Sonoma Wedding from Melissa Koehler Photography
July 11, 2013
United States
DIY InspiredVintageBackyard
You may or may not have heard, but I love rustic weddings.  I adore the simplicity (+ awesomeness) of mason jar centerpieces, have an obsession with breathtaking barn backdrops and kind of think bridesmaids rockin' boots is the coolest thing ever.  So when Melissa Koehler sent this darling gem of a farm soiree our way, well, it was sort of like Christmas morning.  One that was chock-full of beautiful DIY details, vibrant peonies from Julie Stevens Design and an adorable couple who really know a thing or two about partying in rustic style.  See it all in the full gallery.
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From the Bride... Our ceremony was held at St. Francis Solano church in Sonoma, California, followed by a reception at our family ranch.  The locations of our ceremony and reception were what really made our day memorable.  Three of my aunts were married at St. Francis; and the Ranch, an old dairy farm, has always been a second home to our entire family.    

What I loved most about our wedding was all of the personal touches and family ties.  The property has a beautiful barn that was the backdrop for the reception.  The wine that we used for the wedding was from a family in Sonoma whose father had helped my great grandfather and grandfather build the barn.  My sister made our wedding invitations and programs.  Two weeks before the wedding my aunt made my veil and headpiece, which I loved!  I borrowed pearls from my mother and sister and added a gold bracelet that was a gift given to me the morning of our wedding by one of my bridesmaids.  My dad drove us in his classic car, a 56 Chevy that tied in perfectly with the other vintage elements in our wedding.  Another bridesmaid made cupcakes and a special Indiana University themed wedding cake as a surprise for my Hoosier loving husband.  My cousin made some of his famous cheesecake for the dessert table along with other goodies made by my aunts and from local bakeries.  Dinner was served family-style, which went well with the location and added to the ambiance.

Our inspiration came from wedding blogs, Martha Stewart Weddings, Pinterest, and the Ranch.  For the décor we used pieces found on the property and did A LOT of DIY projects.  Old jars were used for votive candles, an old table for the desserts, and my dad, with the help of my uncle and cousins, repurposed a hay elevator mounted on old wine barrels for the bar!  My dad also used wood planks lying around to make a Mason jar chandelier and bar signs.  My mom made all of our burlap table runners and we made fabric peony flowers that were scattered on the head tables.  One of the best surprises was that my uncle, after making a few planter boxes for my bridal shower, saw how much I loved them and made more to be used for centerpieces!  So as another project we made succulent centerpieces that worked beautifully with the arrangements from our florist and really completed the whole look. Our family and friends really helped to make everything perfect.  We are so grateful for everything and to have worked with such amazing vendors!

Photography: Melissa Koehler Photography | Floral Design: Julie Stevens Design | Ceremony Location: St. Francis Solano Church in Sonoma, CA | Reception Location: Private Residence, Sonoma, CA | Day of Coordinator: Allison Mooney | Invitations: Jamie Shields | Rentals: Bright Event Rentals (linens, tables, chairs, glassware, wine barrels, umbrellas, & dance floor) + Classic Party Rentals (Coffee Urns) | DJ + Lighting: Joshua Toves, Digital Vibrations | Catering: Wine Valley Caterers | Wedding Cake + Cupcakes: Kendall Rose | Hair + Makeup: Holly Gore, Holly Ashley at Studio 3 | Bride Makeup: Audrey Crandell, Glowing Bridal | Wedding Dress: Jim Helm Blush via Here Comes the Bride | Shoes: Steve Madden