The Basics

Eric and I are getting married at Paradise Ridge Winery in Santa Rosa, California on August 8, 2008 (08-08-08). Because we are getting married on a Friday night and will have a fairly young guest list, we are looking to create a fun and lively party atmosphere. The "theme" is sort of a Spanish/Mexican/Latin fusion and basically lets us incorporate a lot of different colors and types of food. To further the party feel and encourage mingling and dancing, our reception will be heavy hors d'oeuvres and cocktails. These are our colors:

The Venue

This is the entrance to Paradise Ridge Winery. A one lane, paved road takes you up the hillside to the winery and then the tasting room (which is where the actual ceremony/reception is held). The road takes you through fields and vineyards. The winery is well known for the abstract art that is scattered throughout the fields and forest areas of the property.

This is the view of the tasting room from the road leading up to the winery. I think it is a beautiful building that fits perfectly into our Spanish style wedding. The main deck is one of the most amazing parts of the venue, as it looks directly west and on a clear day, you can see for miles. We will be getting married at sunset.

The Paradise Ridge tasting room and vine room is currently undergoing renovations, which should be completed by April 2008. Here is a drawing of how the Vine Room (the main reception room) will look by the time my wedding rolls around. My favorite part is that they are getting Chivaris!
Pre-ceremony drinks and appetizers will be served down here. Then the guests will walk up a side path to the cereomony area.
This is where the ceremony will be, with the same layout (minus the hideous chairs that give me nightmares).

This deck is one of my favorite parts of the property. It will be perfect for a lounge area. We will also hang some Chinese lanterns from the tree branches.
Another view of the deck.

This is the main deck that overlooks the West side of Santa Rosa (where the sun will set during our ceremony). We will have cocktail tables instead of the large rounds.

This is the main room where the dancing will take place. We will not have this many tables and will also have some cocktail tables around the edge of the room. (Again, minus the chairs!)
UPDATE: The renovation is nearly complete! Here is a picture of the new chandeliers (imported from Italy). Also, check out the new wainscoating.

This is a new indoor/outdoor bar (the tasting bar used to only be inside).

The wood frames are new and the fireplace has been revamped.

This is the Champagne Cellar. It normally does not come with the wedding rental, but if we want to use the downstairs for pre-ceremony, then this comes with the additional rental fee. We still don't know if or how we will use it. They set up a poker table down here before the wedding, but Eric has emphasized that he will not be using it (why he is so vehement, I don't know...).


We are having an hors d'oeuvres reception. I love this part of our wedding because it is so US. I always fill up on appetizers before the main course is served, and honestly, it is my favorite part. I love picking at a variety of foods. Most of the food will be influenced by Spanish and Mexican flavors.

Here are some pictures of our menu tasting with Preferred Sonoma Caterers.

On the left: smoked salmon quesadilla
On the right: some kind of torta
Middle: Gambas al Ajillo (aka garlic shrimp-apparently a really popular tapa)

Garlic and romesco sauces with some meat, bread and veggies for our Spanish fondue station.

Here is our tentative menu:

Guest Arrival
Cucumber water, iced tea and horchata
Wheel of California Brie with fruit and crackers


Pollo de Pipian Taco Bar
: Petite flour tortillas with chicken in a pumpkin seed sauce, shredded cabbage, fajita vegetables and creama
Spanish Fondue Station: Garlic and Romesco sauces with grilled vegetables (zucchini, peppers, onion and mushrooms), grilled sausages and rustic bread chunks for dipping

Tray Service
Ceviche shooters with blue tortilla chips
Higos con jamon (ham wrapped figs)
Gambas al ajillo (garlic shrimp)
Spanish torta with potato, chorizo and onions; Spanish torta with potato and onions
Smoked salmon quesadillas with sour cream and salsa; Cheese quesadillas with sour cream and salsa
Corncakes with mango and avocado salsa

I like this idea for the pre-ceremony food display:
And this for the pre-ceremony beverage bar:


This is the tentative timeline for the wedding day:

6:15-6:30 pm: Guests arrive

6:30-7:00 pm: Drinks, cheese and crackers, Trio performance

7:00-7:30 pm: Ceremony
1. Precessional
2. Welcome
3. Opening prayer
4. Reading
5. Exchange of vows
6. Wine ceremony
7. Reading
8. Pronunciation
9. Recessional

7:30-7:45 pm: Final portraits; tray and beverage service begin

7:45-8:10 pm: Bridal party introductions and entrance; Couple introduction and entrance; First Dance; Father/Daughter dance

8:10 pm: Toasts; Dinner continues

9:00 pm: Dinner over; Dancing begins

9:45 pm: Money Dance, Garter Toss (?)

