“Twinkly lights beneath a canopy of majestic redwood trees. Acres of homegrown chardonnay and noir grapes overlooking the Santa Cruz mountains. A couple whose love has waited 10 years for this day. Everything was breathtaking.
Moments before the ceremony, we waited with Stefanie outside the gate to the Grove where she would soon be escorted down the aisle to her soon-to-be husband by her father who raised two girls all on his own since they were little. This moment was planned for months—the father of the bride would get to see Stefanie just the two of them before he gave her away. Stefanie stood still, taking deep breaths and trying to hold back tears knowing that the first man she ever loved was just on the other side of the gate.
Stefanie’s father opened the gate. He seemed to take a breath and then freeze. Like his breath had literally been taken away. Less than seconds later, his brow furrowed. Tears slowly slipped from his eyes. His fist came to his mouth as if to hold back a cry. He had to turn away to collect his thoughts before taking steps towards his beautiful daughter. He wrapped his arms around Stefanie, whispered something to her, and swayed with her for just a moment before they prepared themselves for the ceremony.
Stefanie and Jeremy tied the knot on June 16, 2018, after over 10 years of dating—that’s a decade’s worth of memories from their first date to their first vacation to their first fight to their first home, and now the rest of their lives. Redwood Retreat at Fernwood Cellars in Gilroy, CA, was the perfect backdrop to celebrate this couple’s wedding 10 years in the making. Fernwood Cellars in Gilroy, CA, is a highly coveted wedding venue for its secluded and intimate space for romantic couples with sweeping views of the vineyards and Santa Cruz Mountains. The bridesmaids got ready in matching pajamas while the guys sipped some beer in their custom engraved beer steins from Jeremy as they dappered up for the big day. This couple’s guest book was especially fun! Instead of a traditional book, S & J created a unique wooden wine bottle encased with acrylic. Each guest got to sign a small wooden heart and drop it into the bottle. This piece now hangs in the couple’s San Jose home.
With the help of Cera Singley Events, S & J’s reception was decorated with liners of eucalyptus leaves, coral and orange roses in golden vases, white linens and coral napkins. The couple chose a lavender cake for the traditional cake-cutting and IT WAS DELICIOUS. But the guests got to celebrate the couple’s Hispanic heritage with pan dulce. My favorite DIY part of S + J’s romantic affair: their bride and groom squirrel cake topper with a veil and everything. These two love squirrels—they even collect them!” –Angela Sue Photography
What is your favorite wedding day memory?
The whole day feels like dream. I have two favorite memories: Doing a first look with my dad was very special for me. I’m very close to my dad and looked forward to sharing this moment with him. Seeing him so happy and excited for me was one of my favorite memories. Another favorite memory was hearing Jeremy’s vows and seeing him for the first time at the end of the aisle. Jeremy looked so very handsome and I couldn’t wait to give him a hug and kiss him!
What did you DIY for your wedding?
The day before our wedding all the bridesmaids help with putting together our centerpieces. My very talented sister-in-law, Kasey helped with arranging our beautiful bouquets and stunning boutonnieres for the bridal party. I really loved how beautiful, bright and fun the flowers turned out. I wanted our flowers to add some warm color to greenery at the venue.
I’m not a crafty person by any means, but I wanted to something a little special and personal to honor our loved ones that have passed away. I made a photo display out of an old frame, silk flowers, clothespins and ribbon. I collected pictures of our family members that couldn’t be with us and displayed them on them on the frame.
What was your something old, new borrowed and blue?
The morning of our wedding was a little chaotic and I did my best to pack everything I thought I would need to get ready, but I forgot to grab one of my bags containing my something old, borrowed and blue. I was a little sad when I discovered I forgot my bag containing these special items, but I’m grateful I didn’t forget something like my wedding shoes, or Jeremy’s ring!
Any advice for brides currently in the planning process?
I think the most stressful thing for us was putting together the seating chart and we spent A LOT of time perfecting our seating chart the week leading up to our wedding. The day of our wedding the seating chart didn’t even matter because all of our guests were up and mingling during the reception. I wish someone had told us that the seating chart is a small detail no one notices or cares about at the actual wedding. I would recommend not procrastinating and do your best to take care of projects and other details weeks or months before your wedding. I took off the week before our wedding and had to accomplish a lot of things in that time frame. Leaving so many things to the last minute was stressful and I wish I could have had more time to relax and spend time with family during our wedding week. -Stefanie, the Bride
Photography: Angela Sue Photography // Venue: Fernwood Cellars // Wedding Planner + Designer: Cera Singley Events // Rentals: Williams Party Rentals // Catering: Fire 4 Hire Catering // Cake: Jen's Cakes // Music: Kolabo Entertainment // Make-up: L Make-up Studio // Hair: Beauty by Marie