Laid-back Fall Vineyard Wedding in California

Though they live and work in New York, Ashley and Nick knew that they wanted their fall wedding to take place in California, where they knew it wouldn’t rain on their wedding day. Having met in a vineyard on the East Coast where Ashley runs an artist residency centre, and after several trips together to California, finding a beautiful vineyard to wed in was especially meaningful.

Focusing on spending as much time as possible with each other and their guests, the couple enlisted the help of a seasoned California wedding planner to ensure their day ran seamlessly. They chose 4 distinct locations around the vineyard to use throughout the day – the ceremony site under a stunning oak tree; the cocktail hour in the backyard of the main house overlooking the Sonoma Valley; the dinner, a single table between the Cabernet Sauvignon vines; and the barn for dancing and late night festivities. “It was most important for us to make the one long 75-person dinner table in the vines work; it was tricky to pull off but we knew the result would be absolutely magical,” says the bride.

Read on for more from the bride:
“Nick and I stayed at Wallace Creek the weekend of the wedding. Before everyone arrived that day, we went on an early morning run around the property, passing each of our locations before they were set up and filled with people. It was a very special moment to experience the quiet and stillness of the morning before a day we knew would be very eventful. We chose to get ready together, which calmed both of our nerves. Nick prepared both breakfast and lunch for me that day and made sure that I ate while I was getting my hair and makeup done. He knew that otherwise I would have forgotten to eat! We took most of our photos, alone and with our families, before our ceremony so we didn’t have to miss any of the time with our guests, most of whom had flown in from places far and wide especially for our wedding.

The dinner was definitely my favorite part of the evening. We had a four course seated dinner, so everyone, including Nick and I, really had the time to enjoy the food, the wine, and the company of our friends and family. At one point during the dinner, Nick and I decided to have an impromptu first dance in between the vines. I love that we decided not to schedule a lot of those classic wedding moments and allowed them to happen organically. It allowed us to be present every step of the way.

I was smiling from ear to ear throughout the entire day (with the exception of the tears during the ceremony). It was incredible to be surrounded by so much beauty and love at one time. Nick and I took a lot of mental and physical “snapshots” throughout the day, to absorb in all of the details and ephemeral moments that made the day so special.”
































Photography: Sally Pinera | Event Planning: Alison Event Planning + Design | Venue: Wallace Creek Vineyards | Floral Design: Natalie Bowen Designs | Stationery: A Fabulous Fete | Wedding Dress: Oscar De La Renta | Reception Dress: Dolce & Gabbana | Groom’s | Attire: JCrew | Makeup: Bianca Rubi | Hair: Jacqueline Duignan | Rings: Kwiat | Jewelry: Tiffany & Co. | Catering: Sage Catering | Ceremony + Cocktail Music: San Francisco Conservatory Of Music | Linen Rentals: La Tavola Linen | Photo Booth: The Bus Booth | DJ: DJ Funklor | Rentals + Lighting: Bright Event Rentals


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. 

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