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Vine Hill House Wedding from Ken Kienow

These high school sweethearts had what all of us wish for on our wedding day, perfect weather, a dream team of vendors and a whole day surrounded by family and friends, literally. It’s impossible not to feel all warm and cozy inside when you see their glowing smiles and the perfectly sunlit photos by Ken Kienow at Vine Hill House. Talk a walk through this lovely al fresco affair, right here in the gallery.


From the Bride… Our wedding day was the perfect day ­— the weather was spectacular and the atmosphere was absolutely full of love.

Dan and I were high school sweethearts and have been together for nearly 10 years. In that time, we have been through many wonderful and some trying life events together. Having grown up in the same town with overlapping circles of close family friends, there are a large number of people whom we feel have been champions of our love and who helped us get where we are today. We wanted to make our wedding day a celebration of those amazing people by creating a comfortable, relaxing and fun setting where everyone could have a delicious meal, wonderful wine, take their shoes off and dance the night away.

The venue was important to us because we knew it would set that tone. Vine Hill House was the perfect choice — a backyard wedding, but in the most stunning backyard you can imagine. We loved the casual yet elegant feel. An added bonus, the owner and day of coordinator, Dan O’Connell, was amazing to work with.  His knowledge of how to make a wedding go off without a hitch made the venue choice a no-brainer. He took wonderful care of us throughout the planning process and throughout the actual wedding day.

We had a real dream team of vendors. Selecting vendors who had all worked together before made the day go incredibly smoothly. The caterer, the DJ, the florist… everyone did amazing work and made us feel confident that we were in great hands.

I did all of the decor and paper goods myself. I had so much fun designing each piece and I feel that it really did add a special, personal touch to overall tone of the wedding.

One of the best decisions we made in the planning was our choice of officiant. We had my Uncle begin the ceremony and share his wisdom on life and marriage, and then our close friend who has known us for a combined 24 years (!) married us. Together they made the ceremony so special and more personal and touching then I ever could have imagined possible.

The highlight of the night was, without a doubt, the last dance. While “Tiny Dancer” played, a few friends formed a circle around my new husband and me. The circle grew and grew until every one of our guests surrounded us. We felt so loved as we danced and saw all the smiling faces. It was a moment I will never, ever forget.

My advice to other brides would be to remember to have fun! Planning can be stressful, but ultimately anything you do will be perfect. At the end of the day, you’re surrounded by favorite people and married to your best friend in the world. What could be better?

Wedding Photography: Ken Kienow Wedding Photography | Wedding Venue: Vine Hill House in Sebastopol, California | Floral Design: BV Florals | Catering: Park Avenue Catering | Wedding Cupcakes: Foxy Cupcakes | DJ: AMS Entertainment | Wedding Stationery: Bright Room Studio | Wedding Dress: Ivy & Aster | Bride’s Shoes: Elie Tahari | Bridesmaids’ Attire: Asos | Groom’s Attire: Joseph Abboud | Groomsmen Attire: Calvin Klein

Ivy & Aster is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here.

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Sonoma Wedding at Vine Hill House from Janae Shields Photography

I have to admit, I’ve spent the majority of my day swooning over the gorgeous details + the beautiful story behind this Vine Hill House wedding. The sweet couple chose a muted color palette to let the beautiful Sonoma surroundings shine and they infused their big day with seemingly effortless details  + personal touches to honor the groom’s late brother. Click here to see the rest of the images by the amazing Janae Shields Photography and don’t miss the beautiful film from Philip Alan Films right here!

From the Bride… Coming up with a wedding location was easy, as we both immediately thought back to our first visit together to Sonoma and knew Wine Country was the place. It was a place with meaning, based on our story, and a place we were very excited to share with family and friends, many of whom would be traveling here for the very first time from the East Coast. Researching potential venues was an overwhelming task, but we were lucky in that our research ended at the Vine Hill House, only the second stop on a long list of options. We were in awe of the the amazing views of rolling hills and vines and we just loved the dance floor – lit only by the stars and lights strung through the long overhanging tree branches.

