A Tented Spring Wedding in Sonoma, California

Real Weddings

When Allison Marquez and David Jones met nearly 10 years ago, the then-nursing student was serving him drinks across a bar where she worked during college summers. "At the time, I was in a relationship," she says. "But we always had a flirty banter with each other." So when she returned to town three years later as a single woman, it was only natural the pair fall back into their flirty habits. And finally, out on Halloween night with friends, the couple shared their first kiss during a game of spin the bottle. "I was a ladybug and he was Wonder Woman," Allison recalls. "One of the biggest reasons I had a thing for him was because he wasn't afraid to look silly to make others laugh."

In April 2014, David decided he was ready to pop the question. But Allison's ever-changing schedule as a nursing student meant that David would have to ask her to marry him on the fly. He sweetly booked Allison a surprise massage, then slipped away for a few moments to ask permission of her father. By the time he picked her up from the appointment, he had her father's blessing and the ring in his pocket. "Then, pretending to be spontaneous, I told Allison we should go take pictures with our new camera," David says. "When I found the perfect spot, I told her I wanted to take a picture of her looking into the distance." Allison posed, then turned back to find David on one knee and the ring in his hand. "I said, 'Lets try a picture with you wearing this,'" he recalls.

For their big day on March 21, 2015, the couple asked their friend and the pro behind Volatile Photography to snap pictures of them both donning rings. With a vision of a fresh, spring fête at the picturesque The Lodge at Sonoma Renaissance Resort and Spa in Sonoma, California, Allison and David used soft hues of mint and pink to create a classic but laid-back atmosphere. "But more than anything, we wanted our wedding to be a blast for our guests and for us," Allison says.

Allison and David invited 128 guests to their wedding with ivory cards scrolled with simple black script. "The invitations were the most overwhelming and time consuming," Allison reveals. "There are just so many different options now with a lot being online." But a Petaluma, California print shop, Paperwhite, made the experience easy for the couple.

Surrounded by her bridesmaids, Allison slipped on her Paloma Blanca gown — strapless, with pleated Italian taffeta and an organza skirt with mohair detailing. Though the dress originally came with a floral belt, Allison swapped it for a more sparkly model. And beneath her full skirt? Sparkling Kate Spade pumps with pops of pink, purple and silver. "They were so fun," the bride gushes.

Bridesmaids donned floor-length mint Monique Lhuillier dresses, each with a different neckline. "I love mint and these dresses just screamed spring to me," the bride says. While each attendant carried an all-white bouquet, Allison's round bouquet included soft pink ranunculus and roses.

David and his groomsmen stuck to a classic look by donning tuxedos, but David stood out in his deep blue style while the groomsmen wore black. To their lapels, the men pinned white baby roses while David chose a soft pink ranunculus wrapped in black satin ribbon.

The couple selected the lodge's Stone Room for their ceremony, a rustic space with wood beams, modern chandeliers, and a fireplace. To bring their vision of spring into the venue, the couple asked their florist to decorate the mantle with fresh pink and white blooms, and to line the aisle with hurricane vases, greenery, branches, white hydrangeas, and hanging tea lights. "We wanted to keep it simple to go with the natural beauty of the room," Allison explains. "We also added a touch of our humor with a chalkboard sign that read, 'Can I Get A Witness?' that was visible when guests entered to seat themselves."

Allison honored her father — and his affection for Elvis — by playing his version of "Can't Help Falling In Love" as they walked down the aisle. "Plus, it's such a sweet song and I loved the idea of that playing as I walked to my groom," she says. Although Allison and David went back and forth on whether they'd exchange personalized vows, they ultimately decided to write their own. They further personalized their ceremony by asking a friend to officiate the nuptials. "We didn't want a religious or cheesy ceremony," says Allison. "We wanted it to be personal to us and how we feel about each other."

After the ceremony, guests were whisked to a white tent decorated with three chandeliers and tables topped with white and pink blooms and flickering candles. "I didn't want the tables to feel cluttered, so we again went with simplicity," Allison says.

At each place setting, the couple left guests a white box tied with mint ribbon and filled with Hershey kisses and chocolate hearts. After serving guests bite-sized lobster tacos with seaweed salad and wasabi mousse, mini grilled cheeses with a tomato soup shooter, and spring rolls with a cilantro radish salad and a sweet chili dip during cocktail hour, Allison and David sat down for a three-course meal. They chose to close out the night with Kobe beef sliders, truffle fries, and vanilla milkshakes for after-dinner snacks!

The couple also sliced into several single-layer cakes and one two-tier confection, each covered in buttercream frosting and fresh flowers. "Each of the single layers were different flavors," Allison describes, choosing vanilla cake layered with white chocolate cream cheese and raspberry puree, another white cake with white chocolate cream cheese and tangy lemon curd, and a final spicy carrot cake with cream cheese filling. "They were all so good!"

To Allison's surprise, David serenaded his new bride during dinner, singing along to Elvis' "Love Me Tender." Says the bride, "It was such a surprise and I was definitely in shock while it was happening, I could not believe he had the guts to do that in front of so many people! It was such a sweet, memorable moment and our guests still talk about it and I think will talk about it forever." Shortly after, the couple took their first spin on the dance floor as husband and wife to the tune of "Green Eyes" by Coldplay.

After an epic evening, Allison and David mini-mooned in Napa, then left for French Polynesia a few months later. Allison says, "I'm so glad we didn't do a big trip immediately after the wedding because we were so exhausted!"

Venue & Catering: The Lodge at Sonoma Renaissance Resort and Spa || Wedding Planner: Alena Rebik of The Lodge at Sonoma Renaissance Resort and Spa || Bride's Wedding Dress: Paloma Blanca || Veil: Novella Bridal || Jewelry: Nordstrom || Shoes: J. Renee || Hair: Mandy Maher of Dukes and Dolls Salon || Makeup: Ashley Hance of Mockingbird Heights Salon and Kirsten Haynes of Dukes and Dolls Salon || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Bella Bridesmaids || Mother of the Bride Dress: The Dessy Group || Groom's & Groomsmen's Attire: The Black Tux || Wedding Bands: ER Sawyer Jewelers || Florist: Tori Patocchi || Invitations & Paper Goods: Paperwhite || Music: AMS Entertainment || Cake: Fleur de Lisa Cakes || Accommodations: The Lodge at Sonoma Renaissance Resort and Spa || Videographer: Edge Hog Films || Photography: Volatile Photography

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Did you love this spring wedding? Then check out another couple's seasonal I do's in the video below!

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