"From the moment I first met Josh, I knew there was something different about him," says Sarah, who met her now-husband through mutual friends during a trip to Lake Tahoe for New Year's Eve in 2011. "We were inseparable the whole weekend, and immediately made plans to visit one another, even though we lived six hours apart at the time." The long distance couldn't stop them from falling in love. Three years later, during a Memorial Day trip to San Diego with Sarah's family, Josh proposed in grand fashion: On the beach as a plane flew overhead, towing a sign that read "Sarah, Will You Marry Me?"! "I was in complete shock!" she says, as their family (and the house full of college grads next door!) cheered.
They wed a year to the date later, choosing to celebrate at MacMurray Ranch, Josh's family's home and ranch in Healdsburg, California. "It's set in the vineyards and surrounded by redwood trees — totally breathtaking," Sarah describes. They envisioned a warm, sunny celebration with homemade wine, local produce, and a blue grass band, and that's exactly what they got! The bride, a floral designer and owner of Little Farm Flowers, didn't have to look far for inspiration, though she wisely chose to call in some of her favorite vendors instead of taking on a DIY project. "Flowers are so important to me, so I hired our dream florist, Tulipina, to work her magic," explains the bride. With colorful blooms, two different bands, and wine made on the groom's parents' vineyard, this was a wine country bash anyone would be thrilled to get an invitation to. Take a peek at the photos by Teale Photography and see for yourself!
After trying on nearly 40 dresses, Sarah finally got lucky when she slipped on this Moonlight Bridal gown. The tiered lace and delicate embroidery was decidedly romantic, a perfect fit alongside the bride's classic engagement ring and strappy Badgley Mischka wedges.
For a formal look that was still right at home in the vineyard, Josh and his groomsmen all wore navy blue tuxedos with black lapels.
The Catholic ceremony took place at St. Vincent de Paul in nearby Petaluma. Sara and Josh had two flower girls (in full-length tulle dresses!) and a ring bearer as part of their entourage. "Josh and I both got such a good vibe when we visited the church," says Sarah.
For a personalized touch, the couple added a Blessing of the Hands to their traditional ceremony. The altar was flanked by oversized arrangements of garden roses, peonies, and sprawling greenery in blush, ivory, and coral hues.
"At times, planning a wedding felt like a second full-time job," says Sarah. "We learned a lot about ourselves through the process! Josh and I also lived two hours apart during the planning process, which made it hard to want to talk about the wedding when we had time together." Thankfully, Josh trusted his bride with most of the decisions, and designing a wedding around such a beautiful venue was easy!
Sarah's lush bouquet was so stunning, you'd never guess there had been a snafu. "My bridesmaids and I were rushed as we left, and had a 30 minute drive to the church. Once we got there, we realized we'd left my bouquet at the house!" she remembers. With no time to go back, the girls improvised, combining two of their bouquets for her to carry down the aisle. They were able to retrieve the peony, rose, jasmine, and ranunculus bouquet in time for the reception, which the florist wrapped in delicate lace and ribbons.
Aiming for an array of neutral colors in complementary styles, Sarah's bridesmaids wore one of five Amsale designs in Fawn, Vanilla, and Champagne, all of which paired nicely with the groomsmen's modern tuxedos.
At MacMurray Ranch, long tables were set on the lawn and topped with oatmeal-hued linens. "Josh's family has been in the wine-making business for five generations, so it was important to serve their wines with dinner," says Sarah.
Tulipina created sprawling centerpieces in stoneware vessels, combining dahlias and garden roses with vibrant greenery and fruits.
For dinner, guests were treated to a family-style meal of grilled New York steak, roasted wild salmon, Sonoma succotash, and risotto cakes.
As favors for their 265 guests, Sarah poured local olive oil into glass bottles, then tied each with a tag that read "Olive me loves Olive you." "I had help from Josh and a friend, of course!" Guests also left with bottles of wine from the groom's family's vineyard.
Guests found their table assignments tucked into planters full of local lavender. After dinner, Josh and Sarah cut into a four-tiered cake featuring layers of red velvet, chocolate-raspberry, and lemon-poppy cake. The ruffled fondant was decorated with fresh peonies.
When guests weren't on the dance floor, they could be found around two fire pits: One for s'mores, and the other with a selection of cigars.
Before the Lucky Devils Band took to the stage, Sarah and Josh had their first dance to "Lovely Day" by Bill Withers. "Josh surprised me with some new dance moves, and I laughed through most of our first dance," says Sarah. "I'll never forget how fun it was!" She then took a spin with her father to "The Way You Look Tonight" by Frank Sinatra, and Josh danced with his mom to "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong.
"Having people from all stages of our lives in one place was such an incredible feeling. We could really feel the love in the air," says the bride. "Enjoy this special time, as it only happens once — and remember that it's never too early to start checking things off your list!"
Ceremony Venue: St. Vincent de Paul Church || Reception Venue: MacMurray Ranch || Wedding Coordinator: Lovely Day Events || Bride's Wedding Dress: Moonlight Bridal || Shoes: Badgley Mischka || Jewelry: Meraki Design || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale || Groom & Groomsmen's Attire: Ike Behar || Engagement Ring: A. Jaffe || Wedding Bands: Michael C. Fina; Memoire || Floral Design: Tulipina || Invitations: Signora e Mare || Music: Steep Ravine; Lucky Devils Band || Catering: John Ash & Co. || Cake: Fleur de Lisa || Rentals: Archive Rentals || Favors: Little Vineyards Family Winery || Videographer: OneDay Pictures || Photographer: Teale Photography
Did you love the details at this California wedding? Then check out another couple's vineyard bash in the video below.