I want to become a society lady Rockin' a new rock?!

Where do we even begin with Sanjay and Steven’s incredible wedding weekend at Cedar Lakes Estate?? It was the first gay wedding for many of the guests and Sanjay and Steven “were determined to ground the weekend in themes that everyone could connect with: love, community, and partying very hard.” Planned by Amanda Savory Events, it’s a visual spectacle filled with gorgeous details, cultural significance, nods to the couples’ many travels and the underlying theme of bringing people together in the spirit of joy. How better to do it than joyful details including florals by Rye Workshop, a traditional Indian wedding procession, calligraphy by Mimms Cross, a cake by Momofuku Milkbar, and—of course—vibrant-hued smoke bombs?! Every last detail is captured by Edward Winter with READYLUCK and we’re thrilled to share the photos here with you today. 

Click to expand for more

What made the wedding special and unique?

All weddings are special because they bring families together. The one additional layer of significance for us was that both Steven and I had a long, often challenging, journey to get to this point where our families could be so incredibly supportive. This was the first gay wedding for many of our guests. We were determined to ground the weekend in themes that everyone could connect with: love, community, and partying very hard.

Also, both Steven and I have lived all over the world and moved quite a lot. Consequently, we have lots of circles of friends and family dispersed everywhere that we rarely get to see together. Bringing them all together in one place – and actually having the time to spend time together during the daytime – was absolutely the most incredible rush. We hadn’t anticipated how important this factor would be until the weekend arrived.

Our wedding brought people together in a spirit of joy. Our families and friends became one big loving community.

Tell us about your tux and where/how you found it!

When picking tuxedos, we knew we wanted something modern, but not so ‘out there’ that it would look ridiculous when we looked at our photos in a decade. We also knew we wanted to complement each other, but not match exactly – which ruled out the classic black tuxedo.

We ended up finding the perfect duo of a bold blue and a midnight navy color at the Hugo Boss store in Soho, NYC.

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?

We injected our personalities and cultural backgrounds into small moments throughout the wedding. At our ‘sangeet’ event the night before the wedding, two of our closest friends hosted a live ‘newlywed’ game that allowed our guests to get to know us a little better. We also served a fusion Indian-American South menu that evening with dishes such as cardamom-spiced fried chicken and Kashmiri style collard greens.

In lieu of a guestbook, we invited guests to share messages with us on the backs of vintage postcards of destinations that we’d traveled to together, such as Iceland, the Cook Islands, and South Africa.

Finally, for our first dance we elected to surprise everyone with a fun mashup of songs that represented where we came from (nods to “California Love” and the “Dirty South”) and where we met (“Empire State of Mind” – Alicia Keys & Jay-Z).

What was the most memorable part of the day?

Honestly, the afterparty! We loved every minute of our wedding weekend (even the rain!), but it was only after the reception that we could totally let loose. Ironically, the afterparty was the one event that we planned the least and so it was the most thrilling for us to experience it with no expectations.

For our afterparty, we moved over to a venue called The Treehouse where our friends danced into the night on an outdoor patio while our DJ pumped out our favorite 90s tunes accompanied by live Indian Dhol players. It was so exhilarating to have all of our favorite people celebrating with us in one place.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

Despite an explicit verbal agreement that neither party would pop the question until they had dated for at least two years, Sanjay proposed on a private lagoon voyage in his 100th country (and Steven’s 25th), the Cook Islands, just shy of the second anniversary of their first date. Steven immediately accepted and then promptly proceeded to dance uncontrollably. Some might say the surprise had been ruined when the captain of the boat winked at Sanjay and loudly announced that a bottle of champagne was in the cooler as he dropped Steven and Sanjay off on a private island, but then again, when has a chilled bottle of champagne on a private island ever ruined anything?

