Destination I Do
Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Real Destination Wedding Wednesday - Wine Country, California

Words by Jennifer Stein
Words by Kate Darnell
Images by Zoom Photography
I see commercials all the time with seemingly real-life couples who met on or I often ask myself, "Self, are those stories really true? Or is it just another ploy to get my money?" For Jessica and Ryan, actually proved to be their online cupid.

After meeting on and having only lived two blocks away from each other in San Francisco, the two fell in love and soon became engaged. Ryan got help from friends to throw Jessica off the proposal trail by staging a group camping trip. "The friends never came and it ended up being a romantic getaway with Ryan proposing during a hike overlooking the cliffs of Big Sur," recalls Jessica.
After visiting over 25 properties in one weekend, the couple found and fell in love with Hans Fahden Vineyard. "Calistoga was tops on our list too because it is a little more off the beaten path and less touristy. It has its own natural beauty with wild flowers and ponds, along with that of wine country," says Jessica.
Their May wedding in Calistoga was attended by over 100 guests who were thrilled with the decision to visit wine country.

The reception was set in an intimate "wine cave" where a family-style menu of farm-to-table ingredients was served. The couple's personalities were truly reflected throughout the event. A rehearsed salsa dance was performed by the bride and groom, "We took classes and had a great time. We changed into new outfits (Ryan in a fedora!) and danced a sassy salsa. Everybody was amazed and we had a blast." Jessica and Ryan decided to forgo the classic multi-tiered wedding cake and go with homemade ice cream sandwiches made of chocolate hazelnut cookies and mint gelato which they passed out to everyone while dancing.
As for special advice this adorable couple has for other destination bound brides & grooms: "Don't let people tell you how it "should" be. Let your own personalities, flair and styles shine through the day. This will make it more memorable and special for you and all your guests. Also, when the day comes, let go of all the details and just enjoy it. If anything doesn't work out perfectly, remember that the most important part is your union."

Amen to that!

Bride's Dress: Augusta Jones
Groom's Attire: Polo, Ralph Lauren
Photographer: Lauri Levenfeld Zoom Photography Invitations: HelloLucky
Florist: Flaxx Floral Design

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