Above photograph compliments of Kristel McCoy Photography.
Clearly, it’s been a while since I have written a post. I have been extremely busy with all of the celebrations happening in my family. And one of the most important events my family has recently celebrated was my sister, Alyssa’s, marriage to her long-time boyfriend, Tony.
Initially, I wasn’t quite sure what to think about when my sister told me she would be getting married in Temecula. Of course I had heard of it since Tony had spent two of his six-month rotations for his current job in Southern California. But I had no idea where to begin with a destination. Because quite honestly, I had never attended nor been involved in planning a destination planning.
But as I stood next on a step next to her during their intimate winery ceremony, it all made sense. That place was not only breathtaking but it represented such a powerful time in their relationship. It was a time that the two of them were living halfway across the country from each other and yet their dedication to each other allowed them to get past the distance and built a stronger foundation for love….and marriage on July 15, 2016.
And of course the day was as picturesque as I could have ever imagined from start to finish.
It all started in the bridal suite of the Wilson Creek Manor (thanks for the pictures, Alex!)…
And let me tell you, it felt as if we were on the set of “The Bachelor,” and I was continually waiting for Chris Harrison to come around the corner clinking a champagne glass. The accommodations were incredible, and not only was it the perfect space to get dolled up for the big day, but it also served as a mingling venue for the wedding party and guests throughout the weekend.
I had seen it before in person and in pictures, but there’s nothing quite like seeing your sister in her dress on her wedding day. Not to mention Amanda did a beautiful job of creating the perfect balance of glamour and classiness for Alyssa’s look. And ladies, can we talk about that train? Shout out to Gina for killing it in the MOH department.
Right after seeing the winery, my initial was why this one? (Side note: I thought wine country was in Northern California, but Temecula has 45+ wineries!) Her answer was simple: Wilson Creek is based on family values. And not only do they have family values covered, but the owner even hand-delivered a wedding present to Alyssa and Tony during their reception.
The ceremony took place in front of a gazebo in the courtyard of the winery, and cocktail hour and the reception followed in the breezeway and the winery’s barrel room. The room glowed with a romantic ambiance thanks to candlelight uplighting, and the room was filled with whimsical flower arrangements from Sweet Petals Floral Design Studio.
My favorite part of the intimate reception was the table layout. Bride, groom, Maid of Honor and Best Man sat at the head of the table, and the rest of the guests were seated perpendicular to the honored guests. It made for easy conversation and created a family-style atmosphere even in such an elegant setting. Different shades of purple and gold accents adorned the table covered with beautiful calligraphy place cards and menus made by Blue Poppy Lettering.
The only part of the celebration Alyssa was worried about was feeling awkward during the dancing portion of the evening. But there was no need to worry! The DJ from Pacific Entertainment kept Beyonce, JT and ’90s hits bumping all night long. I did have the best dance partner if I do say so myself 🙂 The DJ basically had to stop the music from playing for guests to go and enjoy the cake. But oh, was the break necessary!
Almond champagne cake. Enough said.
Well, Cakes To Celebrate really does deserve a little bit more attention than that. It was effing delicious for lack of a better weird. Wilson Creek Winery is known for its almond champagne, so it was only appropriate to incorporate it in the cake flavor.
And now that I’m back home and back to my normal routines, I can’t help but be missing that gorgeous California weather, the simple celebration of life and more importantly, seeing the love that Alyssa and Tony had for each other on that day and I know they will have every day. Lucky for us, there’s a Milwaukee reception in a few weeks! Until then….