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Wedding We Love: Endless Love in Sonoma

Photography by Lauren Ross

Abbey Banks & John Jakubowski
July 31st, Sonoma

One fateful night in January 2006, two strangers—set up on a blind date through a mutual friend—met for dinner at Indigo restaurant in Hayes Valley. “I spent the entire time talking about myself. I thought John was the most amazing listener,” recalls Abbey. “The next time we met, he actually apologized to me for having talked so much. He thought I was the most amazing listener he had ever met.” Their conversational chemistry hasn’t waned since, except for a brief blip a few years later, when John proposed to Abbey under a Moroccan lantern-lit trellis he'd built especially for the occasion. In that moment, all she could muster was “yes.”

(Left) Creative finger signing by the couple spells out one theme of the day. (Top Right) The couple recited their own vows during the Buddhist ceremony. Abbey treasures this one from John: “You fit me like a button fits a buttonhole.” (Bottom Right) Abbey’s something borrowed was her mother’s 25th-anniversary yellow diamond ring, which she wore during the ceremony.

(Top Left) The ceremony site at The Ruins in Annadel Estate, a flower farm in Sonoma. (Mid Left) “Even the boutonnieres are wild, natural and chaotic, yet understated,” says the bride. (Bottom Left) To tie into the other theme of “longevity,” Abbey chose everlasting billy buttons, succulents and manzanitas for her wedding bouquet, which is still going strong months later. (Right) The bride calls this post-ceremony moment the “we-did-it strut.”

(Top) The rustic, family-style reception dinner was served on old wooden tables with centerpieces that guests were encouraged to take home and replant or repurpose. “Besides being eco-friendly, our sustainable arrangements signified our constant love,” says Abbey. (Left) Guests’ gift bags were filled with locavore delights such as molasses cookies, nuts and honey. (Right) The plates of seasonal tartlets included one-bite blueberry, blackberry and strawberry morsels.

(Left) The white-chocolate-dipped cheesecake lollipops were a hit with the crowd. (Right) To contribute to the organic ambiance, each of the 19 tables at the reception was named after a different herb. (Below) John surprised his new wife by choosing her favorite song, Elvis Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love” for their first dance.

Location: Annadel Estate,
Event Planning: AE Planning + Design,
Catering: Living Room Events,
Flowers: Atelier Joya,
Stationery: Hello!Lucky,
Photography: Lauren Ross,
Gown: Nicole Miller,
Groom’s Suit: Versace,
Hair & Makeup: Winc Artistry,
Lighting: Refraction,
Rentals: Classic Party Rentals,

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