(Christophe Genty Photography)

Wedding Inspiration: Quintessentially Californian at Cornerstone Sonoma

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If you can envision styling a Sonoma garden with furnishings from Restoration Hardware and California eucalyptus, then you can imagine the sunshine-y wedding of Sarah Severe and Stephen Shmitt, who returned from their native Chicago to marry in the place where they fell in love.

"When we got engaged, we thought there couldn't be a more beautiful place to get married than in one of the vineyards," the bride recalls


Capturing the essence of the valley, the two selected the iconic Cornerstone Sonoma for an elevated al fresco ceremony overlooking the vineyards. A spacious tent was erected for dinner and dancing, ad plush leather sofas were placed about for lounge-y vibes. Their "modern rustic" theme included wood tables, lots of candles and greenery, string lights, and a glittering chandelier.

In a "minimalist California look," Severe strolled down the aisle in a high neck, fitted gown with baby's breath tucked into curled locks. The bridal party, adorned in floor-length blush frocks, held loose bouquets bursting with pinks, purples, and a pop of orange.

"I kept our colors neutral—shades of blush and dusty pink for the bridesmaid dresses, groomsmen in classic black tuxes, white table cloths and menus—and let the natural beauty of Cornerstone come to life," says Severe.

In true Wine Country spirit, they harnessed their inner foodies and went all out. "We had three different food stations with wine pairings at each for dinner. During the cocktail hour we had an oyster bar with a shucker." At the end of the night, they surprised guests with a dance they created (they had been taking lessons) and showed off their moves to "You Are the Best Thing" by Ray LaMontagne.


Venue: Cornerstone Sonoma

Dress: Sarah Seven

Hair: Unique Sonoma Salon

Floral designer: Julie Stevens Design

Event planner: Napa Valley Custom Events

Caterer: Park Avenue Catering Co.

Rentals: Encore Events Rentals

Photographer: Christophe Genty Photography

Video: AVR Films

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