Bear Flag Farm Outdoor Wedding from Zoom Photography
September 7, 2011
United States
Classic WeddingsCasual
Okay. I'm always a huge fan of whatever Zoom Photography sends our way. She gets to capture the most amazing weddings. But I think this one might take the cake. Set in a crazy gorgeous California lavender field, the bride and groom got married surrounded by the ones they love, then they took a spin on a fantastic ferris wheel. Seriously? How cool is that? Renting a ferris wheel for your big day. I SO wish I could have opened my mail to find an invite to this wedding. I'll be spending all afternoon in that fabulous lavender field with the ferris wheel, so when you're ready click here to join me!

Outdoor California Wedding

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Ramin surprised Melissa with a proposal on her 30th birthday.  They had never shopped for rings, and Ramin had always been hesitant about even discussing that “grown-up topic.” With the stresses of serving as the trauma chief resident, Ramin had told Melissa he didn’t know if he’d even be home for a birthday dinner. Well, dinner happened and afterward they went for a walk on the pier at Chrissy Field with the glow of the golden gate bridge and San Francisco City skyline. Melissa was visibly shocked when Ramin lowered to his knee to propose.  First words out of her mouth:  “Seriously? For real? You want to marry me?”  After Ramin reminded her that she still did not answer his question, she replied with "YES!"

We both love the outdoors and while we love the mountains more than the city we felt San Francisco was special to us, the city where we met and started to build a life together.  We knew we were moving for Ramin’s job end of June 2010 and wanted to get married before we moved.   We also knew we wanted an outdoor wedding since that really reflects who we are.  The weather in San Francisco during June can be so unpredictable and cold so we had to look for venues outside of the Bay Area.

The Central Valley is where Ramin was raised and it is a side of California we both love but that most people don’t know or get to see.  At first viewing, Melissa knew it was the perfect venue: beautiful, natural, predictable weather, and convenient for all the out of town guests.  We wanted an intimate, relaxed, fun, festive feel to the wedding and loved the idea of a summer fair.

Instead of traditional place cards we decided to get creative and asked our guests to send us a photo with their response card.  We used the photos as their place cards at a hanging escort card display.  Table numbers at this display were accompanied by one picture each of Melissa and Ramin at those respective years (Table 1 = 1 year old, Table 2 = 2 years old, etc).  Melissa's sister helped us put these together in the days before the wedding. On the day of the wedding guests were able to walk up to the display during cocktail hour and retrieve their place card as well as see all the fun photos that the other guests had submitted.  This was also a way for all guests to get to know each other.

Though both of us were raised in the states, Melissa is half Colombian and Ramin is Persian. We don’t care too much for convention, so we designed our own hybrid ceremony. In Persian tradition, we sat facing a symbolic "sofreh aghd."  The Colombian/Christian elements included a small wedding party and inspirational readings by family (Bible and poetry of Hafez).  We held the ceremony in the lavender field facing our guests. Dr. Mehri Pirooz officiated in both English and Farsi. The "toor" that was held over us during the ceremony was loaned by very close family friends of 40 years. It was silken & crocheted, and  their 3 children were married under it as well.

We had a ferris wheel to go with the summer fair theme, we thought it would not only make a great backdrop for photos but would also be a fun treat for all of our guests.  A way to bring out the inner child in all of us!

Photography: Lauri Levenfeld, Zoom Photography, Second shooter Jessica Epstein / Location: Bear Flag Farm / Catering: Alex's Catering / Floral Design: Sillapere Eco Events / Rentals: Hartmann Studios / Linens: La Tavola Fine Linens / Lighting & Power: Monkeyglue Lighting / Band: Wall Street Notable Talent Agency /Event Planning & Design:  Tina Reikes for Bear Flag Farm / Dress: Vera Wang, "Rita" from Glamour Closet