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Summer Garden Wedding in Sonoma County

We love how the Bride let loose with a hula hoop at this summer garden wedding filled with lawn games, party horns and free-flowing champagne! Made beautiful in the expert hands of Daisy Rose Floral Design and It’s A Date At The Powder Room, it’s an elegant yet relaxed affair, and Jonas Seaman Photography caught all the excitement right here!


From Jonas Seaman Photography…. Ruth and Jeff’s wedding was spectacular. They personalized it in so many ways from all their DIY details, to the lawn games and picnic atmosphere they created. Here’s what Ruth had to say about the day…

From the Bride… From the beginning we knew we wanted to be married on a hill under an old tree with a magnificent view, lawn games, and a huge dance party. We were naturally drawn to Sonoma County as it is our favorite place to get away from Los Angeles for a long weekend and where we feel the most free. We wanted our wedding to be a big, lighthearted yet sophisticated celebration not only of our love for each other but also of our family and friends. At the end of the weekend we wanted our guests to know and feel that they had each been an important part of our wedding. Our vision was a lively modern twist on an elegant summer garden party in the vineyards with an abundance of flowers and berries, local foods, and lawn games. Our color palette consisted of the vibrant colors and deep greens that you would find in a summer garden.

Immediately after we found our wedding venue we agreed that the first thing to do was get in touch with Jonas Seaman, a photographer whose work we had fallen in love with after stumbling on his blog a few years prior. We cold called Jonas and planned our wedding date!

Together Jeff and I wrote our ceremony and we both wrote our own vows. It was important to us to involve our family and friends in our ceremony. We set the guest chairs up in a horseshoe shape so that we would feel surrounded by our loved ones. We had a friend marry us, close family members in addition to the bridal party walked down the aisle to cover music played by live string musicians, the groom’s nieces carried the rings and a banner announcing the bride and my brother read from Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet. Using large cue cards our bridal party and family each read a page from a story that I had given Jeff when we had just started dating. As the ceremony drew to an close Champagne was distributed and toasts were offered by the wedding guests and the my mother before we walked down the aisle newly married!

Following the ceremony the live musicians and guests paraded behind the bride and the groom to the nearby cocktail hour. The hour was spent playing lawn games including a giant Connect Four, hula hooping, eating passed hors d’oeuvres, and drinking delicious cocktails such as Lavender Gin Martinis and Strawberry-Rhubarb Caiproskas.

At the conclusion of the cocktail hour our guests blew bubbles to send us off in a vintage Jaguar. While our guests were shuttled down to the most amazing pavilion for dinner and dancing we cruised for a bit and soaked in the excitement of the day. Individualized party horns which doubled as escort cards greeted our guests at the pavilion. The guests blew their horns as we entered the reception which made for the most exuberant entrance and was one of my favorite moments of the day.

Our guests were delighted that the tables were designated by a photo of us at the age corresponding with the table number. Guests were greeted at their place setting by place cards with individualized notes. We also had five birthdays and one anniversary the weekend of our wedding so each of those guests had a small gift awaiting them at their seat. The children received activity bags. Our caterer, Dovetail, was a dream to work with and made dinner an elegant affair with perfect presentation of locally sourced foods. Wine and Champagne flowed freely, toasts were given and guest mad libs were filled out.

The tables were alive with the most beautiful flowing flowers by our florist, Daisy Rose, who took our vision and ran with it. As a last minute request, Daisy even set aside flowers to put on our sweetheart cake. I hunted for months for the perfect table decorations and finally found big gold leaf hexagon hurricanes that were the perfect modern contrast with the lively flowers.

We cut a sweetheart cake with a sparkler candle before inviting our guests to choose from an array of cakes. The flavors reflected the fresh and local style of our wedding. We served five flavors including olive oil orange zest, vanilla bean with strawberries, lemon lavender with raspberries, chocolate with caramel and sea salt, and toasted almond. The cake table was decorated with wedding photos of our family and bridal party.

The rest of the evening was a giant dance party. During the evening I invited all ladies both married and single to catch a bouquet that had a Target gift card tied to it. It was a blast to see an engaged couple catch both the garter and the bouquet!!! We also had a couples dance where we eliminated couples until the longest married couple was left dancing. At the conclusion of the song we presented them with a bouquet.

