Real Wedding
May 6, 2008

I love, love, LOOOOVE this first post today. One of our readers, Reichel sent me pictures of her recent wedding in Northern California. Aside from the fact that the wedding is completely stunning, what I love is that Reichel entered her inspiration board in our contest a few months back so we are able to see how her board translated into her vision. I love that.

So...first, let's look at her inspiration board...


Beautiful, right? Well...feast your eyes on her gorgeous wedding!


Reichel has documented all of her pictures and amazing details on her knot bio page...including the cost of all of her vendors. I love that she has done this so that others can really see what went into the planning and design of this wedding. Here are a few more details from Reichel about her big day...

Ryan & I met six years ago in Santa Barbara, CA and started our love affair with wine (and each other!). We moved up to the SF Bay area a few years ago and have learned to love Napa and Sonoma wine country as well. So when it came time to celebrate the wedding it was only natural that we'd choose a winery. After searching high and low in Napa & Sonoma, we decided to have our ceremony & reception at Buena Vista Winery in Sonoma. It's only a few blocks away from historic Sonoma Plaza, as well as only a few blocks away from my Mother's house.

Buena Vista Winery is the oldest premium winery in California. So that was the starting point of our theme. I wanted to keep everything very old fashioned and romantic. There's several old stone buildings on the property as well as a rustic fountain. The dinner was held on the second floor of one of these buildings; inside it's all rich dark wood and very rustic. We held the ceremony in the fountain courtyard in front of their gorgeous ivy-covered champagne cellars. The cocktail hour was held outside as well, in front of their fun outdoor bar, surrounded by trees light up with white Christmas lights.

My colors ended up coming from the winery itself, cream, taupe, chocolate and sage. I chose my dress to fit in with the color was gorgeous cream alençon lace over latte silk with a pearl brooch & latté velvet ribbon. Ryan wore a classic tux with a latté colored tie to match my sash. The bridesmaids wore espresso JCrew dresses and I gave them sage colored pashminas to wear and the groomsen had sage colored ties to match.

I also used a lot of rich dark wood accents. I actually work for Williams Sonoma, on the Pottery Barn catalog creative team. So a lot of my decor reflects that. I used the Turned Wood collection for a lot of the accents: the cake stand, the candles on the dinner tables, the hurricane candles on the cocktail tables, the chargers, the pillar holders...even the centerpieces were made using the Turned Wood Pedestal bowls.

Also from Pottery Barn were the kraft-colored leaf placecards. They inspired the the kraft paper wine escort tags. I thought it was a fun idea instead of your usual escort cards. I designed all of the other paper items myself. I used a vintage flower design in chocolate on the invites and then had them letter-pressed on thick cream paper. I also used a drawing of the winery that I scanned from one of Buena Vista's wine labels. The save-the-dates were from a print of an old wine label, I just altered it with our info in Photoshop.

To fit in with Buena Vista's old history, I tried to plan things that would fit in the appropriate time period. We had a old-fashioned "gypsy jazz band" (the Golden Gate Hot Club). They played for the ceremony and the cocktail hour. They set the mood perfectly with their 20's - 40's music, the guests just loved it. I also rented a vintage 1936 touring limo from Ambassador's Rolls. They actually have two matching limos like this and I spotted them out in Napa one day. I couldn't resist, it was one of my favorite details! The limo was so unique and fun and it held 14 people; perfect for the whole bridal party. Another classic touch were the engraved stainless steel corkscrews we used as favors. It's fun seeing them randomly at friends & family's houses months afterwards! Obviously they're very useful ;)

It turned out to be such a blast and you could almost imagine you were back in a different era. I just loved how it all turned out...I just wish we could do it all over again :)