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Sonoma County Wedding from Jenna Walker Photographers + MAP Events

When I laid eyes on this wedding the first thing I did was frantically google Pangea Ranch. The land, the vineyards, the views… I had to be there. Come to find out, it’s the couple’s private ranch. First of all, how romantic is that? Getting married at your gorgeous ranch. And second, raise your hand if you’re as jealous as I am that they actually live here?! MAP Events was on hand to extend the natural beauty to the design of the whole day, and with Jenna Walker Photographers behind the camera, it’s the kind of wedding I can’t stop thinking about.

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From the gorgeous bride … “Magic” is always the word our friends and family choose when describing our wedding day. The magic they felt wasn’t because our wedding took place in a historic building, or because of our fancy decorations – no, the magic came from the breathtaking serenity of the top of Sonoma Mountain. This is the very same spot on Earth where the natives of the Bay Area, the Coastal Miwok Indians, believe life began. It’s also where my husband, James, and I fell even deeper in love, leaving the hustle and bustle of San Francisco behind to live together on our ranch only a few years ago. We named our ranch Pangea, to symbolize a place for everyone to come together. It was at Pangea Ranch where we brought everyone together to hear us say “I do!”

While James and I were falling in love with each other, we were also falling in love with the local cheese, food, wine and adventure that Sonoma County has to offer. Naturally we wanted our wedding guests to get a taste of all that goodness too, with hopes that maybe – even for just one second – they might discover the beauty of this part of the world the way we had.

When I began planning how to make our wedding site stunning I knew that nature would do most of the heavy lifting for us. At 2,300 feet elevation, Pangea Ranch is perched in the middle of rolling hills, with breathtaking panoramic views of the entire Bay Area. Upon arrival at the ranch, it dawns on most guests that the top of Sonoma Mountain is the best-kept secret in the Bay Area. One of my goals from the get-go was to avoid any hint of that horrid and feared “wedding cheesiness” that we know all too well. Between the Pinot Noir vineyards, the lake buzzing with wildlife, the ancient trees, and golden rolling hills, I knew that all I had to do was to avoid cheesiness and focus on enhancing the pristine beauty the site already had to offer.

I realized pretty early on in the planning process that I needed to bring in a professional wedding planner who not only had the ability to turn my dream wedding into a reality, but who could also connect me with vendors who had experience working in raw spaces. In comes the incredible master herself Jennie Janzen from MAP Events. I can’t say enough good things about Jennie. In hindsight hiring Jennie was the single best decision we made when it came to planning our wedding. She thought of every last detail and even though I was prepared for some hiccups on our big day it was smooth sailing and it was all due to Jennie Janzen’s genius!

The moment guests stepped off the shuttles they were greeted with a refreshing glass of wine, and the bottles kept flowing all night with wine made from grapes grown in our own vineyard. There were no rushed schedules, in fact the whole day and night seemed to flow like a dream from one scene to the next. Before the ceremony, guests mingled by the pool area while marveling at the views of the Pacific Ocean, Mt. Tam, San Francisco, the Bay, Mt. Diablo, Sonoma Valley, Mt. St. Helena and even the foothills of the Sierra Nevada’s.

The ceremony was next and James and I knew that the jaw dropping views from the Eastern side of the property was where we wanted to become husband and wife. We tied the knot at the top of the Valley of the Moon, which world-renowned author Jack London claimed was his favorite place on Earth after Yosemite. Once we exchanged our vows and walked down the aisle as husband and wife the party started and didn’t stop until the wee hours of the night. From this moment forward it was nothing but FUN. It was essential to James and I that we included homegrown gifts of the land into our reception. As I watched guests sip Pinot Noir made from grapes grown in our vineyard, drizzle honey made from our beehives onto homemade corn bread, and indulge in some of James’ and my favorite local foods, I realized that my wedding dream had come true – there was not one ounce of wedding cheesiness to be seen. Guests danced the night away only taking breaks for the photo booth or for a stroll down a stone path to the caboose where they would find a champagne bar and truffles. I didn’t want the night to end. As cliché as it sounds, it truly was the best day of my life. I will cherish those memories forever.

