We love hearing from grooms who love weddings as much as we do. And we LOVED hearing from this sweet, sweet groom. His passion for his special day and his new wife shine through his words (make sure to read them) as well as through this fabulously planned California winery wedding, captured by Laurie Bailey Photography. You won’t want to miss a minute, so after you’ve heard from the groom below, check out the gallery where there is even more!
I have always loved weddings. The everyday problems of life are put on hold for one day when friends and families come together to celebrate the love of two people. I’ve always thought that a wedding is like living in a vacuum for one day. Everything stops – a moment frozen in time. Love put on display. The most perfect day of one’s life, finally here, my true companion in my arms forever.
Here’s the catch … I am a 38-year-old heterosexual male.
My name is John Quinn and I really like weddings! I daresay that I adore them. I mean “Four Weddings and a Funeral” is my favorite movie of all time. I even watched it on the morning of our wedding just to get in “the zone”. My lovely and beautiful wife Rebecca, and I are both extremely detail orientated people and we planned our wedding 100% together Rebecca.
Like most couples, Rebecca and I have much in common, but two things stand out above all else – Wine and Fantasy Football! Since we didn’t feel it appropriate to get married during our Fantasy Football Draft, we opted to instead get married in our favorite place on the planet … The Santa Ynez Valley in Santa Barbara Wine Country … the same place they made that “Sideways” movie.
Rebecca and I have both been to a lot of weddings in our lives. Always being the bridesmaid and never the bride has made us very aware of how the guests feel at a wedding. We have been to weddings where we were treated like royalty and weddings where we felt like an afterthought. Our biggest wedding concern was to treat our guests like the former. This being a destination wedding, we wanted to make sure that our guests felt special, I mean they traveled from all over the world to be with us so we figured the least we could do was to show them a good time. That good time started with the venue.
Getting married in Wine Country was the perfect setting for Rebecca and I, but there were two major drawbacks. First, all outdoor receptions must end by 9:30pm because of noise ordinances and second, no hard alcohol can be served at a winery. Since we wanted to get married outdoors and since many of our family and friends prefer scotch to vino we had a problem. Enter Coquelicot Vineyards tranquil setting amongst the vines and mountains of the Santa Ynez Valley. Heaven on earth. Coquelicot does not sell their wine at the winery which means you can bring in your own hard alcohol.
That still didn’t take care of the 9:30pm curfew though. So we opted for an After Party, or as I like to call it “Reception 2.0.” Reception 2.0 was located at “Root 246”, the lovely restaurant attached to The Hotel Corque (where everybody stayed). We had a DJ at Reception 1.0 and a band at Reception 2.0. The celebration went till about 2:00am because the location was inside and noise ordinances did not apply. Our venue problems were solved!
They say, “The Devil is in the Details” … I admit I have no idea what that means but it seems like a cool way to segue into talking about the details of the wedding. Again, with the details we wanted to give our guests some truly unique memories. At our venue we had to bring in everything from the lights, to the food, to the bathrooms… this allowed us to basically create our space from scratch. Rebecca and I put both of our sensibilities together and in the end came up with a number of details that were both unique to us, the region, and our friends and family. Even though I lost some battles (12:00am Irish Car Bombs for all guests) I did win out on some others (Hidden Gnomes!).
Here, in no particular order, are some details created to bring joy, memories, and maybe a laugh or two: Classic Green Car for Rebecca’s Arrival, Chicken McNugget Appetizers complete with McDonald’s Dipping Sauces, A Blue Man, Ice Cream Dessert Cart, Every Guests Name Written on the Back of the Program Thanking them for Being So Wonderful, Photo Booth, Shawls to keep Guests Toasty Warm, Wedding Photos of our Parents and Grandparents, A Rabbi and a Priest Dual Ceremony, Glow in the Dark Necklaces for Reception 2.0, Late Night Snack Bacon Wrapped Dogs and Mini Burgers, Open Microphone to Sing with the Band, Welcome Bags with a Bottle of Wine from the Region, Cute and Whimsical Map of the Region Created by our Good Friend, Pimped Out Port-a-Potties by the Bridesmaids, Sign Posts of all the Cities our Friends and Family traveled from Complete with Exact Mileage, Slide Shows During the Father/Daughter and Mother/Son Dances Designed to keep all Eyes off of Our Dancing, A Bagpiper to Lead us all from the Ceremony to the Reception, Lemonade Stand at the Ceremony, Watermelon Tequila Popsicles at the Ceremony, Irish Dancing Flower Girl, A 36-year old, 240-pound Ring Bearer, and Chick-Fil-A waiting for us in our Bridal Suite!
In the end, I can say this … planning a wedding is pretty darn stressful especially when you choose a venue where you have to bring in everything including the kitchen sink (we actually had to bring in sinks!) We were working off a blank canvas, and even though that caused added stress, it allowed us to create the exact look and feel of our wedding… a look and feel that was uniquely Rebecca and John. It was a beautiful setting, with beautiful friends, but I would be remiss if I did not say that all of the planning and stress went out of my mind when the most beautiful part of the day appeared and walked down the aisle to join me under the Chuppah. The most beautiful girl I had ever met somehow got a little more beautiful standing in front of me on our Wedding Day… Rebecca, you make everything better now and forever.
Photography: Laurie Bailey Photography / Flowers: Renae’s Bouquet / Event Planning: Jennifer Curti of J Coordination / Ceremony Location: Coquelicot Estate Vineyard / Reception Location: Coquelicot Estate Vineyard / Placecards, Calligraphy, Signs, Wood Sign, Custom Programs: Laura Hooper Calligraphy / Fascinator: Carole Tanenbaum / Earrings: Tejani / Bridesmaid Earrings: Dana Castle / Wedding Dress: Palazzo from The White Dress / Shoes: Lanvin / Invitations: Lucky Luxe / Bridesmaid Dresses: Joanna August