When actors Genevieve Gearheart and Matthew Bamberg-Johnson enrolled in CalArts' MFA acting program in 2010, their pals introduced them with the assumption that the two would develop a quick friendship. They were right, but the bond was stronger than anyone could have guessed: What started off as a casual friendship quickly turned romantic and in March of 2014, Matthew popped the question in Palm Springs, California.
"It was very helpful for us, coming from creative backgrounds, to view the whole wedding planning process as putting on another show starring us!" Genevieve says. With help from planner Davia Lee Events, this couple invited 150 guests to Firestone Vineyard in Los Olivos, California, for a wedding full of creativity and fun. Photographer Anthony Hoang of Lover of Mine captured all the artsy details of their wedding day.
Genevieve took her time finding a wedding dress, and it's a good thing she did. On her third shopping trip, she fell in love with a cream-hued lace gown from BHLDN with a v-neckline and open back. She paired the figure-hugging dress with a freshwater pearl headband, blue satin Badgley Mischka sandals, and vintage earrings that once belonged to Genevieve's great, great grandmother.
Matthew wore a charcoal gray vest and matching pants by Calvin Klein, a custom white button-down shirt from Trumaker, and a sage green striped tie. His groomsmen wore deep gray suspenders and pants paired with similar sage green ties. All of the men wore matching air plant boutonnieres and custom-made tie pins.
Genevieve's bridesmaids were given color choices to point them in the right direction, but each woman personally selected their pale blue ensembles for the day. "It ended up being an eclectic, but cohesive mix!" the bride says. The women all carried mismatched succulent bouquets, featuring a variety of plants in different hues.
The couple's outdoor ceremony was held on the vineyard's lawn beneath a massive tree, with views of the vines in the distance. "Matthew loved the outdoor ceremony location," the bride says. "The venue was the best of both worlds for us. I loved the barrel room where we had the reception."
Genevieve was escorted down the aisle by her father while the Cure's "Love Cats" played. "We opted for recorded music so that our musician friends and relatives could enjoy the event as guest," says the bride. The couple enjoyed a reading from one of their favorite plays and exchanged personalized vows with a wine barrel as their altar.
The bride and groom knew they wanted a reception to remember. "We really tried to make it feel like a larger party that we would host at our house, to make everyone feel comfortable, welcome, and at ease," Genevieve says. Guests enjoyed a family-style dinner by candlelight in the venue's stunning barrel room.
For their long tables, the newlyweds envisioned a New York City bistro-vibe, with brown paper instead of linens and lots of candles in tons of different sizes of mason jars. At each place setting, guests found a linen napkin with a fresh sprig of rosemary and a dinner menu. Since Genevieve and Matthew wanted their meal to shine, they served up a selection of local meats and cheeses, roasted lamb with a Mediterranean salsa verde, and Mediterranean prawns.
For dessert, the couple cut into their vineyard-appropriate Citrus Sauvignon Blanc wedding cake before serving an assortment of different flavored cupcakes.
Since Genevieve and Matthew own an acting studio together, it's no surprise that their group of friends are the creative type, too. For their big day, their friends led a choir singing "Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher" and started a flash mob to "What Does the Fox Say," which they planned with the rest of the wedding guests through secret online rehearsals. "It was incredible to see, and it was exactly the kind of creative expression that we wanted to encourage at our event," the bride says.
Genevieve's biggest advice from one bride to another is this: "Don't be afraid to reach out to your network of friends for support and help. They've probably got a lot to bring to the table!"
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Firestone Vineyard || Wedding Planner: Davia Lee Events || Bride's Wedding Dress: BHLDN || Engagement Ring & Wedding Bands: Eli's Jewelry || Flowers: Renae's Bouquet || Invitations: Minted || Other Paper Products: Antiquaria || Music: Gavin Roy Presents || Catering: Seasons Catering || Cake & Cupcakes: Enjoy Cupcakes || Rentals: Ventura Party Rental Center || Videographer: Him & Her Films || Photographer: Anthony Hoang of Lover of Mine
Loving this couple's beautiful wedding? Then check out another vineyard bash in the video below.