Local couples had a blast this summer (and spring) celebrating their love and commitment with family and friends. From heart-warming tales of romantic triumph to the drama of logistical snafus and allergic reactions ... we’re here to tell you more.
A walnut tree played a supporting (and dramatic) role on June 13 in Calistoga at the outdoor wedding of Sophie Middlebrook and Boe Hayward.
“Meet Us Under the Walnut Tree” trumpeted the couple’s stylish and very creative save-the-date card which arrived in a box with a real walnut.
When the actual invites (also designed by 13Creative) dropped, that “walnut tree” theme was again realized in print: the cover of the invite appearing as a tree trunk with the names “Sophie and Boe” carved upon its bark.
The only problem with all of this (we’ll get to Jack, the blind Black Labrador wedding guest, later) was that pesky walnut tree. 10 weeks before their wedding, the owner of the couple’s chosen rusti-gant Calistoga location went into foreclosure. Along with his big, ol’ walnut tree under which the couple had planned to hold their ceremony.
Sophie Middlebrook wed Boe Hayward under a walnut tree on June 13 in Calistoga
“Liz Horton, our wedding planner-guardian angel went into overdrive to find us a new location, and managed to find us a more beautiful winery, Graeser, that was not only NOT in foreclosure, but also had a walnut tree for us,” explained Sophie, the relieved and delighted bride. “She put together the pieces of the wedding in record time, and we still had our walnut tree.”
The bride works as a Preservation Planner with the city of San Francisco’s Planning Department.
Sophie Middlebrook Hayward is the daughter of Gena Disabatino and Prof. Jonathan Middlebrook. She is a native San Franciscan who attended Wesleyan University, followed by graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania.
The bridegroom works in City Hall as a Legislative Aide to Supervisor Bevan Dufty, who performed the couple’s wedding ceremony under that walnut tree.
Boe Hayward is the son of Susie Boeing and is, also (and rightly proud of it), a native San Franciscan. He attended the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Special members of their wedding party included Boe’s grandfather, Bob Hayward, who served as his grandson’s Best Man. And the couple’s dog, Dusty the Golden Retriever, who, adorned in garland wreath, expertly walked her master down the aisle.
Post-ceremony guests sat at tables set on the winery’s lawn as Sophie’s father, Jonathan Middlebrook, welcomed everyone with a toast.
“To my lovely daughter, Mrs. Hayward,” he announced, his voice catching slightly in his throat. “That was hard -- I’m breaking a habit of 33 years!”
Bob Hayward shared with the crowd his great joy in being asked to stand up as Best Man. He got a bit verklempt, too, as he he spoke with pride about his grandson, who calls his grandfather, a military veteran, every Memorial Day to thank him for his service to our nation.
And while Boe professed intimidation at following the toasts of two English professors (Sophie’s father and Sophie’s half-sister, Leah Middlebrook) and his eloquent grandfather, he still managed to hit a home run as he paid tribute to his bride.
“I’m the luckiest man in the world!” exclaimed Boe, exultantly about his beautiful bride.
When it came time to cut the cake, it was discovered that the cake had already been visited by a pastry-loving guest who left his paw prints as evidence. And though Jack, the blind Black Lab, may have trouble with his vision, he obviously has no trouble with his sense of smell.
However, all was well and the ending, sweet. Especially as there was also strawberry shortcake that was served in addition to the cake.
After much merriment and dancing beneath the starry sky, the happy couple headed off for a honeymoon in French Polynesia. A tropical topography where nary grows a walnut tree.
See more photos below
Father-of-the-Bride Jonathan Middlebrook, Mother-of-the-Groom Susie Boeing and Supervisor Bevan Dufty who performed the ceremony
Best Man Bob Hayward, Sophie Middlebrook Hayward, her husband, Boe Hayward and Boe's grandmother, Kathryn Hayward
The walnut tree at Graeser Winery where the ceremony was held