Photography: Edward Winter / READYLUCK // Event planning: Amanda Savory Events // Flowers: Rye Workshop // Stationery: Suitesmith // Location & catering: Cedar Lakes Estate // Calligraphy: Mimms Cross // Cake: Momofuku Milkbar // Officiant: Rvnd. Mary-Rose Engle of Engle Heart // Music: DJ Rishi of Silk Events (sangeet baraat ceremony reception); Suit & Tie of Élan Artists // Rentals: Patina Rentals (furniture & lounge) // Sherwanis: Maharani Fashions // Grooms’ tuxedos: Hugo Boss // Grooms’ bowties: Sarar // Steven’s shoes: Hugo Boss // Sanjay’s shoes: Calvin Klein // Cake topper: Etsy // Dance instructor: Alan Watson Easy Wedding Dancing // Horses: Echo Lake Stables

 

We like
our sponsors

We think you will too.

Marilyn and Victor wanted a personal celebration—one that was true to who they are as a couple—so they threw a cocktail party for 150 in Paris! With the help of planner and creative director Xenia Motif they celebrated their love with a town hall ceremony followed by a reception at La Cartonnerie, Paris. Light shone down through the glasshouse ceiling of the organic setting and decor included garden roses and lots of greenery by Studio Ohlala. Our favorite details are—hand down—the bride’s Hermione de Paula gown, the traditional French croquemboucheat wedding cake and the views of Paris in the stunning portraits by Sandra Aberg Photography.

Click to expand for more

What made the wedding special and unique?

prom the planner: I was really excited to be on board of this project, as everything about this wedding seemed unique to me. I’ve done many classic destination weddings before, but Marilyn and Victor wanted theirs to be very personal and very true to who they are as a couple, what they like, and their connections in life. So throwing a cocktail party for 150 people in Paris sounded like it!

Everything — from the choice of venue, food decision to the bridal gown, — everything was dictated by what the couple liked, not by wedding conventions.

Growing up in 7eme arrondissement, Victor knew that they have to get married in the townhall of that district, especially with it being so close to the Eiffel Tower — Marilyn’s favourite place in the city. And it worked out perfectly!

Following that, the cocktail party was hosted at an old cardboard factory loft in the center of Paris. Decorated with garden roses and lots of greenery, the setting was organic, reminiscent of autumn garden blooms, at the same time giving way to the venue itself to shine properly with its vintage props, glasshouse ceiling and incredible wood.

Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!

The story of Marilyn’s gown is truly one of a destiny. We were looking at a few different options, and Marilyn wanted an unconventional gown, not white (as white was planned to be worn for their second religious wedding in Swiss Alps). We were looking for something playful, elegant, and a little sexy, and then one day we came upon Hermione de Paula creation. We knew it was THE DRESS right away just by looking at Marilyn — she was radiant! Subtle hand-made floral embroidery, golden accents, playful sheer inclusions — it was just perfect both for morning civil ceremony and for a party at night!

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal? 

First of all, it was hosted in Paris — the city of Victor’s birth, and Marilyn’s favourite city to visit.

French and American references were here and there in food and entertainment. Starting with an Oyster bar, the dinner then transitioned into a multi-cultural pass-around menu, with delicious things like southern waffles with corn and avocado, pulled pork buns, Asian dim-sums, and so much more.

Entertainment of choice for the night was an incredible lounge live band, followed by a Vinyl Bar, where guests could select their favourite tune, new or old.

A surprise for the bride was an old French tradition of ‘brioche dance’, where the bride and groom are to sit on the delicious French pastry and all guests shall dance around them.

What was the most memorable part of the day? 

I think I will get it right if I say that the whole day was memorable! But one great highlight was the brioche dance mentioned earlier — bride and all guests were utterly amused and had an amazing time dancing around the high bread, before turning to the underground ‘dance cave’ for the actual party!

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

Marilyn and Victor met one serendipitous night at a pub in Central London and never parted since!

The proposal happened at a small resort town in Swiss Alps (where the couple later hosted their second wedding), when Victor arranged a morning hike in winter with their St. Bernard dog (who Marilyn loves!). Everything was going according to the plan, and Victor knelt down proposing. Marilyn happily says yes and takes the ring, when the dog pulls on her, and the ring gets dropped into the snow!

