Genery Booster and Geoffrey Shamos are "laid-back and relaxed," says the bride, and more than anything, they wanted their wedding to reflect that. So when their event designer, 2004 Modern Bride Trendsetter Sasha Souza, showed them Dunfillan Ruins at Kunde Estate Winery & Vineyard in Kenwood, CA, they fell in love with its casual elegance.
In keeping with the winery's organic feel, the pair didn't want the decor for their August 5, 2006, Sonoma Valley affair to look overly contrived. So Souza draped the ceremony site with swaths of eucalyptus garland and tasseled herbs that appeared to be growing on the stone, and scattered cream-colored petals to form an aisle runner. She also stacked the programs on a wine barrel and chilled drinks over ice in mini claw-foot bathtubs. Similarly, the bride's bouquet of grasses accented with orange blossoms and kumquat "looked like I ran through a field and gathered it," Genery says.
The couple included aromatic herbs in each unique reception centerpiece because they remind Genery of her mother's garden. They served all farm-fresh foods—golden beet Napoleons, Dungeness crab salad crisps, free-range chicken with mesquite veggies—and Geoffrey, an art history graduate student, requested that the cake's icing look naturally distressed.
After the sun set, guests kept warm by lounging on pillows around a fire pit. Others boogied to a bluegrass band (Genery's father played along on his violin) and later, to a DJ, on an amber-and-gold light-dappled dance floor. Made to resemble the moon's reflection through the trees, it was a fitting image for a wedding so in harmony with nature. —Elaine Stuart
Learn from Genery and Geoffrey
Let the site inspire your ceremony: The couple chose special readings that complemented their serene setting—a quote from Rainer Maria Rilke, an Apache blessing and an excerpt from the ancient Chinese text, the I Ching.
Honor the absent: Genery and Geoffrey wore Maili leis at dinner, gifts from the bride's Hawaiian family members who were unable to attend.
Gab while you groove: Instead of spending the night circulating among her guests, Genery planted herself firmly on the dance floor and found that friends and family followed. "I made them come out to see me!" she says.
Be open to an after-party: The vineyard required that the wedding end by 10 p.m., so the couple bused guests to a nearby pub to continue celebrating.