California Vineyard Wedding from Docuvitae
April 22, 2013
United States
RomanticCasualWeddings in Wineries
Everything Docuvitae touches (or rather, captures) is pure gold, but this Sonoma wedding is special. It takes place at the groom's family vineyard. Yep. His family owns and runs this vineyard, and the couple vacations here all the time. So along with the gorgeous wedding, there was a layer of intimacy woven through the entire day. Through every warm detail, every welcoming smile, every sweet embrace. That is perfection. See it all right here.
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From the lovely bride ... Nicholai and I met almost eight years ago as undergrads at Stanford. Since then, we've chased each other around East Africa for election riots & safaris, across West Africa by motorbike, away from feisty monkeys in Bali, into cigar shops in Mexico City, & into the fog of San Francisco’s wild Ocean Beach neighborhood where we’ve lived together for three years. Last May, we decided we’d chase each other down the aisle.

We had no trouble deciding that the wedding should be held at his mother's vineyard in Sonoma, just outside of the town of Healdsburg. Nicholai's family has had the place since he was one year old, and he's spent every winter and summer holiday there growing up. It's now where we spend all of our holidays and is a special place for both of us. Our motto for planning our wedding was "don't take yourself too seriously." It's a saying my dad has always had, and it rubbed off.

To us, the most important things were having the people that we loved around us, making it a fun, playful day, and enjoying the incredible food, wine and music of Northern California. We also wanted to tie in aspects of both of our personalities to the ceremony - Nicholai is a big wave surfer, and can be found out at Maverick's every time it's breaking, or right out front of our house at Ocean Beach. Normally the bride is the one that makes the big entrance at a wedding, but at ours, Nicholai and his groomsmen floated across the pond on a raft with a giant 10ft wave attached to it, with the overture from Jurassic Park blasting out across the pond. (No music is more majestic.) I came down the aisle, escorted by my mom and dad, to Quinn Deveaux's band playing Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered". To honor my Mexican heritage, we included a lasso ceremony during the wedding, using the lasso that was used at my aunt and uncle's wedding many years ago. Then, when our officiant (my uncle - a federal judge in Texas) announced us husband and wife, he fired off a gun three times in to the air and everyone in the audience pulled out toy cap guns and fired them off too! It was incredible - a bit deafening, but so fun.

Instead of using table numbers, we named each table for a place that has meant something to one or both of us. My aunt made special Mexican candy spoons for each place setting, and my mother-in-law beautifully wrapped little bottles of Wine-Away as favors (they were put to good use!). was a great resource for us in finding little details for making our decorations, signboards, table settings, etc.

We danced to Etta James' "At Last" for our first song, had many toasts, finished all the cake and - toward the end of the night - were floated across the dance floor on the hands of our friends! First wedding crowd-surfing I've ever seen, and I can't recommend it highly enough. We couldn't have asked for anything more...

Photographer: Laura Kleinhenz of Docuvitae | Flowers: Dragonfly Farms, Healdsburg | Caterer: Preferred Sonoma Caterers | Tent: Zephyr Tents | Wedding Band: Quinn Deveaux and the Blue Beat Review | Lighting: Twilight Design | Wedding Cake: Costeaux French Bakery