Planning and creative direction: Xenia Motif // Photography: Sandra Aberg Photography // Flowers: Studio Ohlala // MUAH: Onorina Jomir Beauty // Venue: La Cartonnerie, Paris // Bridal dress (Paris): Hermione de Paula // Catering: Charlotte Puckette // Live Music: Reyko // DJ: Dance Police

 

The lush, green decor was built right into Michelle and Nick’s wedding at Planterra Conservatory. Massive tropical plants, visually striking topiaries and voluminous trees at every turn, the day is a botanical dream with accents in a rich purple palette. Florals and installations are by Planterra Conservatory, stationery is by Custom Creations & Invitations and the cake is by Sweet Heather Anne. Lucky for us, Kelly Sweet was on hand to capture all the details in these lovely images.

Click to expand for more

What made the wedding special and unique?

We liked that our guests didn’t have to travel throughout the evening. We were able to have our ceremony and reception at Planterra. This made the evening much more intimate! And, we had the whole venue to ourselves because Planterra only hosts one event per day. It’s the most special and unique place on its own, and their creative abilities are amazing! They are so talented!

Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!

I had been gown shopping for about two months, but hadn’t found that really special dress. My mom and I had a day planned to run errands and we decided to check out this one last gown shop. We started sifting through all the gorgeous gowns, and all of a sudden I saw one! The beads were sparkling, just slightly, and the embroidery was exquisite. I picked it up and it was a million sizes too big, but I decided to try it on. I walked out of the dressing room and we all knew, this was my dress. I went home that night to think about it and by the next morning I called Bella Bridal and ordered the gown.

What was the most memorable part of the day?

After we had concluded the ceremony, we were able to spend a few moments alone together. It was nice to have a little moment of quiet before the night began! We were officially husband and wife and the feelings surrounding us were love, comfort, happiness, warmth and peace.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

We started talking online and eventually met at 12 Oaks Mall (right across the street from where we live now!).

Our engagement was very romantic. Nick took me to one of the most peaceful places on earth, Mackinac Island. It all started with me saying “I’m glad we finally get a relaxing weekend to ourselves.” Looking back, I could only imagine what was going through my future husband’s head after that comment. He arranged for both my immediate family and his to meet us on the island for the big surprise. Nick’s sister actually lives in Rhode Island and is one of my best friends. I never thought I would see her on one of the most memorable days of my life.

Nick took me to a high point on the island, overlooking the beautiful blue water and the Mackinaw bridge. Once we arrived on bikes, he proceeded to hand me his phone. He made me a 2 minute compilation of photos we’d taken over the last 4 years of our relationship. The tear-jerking background music he chose was “Good Riddance” by Green Day. (Needless to say, I will always think of this time when I hear that song).

While I was watching the video, he got down on one knee and proposed with his ring cam to ensure he got it all on video. We sat down, cried together and time stood still. I didn’t see what was about to come next.

Still in awe, as we slowly pedal our bikes back to our hotel, we come around a slight bend in the road and I see Steve Martz (Nick’s dad) with his paparazzi-like camera. In disbelief, faces of my loved ones began to appear in front of my eyes. I dropped my bike right in the middle of the street and ran to hug our families! We all celebrated in a moment of love, laughter and joy, but the adventure wasn’t over. Nick had arranged for a family dinner at the same hotel we would be staying at that evening. The day that I thought would be “relaxing, with not much to do” turned into so much more!

Photography: Kelly Sweet // Design and Florals: Planterra Conservatory // Stationery: Custom Creations & Invitations // Venue: Planterra Conservatory // Wedding Gown Designer: Martina Liana // Wedding Dress Salon: Bella Bridal // Hair And Makeup: Visions Spa Salon // Cake: Sweet Heather Anne // Bridal Shoes: Badgley Mischka // Bridesmaid Dresses: Bill Levkoff

 

High school sweethearts, Taya and Zach, were flanked by a twenty-person wedding party made up of their longtime high school friends on their Rhode Island wedding day. The couple went all-out-glam with a traditional cathedral ceremony and all-white reception at Belle Mer that includes florals by Town House Florist and a five-tiered traditional white cake by Kerri Cupcake. The bride’s Cristiano Lucci gown and cathedral-length veil are show stopping and Stephanie Vegliante Photography captures it all perfectly in these beautiful images.