Photography: Jenna Walker Photographers | Cinematography: Ched Nunez | Flowers: Mums Flowers SF | Event Design: Mums Floral Design SF + Jennie Janzen, MAP Events | Event Planning: Jennie Janzen, MAP Events | Tent : Zephyr Tents | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals, Napa | Lighting: Twilight Designs | Linens: La Tavola Linens | Ceremony Location: Pangea Ranch | Reception Location: PangeaRanch | Catering: Park Avenue Catering | DJ: Chris Fox, Boutique DJ’s | Hair & Makeup: sHe Artists | Transportation: California Wine Tours | Portable Restrooms: North Bay Portables | Photobooth: Glass Coat Photo Booth | Cakes: Tartine | Invitations: Lisa Kasch from Paperwhite, Petaluma | Shoes: Nordstroms BP | Dress: Anne Barge

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Sonoma County Wedding from Jessamyn Harris Photography + Fleurs de France

Every once in a while, I come across a wedding that just speaks to me with it’s sweetness. Usually, it’s something like this soiree… covered from head to toe in love. From the lovely (and plentiful) DIY projects, to the romantic ceremony in the California vineyard, every moment captured by Jessamyn Harris Photography was whispering my name. Fleurs de France lent their green thumbs for a floral design to match the entire sweet day – which, as it happens, is all right here!

Our inspiration was “French Country and Champagne.”  We wanted a wine country, champagne, lavender, casual but classy vibe. Lots of pastel and natural colors. The bridesmaids got to pick their own dress in the color scheme of “champagne” which varied from light pinks, to off whites, to yellows. I really love how it turned out because each maid really got to show off her own style. Even our signature cocktail was a champagne cocktail called “The French 75″ which is my favorite drink.

We did a TON of DIY projects. All the vases were champagne bottles (we were collecting for over a year, we drank them all ourselves). After trying many methods, we went to a local stained glass shop and bought the owners bottle cutter from the 1970s. It worked like a charm and Brian hand cut and sanded all 30 of the champagne bottle vases that our florist used.

The escort cards were wine corks we had been saving, all cut them all ourselves. We did the menus, programs and escort cards. We used champagne corks for the table number sign holders.

We spray painted the frames from Aaron Brothers with chalkboard paint for signs.

My maid of honor and I made 85 ribbon wands (which took hours and hours). The copper can they were in was a trash can I found on the sidewalk by our house in San Francisco. I took it, spayed it with copper spay and voila. We made all the tissue pom poms for the chairs and trees. We made the Mix CDs and the kraft paper envelopes (for favors).

My friend Tania Cordova Shaw did the invitation design, and they were printed from Paperwhite Printers in Petaluma.

My sister in law Kathleen Lilly did the save the date postcard design (printed from Greenerprinter.com) and the art for the chalkboard frames.

I would advise people to ask for help, have a good team of friends and family to help you out in the days before, during and after the wedding. Find a venue that is hands on, Dan O’Connell from Vine Hill House was pretty great.

Photography: Jessamyn Harris Photography / Venue: Vine Hill House in Sebastopol / Officiant: Bride’s stepmother / Ceremony dress: Manuel Mota for Pronovias / Reception dress: Calvin Klein / Reception shawl: BHLDN / Earrings: Blue Nile / Bridal rings: Brilliant Earth / Groom ring: Tungston World / Groom’s suit: Calvin Klein / Groomsmen: Perry Ellis Vests with Dockers pants / Flower girls: Gap / Florist: Fleurs de France / Makeup: Hilary Bucher / Hair: Lauren Huntley / Cupcakes, cake and French macaron favors: Sift Cupcakes & Dessert Bar / Catering: Grapevine Catering / DJ: Grapevine DJ / Invitations: Paperwhite Printers and Tania Cordova Shaw / Ring bearer (j’adore) box & Cake Topper: Etsy

