Living in Boston, I’m a huge sucker for autumn in New England but this wedding photographed by Sylvie Gil made me realize how equally perfect that time of year is on the opposite coast. Set at Northern California’s Calistoga Ranch, the team at Bustle Events designed a wedding that fully embraced the season, including a ceremony in the coziest wine cave you’ve ever seen. Click here for so much more.
From The Bride… Like most brides, I think simply being surrounded by those I love and care about made the entire day feel special. I think our wedding was unique because everything I chose was original and a genuine reflection of us. I didn’t want to do anything cheesy that had been done a million times before.
Instead, I allowed our stunning venue – Calistoga Ranch, which is nestled in Northern California’s wine country – to set the scene for an enchanted evening. Since it is so gorgeous in its simplicity, I chose understated decorations that complemented the space rather than distract from its beauty.
We were married in a candlelit wine cave which was a new experience for most of my guests. After the ceremony, everyone was bussed to the vineyard on the property where we had dinner. When dinner was over, guests were bussed back up to the wine cave, which had been transformed into our reception area.
We absolutely succeeded in creating an intimate evening that felt like a good old-fashioned party – dinner and dancing among friends and family – rather than a stuffy wedding.
My best advice for someone planning a wedding is to stop always thinking you can do better. It’s easy to get caught up in, “maybe that venue is better,” or “maybe that bakery is better,” or “maybe that band is better.” Know what you’re looking for, trust your intuition and make decisions. Don’t let yourself get bogged down in the details. Otherwise, your search could be endless.
Another golden piece of advice I was given and would absolutely pass on is to budget for a videographer. My wedding planner told me this, and boy am I glad she did. Oftentimes, brides budget for flowers, music and photos. A videographer becomes a “nice to have,” not a “need to have.” We went with Grover Films.
Our wedding day was so surreal and overwhelming that I think most brides would agree that when you’re in the moment, it’s easy to miss a lot of the details of your wedding. Sean and I were so relieved to have a video to watch long after it was all over. It was incredible to see everything again – to go back in time and relive those moments – and it’s a different experience than simply looking at photos.
Trust your wedding planner. Read reviews on Yelp. And finally, prioritize what’s important to you. For me, it was delicious food, a stunning venue, superb lighting and good music. Everything else was fluff.
Photography: Sylvie Gil Photography | Event Planning + Design: Bustle Events | Floral Design: Shotgun Floral Studio | Venue: Calistoga Ranch | Bridal Boutique: Lovella Bridal | DJ + Lighting: DJ Josh Dukes | Lounge Furniture: Rion Designs | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals | Table Top Rentals: Frances Lane