Rustic Elegance at Cornerstone Sonoma
November 24, 2014
RusticRustic WeddingsSummer Weddings
When you start to peel away all the layers of gorgeous in this ridiculously beautiful Sonoma soiree, you realize that because of all the personal and heartfelt touches dreamt up by this darling couple, you've started to love it like it was your very own wedding. Every sweet senitment tucked into this gallery beautifully captured by Josh Gruetzmacher Photography makes you fall in love with not only the wedding but the couple, leaving us with a wedding too special not to share.
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From The Bride...We were inspired by one of our favorite Disney movies, Tangled. Tim and I are truly kids at heart and wanted our wedding to reflect the playfulness of the characters while capturing the ethereal fairytale feel that the animators portrayed in the movie with naturalist art and lush imagery.

Cornerstone provided the perfect modern storybook backdrop for our wedding with its beautiful gardens, lily pond, and rustic barn, with a fun twist of modern eclecticism in the form of unique outdoor sculptures, many of which were interactive. We simply added a dash of greenery, a mix of soft pastel florals, oodles of flowy tulle, and a bit of quirky stationary, and we had our own modern day fairytale wedding.

Tim and I knew that if we were going to have a full-blown wedding instead of eloping, that we wanted to use it as an opportunity to invite our guests into our life together as a couple. We had guests who had known us since the day Tim and I met in the dorms of UC Berkeley to friends of our parents who hadn’t seen us since we were children. Regardless of their roles in our lives, we were so grateful for every guest that could celebrate with us and in return, we want them to feel closer to us on our special day.

To that end, we made picture storyboards for each of the different stages of our 8 year relationship – starting from when we met in undergrad, to when Tim moved to Honolulu for medical school while I was in Los Angeles for pharmacy school, to all of our international adventures and then finally the proposal.

We also integrated some of our journey into the decorations that we set up in the gardens, such as the wooden directional sign that pointed to all of the cities we had lived and were going to live in (we moved cross-country to New York the week after we got married!). We also shared more intimate details, like the phrase “I love you. I love you more. I love you mostester. Rawr,” that was strung along the bushes leading guests to the ceremony site. It was our nightly ritual to say these words to each other before bed during our four years of long distance.

Then we sprinkled the day with details that just made Tim and me giddy. For me, I opted to serve pie instead of traditional wedding cake since that was a tradition in my family when we celebrated special events – birthday pies were the best! Tim elected to have the bar serve Abita beer since he went to high school in Louisiana where Abita beverages are a local favorite.
Most memorable moment of your wedding day?

The most memorable moment was definitely our vows. After being together for 8 years, you would think we knew everything about each other and there really wouldn’t be much else new to say, but when Tim opened up his little green book and started reading his vows to me that day, it was so raw, intense, and vulnerable that at that instant I could feel all 8 years of our love crystallized into that one moment. I could not have felt more love and in love at that moment.

Our advice for planning is 1. Make a wedding website together. Tim and I had a lot of fun working on our website together as a couple. Tim had given me free leeway to plan the wedding however I pleased (as long as I stuck to the budget), so I loved that this was a pre-wedding project that we were able to work on as a couple. Rummaging through old photos from our earlier years and spending the time to write out our story and proposal together gave us an opportunity to pause in the middle of all the wedding planning chaos and be nostalgic for a moment. We were also excited to showcase our engagement photos from Josh that we loved so much. Practically speaking, the website also provided useful information for guests, so it was a win all around.
We used Wix, which worked out great since it was free and gave us the flexibility to really customize the site to our liking (

2. Speaking of Josh, it’s so important to choose a photographer that puts you at ease. Tim and I must have interviewed at least a dozen photographers, all with great profiles, but Josh’s cheerful smile, sweet disposition, and dork-tastic personality ultimately won us over. These characteristics definitely made a huge difference on the final images he captured. For any Friends fans, Tim has the Chandelier Bing curse – where a handsome guy can turn into an incredibly awkward-smiling stranger in front of a professional photographer. I was worried that this would happen during our engagement session, but Josh had us laughing and enjoying ourselves the entire time, which came through in the pictures.

3. Hire a videographer. Tim was originally on the fence about hiring a videographer, but probably gave in because he knows I have horrible memory and would need video evidence that we got married. Hands down, one of the best decisions we made. It’s wonderful to be able to re-watch such a happy day.

Enjoy the ceremony. I feel like the ceremony is always the highlight of the day. It’s not about the location or decorations, but rather the people, the vows, and the moment. Everything else that follows during the day is just icing on the cake, or in my case, meringue on the pie!