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Two-Day Nepalese Wedding from Jessamyn Harris Photography

Weddings are amazing. That’s a given. But two day weddings? Those are down right mind blowing. Especially when that two days encompasses a Nepalese ceremony full of lovely tradition followed by the prettiest Western celebration in the hills of Healdsburg. It’s one beautiful image after another shot by Jessamyn Harris Photography and you can see it all right here.

 

From the Bride…We met on New Year’s Eve and after four years of dating, were engaged. The whirlwind of the planning process followed as we decided we would get married six months from then. Throughout our time together, we spent some beautiful moments in California Wine Country, enjoying the beautiful scenery and delicious wines. We really wanted to get married in a vineyard and considered some wine regions in New York, closer to where Ron grew up and where his family lives. Ultimately, the draw of being wed in the same area where we built our relationship was too strong. 

We ended up planning not one, but two different ceremonies to celebrate both our cultures. The first ceremony was our Nepalese wedding which took place on a private estate in Cloverdale, Sonoma County, where we stayed with our families for the weekend of our marriage. Because I was born and raised in Nepal, that ceremony was focused on the long but wonderful Hindu rituals that are central to Nepalese weddings. It was a great way for Ron and for his family to get to know my culture.

For the Western wedding, we chose Copain Wine Cellars in Healdsburg, a place that always captivated us with their amazing wines and spectacular views. We focused on a short and sweet ceremony with a lot of time to be enjoyed with our closest friends and family, dining and socializing. Planning the wedding while living apart in two different cities than our wedding destination (Ron in DC due to a job promotion and myself in Reno while finishing up my Ph.D in Psychology) was difficult, and this is where we were so lucky to have had Shannon, our planner. We relied on her for so much and on every shopping trip I took to buy pieces for the wedding, whether it was centerpieces or décor items at vintage stores, Shannon was only a phone call away to give her feedback and keep me on track. As we got closer to the wedding, Ron and I decided our biggest priority was to enjoy this important time and that meant letting go of every urge to continue to plan and obsess over the small details. With Shannon’s help, I have to say we were the most relaxed we have ever been and soaked in every little moment.

Nepalese Wedding: Photography: Jessamyn Harris Photography / Wedding Venue: Private Estate in Cloverdale, Sonoma County, California / Floral Design: Daisy Rose Floral Design / Catering: Punjabi Dhaba / Officiant: Thagendra Khatiwada /  Bride + Groom Attire:  Custom-made in Nepal / Hair + Makeup: Martha Solorio

Western Wedding: Photography: Jessamyn Harris Photography / Wedding Venue: Copain Wines in Healdsburg, California / Floral Design: Daisy Rose Floral Design / Event Design + Coordination: J. Jasper Events / Catering: Sarah Heller Cooking / Dessert: Patisserie Angelica / Rentals: Classic Party Rentals + Encore Events / Vintage Items: Bride’s collection + Twig by Twig (twigbytwig@comcast.net) / Wedding Dress: Watters / Bride’s Sash: Something Ivory / Bride’s Shoes: Prada / Bride’s Jewelry: (earrings and hairpiece) Nordstrom / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Donna Morgan /  Hair: Stella Stevens Hair Design / Makeup: Raina Rombeiro / Groom’s Suit: Hugo Boss

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Sonoma Wedding at Oak Hill Farm from First Comes Love Photo

While I clicked through the gallery for this Oak Hill Farm wedding for the first time, each gorgeous photograph from First Comes Love Photo drew bunches of repeated yeps and mhmms from my lips in agreement, because this wedding gets it. These lovebirds understand the beauty of weddings as the celebration of the couple as well as the family and friends that support them in love. And what better way to celebrate than with some darn good sustainable food and decor. And there ain’t nothin’ like a barn wedding. Simple as that. See it all in the gallery right here.

