, so we spent a lot of time picking out all the details to make it special. Sundays at the local flea markets became our usual routine, collecting everything from vintage books (I am an avid reader and lover of all things paper), to an antique inkwell and the clutch I carried on our wedding day. We also utilized etsy a lot for unique decor items. We tried to fill the space with things that we genuinely loved, not just what was ‘on-trend’ or that had been done before. We actually now have boxes of vintage frames and books and so many other decor items we used that are now in storage because we can’t fit them in our current apartment but want to have them to display in the future. Music was also a big deal to us both, so we spent a lot of one picking out songs for the various events of the day, and hand picked every song that would play during cocktail hour. We wanted the reception to be one big dance party, so we picked out a few songs that we love, but told the dj just to keep everyone dancing, which he definitely did! When our guests told us that the whole day ‘was so you guys’, we knew we had accomplished our goal.

It was also important to us that we got to spend quality time with all of our guests. Almost every person that came was from out of state and it meant so much to us to have them there. We incorporated a whole weekend of activities for everyone to enjoy, starting with a night out near our home in San Francisco at one of our favorite bars. On Thursday (Halloween day) we all headed to Santa Rosa where we had rented a bus to take us wine tasting. Halloween is my favorite holiday, so we made it a costume optional event. I was so happy when almost every one of the 45 people showed up in costume! It was so much fun, and was a great opportunity to see everyone before the rush of the wedding day. Friday was the rehearsal dinner, which all of our guests attended.

The wedding day itself was more that we could have dreamed of. Aside from a delay in the guests’ transportation, everything was perfect. To see all our hard work and planning come together was amazing. We are lucky enough to share a common group of friends and we are both very close with our families, so to look out and see all of these people we love so dearly in one room, celebrating our marriage, was so surreal. Between the two of us and all of our guests, there was so much love in the room I swear you could feel it.

Photography: Delbarr Moradi Photography | Coordination: Ali DiLuvio Events | Florist: INTHEMIX Events | Wedding Dress: Oleg Cassini | Invitations: Meghan Etta Design | Bride's Shoes: Ivanka Trump | Bracelet: JCREW | Engagement Ring: Eric Trabert Goldsmiths | Wedding Bands: Gallery Of Jewels- Megan Thorne | Bridesmaids Dresses: The Dessy Group | Catering: INTHEMIX Events | DJ: AMS Entertainment | Groom's Shoes: Banana Republic | Groom's Suit: JCREW | Officiant: Peadar Dalton | Wedding Venue: Paradise Ridge Winery | Earrings: Saks Fifth Avenue | Makeup & Hair: Rock Paper Scissor Salon | Pies: INTHEMIX | Rentals: Wine Country Party & Events | Veil: GorgeousComplements2

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
Elegant Bohemian Wedding in Sonoma Valley

Bash, Please just might have the lockdown on crazy beautiful bohemian bashes. It’s official. Because time after time they craft affairs that are all at once elegant and classic yet have that certain wild beauty we just can’t seem to get enough of. Now couple that with blooms by Brown Paper Design and magic making imagery by Our Labor Of Love plus a film by Sharkpig that will rock your socks off and you have this beauty in a nutshell.

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Settings
Winery
Styles
Glamorous

From The Bride…Brad and I visited Napa shortly before getting engaged and fell in absolute love with the terrain’s simple, casual glamour. When we started planning our wedding, I asked Brad where in the world (if he could choose anywhere) he’d like to get married. Even as I asked the question, I knew my dream wedding would be an intimate, curated, al fresco affair celebrating our most cherished pastimes – family, friendship, travel, food, and wine – under the California sun. I was overjoyed when Brad looked at me and, without hesitation, responded, “Napa.” With little free time due to our jobs in BigLaw and being not-so-conveniently situated in Philadelphia, we relied heavily on Melissa and Sydney of Bash Please for the design and coordination of our destination, multicultural, interfaith soiree. They happily took up the task. Overall, we wanted the day to feel organic, casual yet befitting of the occasion, and lush but not over the top. Bash Please was able to strike the perfect balance. They crafted a bold, romantic color palette of juicy fall tones, natural textures, and navy accents for us. The ceremony was officiated by my younger brother (a recent Harvard Law grad and exceptional orator) and held in an open field, under a massive oak tree adorned quite simply with an airy cream drapery backdrop, and anchored by an antique wine-colored rug. Hearing my brother’s heartfelt and deeply personal words was one of the standout moments of the day. We set down a bouquet of flowers on one of the front benches in honor of Brad’s recently deceased grandmother. As a nod to my Latino heritage, guests before the ceremony sipped on Sangria, and afterwards enjoyed paella and a Spanish guitar trio.

