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Relaxed Autumn Vineyard Wedding

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It may be cold, dreary and dull outdoors now, but winter means we’re starting to see fall weddings roll into our inbox. This relaxed autumn vineyard wedding from Ben Christensen make us want to snuggle up with a blanket and a nice bottle of wine outdoors. Keep reading for more from the bride about her beautiful fall wedding.

From the Bride:

Erik and I met at a dive bar exactly two weeks after I landed in San Francisco from New York City. I know neither of us were expecting much out of the night by way of romance (the theme that night was “Booty Bassment”), but the unlikely locale ended up setting the scene for a rather fateful evening. Erik walked up to me and introduced himself and we ended up talking for the rest of the night. He called (called! not texted!) a few days later to ask if he could take me out; he was a total gentleman. About two years later we were engaged.

We knew from the beginning that we wanted to have the wedding in northern California. It is where our relationship had began and grew, plus it is insanely beautiful. Erik is from Michigan and I am from North Carolina, so we knew many of our guests would be traveling long distances to attend. For that reason, we set out to make the entire weekend as organized and enjoyable as possible – we wanted our friends and family to really feel like they were on vacation.

Planning began with choosing our venue, which ended up being the most difficult part of the entire process. I swear the Bay Area has one billion amazing (albeit expensive) places to get married. Fortunately, we were already friends with our wedding planner, Gillian Shenon, as she had been my sister’s roommate the year we got engaged. Gllian helped us navigate city vs. wine country vs. redwoods vs. seashore. We wanted to make logistics as simple as possible for our guests, so it seemed like the city was the best answer, until we saw…Campovida.

Campovida is an organic farm and working vineyard in Mendocino County about an hour and a half north of San Francisco. I am telling you there is no place more beautiful, nor run by more kind people. The day we signed with them, Anna, the owner, cut us a bouquet of asparagus right from the garden. She also let us taste lots of wine, of course. 

After securing the venue, finding the rest of our vendors happened quickly and naturally – it honestly felt more like stumbling upon new friends. I saw some of our photographer Ben Christensen’s work online, was stunned, realized he lived in California, and immediately called him. We met our incredible florist, Ellen Kyle, through a close mutual friend, and after one meeting, I knew I could trust her completely to just do her thing. We were led to Vinnie Esparza, our DJ, by a couple we met at a party, and Gillian hooked us up with our caterer Sage. A coworker told me about Kim at Bright Room Studios for our invites, as well as Cathy Haebe our cake baker. I was even able to convince our band, Windy Hill, to help me plan a surprise serenade for Erik.

Erik and I were so impressed with everyone’s professionalism and attention to detail. All of our vendors went above and beyond, and we feel so indebted to them for pulling off such an amazing event, as well as to our family and friends for providing so much love and support. The weekend was perfect. We didn’t know we could be filled with so much joy and gratitude.

Photographer: Ben Christensen | Venue for Ceremony and Reception: Campovida, Hopland, CA Wedding Planner: Gillian Shenon | Caterer: Sage Catering | Floral Design: Ellen Kyle| Cake Design: Cathy Haebe, kneadtomake | Band: Windy Hill | DJ: Vinnie Esparza | Makeup/Hair: Meaganne McCandess | Bridal Dress: Nicole Miller| Reception Dress: Reformation | Bridesmaid Dresses: twobirds Bridesmaid | Groom’s Suit: Canali  | Engagement Ring: Tiffany & Co. | Bride’s Wedding Ring: Gabriela Artigas | Groom’s Wedding Ring and Bridesmaids’ Bracelets: Erin Diane  | Invitations and Day-of Paper Goods: Bright Room Studio | Save the Dates: Paperless Post

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About OnceWed.com

Once Wed was launched in March 2008 to meet a need in the marketplace for an online listing service for second-hand wedding dresses. Within a short time, the company had developed into an online wedding publication and resource to provide newly-engaged brides with inspiration and tools to plan their dream wedding.