We were inspired by the beautiful scenery at Vine Hill and chose pale, soft hues in shades of peach, pink, gray and green to complement the grounds and gardens. We didn’t want to choose a color scheme that would distract from the lovely surroundings. Our wedding day also included a lot of special touches that had personal meaning to us. For instance, we chose to serve pie for dessert to honor each of our beloved grandmothers who were wonderful pie makers in their day. We also hand made our wedding favors. We both love being in the kitchen and wanted to create something edible to thank our guests for sharing the day with us. We decided on jam because we could add wine to the recipes and therefore tie the favor to our wedding taking place in Wine Country. Further touching upon the wine theme, we also incorporated a guestbook that prompted our guests to leave a note for us in a wine bottle marked with a certain year anniversary. Now, with each anniversary we celebrate, we will crack open the wine bottle of that year and enjoy our guests wishes and sentiments from our wedding day. Our wedding bands were also a special consideration. Mine, handcrafted to match my antique engagement ring, dated from 1895 and Jonathan’s belonged to his brother, who sadly passed in 2011. When our sister-in-law gave us the ring, it had 8 diamonds in it. We had the diamonds removed and made into earrings for our nieces (Jonathan’s brother’s daughters), also our flower girls, and a pendant for his mother. These were presented as gifts just before the wedding and as a means for them to keep Jonathan’s brother close by on our special day. Jonathan, his groomsmen and his father, also honored his memory by pinning a small picture of him to the inside of their suit jackets.

Looking back, it is hard to pin point just a few favorite moments. There were so many! From our first look to our ceremony officiated by my witty cousin to dancing under the stars with an assortment of crazy props; it was the perfect mix of sentiment and fun. We feel truly blessed to have been able to have the wedding of our dreams. We worked with so many amazing vendors who embraced our vision and helped bring it to life. We are so grateful. We are also grateful that so many of our family and friends were willing to travel to share our special day and this special place with us. We hope our wedding will provide cherished memories for all of them, as it always will for us.

Wedding Photography: Janae Shields Photography / Wedding Venue: Vine Hill House in Sebastopol, California / Floral Design: Poppystone Floral Couture / Wedding Cinematography: Phillip Alan Films / Event Planning + Design: The Bride / Catering: Park Avenue Catering / Wedding Cake: Fleur De Lisa / Pies: Mom’s Apple Pie / Decor + Prop Set Up: Elsa Vera / Wedding Invitations: Wiley Valentine via New England Invitations / Favor Labels: Tipsey Graphics / Chalkboard + Seating Card Lettering: GreenVine Lettering / Wedding Dress: Blush by Jim Hjelm / Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Bride’s Jewelry: Janene’s Bridal Boutique / Wedding Rings: Seelenbacher Jewelers / Bridesmaids’ Attire: J.Crew / Flower Girls Attire: Seahorse by Watters / Groom’s Attire: Perry Ellis


Badgley Mischka, J.Crew, Hayley Paige, Jim Hjelm Occasions and Watters are members of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. Janae Shields Photography, JLM Couture, Inc and PoppyStone Floral Couture are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
Janae Shields Photography

JLM Couture Wedding Gown Bouti...

PoppyStone Floral Couture

Texas-Inspired Wedding in Sonoma from Jamie Grenough Photography

It’s no secret that Sonoma happens to be one of the most beautiful wedding locales in the world.  The land of breathtaking scenery and fabulous wineries can definitely do no wrong in our book.  So, when you combine all of the beauty that Sonoma has to offer with another destination known for drop-dead gorgeous weddings (the great state of Texas), it’s a combo like no other.  One that is chock-full of fab DIY, Texas-inspired details (mason jars, burlap, reclaimed barn wood) and an entire gallery of pretty from Jamie Grenough Photography.  See it all right here.