Click to expand for more

What made the wedding special and unique?

The thing that made my wedding so special and unique was that my husband and I were high school sweethearts. Not only had we been dating for over ten years, but our twenty person wedding party all went to high school together as well. Our families are friends; there was so much love and excitement through out that day. We were also the first of all our friends to get married and I think it made our day extra special. In addition, our photographer Stephanie did an incredible job capturing these special moments. The photos she took are beautiful images of memories that will last a lifetime. I am forever grateful for having Stephanie be part of our special day.

Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!

My gown was designed by Cristiano Lucci and it was actually the very first dress I tried on.  The second I put on the dress that was ten sizes to big for me and held together by a million clips I started to cry. I felt like an absolute princess and my mom and sister were both in tears with me. I purchased my dress at Alexander’s Bridal Boutique that day. This dress was part of a show they were having that weekend only and on Monday the dress would be leaving the state! I guess when you know, you know. I tried on about 20 dresses after that dress and none of them even compared.

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal? 

My family is Italian and we wanted to incorporate our heritage into our special day. We made our homemade limoncello for the favors. Each place setting had five almonds with a poem that read “Five sugared almonds for each guest to eat, to remind us that life is both bitter and sweet. Five wishes for the new husband and wife: Health, Wealth, Happiness, Children, and a Long Life.” When our guests arrived we had people to pass out custom fans with our name and wedding date on them. Our seating chart was on the full-length mirror, which made a nice appearance. And lastly our table numbers were custom made with our baby pictures for each table.

What was the most memorable part of the day?

The most memorable part of our day would have to be the ceremony. Walking down the aisle to a completely full church with my dad, seeing my husband waiting at the altar for me with my now brother in law, our first kiss as husband and wife, and lastly walking out of the church and mingling with our family and friends in the front courtyard.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

Zach and I met in high school. We both attended LaSalle Academy where Zach was a football player and I was a cheerleader. Love at first sight seems like something that only happens in movies but we just clicked. A few months after meeting and becoming close friends, Zach asked me to be his girlfriend on St. Patrick’s Day. Fast-forward ten years later after we both graduated from the University of Rhode Island and our families decided to spend Mother’s Day Together. We were out by the water taking a family photo while we were waiting for our table and that was when our families moved aside and Zach got down on one knee and asked me to spend the rest of my life with him.

Photography: Stephanie Vegliante Photography // Florist: Town House Florist // Invitations: Paper Moon Invitations // Venue: Belle Mer, Newport RI // Wedding gown: Cristiano Lucci // Hair and Makeup: B Lovely Beauty Studio (by. Brianna Regurie) // Bridal Shoes: Christian Louboutin // Bridesmaid Dresses: Alexandria’s Bridal Boutique // Groomsman & Groom Attire: Carl Anthony

Courtney and Patrick’s wedding at The Estate Yountville checked all the beauty boxes—stunning scenery, relaxed elegance, lush florals and greenery—but it’s the stunning bride and beaming groom that truly shine. Kristine Herman Photography perfectly captured the radiance and joy of the “50/50 couple” (read on about their sand ceremony) in these images of their big day coordinated by Brannan Events with florals by Julie Stevens Design.

Click to expand for more

What made the wedding special and unique?

Patrick and I wanted all of our family and friends to get to know each other before the big day, so in the days leading up to our wedding we organized wine tasting adventures and a get together in Yountville’s Veteran’s Park where all of our guests gathered, and strangers turned into familiar faces. Everyone on the dance floor knew each other, that was so special to us!

We had a sand ceremony symbolizing our 50/50 commitment to each other. Courtney’s dad once told her at the beginning of our 8 year relationship that, “A relationship only works if each person is putting in their share, it has to be 50/50!”