We designed the invitations, ceremony programs, fans, menus, and mad libs with our bridesmaid and dear friend, Jennifer Hoffman. I had a ball working closely with the delightful Creative Letterpress in Burbank, CA to make the final products a reality.

At the last minute we hired Aaron Lee Films to film our day and it was one of the best decisions we made. They were the most fabulous people to have at our wedding – they not only did their job so professionally but they also saved the day for me more than once! I have watched the film countless times and just can’t get enough.

We had so much fun working together to plan the wedding but there were still many times when I wanted to throw my hands up and elope. Jeff talked me off the ledge and in the end all of the work was absolutely worth it to spend the weekend surrounded by those we love the most. When I think back on our wedding weekend my heart feels like it is overflowing with love. When people ask me for advice I tell them that the best advice is not to listen to anyone’s advice or ideas about what a wedding is or isn’t. Know in your heart who you are as a couple and what will make your heart sing and run with it. Once you know what you want carefully interview vendors and find those who are excited about your vision. Don’t be afraid to let vendors go if you feel in your gut it is not working out, even if you lose a little bit of money, this will make your planning and more importantly your day much more special.

Photography: Jonas Seaman Photography | Cinematography: Aaron Lee Films | Floral Design: Daisy Rose Floral Design | Dress: Vera Wang | Catering: Dovetail Events | Makeup: It's A Date At The Powder Room | Hair: Jessie Hoffman | Groom's Attire: Hugo Boss | Ceremony & Reception Venue: Chalk Hill Winery | Custom Printing: Creative Letter Press, Inc. | Second Shooter: Mary Ellen Williamson

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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(once like a spark) photography + A Discount!

Here at SMP, we get a little bit giddy when we run across a vendor that takes our breath away. Case in point? (once like a spark) photography. Based in San Diego, Los Angeles + Northern California, this boutique-style photography company creates photos that are truly different — timelessly beautiful with a touch of whimsy and a whole lot of charm.

When you work with (once like a spark) photography, you’re not only signing on with an amazing photographer, but also with a team of wedding experts (in-house planner, editor, etc.) that will seamlessly guide you through the process. Knowing that your wedding photos will be some of your most treasured memories, (once like a spark) photography not only captures you and your honey to perfection, but makes sure you’re totally comfortable on your big day, knows how to schedule everything to get the perfect light and edits beautifully to make sure the final product is picture perfect.

For a ton more information and to book your big day with (once like a spark) photography, head over to their website. OH, there’s more! Just for our SMP readers, (once like a spark) photography is offering either $200 off your package or a free engagement session for the month of November! Be sure to mention SMP California when filling out the contact form to redeem discount. 


Fleurs de France

Flowers make people happy, that’s a well known fact. But wedding flowers? Well, those beauties cause elation! And when your big day bouquets + arrangements are done by the uber talented Fleurs de France, the pretty just doesn’t stop.

With over 20 years of experience, Jessica of Fleurs de France has created countless unique floral designs for couples saying “I do” in California’s Napa Valley and Sonoma Wine Country. Passionate about weddings, parties and events and endlessly creative, she helps her clients’ dreams become reality by pulling inspiration from the area’s breathtaking scenery as well as the couple’s personal style. Fleurs de France works closely with each couple to create a floral look that is truly special. Whether you’re hosting a traditional intimate soiree or a modern over-the-top bash, Fleurs de France makes sure your big day is completely stress free and flawlessly executed!

To see even more of their gorgeous work, be sure to take a peek at the Fleurs de France blog and head over here to contact Fleurs de France to start planning your big day!

Photo Credits: Larissa Cleveland Photography | Julie Kay Kelly Photography | Larissa Cleveland PhotographyLarissa Cleveland Photography | Jenna Marie Photography | Fleurs de France | Arrowood PhotographyBriana Marie Photography Wedding Planners: Stacy McCain Events | Cole Drake Events | Suzy Berberian Weddings & Events | A Dream Wedding Venues Pictured: Calistoga Ranch | St. Francis Winery | Chalk Hill WineryGundlach Bundschu | Booneville Hotel | Harvest Inn | Chateau St. Jean


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