Channeling warm nights at summer camp (only in Wine Country), this bash was designed for fun—think s'mores, karaoke, and bubble guns.
But no wedding planning ever comes off without some kind of a hitch.
A few weeks before their big day, Molly Cahen and Nick Schoen learned of some unexpected construction at their wedding venue that would force them to relocate their dinner, from B.R. Cohn Winery's tree-filled olive grove to the adjacent pavilion. With this twist came good and bad: Dinner guests would closer to the dance floor this way, but they would lose out on the natural lushness and greenery of the original grove setting. The couple's wedding planner took charge along with the florist and executed a new vision with a twinkling backdrop, leafy vines strung across the pavilion rafters, and a dance floor to focus the space. "After seeing the final result, we wouldn't have wanted to reception to go any other way," says Cahen.
The day was filled with personal touches, starting with the locale. "You can't throw a horseshoe in Sonoma without hitting a gorgeous winery, but we picked B.R. Cohn because it is next door to Molly's family home where we spent a week each summer since our first year dating," said Schoen.
Upon arrival, guests were given individual notes welcoming and thanking them for their impact on their lives. The pair wrote their own vows as well as the entire ceremony, which had several traditional Jewish elements. The bride's sister officiated, while her brother belted out "Take Me out to the Ballgame," which was also sung at her parents' wedding. Rather than the traditional flower girl and ring bearer, they designated children at the wedding to be part of the "bubble brigade," arming them with bubble guns to fire as they recessed back down the aisle. At the end, they lit a lantern in memory of those no longer with them.
Afterwards, guests sipped vino while listening to a bluegrass band before grabbing their escort cards—written on wood slide ornaments to emulate an annual take-home keepsake from Cahen's summer camp growing up—to find their seats. The bride and groom, both comedians, emceed the evening themselves, running through award-show style banter and introducing their loved ones to give toasts.
More surprises came in the form of cue cards and karaoke in the maid of honor's speech, a happy birthday song with candles rather than a traditional cake cutting for Cahen's friend, and a surprise light-up balloon send off orchestrated by Cahen's mother. "We love surprises! But we do recommend that anyone considering a surprise element to a wedding get in touch with the event planner or DJ to help make sure things go smoothly without disrupting the hard work the couple has put into their timeline."
By then, the bride had changed into a knee-length frock and ruby sneakers for dancing. To commemorate her favorite movie, The Wizard of Oz, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" played for the bridal processional and "Goodbye Yellowbrick Road" for the last dance. More elements reminiscent of camp included the daisies in the bouquet, s'mores, and the choreographed dance Cahen and her friends did to the Jackson 5. They even brought out mouse ears for their send off in an ode to their shared love of Disneyland.
Venue: BR Cohn Winery
Hair and makeup: St. James Salon
Floral designer: Marbled Mint
Event planner: Milestone Events Group
Caterer: The Girl and the Fig
Photographer: Onelove Photography