10:00 pm: Cake cutting, Bouquet Toss

11:30 pm: Music stops

12:00 am: Reception over

The Dress

After months of procrastination and indecision, I found "the dress." I am absolutely in love with it, dream about it, and want to wear it all day long. I bought it at the Cymbeline trunk show at Lili Bridals in Tarzana. It was more than I wanted to spend ($2,250) but because it was a trunk show and I got to talk with one of the designers, I am getting the following "deal":

* 10% off the dress
* Free veil
* Made to fit my measurements, so hopefully I wont need alterations (it has a corset back, so it can accommodate some weight gain/loss)
* Custom changes to the neckline by the designer for free

Here it is! (In link form so Eric doesn't take a peek)

My Dress

My Shoes

I officially decided on my shoes.  After months of deliberation (Should they really be blue??) I bought these J. Crew beauties.  They will be my something blue, and also match one of our wedding colors! Eric will wear a tie this color.


I bought this bracelet from J. Crew on an impulse, but I think it will match my shoes perfectly and I like how it is kind of different. However, I do still heart a certain Haute Bride bracelet...


I am still somewhat undecided on what to do with my hair. As of now, I think I want it pulled back in a low bun, but not too sleek, with a flower. I also like the idea of taking it down for the reception and having it wavy.

I love Soon2BMrs.Stone's look

Rehearsal Dress

I stumbled upon this Milly dress at a boutique in Pasadena and it was love at first sight.  I don't know how I can wait until August to wear it...

Will You Be My Bridesmaid?

For the majority of my BMs, my wedding is the first wedding they have been in.  I have been a BM in just one wedding and had no clue what the task entailed.  So, for my girls, I decided to ask them to be in my wedding by giving them a cute little card, along with an adorable and helpful bridesmaid guide.  I was a little worried that they would get the wrong idea and think that I was essentially giving them a list of expectations in the form of the book, but luckily they were very appreciative.

Bridesmaid Threads

After a frantic collection of sizes and style preferences, the bridesmaid dresses have been ordered and delivered! On New Year's eve I became aware that J. Crew bridesmaid dresses were on sale, and for a limited period of time, were an additional 20% off the sale price. I have always wanted J. Crew bridesmaid dresses but was worried that some of the styles were a bit costly, but once I saw these deals, I jumped right on it. I gave the girls the names of the dresses that were on sale and in the proper color (espresso/chocolate) and here are the styles that they have selected:

Wedding Bands

We have 1/2 a check on wedding bands right now. We just put down a deposit for Eric's to get made, but I am still at a complete loss as to what I want. I think the wedding band is one of Eric's favorite part of the whole wedding/marriage. I broke down and gave the OK to a ring that is definitely not within our price range. His argument: I will be wearing it every day for the rest of my life, shouldn't I love it? How could I say no? His ring is being custom made, so this is not what it will look like exactly, but it will be the same style. The style is known as Mokume Gane and one of the translations is "wood grain." Eric loves the way it looks, but I also think he likes to tell people that it is made the same way that Japanese samurai swords are.

The Boys

This Banana Republic suit is very similar to the one Eric purchased there last summer. It was seriously marked down, so we jumped and bought it! The groomsmen will hopefully wear something similar, although I am not sure if it is cheaper for them to purchase their own similar suit or rent.

Eric and the groomsmen will wear low top chocolate Chuck Taylor converse sneakers:

We got a great deal on these suits from Express, which all of the groomsmen will be wearing (they only have a picture of the jacket online). The two best men will also be wearing a vest that goes with the suit.


This is our monogram. The letters were drawn by Eric and the design was created by my Aunt. We love it!These are our invitation options:

Paper Stuff Inspiration

I am fortunate enough to have an aunt who is a graphic designer and has offered to design our invitations for us. As of now, I would like to print gocco all of the stationery, but am getting some outside pressure (ahem, Eric and my parents) to go to a printer and get them printed.

Eric drew these images as inspiration for our stationery.

I love Mrs. Veroni's pocketfold and presentation. I also like the idea of mailing it in a box.
I want to do pocketfold and will probably use Cards and Pockets Rectangolo pocketfold.

General Inspiration:

Monogram/Logo Inspiration:

For the cigar label, except with an 8 in the middle instead:
I want to have a map like one of these included with the invitations:

I love all of these signs: