Experience the Gorgeous Secrets Resorts


We have been so thrilled to share some fantastic honeymoon and destination wedding locations with you recently, so we are even more excited to share our newest sponsor, Secrets Resorts & Spas! Secrets Resorts & Spas are perfect for your honeymoon as they offer adults an extra measure of romance and luxury in some of the most beautiful places in the world- Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Jamaica.

Secrets has developed expertly crafted wedding packages for you to choose from that include everything you need for your big day. You won’t have to worry about the ceremony, cocktail hour, or dinner reception- they take care of everything! Work closely with the on-site wedding coordinator to craft the customized wedding of your dreams. You also have a wide variety of absolutely stunning venue locations to choose from like a rooftop gazebo, a secluded beach, or pier over the ocean.

Choose to have your honeymoon at one of the many Secrets Resorts & Spas and experience ultimate luxury. Everyday, you will enjoy a full breakfast, lunch, and dinner, at gourmet a la carte restaurants, along with unlimited international and domestic top-shelf spirits. Their Unlimited-Luxury experience also includes 24 hour room service, and with the special touch of the “Secrets Box,  room service can deliver your order without you having to answer the door. Talk about complete privacy!

Secrets also wants to welcome you back on your anniversary by giving you a free return stay at any Secrets Resort for your first anniversary if you book a qualifying wedding or honeymoon!

Visit Secrets Resorts & Spas website here to learn more about their wedding and honeymoon packages!


11.13.13 / Featured, New Sponsor Blog

Sweet Boonville Hotel California Wedding

We’re both from the midwest, so living in San Francisco we don’t get to spend as much time with our families as we’d like. We thought a small intimate dinner party with our parents and siblings would be a perfect way to celebrate and spend quality time with everyone. We stayed at the Boonville Hotel the weekend we got engaged, and knew that it was the perfect place right from the start. The Hotel has beautiful gardens and lots of unique elements. We had the ceremony under a gazebo covered in trumpet vines – which was swarmed with hummingbirds at sunset.

We wanted the day to be relaxed and fun for everyone. We started the day with a hike through Hendy Woods – a redwood grove just up the street and the place where Ben proposed. It was great to take a relaxing walk through the woods with our families and just enjoy the day. We picked up our flowers from the Philo Apple Farm right next door to Hendy Woods after the hike, and spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing, drinking wine, practicing our vows (in a failed attempt to make it through them without weeping), and taking our time getting ready for the evening ceremony.
Its tough to choose a favorite part, the day was so perfect…if I had to choose one part it would be the ceremony. I was completely filled with excitement and happiness walking down the aisle with my Dad and seeing Ben standing at the end, surrounded by our families.  Despite our best efforts we both cried spectacularly as we said our vows. My brother was our officiant and by the end there wasn’t a dry eye in the garden.
I also loved the food – another big reason we knew the Boonville Hotel would be perfect. They grow a lot of their own produce and the family style menu is different every day. We chose the menu just a week before the wedding so we could wait to see what was at its peak. It was delicious!

Photographer: Christina McNeill | Venue: Boonville Hotel in Boonville, California | Catering and cake: Boonville Hotel | Wedding Gown: Amy Kuschel | Brides Shoes: Martha Davis, found at the Workshop Residence in San Francisco | Suit: Brooks Brothers | Floral Designer: Philo Apple Farm | Music: Sonatina

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11.12.13 / Featured, Real Weddings, Real Weddings Blog

Rolling Hills California Wedding at The Roth Ranch

So excited to share the beautiful wedding of Freda and Jared from Tec Petaja today on Once Wed. Freda Banks is actually a fine art wedding photographer herself, so she brought in 2 more additional photographers to document their wedding. Below is a sweet summary from Freda about their wedding…

I am a fine art wedding photographer so we hired 3 amazing film photographers for the wedding(Medium and Large Format Photographers). My husband, Jared and I are both artists, he is a metal + wood worker so we decided to style the wedding ourselves. We spent 3 days at the venue prepping the space, hanging lights and handmade wedding flags and getting a feel for the space(Plus we had a lot of help from our family and friends). The venue was so beautiful, lots of rolling grassy hills with the forest on one side and the ocean on the other. One of the photographers was a tintype photographer and took formal tintype portraits of Jared and I and our dog, Talula the day before the wedding. The photographer, Tim Pinault develops the 8×10 tintypes in a mobile darkroom that he built in his car so it was super exciting to see the images right after we were photographed(See Below).., the photos definitely got us excited for the wedding.


The day of the wedding, we were both getting last minute details in order, deciding where everything should going terms of decor and furniture, and of course a bit of last minute vow writing. One of our best friends, Sean Hayes, a musician married us, he helped us come up with ideas for the ceremony. We read a quote from Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak and had Sean sing Fall In, during the ceremony. We had a Balkan horn section accompany us on our walk down to the ceremony location, it was wonderful marching with everyone down to the ceremony spot. After we were married and on the march back up to the reception barn the horns played Beyonce’s, If You Liked It Then you Should Have Put a Ring On it, a super fun way to end the ceremony. After the ceremony Tec Petaja whisked us away to the beach for a photo shoot. I love the shots that he created. He is amazing.

Medium Format Photography: Tec Petaja Photography | Tintype Photography: Timothy Pinault | 4×5 Portrait Photography: Mido Lee | Venue: The Roth Ranch Elk, California | Music + Officiant: Sean Hayes | Horn Players: Michael Bello + Patrick Byers | Calligraphy: Brown Linen Design | Catering: Jennifer Lunch + Laura McGrath | Hair + Make-Up: Elyssa Boyd | Freda’s Dress: Gucci | Freda’s Accessories: Vintage | Jared’s Suit: Paul Smith | Jared’s Shoes: Allen Edmonds | Freda’s Shoes: Nine West | Rings: Vintage from Dianne’s Estate Jewelry


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11.11.13 / Featured, Real Weddings, Real Weddings Blog

Princess Cruises


We are so excited to introduce you to our newest sponsor today, Princess Cruises! Princess Cruises and their Tie The Knot Program aim to provide you with the ultimate wedding experience filled with enchantment, joyous celebrations, and picturesque views. Princess Cruises allows you to choose from beautiful wedding packages to make your special day truly exciting and unique. Whether you prefer to have your wedding aboard one of Princess’ spectacular ships, while sailing at sea or on the stunning shores of a far off land, Princess offers packages that will be all you imagined and more, with the Captain of the ship acting as your officiant!

Princess Cruises has made wedding planning easy by providing you with a personal wedding consultant to help you plan your special day. Whether you need to rent a tuxedo, choose an arrangement for your bouquet, or maybe you want to custom design your wedding cake. If you can dream it, Princess’ Tie the Knot specialists will be happy to make it come true. With ships boasting premier salons and spas, you can experience the ultimate pre-wedding hair and makeup primping or maybe even a pre-wedding couples massage! They even offer on board gown dry cleaning and preserving so you don’t have to sweat about keeping your wedding gown pristine!

After your nuptials, invite your friends and family to continue the celebration with a cruise vacation. Party the night away with them while enjoying all of the onboard amenities and captivating views of the sea.

We love the idea of no-fuss weddings that make planning and executing your perfect day easy, and Princess Cruises has made it easier than ever for you to plan an exciting wedding for you, your partner, and family and friends to enjoy!

11.11.13 / Featured, New Sponsor Blog