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From the Bride… Nature inspired our spring wedding. From the color palette to the menu, seasonal elements led the way. Oak Hill Farm, an organic farm in Northern California, provided a rustic setting where we could host both the ceremony and reception. Everyone arrived and settled into the location, which made for a comfortable and stress-free evening. Family heirlooms and treasures borrowed from friends made up the décor. Many of the flowers and plants as well as a lot of the food, came from the property, which reflected our sustainability beliefs. Harry and the Hit Men, a Motown band from Santa Cruz, played for hours and got nearly everyone dancing inside the barn. Outside, our guests enjoyed fire pits and ice cream under a clear night sky. We feel lucky to both come from families whose parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents created lasting marriages. To incorporate our grandparents who could not make the trip, we shared their love with photos arranged throughout the site. Our dear friends, Maggie Wilson and Alison Carmondy, who luckily both work in event design, made the day come off with ease and beauty.

Wedding Photography: First Comes Love Photo / Wedding Venue: Oak Hill Farm in Sonoma, California / Coordinator + Catering: Broadway Catering and Events / Flowers: DIY by Maggie Wilson, Alison Carmondy + 15 of the Bride’s Friends / Graphic Design: Sally Widdowson Colwell / Ceremony: Music: Eloquence Trio / Reception Music: Harry and the Hitmen / Lighting: The Lux Productions / Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier / Bride’s Boots: Frye / Bride’s Shawl: Vintage / Bridesmaids Dresses: J.Crew + Dessy / Groom’s Suit: Custom by Freemans Sporting Club / Groom’s Shoes: Alden for UNIONMADE / Men’s Ties: Otis James

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Sepastopol Wedding at Vine Hill House from Gillett Photography

Nope, you’re not dreaming! The pretty party is going strong on day four of Wine Country Week and we’ve still got some goodies up our sleeves thanks to Viansa Winery! Fête after fabulous fête capturing the magical light and breathtaking scenery of wine country? Sign me up!

You know we really, really love a vintage-chic wedding here at SMP and let me tell you, this one has me seriously wishing I was on the guest list! The love between this couple is pouring out of every.single.image from Gillett Photography and the bright and cheery pink + yellow color palette has my wedding-loving heart skipping a beat. I mean, we could really just be done at the bride’s perfectly feminine Vera Wang or the couple’s pup’s custom tutu from Frilly Paws, but with florals by Julie Stevens Design and an adorable sweet spread by Moustache Baked Goods, you’ll surely be spending some time perusing this gem of a wedding in the full gallery!

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Erika and Scott’s wedding was an intimate, vintage chic, casually elegant, upscale backyard BBQ. Their venue, the Vine Hill House, is a private estate in Sonoma County that is nestled into a vineyard and provided breathtaking views of wine country. Their color choices for the decorations and table settings included faded pinks, yellows and blues, along with natural linen and chocolate brown accents. Scott is a musician, and Erika a photographer, so the “theme” of the wedding was music and light, with table numbers printed over lyrics from Scott’s songs and vintage cameras set on the tables.

Many of the details were custom-made and designed by Scott and Erika themselves — the save-the-date cards, invitations, ceremony guides, and even the table setting placards, which they designed like concert tickets. What they couldn’t make themselves, they partnered with artisans to create, such as cupcake flags and straws with their family crest, cuff links for Scott and a gorgeous necklace of their family crest, which Erika wore throughout the night. The couple offered specialty cocktails, such the MargErika and the BellaTini (named after their dog, Bella, who attended in her own custom tutu), and guests were served a delicious, family-style, BBQ dinner from Grapevine Catering that included steak, chicken, truffled mac ‘n’ cheese and summer squash. The evening was capped off with mini gourmet cupcakes, live music and dancing, and a sparkler send-off while the band performed Wilco’s “What Light.”

