A Colorful, Wine Country Wedding in Sonoma
The San Francisco-based couple headed north to Kenwood, California, part of the Sonoma County wine region, for a wedding weekend full of bright jewel tones, a packed dance floor, and an end-of-the-night karaoke session. Ashley and Nick worked with planner Julia Lake, who blended their love of bold color with the earthy palette of the landscape, fine-tuned their ‚Äúfun party‚ÄĚ right down to an exit under the moonlight. For the couple, the entire planning process turned out to be a good time.
‚ÄúNick and I both love to host, so putting together the party of a lifetime was truly epic and unique,‚ÄĚ Ashley says.
The couple set the tone for the wedding celebration with their eye-popping invitation suite from Swell Press. It featured textured paper invitations that resembled the coastal mountains near the venue. The colors even coordinated with their day-of paper goods, like neon-hued, acrylic menus and cocktail napkins. The marigold hue incorporated is also symbolic for brightness and positive energy in many cultures.
I was skeptical about the whole ‚Äėyou‚Äôll just know‚Äô thing, but the moment I put it on, it just felt right.
‚ÄúI was skeptical about the whole ‚Äėyou‚Äôll just know‚Äô thing, but the moment I put it on, it just felt right,‚ÄĚ Ashley says of her Blush by Hayley Paige gown that she found at The Dress Theory. She added bright pink Manolo Blahnik flats for her pop of color‚ÄĒwhich also proved practical given the grass at the venue.
One of the couple‚Äôs favorite memories was when Nick decided to ‚Äúlook too early‚ÄĚ during the couple‚Äôs first look.
The couple‚Äôs planner, Julia, admits she was unsure of the neon hues and bold color palette that Ashley and Nick wanted for their day. ‚ÄúI always push my couples to work with the environment instead of against it,‚ÄĚ Julia says. ‚ÄúIt was a challenge to make the modern design feel cohesive with the natural, organic landscape of the area, but we managed to do it.‚ÄĚ
One technique to tie in the hues was to hang brightly colored garlands of flowers from the couple‚Äôs ceremony arch, adding color while still maintaining an organic, grown-from-the-earth aesthetic. Marigolds are once again incorporated into the design here.
While the couple kept their vows secret before the ceremony, the pair actually happened to write down the same one. ‚ÄúWe both promised each other that until the end of our days, we would dance around the living room to ‚ÄėScenes from an Italian Restaurant‚Äô by Billy Joel,‚ÄĚ Ashley says. ‚ÄúThat was not planned.‚ÄĚ
Choosing the right music for each moment was an important planning step for Ashley and Nick. They had a saxophonist play for the ceremony, which included a cover of Ashley‚Äôs parents‚Äô wedding song, ‚ÄúCan‚Äôt Help Falling In Love,‚ÄĚ by Elvis Presley, and a last-minute swap for their recessional: Kygo‚Äôs remix of ‚ÄúHigher Love,‚ÄĚ which was released just two days before the wedding.
Since Nick is ‚Äúobsessed with passed apps,‚ÄĚ the couple focused on cocktail-hour food with sweet touches. They included beggar‚Äôs purses as an homage to Nick‚Äôs love of them as a child.
The reception took place in a sailcloth tent, with decor that nodded to both wine country and the couple‚Äôs vibrant color palette. Guests sat at a mix of tables to feast on a dinner catered by Paula LeDuc, which featured lamb chops and an avocado and snap pea salad.
To continue with the playful vibe, balloons hung from the ceiling of the tent.
Ashley calls their entertainment, Ground Control, ‚Äúthe best wedding band of all time.‚ÄĚ Ashley and her family followed their own tradition of kicking off the dancing for the night. The bride stepped onto the dance floor in neon-yellow high heels.
Ashley and Nick then took their first spin on the dance floor to ‚ÄúMine is Yours‚ÄĚ by Cold War Kids. Later, the party would end with karaoke, grilled cheese, and Ashley belting Robin‚Äôs ‚ÄúCall Your Girlfriend.‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúIt felt so electric,‚ÄĚ the bride says. ‚ÄúIt was like a dream.‚ÄĚ