Elegant Celebration Honoring The Bride's Late Father
February 20, 2017
Classic WeddingsRomanticHotels + Resorts Weddings
Located at a quaint and romantic culinary school venue in Sonoma, this couple's love story was thoughtfully infused in all aspects of their perfect day. My favorite sentimental touch was the bride's surprise dance honoring her late father to his favorite song, "Sittin' On The Dock of the Bay." With luscious neutral florals by Vo Floral Designs and a beyond elegant reception design, I couldn't resist browsing the images of this gallery twice! Every detail of the exemplary day was captured by Onelove Photography.
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From the bride... Henry and I are the couple that loves spending every moment with each other, we’ve been that way since day one. When we thought about how we wanted to our wedding to be, the first thing that came to mind was that we wanted it to embody everything we were as a couple. We wanted our guests to come in and have it feel intimate and romantic. We thought about every detail to make our guest feel like it was personal. We hated going to weddings where it was beautiful, but it didn't tie to what the couple was all about. So when we first toured Ramekins, we knew it was the one. It felt so intimate, romantic and we loved that the ceremony and reception was all in one place. (Also, I'm sure it being a culinary school and having a sushi bar option was what also tipped us).

As we started planning, I wanted to incorporate as many personal things between Henry and I. On our first trip to Disneyland, we got silhouettes of ourselves and got them framed. When we were thinking about how we wanted to make our wedding invites personal, we thought why not make them of our own silhouettes. I designed them from scratch and got them printed at a local letterpress printer (something I always wanted). I even got a wax seal made with the same design, stamped and addressed every single invite. Our silhouettes were everywhere in the wedding; we had them on the programs, the menus, we even got wood carvings to be our guest book.

Another thing we had to incorporate was Post-its. When Henry and I first started dating at work, we would leave notes to each other every morning. That flowed into when we started dating, then when we lived together, and now as an engaged couple - they would always be a reminder that we were thinking of each other. We actually have an entire wall in our apartment in San Francisco, dedicated to our notes along the years. When it came to our wedding, we wanted to do something really special for our guests. So Henry and I personally wrote a post-it note to everyone that attended our wedding which also included a personalized wood name plate for there seat. It was our way of letting them into our lives and for them to know how important they were to us and this day.

As we were sitting down for dinner, I looked around and was in awe at how everything came together. After months of planning, the long tables with luscious florals and soft romantic candles throughout the space were finally a reality. We only had 94 guests and I knew everyone felt the love that night. I had dreamt of this day my entire life, and even though not everything went as planned, what made it perfect was I got to marry the man I now get to call my husband.

My best advice to a bride-to-be would be, stay true to who you and your future partner are. You spend months and months planning a day that is really catering to everyone else, but when you take that first dance nothing else matters. No one will remember the food, no one will remember the details, but you will and that really is all that matters. As much as it sounds clique, it's your day. Big Tip - Spring for really good vendors for things that matter the most to you and DIY the rest. I spent a core of my budget on flowers, photography and of course the venue. You may spend more than what you wanted to, but you won't regret it. Money is one thing, but not having to worry about anything is worth it.

The forecast was rain and like any normal bride, I was completely freaking out. It poured the entire morning and I knew I had to make the decision to bring the ceremony inside (something I had thought about but had no idea it would actually come to it). As it came time to make my decision I knew I wanted it outside, it was one of the reasons we chose the venue, so I took a leap of faith. Our ceremony started at 5pm and at 4:50p it started to sun shower, I panicked. But then before I knew it, I heard that their was a break in the rain and we had to move. I’ll never forget the moment the doors opened and I saw everyone. It was as if the clouds parted and we were married. (the overcast also made for AMAZING photos)

My father died at a very young age and I would have given the world for him to be there. A few days before the wedding I received a gift that was a necklace of my father's signature. I knew it was perfect to wear on the day. My brother walked me down the aisle and it was one of the most special moments I’ve shared with him. Last but not least, I surprised my mom with the “father dance” to an acoustic version of my father’s favorite song - ‘Sittin on the dock of the bay’. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house - Including our own, I will never forget this moment and it was probably the most special moment of the day.

I knew I wanted to surprise Henry on our wedding day. He is an avid lover of Boba Milk tea, so it was only fitting to have it catered at our wedding. I kept it from Henry for months and when he saw the Boba Milk tea station with all his favorite flavors, the reaction on his face was priceless! Little did I know he also had a surprise up his sleeve. He had choreographed a groom's dance the night before and executed it flawlessly. I was definitely shocked to say the least.
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