A Surprise Winery Wedding

This California wedding was full of surprises—starting with the wedding venue itself!

Grooms Portrait

Photo by Sylvie Gil Photography

David Fonseca and Christopher Larsen met for the first time outside of a Madonna concert in June 2006—and exactly nine years later, in June 2015, Dave surprised Chris with a proposal. "We were in London, and he planned a walk through Queen Mary’s rose garden in Regent’s Park and an unforgettable rowboat ride, complete with a made-up story about Prince Charles and Princess Diana," Chris remembers. "He needed to distract me in order to present the ring!"

On August 11, 2016, the Chicago-based couple hosted 36 guests in Sonoma, California—but didn't tell them where they were going! "We wanted it to be a surprise," Chris says. The undercover location was Kunde Family Winery, where Dave and Chris, an event coordinator, had created a rustic-meets-chic environment for their dearest family and friends. Keep reading to see how Sylvie Gil captured their winery wedding, which included several nods to Madonna to celebrate their first meeting!

Groom's Acessories
Photo by Sylvie Gil Photography
Groom's Accessories
Photo by Sylvie Gil Photography

The grooms wore matching suits but accessorized to fit their own aesthetics. This meant sparkly loafers and a vintage brooch (instead of a boutonniere) for Chris and gray suspenders and a unique pocket square for Dave.

Ceremony at Kunde Family Winery
Photo by Sylvie Gil Photography
Flower Arrangement on Wine Barrel
Photo by Sylvie Gil Photography

For the ceremony, Chris and Dave selected Boot Hill, a site that overlooks the Mayacamas Mountains and the winery's 1,850 acres. "It just took our breath away, and we both agreed there was magic in the air on the hilltop," Chris says. They accentuated the already gorgeous space by flanking the aisle with gemstone-hued floral arrangements atop wine barrels. Also, in an effort to make the ceremony feel as intimate as possible, the grooms situated chairs in a V formation.

Groom's First Kiss
Photo by Sylvie Gil Photography

Chris and Dave escorted each other down the aisle as an acoustic rendition of Beyoncé’s “Halo” played. Once at the altar, they exchanged vows they'd written themselves—Chris promised to be the navigator on their "road trip of life," and Dave created his using a series of song lyrics—in a ceremony officiated by their friend.

As a surprise to the grooms, their wedding party coordinated readings of meaningful lyrics from various Madonna songs as a nod to their first meeting.

Grooms at Sweetheart Table
Photo by Sylvie Gil Photography

After the ceremony, the newlyweds took a moment to toast to their marriage between the vines.

Wine Bottle Guest Book
Photo by Sylvie Gil Photography

As a "guest book" for their winery wedding, Chris and Dave asked friends to sign cards that they'd open on their first, fifth, and tenth anniversaries (along with custom wine blends created for each milestone, too!). "Chris also surprised me with a custom wood box that the wine bottles and cards would sit in," Dave says. "It was engraved with our initials and anniversary year, and on the inside of each 'sleeve' door, he had the song lyrics of our first-dance song engraved."

Table Setting
Photo by Sylvie Gil Photography
Place Setting with Lavender
Photo by Sylvie Gil Photography

Dinner took place alfresco, below a canopy of trees. One long farm table was lined with an array of pillar and votive candles and a textural garland featuring olive branches, succulents, bay leaf, and silver-dollar eucalyptus.

Each place setting featured a menu printed with the tree from the ceremony site, as well as a bundle of lavender tied together with a calligraphed name card for every guest.

Guests at Dinner
Photo by Sylvie Gil Photography

In an effort to create better conversations, Chris and Dave took great detail to sit people with similar interests together. "We did one long farm table with our couples sitting across from each other, very much like a dinner party on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," they explain. "This way, you would have your plus-one across from you as a 'home base' but would have people on either side that you did not know."

Metallic Wedding Cake
Photo by Sylvie Gil Photography

The metallic-accented wedding cake featured Chris and Dave's celebrity nickname, "Chrave."

Couple Portrait
Photo by Sylvie Gil Photography

The night ended with dance party to '90s hits and current pop music, with the highlight being Chris's surprise lip-synch and dance performance to Beyoncé's live version of “Crazy in Love.” And at the very end of the night, there was one final surprise: a meteor shower!

Wedding Team

Venue: Kunde Family Winery

Wedding Planner: Sasha Souza Events

Paper Products: Minted

Floral Design: PoppyStone Designs

Rentals: Bright Event Rentals

Favors: Custom Promos

Catering: Park Avenue Catering

Cake: Sweet on Cake

Music: AMS Entertainment

Transportation: Pure Luxury Transportation

Makeup: Caysi Jean

Hair: Dave Fonseca

Grooms' Attire: Bar III

Photography: Sylvie Gil

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