This wedding just makes me smile. Plain and simple. I can’t help but grin from ear to ear when pouring over every pretty image sent over to us from Elena Graham Photography. This couples’ happiness just seeps through the screen, and you can see just what I am talking about right here.
From Elena Graham Photography…I photographed Lauren and Mike’s Sonoma wedding earlier this summer at the beautiful Beltane Ranch. Everything about the wedding day perfectly reflected their easygoing, genuine, and warm nature. Mike works in design and Lauren works in environmental policy, and elements of both their passions were present (they designed all the paper goods themselves). The wedding was classic with lots of whites and greens, but with pops of blue throughout.
From the Bride…Mike and I wanted our guests to not only feel relaxed at our wedding, but also like they were being treated to a retreat from everyday life. Mike’s family is from the east coast, mine is from the west coast, and we wanted both families to feel comfortable and welcomed. The whole wedding, from the ceremony to the final song, was awash with our sense of style.
Mike started off by creating a unified visual design and theme for all of our printed and online artifacts. Everything from the save the dates, invitations, ceremony programs, dinner menus, wine labels, and posters all had Mike’s touch on it.
We crafted our own ceremony for the wedding (which was incredibly intimidating at first), but ultimately was one of the most rewarding parts of the experience. Our family and friends played crucial roles in the ceremony, including Mike’s sister Jen as the “minister.” Most family and friends cited the ceremony as their favorite part of the wedding for its uniqueness and its “us” qualities.
We kept things simple by having a small wedding party of two people on each side. My maid of honor was a huge help throughout the planning process and helped me a ton the day of the wedding. I was able to save money by buying my Romona Keveza gown for a fifth of its retail price at a huge sale in San Francisco. I kept the dress a secret from Mike throughout the whole engagement and I was nervous about whether or not he would like it. Lucky for me he loved it! He and I joked that the dress looked like a coconut cake (which happens to be one of his favorite desserts)!
The Beltane Ranch is a charming location and fit the low-key Northern California vibe we were going for. The cocktail hour allowed people to freely walk the grounds, play lawn games, and reconnect with friends and family. We hung our childhood photos on the branches of a small tree, which allowed guests to meander through the tree to view, and sometimes laugh, as they recalled our childhood memories.
We wanted everyone to feel very well fed and like they were guests at our own backyard dinner. Feast Catering really delivered with outstanding food and service! The food was fresh, warm, served family-style, and plentiful. As far as we know, nobody left hungry. My aunt helped with our wine because she works with Windsor Vineyards and was able to customize our labels and wine choices. My brother, who works with the Angel Cakes cupcake company, was able to provide us with delicious cupcakes, some of which were also vegan and gluten-free.
In the end we couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day. As we review the beautiful photos from Elena Graham and reflect on that day, we are filled with nothing but joy and happiness. Life truly is different now.
Photography: Elena Graham Photography | Floral Design: Spiral Hand Design | Dress: Romona Keveza | Shoes: Topshop | Catering: Feast Catering | DJ: Fog City Entertainment | Bar: Bartenders Unlimited | Cake + Cupcakes: Angel Cakes | Ceremony + Reception: Beltane Ranch | Vendor: The Bride's Aunt & Grandmother