When Stephen walked into her office, professional matchmaker Kimberley looked no further to find his perfect match than beyond her own desk. "It was love at first sight," she says now.
Two years after Stephen proposed beachside in San Luis Obispo, California, the couple wed in a wine country fete Kimberley describes as romantic, with a touch of literature cult classic The Great Gatsby for inspiration.
Photo: Stephanie Haller Photography
The couple set their wedding date for August 19, 2012 and invited 100 guests to join them deep in wine country, just miles from where the bride was raised. The bride's mother handcrafted nearly every detail of the couple's big day, from their floral arrangements to sweet treats that capped off the night.
With an inside connection at Chalk Hill—Kimberly's sister works there—the couple's choice of venue was an easy one. Nestled into Sonoma County, the estate "is not only well known for great wine, but also has incredible views of the valley," Kimberly says.
Chalk Hill&'s Spanish-style wedding chapel sold the estate to the couple who, despite desiring a winery wedding, still wanted to exchange vows in a church. "Not to mention," Kimberly adds, "the chapel even has bells."
Kimberly's one-of-a-kind couture gown was a custom creation designed by her mother.
Photos: Stephanie Haller Photography
Made from ivory dupioni silk, the ball gown featured a rouched bodice accented with a custom embellishment—vintage lace, dupioni silk, organza, feathers and crystals wrapped to form a faux flower.
The mother-of-the-bride designed a French bustle for the gown's cathedral-length train using pale blue ribbons—the bride's something blue.
Kimberly wore a two-tier cathedral-length veil designed by her mother. For the couple's reception, Kimberly unclipped the veil to reveal a vintage comb as her evening hair accessory.
Stephen presented Kimberly with a vintage diamond necklace—an heirloom from his grandmother—as a wedding present. She wore it on their wedding day.
The couple's white gold wedding bands were purchased from James Allen.
The mother-of-the-bride repurposed an old pair of bridesmaid's shoes, adding vintage lace, dupioni silk and crystals, for Kimberly to wear.
Kimberly's garter was also a custom creation designed by her mother. The accessory was made from dupioni silk and organza, and pinned with Swarvorski crystals.
Using a Badgley Mischka dress as inspiration, Kimberly's mother designed the bridesmaids' floor-length black gowns in a matte satin fabric.
Kimberly's mother made her bouquet using oversized faux flowers purchased from home décor store Z Gallerie>. To the foam flowers, the mother-of-the-bride pinned ivory ribbon and netting with a Swavorski crystal brooch.
A family friend of the groom served as the couple's ceremony officiant, the bride says. Tulle bows and white hydrangea adorned the pews that lined the church aisle.
Limos transported guests from the chapel to the pavilion where the couple's reception was held.
When they arrived at the enclosed venue, they found their seat assignments displayed inside a large white frame.
Guests were also greeted with their choice of blush champagne or Blue Moon beer as they entered the pavilion.
The estate's pavilion, "with grand glass window walls, soaring ceilings and amazing chandeliers," was the perfect place for the couple's guests to sip on cocktails at sunset, the bride says.
The couple's color palette of black and white with the slightest hint of blush kept reception décor classic and, in the bride's words, "minimal."
Wide, custom table runners—created by the mother-of-the-bride—ran the length of rectangular wooden tables.
Photos: Stephanie Haller Photography
Kimberley's mother filled glass vases with white hydrangea to create the couple's simple centerpieces.
Glass candle holders that flanked the floral arrangements were also made by the mother-of-the-bride, "using 130 small glass candlestick holders glued together with glass glue and lots of patience," Kimberly says.
When it came to their dinner menu, Kimberly and Stephen craved "comfort food, but also something guests could eat with a fork," the bride says. The couple chose a crisp shrimp salad to whet their palettes, then served a build-your-own filet where guests could top steaks with their choice of blue cheese, mushrooms and sauce.
In lieu of cake, Kimberly's mother baked dozens of cupcakes, then placed them on a towering metal tree for the couple's dessert display.
Cupcakes were decorated with edible diamonds, gold leaves, pearls and fondant flowers.
The bride's sister belted out Etta James' infamous At Last for the couple's first dance.
"The whole day was magical," Kimberly says. "Full of happiness and so much love."
Wedding Planner: Tulle Box Events || Ceremony Venue: Chalk Hill || Reception Venue: Chalk Hill || Bride's Wedding Ring: James Allen || Groom's Tux: Name || Groom's Shoes: Black by Vera Wang || Groom's Wedding Ring: James Allen || Groomsmen Attire: Black by Vera Wang || Mother of the Bride's Dress: Macy's || Florist: Costco Wholesale || Caterer: Park Avenue Catering || Stationery: Vera Wang || Rentals: Wine Country Party & Events || Entertainment: Susan Weinstein and Motown Magic DJ || Photography: Stephanie Haller Photography