Yo Bliss is a fun-loving, artistic, creative photographer. She’s capable of taking all the standard wedding photos you have seen before as well as the fun, spontaneous, memorable pictures you really want.
We have been very happy with our local Selix. They’re big enough to have everything we needed, but personal enough to take good care of us. The call themselves your wedding formalwear specialist, and they are. Their team of experienced associates can help you put together the perfect formalwear package for your whole wedding party. They have hundreds of different colors, styles and combinations to help make your important day the most memorable ever.
A $25K Wedding in Sonoma County
At our son’s wedding, our daughter announced that she and her then boyfriend were getting married. OMG!!! At least I had a year to plan it. When she said to me, “Mom, I’m Cinderella and you’re my fairy god mother,” I thought to myself (How am I going to get those little birds to fly all around her chirping like in the cartoon?) I had been taking a sabbatical, I took a heavy breath of air and went back to work. the next year was filled with plans, invitations, phone calls, cake tasting, visits to the caterers, and scouting out the perfect location for the prestigious event.
After considerable footwork, we found the perfect location The Fountain Bleu in Sebastopol. Our daughter planned the wedding date to coincide with a full moon in July. How gorgeous! The estate itself is luxurious and reasonably priced. The owner (Louie) is very charming and cooperative.
After much consideration we chose a caterer, A La Heart, 707-527-7555, and the menu which consisted of a fruit and cheese appetizer to be served with wine and beer while the pictures were being taken, a buffet dinner of Mediterranean chicken with sun dried tomatoes and olives, rice pilaf, and sauteed seasonal vegetables. Salads and rolls with butter were pre-set at each place prior to the buffet. The caterer provided a licensed server for the alcohol and cake service. Auntie B’s is a great place for a cake! . We also really love Village Bakery 707-829-8101. The whole event came off without a hitch. Since the bride and groom are usually too busy and nervous to eat at the dinner, they even provided “To Go” boxes for them to eat later at their hotel room.
I chose Michael Brandeburg to put together a jazz trio and I even got up and sang a few numbers. While some people may want to save a few dollars and have pre-recorded music or a DJ, being a singer myself, I just couldn’t go the cheap route on this one. Musicians do expect to get paid more for wedding gigs and they also expect to eat! If you call me, I can get you a smooth jazz trio with a singer that will make your event even more special.
Flowers were beautifully arranged by Heather Hendrickson. The best thing about Heather is the way she melds together a wild look along with the traditional flower choices. I love the look of a country garden, so we used wheat stems along with some blooming artichokes (!) that looked fantastic!
The photographer was our daughter’s former high school vice principal who moonlights as a photographer. The bride was only an hour late for photographs. Her motto is: She waits for no man, because every man is waiting for her! I love Yo Bliss for make up, hair, and photography! She is also a great hand holder for stressed out MOB’s!.
The rehearsal dinner was given by the groom’s parents at Stella’s at Russian River Vineyards. We had a beautiful garden setting for dinner. Russian River Vineyards also hosts weddings.
My husband never looked more handsome than the day he presented our daughter down the aisle to her waiting groom. She was a glorious bride with a skip in her step as she approached the flowered arch to the strains of “Ribbon in the Sky” by Stevie Wonder. The bride and groom wrote their own vows and when the groom began crying as he looked into my daughter’s eyes, I knew I would always love him as my own son.
My daughter her beautiful friends as her attendants and had two little flower girls who were fighting over the flower petals during the whole ceremony. “No, that one is mine!” “No that’s mine!” They were actually gathering up the petals they had strewn along the pathway! This is the only thing that kept me from crying! Ha!
During the garter toss, one of the female guests who had consumed a little too much cheer fought off the single males to garner the prize for herself! (Another memorable moment).
