Any time a wedding with bright pink peonies and floral bridesmaid dresses rolls into our inbox, I count it as a good day. Lauren and Ali’s California winery wedding was chock full of vibrance, light, and love, easily visible thanks to the camera skills of Studio Castillero. And those bright pink peonies we mentioned found perfect partners in orange ranunculus, lush greenery, and soft pink blooms for good measure, arranged by Venn Floral.
From the bride, Lauren: It all started at a school for girls, Wexley School for Girls, which happens to be an advertising agency where we both got our first jobs out of college. Ali was working late one night and I offered him a ride home, he just had a few things to finish up. I wound up waiting three hours for him to finish (Ali isn’t great at estimating time) and to make it up to me he took me out to dinner on the way home. We wound up at a little Thai restaurant, talking until we closed down the place. After a few months of inner office flirtations and secretive dating, we moved in together and a year later made the move from Seattle to San Francisco. And that’s where we’ve been ever since.
We were drawn to an outdoor wedding in wine country that felt more like an experience we were inviting our friends and family to share in rather than an orchestrated event they attended. Sonoma in the springtime does a spectacular job of setting a relaxed but elegant scene for you with vivid colors and scenery in full bloom. The accents and elements we incorporated from there were a mixture of personal touches that nodded towards our personalities and story together. Ali designed a logo which we wove into our design elements, we surprised each other with readings we chose for one another, we laughed through our ceremony and took a selfie with our officiant, we turned sea glass into name cards for place settings as a nod to the beach where we got engaged. In the end, guests told us that they walked away feeling like they got an intimate glimpse into our lives by sharing in the celebration of our marriage. Can’t ask for much more than that.
We intentionally chose vendors that we could see ourselves being friends with. The vendors you choose are people you will spent countless hours with and people you want to be able to lean on and trust in guiding you through often very confusing and overwhelming situations. From our florists to photographers to venue coordinators, we chose to form relationships not just sign contracts. We’re creative people, and I can put together a mean Pinterest board, but I can’t envision a floral design as imaginatively or skillfully as our florists did. In the end, you want to collaborate with vendors on your vision and then empower them to bring their ideas to life in ways everyone is excited about. No one will ever be inspired to create great work if they’re simply handed a list of requests. Ultimately, we couldn’t have been happier with how each element of our wedding came together.
Catch the wedding film from Phil Velasco:
From the floral designer, Venn Floral: We absolutely LOVED working on this wedding, and what we loved even more was getting to know Lauren and Ali –they are the kind of people you want in your life. The two of them are all about making each other laugh, and sharing the love, which we felt through the entire planning process with them. They weren’t just “the bride and groom”, and the vendors weren’t just “the vendors” — it always felt like we were planning the best party with our closest friends. Lauren and Ali let us into their life, and allowed us to truly get to know them, which enabled us (and all of their vendors) to create an experience and wedding day that reflected them authentically, and honestly that didn’t feel forced or unnatural at any moment.
No doubt our floral palette was fully inspired by our fun-loving couple, and their colorful personalities. The materials and colors we chose not only reflected the couple, but were a true depiction of late Spring in Sonoma County. Sweet Peas, Ranunculus, Peonies, Wild Honeysuckle vines, Maidenhair Ferns, Rattlesnake Grass, Creeping Rosemary, and the last of the Hellebores were at the heart of our designs — many of which we sourced from local farms, and our own gardens. We installed garlands, and floral vignettes throughout the venue, utilizing an eclectic mix of barnwood boxes, vintage glass, and bronze-edged terrariums. We also fell in love with Lauren’s jade-green velvet ribbon, which we used for place-settings, floral crowns, bouquets and boutonnieres… As for the venue, Arista is one of our favorite places to work–whether you are a vendor, a client, or simply a guest visiting their tasting room, you’re bound to have a great experience. There are so many perfect nooks and beautiful details everywhere you look, AKA great photography opportunities. We could keep going on and on, but here is some perspective from the bride & groom themselves:
Photography: Studio Castillero
Floral Design: Venn Floral
Event Coordination, Design, and Venue: Arista Winery
Catering: Elaine Bell Catering
Wedding Cake and Desserts: Moustache Baked Goods
Music: AMS Entertainment
Rentals: Encore Events Rentals
Photo Booth: Das Bus
Videography: Phil Velasco