From the Bride… As a born and raised Texan, my only condition to getting married in California was that we have a Texas-inspired wedding, adorned with Texas Stars on all self-designed printed materials and endless burlap, twine and mason jars. In addition to our thematic vision, our top priority in committing to a venue was finding an outdoor space, which allowed us to personalize every detail and have free rein with our vendor decisions and DIY projects. The Robertson House was the perfect template we had envisioned. While the grassy ceremony and cocktail hour spaces would be easy to construct, it was the tennis court that would be used for the reception (dinner and dancing) that had me uneasy. I didn’t want my guests feeling like they were trapped inside of a cage. To solve this problem, I decided that we would transform the tennis court to feel like you were indoors with an open-air roof. To my amazement, I couldn’t find any examples of tennis court transformations online! Left to my own imagination, I incorporated 14 panels of 10×12-foot, ivory draping, spaced every 10 feet along the perimeter of the tennis court, and had white uplighting arranged at the base of each drapery panel. In addition to the up lighting, I ordered globe light strands online, along with natural paper lanterns and had them strung across the court to complete the transformation (thank you to my family for helping hang the bulbs in 90-degree heat the day before!). Once the sun set, the space was a romantic vision of bringing the indoor feel to the outdoor reception (without spending thousands on tenting).

Our DIY was truly a team effort of two people — my now-husband, Jeff and me. I designed our logo (featuring the Texas Star, of course), all the invitations, welcome bag programs, ceremony programs, dinner and cocktail menus, water bottle labels, etc., but Jeff was a true rock star, spending countless hours with me paper cutting, matting, hole-punching, embossing, tying twine. You name it, he was right there in the mix ready for his next crafting task. One of the more fun DIY projects was naming our tables, which were named after Texas slang words like, “Y’all, Kinfolk, Fixin’ To, Howdy, Holler, Getchasome, etc.”  For each table name, I purchased reclaimed barn wood frames off of Etsy to showcase the name, which also included a short definition of each slang term. Our escort cards doubled as our takeaways, as they were clear bottles filled with peanuts and white, chocolate Jordan almonds encased in takeaway koozies that featured our logo on one side and “I Do’s and Cold Brews” on the other. Each guest’s name and table name were tied with twine around their bottle, and they were all displayed in alphabetical order in wooden wine crates on old shabby chic tables that we brought in from home. I work in the wine industry, so our guest book also carried through the wine theme, asking guests to sign a cork with their name on one side and one word of advice on the other. All of the corks are now displayed in our home.

Cocktail hour featured a playlist of our favorite country songs, Mexican-themed appetizers and signature cocktails served in mason jars, aptly named, “Getchasome” and “Married Man’s Mojito.” In true Texas fashion, dinner was a Tex-Mex buffet fiesta filled with all of our favorites, including fajitas and enchiladas. To top it off, our cake was done by our favorite San Francisco cupcake purveyor, SusieCakes and included their signature red velvet with cream cheese filling, along with my favorite, homemade carrot cake. Tabletop arrangements included burlap table runners from Etsy, mini mason jars for tealight candles, reclaimed barn wood table frames indicating the table name and simple flower arrangements in rustic wooden boxes for the round tables and groupings of three different size mason jars on the square tables.Every detail was hand-chosen and in most-cases hand designed by us, and we wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Wedding Photography: Jamie Grenough Photography / Wedding Venue: Robertson House in Sebastopol, California / Floral Design: Vanda Floral Design / Catering, Rentals, Drapery + Uplighting: Pacific Connection / Wedding Cake: SusieCakes / DJ: Modern Mix Music (415-716-0987) / Transportation: First Student / Wedding Dress: Martina Liana / Bride’s Necklace: Tiffany & Co. / Hair + Makeup: It’s A Date At The Powder Room / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: J.Crew / Bridesmaids’ Necklaces: Dogeared / Men’s Suits: Ralph Lauren + Michael Kors

J.Crew is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. It's A Date at The Powder Room is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
It's A Date at The Powder Room