As they left in their white limo (a present from me- the MOB) on their way to the airport for a Hawaiian honeymoon on the Big Island, I heaved a heavy sigh, “I’ll never have to do that again!” It was a fairy tale wedding and a great party! (Total cost $25,000
Sonoma County is a beautiful place for a wedding! There are so many top notch places to consider. Whether you are on a budget or want to go all out, there is something to match every taste. From a simple outdoor ceremony to an all out country club or church wedding, Sonoma County is the place for beauty and ambiance. The bargain story first:
When our son announced that he was getting married, I went through the usual knee jerk reaction of a mother questioning her son’s intentions and thoughtfulness. There was no engagement ring and he was bringing his bride to be home from Japan in six weeks. When I told him that it was the bride’s responsibility to plan the wedding, he said, “Not in Japan.” Like a chicken with my proverbial head cut off I called a florist friend of mine to ask for advice. She gave me a “To Do List” which included: location for the ceremony, location for the dinner, caterer, florist (luckily that was taken care of), cake, wedding official, dress, bride’s maids dress, tux rental, rehearsal dinner, gift registry, ring(s), DJ or band, photographer, honeymoon… invitations!!!
Some of these items I was able to check off immediately. The bride’s parents were unable to come over because the Olympics were happening at that time and taking up all the available flights. Her father wrote me a very long letter explaining why he was happy that his daughter was marrying our son. It was in Japanese. Thank you very much!
Invitations: I copied a beautiful photograph of the happy couple on lavendar paper and designed an invitation on my computer to be mailed out immediately to close friends and family. (cost of the stamps and the purple paper)
Ceremony: Since my future daughter-in-law was from Japan, I thought that either a Shinto or Buddhist ceremony would be appropriate. I phoned a Shinto priest in San Francisco and was told that for fee he would come up and do a short ceremony at the beach. I imagined the wind blowing, the surf crashing against the rocks, Japan in the distance. I called the Enmanji Buddhist temple in Sebastopol. The priest there (a woman) said there would be no fee and the ceremony would be very simple because the Buddha didn’t have much to say on the subject of marriage. The temple is beautiful! We chose the Buddhist ceremony and I did make a donation.
The Reception: We had a favorite sushi restaurant that had a beautiful back room which was the perfect size for our small wedding party. We booked that and made arrangements for a lavish sushi dinner. We served miso soup, sunumno salad, various sushi rolls and maki, tempura, chicken teriyaki, rice, and of course, beer and sake! That was a great party!
Music: I opted for a karaoke machine which I rented for the occasion. The guests got up and sang various popular tunes like “All of Me” and “These Boots Are Made or Walkin”. Even the bride and her friend sang a couple. It was very amusing.
Flowers: I ordered beautiful flower arrangements and bridal bouquet from my florist friend, Heather.
Photographer: I bought disposable cameras and gave instructions to everyone to please take a lot of pictures. Everyone seemed to have a camera anyway and I got some really great pictures including one of me stabbing a piece of sushi with one chop stick lazily putting the whole thing in my mouth at once. (I’ll bet the folks back in Japan got a hoot out of that one.)
Bride’s dress, etc: When my son and his fiance’ arrived stateside with only days to spare, we hurriedly went to obtain the marriage license, rings, and bridal gown. Gunne Sax outlet in San Francisco in a little alley off Brannan just before Third Street. has great deals on bridal wear. We rented the tux for the groom at Selix. They are fast and efficient. The bridesmaid wore a dress from a previous wedding she had been in. (Recycling is cool!)
The Cake: Auntie B’s is a great place for a cake! We also really love Village Bakery 707-829-8101.
The Rehearsal Dinner was completely catered and made by my sister-in-law at my house as a gift to the couple. Thank you!
The Honeymoon was a one night stay at the Hotel La Rose.
The whole wedding cost around $3,000
Our daughter’s longer planned wedding cost a little more.
Featured Wedding Cake Suppliers
Stirling Performance: Cakes, Pastries and Plated desserts for all occasions! Delicious desserts prepared by chef Scott Noll.
(click on these image only if you are prepared to get very hungry…)
|With over 25 years of culinary excellence and dedication to the art of food few have the skill and artistic vision to make your celebration perfect like Stirling Performance. They specialize in pastry, cakes and plated desserts for all events from weddings, catered events, anniversaries to corporate functions. They can also produce cakes for any diet restriction from gluten free to 100% vegan.
*We believe in local charities and donate a percentage of our revenue at the end of every year to a local charity!
The secret of Auntie B’s success is using only fresh ingredients and making everything from scratch. While other bakers have abandoned some of the more time consuming processes in favor of pre-made mixes, Auntie B’s sticks to tradition.