Wedding Photography: Gillett Photography / Wedding Venue: Vine Hill House in Sepastopol, California / Floral Design: Julie Stevens Design / Wedding Cinematography: Ocean Blue Videography / Catering:Grapevine Catering / Dessert: Moustache Baked Goods / Cake Topper: Angela Flynn of Silhouette Weddings / Rentals: Wine Country Party & Events / Flags, Banners + Sparkler Tags: Marisa Roberts-Hauptman of Risa Rocks It / Straws + Straw Banners: Moieti / Dog’s Tutu: Frilly Paws / Wedding Dress:Vera Wang / Brides First Veil: David’s Bridal / Bride’s Second Veil: Amie Noel Designs / Bride’s Necklace: James Jung of monoArtian / Hair + Makeup: Hillary Bucher / Bridesmaid’s Dress: ModCloth/Groom’s Gift: Kotori Photo Jewelry

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Lavender Farm Photo Shoot from Jihan Cerda Photography

So we told you this morning that this week was going to be good. Five full days of wine country weddings, good. That’s right, thanks to Viansa Winery we’ll be filling your week with feature after feature from that gorgeous region of your stylish state. And we’ve only just begun…

So let’s keep this pretty party going with this sun-infused Sonoma shoot captured by Jihan Cerda Photography shall we? Think picture perfect style mixed with the sweet fields of Lavender Bee Farm, delicious desserts by Sweet Lauren Cakes, topped off with fabulous florals by Vanda Floral Design – and ladies and gents, you get this piece of perfection. It’s even better than you can imagine, so be sure to take a little time to peruse the pretty in the full gallery of images too!

Click here for the FULL photo shoot!

From Jihan Cerda PhotographyA romantic shoot inspired by a gorgeous real life couple and a captivating working lavender farm in Sonoma County.

As a team, we recreated a wedding from the start of cocktail hour to sending the bride and groom off on their honeymoon. Our cocktail hour featured of lavender-infused champagne, the signature drink, accented with lavender and florals. Pineapple Planet created farm table elegance with 22k gold-rimmed china, a burlap-laced table runner, a crystal chandelier, antique gold accents and beautiful florals, including gorgeous, locally-grown dahlias and lavender. Invitations, menu cards, drink flags and stationery were designed and printed by Kayden Ashley Printable Designs. The drink flags can easily be designed to say what the bride and groom would like, as well as add a little extra fun to the drink. Sweet Lauren Cakes of San Francisco made the themed cake pops. The tasty treats were customized to accent the romance, yet added a little fun to the shoot.

Our models are a real-life couple who have been married since 2010. Besides being totally adorable together and full of smiles, they were the perfect fit, and the camera loved them! To recreate a wedding day for the couple, the bride wore a Lazaro dress with a lace bodice and tiered skirt. Vanda Florals created the stunning bridal bouquet, and Antonio Venegas and Raina Rombeiro did her hair and makeup. Local boutique Ooh La Loft provided the adorable “going away” dress and vintage jewelry. The “thank you” signs, designed by Kayden Ashley, are a fun and easy way to create photo thank you cards to send to guests for celebrating the big day.

It was a great experience piecing everything together and having an amazing collaboration between some of the best partners in wine country. Happy wedding planning!

Wedding Photography: Jihan Cerda Photography / Wedding Venue: Lavender Bee Farm in Petaluma, California / Floral Design + Decor: Pineapple Planet / Bride’s Bouquet: Vanda Floral Design / Cake Pops: Sweet Lauren Cakes / Wedding Stationary + Printables: Kayden Ashley Printable Designs / Wedding Dress: Lazaro / Bride’s Hair: Antonio Venegas / Bride’s Makeup: Raina Rombeiro / Bride’s Jewelry, Hair Piece + Honeymoon Styling: Ooh La Loft / Groom’s Attire: Van Heusen

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