Our reception was held in the ruins of an old winery — an open air but enclosed space with cobblestone walls enveloped in ivy. The reception decor took its cues from the deep burgundy tone of wine. Bash Please handcrafted wine-dyed table runners and a matching Smilebooth backdrop, as well as wine-dipped escort cards with navy calligraphy. To keep things from being too stuffy, they designed calligraphed Kraft menu bands that encircled the napkins. And as a play on the surroundings, the table numbers were displayed on cobblestone and calligraphed leaves served as place cards. Hand-drawn leaves inspired by our custom invitations also adorned the signage displayed throughout. Brown Paper Design created breathtakingly lush, wild arrangements of garden roses, dahlias, and antique hydrangea interspersed with local plums, cherries, and grapes. Brown Paper also hand-dyed just the bottoms of the oversized cream, curtain panels that served as our makeshift doors for the reception space. Dinner was served family style to encourage interaction and skewed toward what was in season and locally grown (with some of our favorites, including churros and affogato instead of a wedding cake for desert). We nixed the traditional activities and kept only the toasts and first dance, which we had secretly choreographed, but never in a million years thought we’d be able to pull off. Surprisingly, it was so much fun and, among such dear family and friends, felt completely natural. We’ll always cherish sharing wine country with our loved ones (most of whom had never visited before) and especially hearing about all of their travels up and down the West Coast and forays into San Francisco. At our wedding, a friend of ours told us it reminded her of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. That description feels right in a lot of ways, but mostly because marrying Brad and having the people we love fly out to Cali to witness it all was, in fact, a dream I’d had since Brad and I first fell in love. I was elated and very lucky to have seen it realized in such spectacular fashion. We’re forever in debt to all of the folks who made it possible.

Photography: Our Labor Of Love | Videography: Wade! Of Sharkpig | Floral Design: Brown Paper Design | Wedding Gown: Mark Zunino For Kleinfelds | Catering: Jessica Lasky Fine Catering | Makeup: Glowing Brides | Lighting: Impact Lighting | DJ: The Flashdance, Mike Cruz | Ceremony Music: Eloquence String Quartet | Venue: Annadel Estate Winery | Cocktail Hour Musicians: Carlos Herrera Band | Coordination & Design: Bash Please | Dance Lessons: Society Hill Dance Academy | Lounge Furniture: One True Love Vintage Rentals | Photobooth: Smilebooth | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals | Vintage Glassware & Gold Flatware: Casa De Perrin

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
Rustic Ranch Wedding

No matter how long I work at SMP, rustic meets romantic weddings will always be some of my favorites. The sweet details and breathtaking settings mixed with the sweetest couples you’ll ever meet?  Gets me every time.  And this darling day is certainly no exception with soft lavender hues playing nice with a fabulous ranch setting.  See it all captured by Robin Jolin in the full gallery.

From Robin Jolin PhotographyJane’s family lives in Canada and Hong Kong, and Pete’s family lives in New Jersey. The close friends they invited were like their local family in San Francisco.  “Our families have never met so we wanted the wedding to feel more like a relaxed big family get ­together with delicious good food and wine to share.” 

There was a typewriter at the entrance for each guest to write the couple a note. Then each guest grabbed a refreshment and walked around the venue checking out all the pictures that Jane and Pete hung of themselves.

All of the guests sat a long table and each section had a chalkboard with a country. This matched the tags with each guest name.

Jane and Pete did not want to dance, so I got up on the balcony to get a lovely shot of him spinning her.

Bottom-line, this was the best wedding of my season. Jane and Pete did everything, it was calm, intimate, and a spectacular venue.

