California Wedding Film from Hoo Films
April 27, 2013
United States
RomanticCasualWeddings in Wineries
This morning we have a really sweet story for you. The wedding you are about to see was one that was very intimate, only the couples' parents in attendance. After the big question, they started planning a big day. As it got bigger and bigger, they realized the most important thing was just to be married at the end of the day - and that they did. They cancelled their big wedding, and opted for a super romantic, smaller one with big meaning. Lucky for the rest of us, Hoo Films was there to capture it all.

Gorgeous photography courtesy of 8twenty8 Studios.

From the beautiful bride ... Sean and I began dating in 2011 after having worked together for almost a year. It was on our very first date that I fell head over heels in love with him. His incredible personality and charm had me from the moment I walked into the restaurant. I knew instantly that night that he was the man I was going to spend the rest of my life with.

Since I was a little girl, I had always dreamed of what my wedding would be like, as most of us do. I had always envisioned a big wedding, with the most beautiful details, and all of our friends and family there. Sean and I were very open with one another about our dreams for our big day. However, he kept very quiet as to the “when” and “where” of his big proposal. Last June, just about a year into dating, Sean took a moment to ask me the most important question of our lives and of course, I said “yes!”

It wasn’t until Sean asked me to marry him that we really were able to start turning our wedding dreams into reality. After taking a few months to simply enjoy being engaged, we started planning our dream day. We met with vendors, photographers, florists, bakeries, DJ’s. You name it; we had it all ready to go for a summer 2013 wedding. After a few months of wedding planning, we sat down with one another and opened up about the feelings we were both having. It turned out; neither Sean nor I wanted the huge, elaborate wedding we initially thought. The more we planned, the more we realized that was actually exactly opposite of what we wanted for ourselves. So the next week, after careful consideration, I called each one of our vendors and cancelled our big wedding. Luckily, no ‘Save the Date’s’ had been sent out!

Sean and I then began planning the real wedding of our dreams – an intimate, private ceremony, with just our parents present in Sonoma, California. We had visited Napa during our first summer together and spent that weekend talking all about how that would be the perfect setting for our wedding one day. When the time came for us to research locations for our ceremony, we knew we wanted to be married at a winery. We stumbled upon the Kunde Family Estate in Sonoma, which has the most breathtaking views and delicious wines! We had planned to be married outside, under a tall Oak Tree in January. However, God had much different plans for us. The morning of our wedding, it rained non-stop which forced our ceremony inside into the most beautiful wine cave. Inside a candlelit cave, lined with aging wine barrels, with our Pastor there to marry us, we shared the most emotional vows with one another. It was the most incredible moment to stand together as a couple with our full focus on the commitment we were making. Following our ceremony, we had an incredible time taking pictures outside in the pouring rain, followed by dinner with our parents at one of our favorite restaurants, Brix in Napa. It was the perfect day for us, rain and all!

So many people ask us why we chose to have a private ceremony. The truth is, while planning our initial wedding, we experienced more stress than ever before and it unfortunately, was not a joyful time for us. The more we planned, the more we realized all the bigger details did not matter. We wanted to stay true to who we were, what mattered to us, and more than anything, we wanted to keep the moment simple. The ceremony was incredible: intimate, emotional, and relaxed. When the day came, we were so overjoyed with the outcome. I am so proud we stayed true to what we felt and put ourselves first. After all, it was our moment and all of our friends and family were incredibly understanding and supportive. We put so much love and dedication into that day together, no detail was left unnoticed.

Even though we chose to do a private ceremony, we still wanted to celebrate our marriage with all of our family and friends where we live in San Diego. We were able to have our reception just last weekend and it was incredible! Having the ceremony and reception separate worked so well for us, I highly suggest it for anyone who is in a similar situation. However, regardless of your wedding plans, remember to let go of any stress and focus your whole heart on your commitment. After all, that is the most important thing.


Photography: 8twenty8 Studios | Cinematography: Hoo Films | Ceremony Location: Kunde Family Estate | Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Dress: Encore Collection | Hair and Make Up: Amanda Ruggerio with Voodoo Salon