An intimate vineyard wedding amongst the rolling hills of Sonoma’s wine country was what Sarah and Raju had always dreamed about. Their dream came true with a combination of wonderful vendors, a loving and family-filled guest list and a few surprises along the way.
Wedding date: March 26th 2016
Wedding location: Sonoma, California
Number of guests: 75
Ceremony time: 6pm – 6:30pm
Tell us about how you met and about the proposal…
We met at a charity event when we were both living in Toronto and Raj proposed at home after a special dinner out in Hong Kong.
Where was the location of your wedding and why did you choose this location?
Our wedding was at the Gloria Ferrer Vineyards in Sonoma. I had always dreamed of getting married in Sonoma since visiting with Raj while we were dating.
Describe your décor…
One of the reasons we chose our venue was because of the amazing views of the vineyard. We wanted to showcase that to our guests so we had our reception in arbour facing the vineyard. We then moved onto the patio of the winery for the cocktail hour. We hosted our formal dinner in the wine caves. We really wanted to incorporate the vineyard feel into the wedding so we used lots of wine barrels, a soft neutral colour palette and lots of fresh flowers and greenery as well as candles. We also had custom signs made to help personalise the wedding and welcome guests.
After dinner we held cake cutting and dancing in the tasting room. We loved that we were able to showcase all of the amazing parts of the vineyard to our guests. We were initially concerned with how to make the cave feel warm and inviting. We worked with our wedding planner and Five Star Productions and they did an amazing job lighting up the space and it looked just perfect.
How easy or hard was it to plan your wedding?
I loved planning the wedding. I followed lots of wedding blogs and used Pinterest to create vision boards for what I wanted the day to look like. Alex, our planner helped narrow down options with our vendors and execute the vision.
What are you glad you did on your special day?
First Look! I am a traditionalist and part of me wanted to have that moment of Raj seeing me for the first time after walking down the aisle. I was so happy with my decision to do a first look - It took the pressure off and we could really enjoy the day together with our bridal party. We were also able to flow into cocktails after the reception and spend more time with our guests.
What religious or family traditions were incorporated into your wedding?
Our officiant combined elements of Christian and Hindu ceremonies. This was one of our favourite parts of our wedding as it was so meaningful to us and reflected religious traditions from both of our backgrounds.
Did you have an itinerary or planned activities for guests on either side of the wedding?
Yes we hosted an Indian themed wedding reception on the Friday evening before the wedding. We also used our website, appycouple, to post restaurant recommendations, things to do and close by vineyards.
What advice would you give a couple planning a destination wedding in this location?
I would recommend doing a venue scouting trip. A lot of venues are gorgeous but don't have rain options or have very small guest count restrictions.
What did you like about having a destination wedding?
Our guests loved getting to see a very special area of the world and we were able to enjoy their company for a full weekend compared to just a day.
Tell us about your vows…
We really wanted to write our own vows. We kept trying to set time aside to do it before the wedding but we both ended up writing them the morning of the wedding!
Photography: Justyna and Joel Bedford
Ceremony and reception: Gloria Ferrer
Wedding Rings: custom
Bride’s gown: Monique Lhuillier
Bride’s shoes: Monolo Blahnik
Hair stylist: Stella Stevens
Makeup artist: Danika Lamb
Bridesmaid dresses: Amasale
Bridesmaid gifts: Kate Spade Earrings
Groom’s suit, shirts and pants: custom
Groom’s shoes: Saks Fifth Avenue
Groom’s cufflinks: Thomas Pink
Flower girl dresses: BHLDN
Event planner: Alex Quintana at Quintana Events
Celebrant: Shyamala Littlefield
Flowers: Vanda Florals
Entertainment: Avalanche Duo and Perfect Day Events
Transport: Pure Luxury
Stationery: Beacon Lane
Cake and catering: Ramekins Culinary School
Decorations and furniture hire: Encore events
Lighting/sound hire: FiveStar Productions
Signage: Alyssa Taylor at Lettering by Alyssa (not online)
Guestbook: LiuMy (etsy)
Vow books: BHLDN