Photography: Robin Jolin | Flowers: Jaime Giorgi At The Monkey Flower Group | Catering: Preferred Sonoma Caterers | Make-Up: Veronica Passalacqua | Hair: Betsey Oliver | Wedding Venue: Rancho Wikiup | Cupcake Artist: Beyond Buttercream

Maravilla Gardens Wedding from Weddings by Sasha Gulish

Sasha Gulish and stylish weddings go hand in hand. So we knew we should sit down before opening this Maravilla Gardens stunner, but we had no idea just how jaw-droppingly gorgeous it would be. I mean, when you start off with a pair of  Valentino pumps and a Sarah Seven dress, you just know you are in for something good. Featured it in our latest SMP Fashion & Beauty Magazine, this wedding is the gift that keeps on giving. Oh and this gallery is just.that.good.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Garden

The Venue… Damien and I are both east coast kids living in LA, who knew as soon as we got engaged, that we wanted an outdoor California wedding. We wanted a laid back ceremony & reception that was easy and fun! I found Maravilla Gardens through a blogger friend of mine. It was the perfect location and they took care of everything including the delicious catering, leaving me with the time and energy to focus on the aesthetics. Being both in entertainment and being a style blogger myself, meant we were surrounded by super creative and talented friends who wanted to help make our day absolutely perfect. Everyone involved with the design elements of our wedding, was a close personal friend (or myself) making it an intimate affair, we’ll remember forever.

Dress & Shoes…I wore a Sarah Seven gown I found at Lovely Bride. After trying on a slew of large princess dresses I thought I wanted, it became clear, once I put on this beauty, that it was THE ONE. Simple yet intricate with a vintage feel. It was also the most comfortable dress and I happily wore it into the wee hours of the night. The shoes were a score the week before the wedding. I had given up on finding “the perfect shoes” which to me were something edgy that I could wear long after our big day. As soon as I “gave up” and decided to go with anything I found, entered a pair of Valentinos that were comfortable and cool, not to mention on sale for 40% off! It was very exciting. My girls wore dresses from Ceremony. I picked out the two colors and let each girl pick what style they wanted. We went for an “old Hollywood glam” vibe with the hair and makeup and they all accessorized themselves to reflect their personal styles.

The Flowers…The flowers were all done by two of my friends and improv teammates, Angela & Stacy. I wanted small bouquets that looked like my bridesmaids had picked them themselves. The location was so lush on it’s own, I didn’t want to overpower it with excess. We visited the wholesale markets in the LA downtown flower district and made prototypes, then a week before the wedding we put in an order. The morning of the wedding, Angela and Stacy picked up the flowers and brought them to our hotel in Camarillo. Together they created all the bouquets and centerpieces and I made my own bouquet. It was perfect and they were beautiful. Not to mention, we saved a ton of money not hiring a florist. More on our DIY wedding flowers here

The Decorations…Having a DIY master/woodworker as a close friend really helps when coming up with decorating ideas for your wedding. My friend C.C. made all the table numbers, the “reserved” signs and the “mr & mrs” signs for our chairs. I printed the menus myself and ordered vintage pencils with our names engraved on them as favors. I loved the look of the pencils but they also had a special meaning because both Damien’s parents are school teachers. A lovely tie in.

The Cake(s) and Cocktails…A friend of ours, gave us amazing advice, he said “Large wedding cakes are almost never delicious, go with a small “wedding cake” and other cakes for dessert.” We did just that. We had a chocolate and vanilla wedding cake that we cut into for the reception then 3 other cakes in Damien’s favorite flavor (carrot), my favorite flavor (coconut) and a crowd pleaser (red velvet). I had a piece of each one and I’ll tell you, they were all equally delicious! For the cocktails, I thought of coming up with two speciality drinks to reflect each of our backgrounds in a quirky way. With that, The Latina (tequila and pineapple with a spicy salt rim) and The Irishman (whiskey and ginger beer with a lime) were born.

The Photography…Sasha had photographed a friend of mine’s wedding and when I saw those photos, I knew I wanted her for our wedding. She has an amazing eye and I absolutely LOVE our pictures. She captures moments and goes way above and beyond typical, posed shots. The photos really captured the amazingly perfect day we had. Plus, she’s the coolest chick around.

Photography: Weddings By Sasha | Wedding Dress: Sarah Seven | Cake: SusieCakes | Invitations: Minted | Shoes: Valentino | Caterer: Command Performance Catering | Makeup: Olivia Fischa | Hair: Roberta Gallardo | DJ: Chris Mortillaro (Elegant Event Entertainment) | Wedding Venue: Maravilla Gardens | Decor: C.C. Boyce