sonoma county

Taylor and Kaitlin's West Santa Rosa Wedding

Tell us your love story!
The day was August 24, 2012. We were both attending orientation for the graduate program we were beginning that fall at American University. Taylor’s birthday was several days later and being new to the city, her celebration plan most likely consisted of Netflix and ice cream. Upon learning of this considerably sad birthday celebration, Kaitlin rallied the troops and threw Taylor a bash to remember that welcomed her to the District of Columbia and brought her many close friends. Through months of graduate study, many post-class drinks and weekend adventures they quickly became inseparable. The rest, as they say, is history.

Going into the wedding planning, what did you definitely know?
We knew that we wanted our wedding to be at a place that was meaningful to us, that had history and nostalgia wrapped in and all around it. We wanted our wedding to be outside and in one location, where folks could dance all night, rather than getting the boot at 10pm.

Any advice for couples planning weddings now?
Our activist advice is to not be afraid to educate. It’s no surprise that the wedding industry is built around the long-standing tradition of seeing marriage as only between man and woman. You will come into contact with exclusionary people, business and forms. We chose to confront vendors we liked about their (intentional or unintentional) exclusionary practices and to educate those that weren’t sure how to respond to us. We encourage you to do the same so in the future all vendors are as inclusive and incredible as our photographer was.

 What surprised you during planning?
Finding Taylor’s dress was surprisingly easy. It was literally the first one she tried on. On the other hand, finding Kaitlin’s outfit took many trips to various stores and often navigating unfriendly “male clothing departments”. We anticipated this but were still surprised by the reaction we got from many salespeople.

What was your favorite part of your wedding day?
Our favorite part was truly seeing two families come together. To see a cousin on one side dancing with a friend from college on the other side is remarkable. Getting all of these people from various walks of life together in a place that means so much to us, will likely never happen again in our lifetimes and it was a beautiful feat. If we have to pick a favorite moment, we think it is a toss up between: 1. The comments about our playlists (yes, we did spend hours perfectly curating them), some of which include: “How can I get this to listen to at home?” and “I’ve never heard so much Jack White at a wedding before and it’s perfect.” 2. The reactions to our vows, which included clapping and shouting, notably at the moment where one of us (Taylor) vowed not to obey the other. 3. When Kaitlin’s father came out in a Darth Vader mask saying, “Kaitlin, I am your father…. Taylor, I am you father in law.”

Photographs & Words first published on H&H Weddings
Photography By
Harber Photography
Food & Rentals By
Grapevine Catering Company
Dessert By
Moustache Baked Goods
Hair By
The Powder Room
Bouquet & Boutonnieres By
Pedy's Petals
Invitations & Graphic Design By
folding bones press
Dress By
BHLDN
Suit By Bar III

The Trees, Occidental Styled Shoot

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For this spring-inspired styled shoot, vendors from the Sonoma County Wedding Collective came together to showcase their offbeat, artisan talents, with Nicki Wolfe Events + Spaces at the helm. The shoot stepped away from overplayed Spring trends, with the mood set by Northern California redwoods at The Trees in Occidental. From the beginning, we held tight to the idea of Woodsy California meets upstate New York, with our inspirational yet imaginary image of a couple of romantic cool kids taking over the family summer Cabin; coming in an dusting off the winter and ushering in the spring...

The unique venue features a 1950’s guesthouse designed by a Frank Lloyd Wright protege — the perfect setting for a romantic, hip couple with artistic style. Upon arrival, guests are welcomed by a lounge area with an unforgettable whiskey bar, appetizers, and refreshments in the courtyard. The house’s vintage dining room sets the scene for an intimate post-ceremony dinner. Dessert is enjoyed around the warm fireplace.

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Juxtaposition and contrasting elements was the driving theme that ran through the entire shoot. Each element was weighed against the ideas of:  old + new, hard + soft, dark + light, youth + wisdom. We really focused on placing the freshness of spring against the vintage + lovingly worn elements in the house and the verdant forest beyond.  Luscious greens and indigo blues were played against gold & brass accents and delicate spring flora. The day's shoot was a race against the rain, and when it started to really come down, we altered bits of the plan and played more with the cozy vibe than was our initial intention. And just like a real wedding day, it was perfect, with everything turning out just the way it was meant to be. 

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