Patrick and I went around the entire wedding party table at our wedding dinner and said a special something about all of our bridesmaids and groomsmen. we wanted everyone to know why those people are so special to us that we asked them to witness and stand by our side on our wedding day.

Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!

I wanted a modern, form fitting long sleeve lace dress and searched far and near to find it! We went to Chicago where my mom, sister, grandma, aunt and now mother-in-law first shopped for my dress. We didn’t walk away with anything, so when I got home to San Francisco, we went to several more shops and finally found my gown at Sarah Seven which is literally a 5 min walk from my house. My gown is called the Venice, but like all Sarah Seven dresses it was made custom. I added the Del Mar Skirt, a scalloped V back and buttons along the zipper on the back. The one request from my husband was an open back! He was happy!

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?

My cousin, Andrew Raponi, who is one of my best friends (we’re only 6 months apart) played an acoustic version of “perfect” as we walked down the aisle.

Both of my parents said “We Do” when our officiant (my uncle Tom Raponi) asked “who presents this woman”.

For our first look, we were in the middle of a vineyard, and it felt like we were the only two people on the planet! Our immediate families were able to peek through the vines and we all celebrated with a champagne post after, in flute glasses my parents gifted us right then with our C/P logo on them.

What was the most memorable part of the day?

Walking down the aisle with my dad! I’ve been dreaming of that day my entire life; well at least from the first time I saw Father of the Bride. In fact, the movie had quite a significant role in our wedding. It was mentioned in my Dad’s rehearsal dinner speech where he reenacted the first scene when Steve Martin does his monologue and it was also mentioned in my vows to Patrick.

Our grand entrance into the Barrel Room for our first dance! Our coordinator had our wedding party create a tunnel for us to go through on our way in, where we found a live saxophone player playing along to our favorite song. We did not rehearse it, but it went perfect! We nailed it!

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

8 years ago, Patrick and I meet in entrepreneurship class in our last year, last semester in college at the University of Colorado in Boulder, CO. On the first day of class, we had to go around the room and say something interesting about ourselves and I said that I circumnavigated the world on Semester at Sea. After class Patrick called me out and said that I didn’t go on SAS because he just went and I wasn’t on his boat! Turns out, he went on the Fall semester and I went on the prior Spring semester boat. The following Friday night, we crossed paths at a bar, danced the night away and have been by each other’s side ever since! After college, we both moved to Denver and had a blast living with our best friends, going out and exploring the city together. About four years ago, we moved to San Francisco to further our careers and fell in love with the city and wine country!

About a month ago, Patrick proposed on the beautiful island of Kauai. We did an intense, 15 mile in/out backpacking trip along the Na Pali Coast, one of the hardest things we’ve ever done. We hiked along the coast and ended at Kalalau Beach where we camped for two nights. The second day, we were basically the only ones on a mile-long beach exploring, soaking up the sun and having the most unforgettable day. That night, we ate dinner early to watch the sunset, and Patrick brought a drone with him to “capture the moment” little did I know. He was playing around with the drone and I was getting annoyed that he wouldn’t sit down and watch the sunset with me. When he got the drone in the perfect spot, he asked me to come try and fly it, handed me the remote and then asked me to turn around. I threw the remote when I saw him on his knee! It was magical, pure magic. We barely slept that night we were so excited, but had to get up early the next morning to hike back and were planning to relax at our resort for the rest of the week. When we arrived to the resort, we pulled our Jeep into the valet circle and when I got out of the car my mom’s head poked out from behind a pole, then my dad’s then Patrick’s mom and dad. They came all the way to Hawaii to surprise me and spend the week celebrating with us!

Photography: Kristine Herman Photography // Coordination: Brannan Events // Florals: Julie Stevens Design // Signage and Invitations: Bloom and Buzz // Venue and Catering: The Estate Yountville // HMU: Style Bee // Dress: Sarah Seven // Shoes: Badgley Mischka