A California Wedding with a Lavender and Gray Color Palette

A California vineyard plays host to a rustic, romantic wedding infused with tones of lavender and gray

Updated 05/23/13
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Shelly Kroeger Photography

Jonie and Brad met at University of Pennsylvania Law School—so it was only fitting that seven years later, Brad brought Jonie back to where it all began and asked her to marry him. "We walked around the school and Brad suddenly stopped and said, 'Hey, do you know where we are now?'" Jonie recalls. "I looked around and realized that it was the exact spot in the law school courtyard where we had first met seven years prior." When Brad dropped to one knee, Jonie said yes.

The San Francisco-based couple opted to take their 150 guests to Kenwood, California for their September wedding 10 months later, hosting an outdoor celebration at Kunde Family Estate. Because the couple fell for the estate's natural beauty, they chose "rustic but pretty decor" and a neutral color palette of lavender and gray to complement, rather than compete, with the space.

Shelly Kroeger Photography

Brad popped the question with a round-cut solitaire diamond ring. The couple's wedding bands came from Tiffany & Co.

Shelly Kroeger Photography

The bride's custom-made Chantilly lace Anna Maier Ulla-Maija wedding gown was the first dress the bride tried on. "I knew right away that I loved it. But I then proceeded to try on hundreds of other dresses to be absolutely sure," Jonie jokes, "only to ultimately come back to this one.

Shelly Kroeger Photography

Buttons down the back of Jonie's dress led to a slight chapel-length train. Its sweetheart neckline was a selling point for the bride, as was the gown's delicate tulle construction.

Shelly Kroeger Photography

Jonie attached live ivory lisianthus and garden roses to her softly-curled half-up-half-down big day hairstyle. The soft, natural accessories "complimented the natural, rustic setting," the bride says.

Shelly Kroeger Photography

A bracelet on the bride's right wrist—an heirloom piece from the groom's great grandmother—served as Jonie's something old, borrowed and blue.

Shelly Kroeger Photography

Jonie wore towering Christian Louboutin pumps beneath her gown, but slipped into Steve Madden wedges in time for the reception. "I highly recommend this for rustic weddings with unpaved surfaces," the bride says.

Shelly Kroeger Photography

Bridesmaids donned lavender-hued dresses from J. Crew. "We wanted light and pretty colors—lavender, but with pink undertones rather than purple," the bride explains of their color palette. To keep their look light and natural from head-to-toe, Jonie asked her bridesmaids to wear nude-colored heels.

Shelly Kroeger Photography

The bridesmaids' dresses also featured a slight sweetheart neckline, purposefully mimicking the bride's own style.

Shelly Kroeger Photography

The mother of the bride purchased her champagne-colored gown from Talbots. In lieu of a corsage, she carried a single ivory rose.

Shelly Kroeger Photography

Brad paired a gray Indochino suit with a purple tie from Theory.

Shelly Kroeger Photography

Groomsmen showed a pop of color palette-appropriate color by wearing purple argyle socks from Express.

Shelly Kroeger Photography

Florist Nancy Liu Chin combined cream-colored roses with white sweet peas and ivory lisianthus to create the bride's bouquet, which Jonie describes as "soft, romantic and loose."

Shelly Kroeger Photography

In contrast with the bride's white and ivory bouquet, bridesmaids carried flowers in hues of blush, pink, lavender and mauve.

Shelly Kroeger Photography

Bridesmaids bouquets were made from a variety of roses, lisianthus, sweet peas, scabiosa and fresh-cut foliage. Each arrangement was tied with ivory satin ribbon and pinned with pearls.

Shelly Kroeger Photography

The couple opted for a first-look, sneaking in their pre-ceremony peek at Dunfillan Ruins, on the estate's property. "It was one of our favorite parts of the day to share those few intimate minutes before the ceremony in the quiet romantic ruins away from the rest of the world," Jonie recalls.

Shelly Kroeger Photography

Jonie and Brad created their wedding ceremony programs, which included a lavender lace border designed to complement the bride's gown.

Shelly Kroeger Photography

Guests carried parasols to the ceremony "to shield [themselves] from the hot sun," the bride says.

Shelly Kroeger Photography

Jonie's father escorted her down a natural aisle, adorned only with a few scattered rose petals.

Shelly Kroeger Photography

"We both love the outdoors and so we knew we wanted an outdoor wedding," Jonie says of the couple's decision to hold their ceremony beneath a large oak tree on the estate.

Shelly Kroeger Photography

A friend officiated the couple's ceremony, keeping the service "short, sweet, sincere," the bride says. "Brad and I were together for more than seven years before we got married, so we already knew each other very well. But the commitment to each other that we made by getting married has even further strengthened our love and respect for each other."

Shelly Kroeger Photography

As guests left the ceremony and entered the reception space, they were offered their choice of purple or gray flip flops. Attached to each plastic pair was a handmade tag created by the couple, with instructions to dance up a storm. "Brad is a tall guy and accordingly takes up a lot of room on the dance floor when he gets really into it," Jonie explains. "So we joke that he's 'dancing up a storm.'"

Shelly Kroeger Photography

Tucked into purple napkins that held sprigs of dried lavender, menu cards announced a three-course meal complete with a late night snack: s'mores.

Shelly Kroeger Photography

Guests could choose from tart lemonade, iced tea and cucumber water served from a wine barrel bar.

Shelly Kroeger Photography

Cups that spelled love held an assortment of purple, lavender and ivory-hued blooms. Scattered among the cups, bud vases held lavender and white flowers and green foliage. The bride describes the tablescapes as "a beautiful and natural design."

Shelly Kroeger Photography

"Brad's favorite kind of cake in the whole world, since he was a child, is yellow cake with chocolate frosting," Jonie says. "Accordingly, we had to serve it at the wedding." A friend of the bride baked their four-tier fondant confection, which was decorated with ivory ribbon and live flowers, and set atop a wine barrel.

Shelly Kroeger Photography

The fathers of the bride and groom, maid of honor and best man offered up toasts to the couple that were "heartfelt and funny," the bride recalls. "We could not have imagined a more perfect day."

Having returned from a whirlwind honeymoon that included tours of Bora Bora; Auckland and Lake Taupo, New Zealand; and Cairns, Sydney and Hamilton Island, Australia, Jonie has a few pieces of advice for soon-to-be brides: "Have fun with it and don't sweat the small stuff," she says. "No matter how well you plan, on the actual day, some things—maybe many things—will not go exactly as you planned them. So remember that above any mishaps, stress or drama, this is ultimately about your love and commitment to each other. No matter what may happen on the day of, just go with it and enjoy every minute of what will surely be one of the most amazing days of your life."

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