When you can get your guest list down to 30 of your most loved near and dear ones, it affords you the ability to hire the most talented folks you know and really develop your wedding style to suit you and your soon-to-be hubs to a T. Amy and Phil were able to do just this, so they brought on the ever-talented Edyta Szyszlo to capture their wedding day at Sonoma’s Moon Mountain Retreat – an ideal wedding venue if I’ve ever seen one!
From the bride, Amy: Phil and I wanted to keep the weekend relaxed and intimate. The Moon Mountain Retreat in Sonoma gave us the perfect setting. Starting the weekend on a Friday where everyone can get to know one another and enjoy the destination was a perfect plan. By the time the ceremony came around on Sunday at 4 it was like one big happy family celebrating together. We wanted to keep the ceremony site simple & charming while surprising our guests with a more elaborate dinner setting. For me it was all out color with pops of neon! Enlist friends and family that want to help. My mom is super creative and made all the decor for the ceremony site! My friend Anne is amazingly talented and took on flowers, calligraphy and made killer napkins. Friends saved every jar they could find for 6 months in order to become the vases for all the beautiful dahlia arrangements. And we wouldn’t be officially married if it wasn’t for my best friend Michelle taking the time to be ordained for the day and preforming the sweetest, most touching and absolutely memorable ceremony.
If you keep your guest list small you can afford to hire very talented people! All of our vendors where carefully chosen and we were not disappointed! If you haven’t had a chance to spend all weekend with your fiance I’d suggest having a “first look” with your photographer. It will make you both more at ease and comfortable during the ceremony. Phil and I saw each other up to the morning of the ceremony so we opted to be surprised – neither of us had a dry eye. Take the time to really plan your ceremony. Don’t rush through it – it’s the most important part of the day. Do things how you want to do it – not how it’s “supposed” to be done. When I came down the stairs, Phil walked down the aisle to meet me and we went to the altar together. It was then we had the kids come down the aisle. What bride would want to miss watching all that entertainment!! Have your family take part in the event. For us it was Phil’s father reading a Swahili blessing, his brother Matt playing “At Last” on his sax, followed by my niece Amanda reciting the lyrics. Lois, Phil’s mom, had given us one of her china cups to pass the rings to each guest to bless before having a silent ring exchange.
Most importantly, when it comes time to take family portraits, don’t take a photo with your family and then add your husband or vice versa… take all family photos together as husband and wife – because now you all are one big happy family.”
Wedding Location: Sonoma, CA / Wedding Photographer: Edyta Szyszlo / Venue: Moon Mountain Retreat / Wedding Dress: Enzoani via Janene’s Bridal / Wedding Shoes: Kate Spade / Hair and Makeup: It’s a Date / Groom’s Suit: Banana Republic / Caterer: Back to Earth Catering / Nanny Services: The Original Merry Pop-In Nannies / Music: Musical Heart Strings / Rentals: Encore Events / Linens: La Tavola Linen / Officiant: best friend of the couple Michelle Walker / Stationery, Calligraphy and Textiles: Anne Millett of Mira Aster