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Monday
Apr232012

Carrie & Gijs :: A Wedding Homecoming 

Carrie & Gijs’ wedding was truly a homecoming wedding. Although already married, it was important for the bride to return to the land where she grew up to share a wedding celebration with family and friends. Her family’s 6000 acre ranch of uninterrupted, rolling hills just south of the town of Sonoma was the setting for the entire gathering. The family home was built in the 1950’s and the interior is true mid-century design. Sweeping views from the property boasted cattle grazing lands rather than vineyards. It was gorgeous. 

The weekend kicked off with a fabulous rehearsal dinner at Carrie and Gijs' favorite Petaluma restaurant, Central Market. You'll see these photos first below, with the brick wall and rustic table setting. The restaurant specializes in "farm to table" cuisine and it's so yummy. (I highly recommend you check out their happy hour from 5-6pm daily, during which they serve free pizza and $1 oysters at the bar!) I also had the opportunity during this time to photograph Carrie and Gijs in their first wedding's apparel, with the trains, barns and rustic countryside setting as our backdrop.

The couple’s vision for the wedding day was to make it feel like a bountiful, rustic farmer's market in your own backyard. One of the goals was to source everything as locally as possible, from to the food, to the flowers, to the bowties sewed for the groomsmen. All of the fantastic beer was from the bride’s brother's local brewery, Uncommon Brewers; the wine primarily came from grapes grown on the family’s Wildcat Mountain vineyard; and even the olive oil on each table was produced on the family’s property. Carrie and Gijs also wanted to incorporate the Dutch concept known as "gezelligheid." As Carrie describes it, “It refers to an environment that is cozy or quaint, or can mean the experience of belonging, spending time with loved ones, or seeing a friend after a long absence. It's one of the hardest words to translate into English, but is absolutely everything that we sought to convey through our wedding, as well as our day to day relationships with each other and with our amazing family and friends.”  

And nothing brings people together like good food, good wine and good music. Aaron Jonas catered the affair and every mouthful was scrumptious. In lieu of a wedding cake, there was an overflowing dessert buffet, complete with cakes, pies, mini galettes, and profiteroles. It was decadent and gorgeous. (Since my own wedding “cakes” consisted of Hostess cupcakes and Twinkies, I love when couples opt for non-traditional desserts!) 

To complement the good food was the music. An impromptu kazoo serenade by the bridal party was a hilarious surprise to Carrie and Gijs. And speaking of hilarious, make sure you scroll down and look at the photos from our photo booth. World travelers Carrie and Gijs met through an international traveler’s network called Couchsurfing and couches were prominently featured at the wedding. For the photo booth, all I needed was a stylish couch and a few chalk boards, and the wedding guests took over from there. From couch surfing and predicting engagements, to pleas for help, the fun just kept on going.cakesTo complement the good food was the music. An impromptu kazoo serenade by the bridal party was a hilarious surprise to Carrie and Gijs. And speaking of hilarious, make sure you scroll down and look at the photos from our photo booth. World travelers Carrie and Gijs met through an international traveler’s network called Couchsurfing and couches were prominently featured at the wedding. For the photo booth, all I needed was a stylish couch and a few chalk boards, and the wedding guests took over from there. From couch surfing and predicting engagements, to pleas for help, the fun just kept on going. 

Congratulations Carrie & Gijs.

Rehearsal Dinner: Central Market, Petaluma
Ceremony/Reception Location: Private Estate, Sonoma
Event Planner: Julie Atwood Events
Floral Designer: Spiral Hand
Table Centerpieces: Oak Hill Farm
Caterer: Aaron Jonas
Cheese Purveyor: Sheana Davis, Epicurean Connection 
Beer Selection: Uncommon Brewers
Calligraphy: Calligraphy Girl
Bridal Gown: Martina Liana
Bridal Accessories: Etsy.com
Lighting: Twilight Design
 

                    
 

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