Rustic Vintage Weddings
A Vintage Fur Cape for a Romantic Winter Wedding in the Snow
Ooooh today’s Winter Wedding is just so utterly gorgeous and romantic it is sure to have you swooning from the very first image. In a palette of soft neutrals, with more than a splash of gold, Bess & Austin’s snowy celebration is a Winter Wonderland brimming with rustic elegance and heart warming details…..
After 8 years together, Bess & Austin were married on a magical snow-filled day in the middle of Winter – their favourite time of year! And at one of my absolute favourite venues (ever since I saw this beautiful photo almost 3 years ago) Union Hill Inn, Sonora California.
“We wanted our wedding to be intimate yet fun, emotional yet light, and deeply personal yet inclusive. We accomplished this by having a mini destination wedding in a small town where everyone would be together, having our close mutual friend (Stephen Brown) officiate a ceremony we all worked together to design, writing and delivering our own vows, having a big bridal party yet just our siblings with us at the alter, and storytelling through decor wherever possible.” The vision for their day was really quite simple, but the result was absolutely breathtaking!
Full of elegance, romance, snow and soft candlelight; as well as positively brimming with the most gorgeous details including individual lanterns & custom matchboxes for guests at the ceremony, chalkboard signs created by Swoon Custom Chalk, sweet custom madlibs, gold dipped decor and vintage cow bells for the reception (you’ll have to read on to learn why)..…oh and just wait until you see the cake! The elegant styling of this romantic wedding is a master class on how to celebrate a Winter wedding, without it feeling like Christmas; and how to dress for the season yet remain stylish and chic. It is absolutely my idea of heaven!
Maison De LaCroix created Bess’s pretty Winter bouquet!
“While the decision to have a winter wedding was mainly to coincide with the baseball off-season so that our friends who play could be there, it is also our favorite time of year. We both come from families with Moms who, combined, account for 96% of holiday decor sales annually. Austin’s family is seriously good at Christmas, and I grew up in a home where there was always a fire burning (real, not gas) and candles lit. I also went to high school at an all girls school where sweater weather was highly anticipated and hot chocolate was frequently consumed. We decided we wanted a wedding that harnessed the magic, spirit, coziness, and peace of the season, without being overtly holiday themed.”
“My favorite part of evening Christmas Eve church service growing up was the candle lighting ceremony. Everyone receives a candle as they walk in, which are later used to illuminate the church as the lights are turned off and music plays. We decided to re-create this at our wedding, which ended up being quite the perfect solution to the power outage! Everyone kept their candles lit even after our guitarist Jason finished singing, then using them to light the way to cocktails! What an unforgettable view we had from the alter.”
“Our table assignments were done with vintage cowbells. Not only did I (unwillingly) receive the nickname ‘Bessy the Cow’ at summer camp, but my Mom Bambi was infamous for ringing a cowbell to corral my brothers and I in for dinner and to communicate her enthusiasm at all of our athletic events.”
“Instead of table numbers, we named each table after important places in our lives and relationship, including the dorm where we first met (Branner), the baseball and lacrosse fields (Sunken Diamond and Maloney Field) where we played our games throughout college, our favorite study spot (CoHo), our first date spot (Cheesecake Factory), and our favorite restaurant in San Francisco (Frascati). At each table we included a fun story about the significance of each place and people involved in our experiences.We also had custom madlibs created for each place setting and had SO much fun reading through all the responses when we were back at home after the wedding and honeymoon.”
You see this is why I love a Winter wedding (and was a Winter bride) the lighting just adds to the intimacy and romance!
Pearls of Wedding Wisdom….
Bess has 5 pearls for all of you just starting out on your wedding planning journey, and they are the sort of snippets I wish I had read as a newly engaged bride-to-be rushing head first into the excitement of wedding planning – so take note!
“1. Take every opportunity to turn a wedding task into a fun date or activity. Turn a food tasting into an impromptu overnight getaway or date night, stuff invitation envelopes as a catch up session with a group of friends, or work on budgeting together over a mimosa brunch.
2. Things WILL happen that you didn’t plan for, that you can’t plan for. Perhaps it won’t be an epic snowstorm the night before your wedding, or a city wide power outage the day of, but it will be something. I promise that these are the very things that will lead to some of your favorite stories and memories.
3. Build in some private time with your new husband or wife right after you get married and before you join the party to appreciate each other, that moment, and everything and everyone around you. This was some of the best advice I was given by a close friend. I’ll never forget it.
4. Pick vendors whose work you love, but more importantly, who you love as people. They can be the most unexpected support system you have on your big day.
5. Remember to take care of yourself. There are times you will feel overwhelmed. Remember to do things that help you keep perspective. Get a massage, exercise, sit with a good friend and cry or laugh, read, go outside, hold a puppy….”
“Austin and I both love neutral colors and rustic/reclaimed decor, and it’s no secret that I love gold touches. Finding our dream venue in Gold Country was serendipitous and so gold became a major motif. Gold dipped candles, gold dipped vases, gold dipped antlers for centerpieces, gold dipped bark pencils to complete the madlibs, gold dipped A&B letters, and whatever else Christie and PJ could get their hands on to dip. I remember walking into the reception hall after our first look (before the ceremony and before the power came back on) and literally having my breath taken away by what those two amazing ladies had done.”
“Our best memories of the day? Waking up to a snowy winter wonderland and a massive power outage, standing at the alter with our officiant and dear friend Stephen Brown (“Brownie”) who was a classmate of ours at Stanford and has known each of us since the very beginning; sharing the vows we wrote with one another, watching our wedding party dance into the reception to “Save a Horse Ride a Cowboy”; and our first dance that we had so much fun learning and practicing with our incredibly talented choreographer and friend, Annemarie Of The 8Count. Also, we decided to skip part of the cocktail hour to enjoy some private time, appetizers, and our signature drinks by the fireplace at the alter. As we lifted our glasses for a toast, we heard a thunderous roar from the barn chapel below as our guests celebrated the power coming back on. Right in time for the reception!”
Many congratulations Bess & Austin, I can’t think of a more perfect way to start the new week! A HUGE thankyou to you and Onelove Photography for allowing me to share your magical Winter wedding here on Chic Vintage Brides. If, like me, you can’t get enough of the wonderful photography, then you can see more here on the OneLove website and follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
If Bess & Austin’s wedding has you dreaming of a Christmas or snow-filled celebration for your own big day, then you might want to take a peek at this gorgeous rustic winter wedding inspriation in holiday hues, or this enchanting winter bridal editorial in moody shades of blue, or for something a little more neutral this rustic winter wedding inspiration board is a must see!
Photography ~ Onelove Photography // Venue ~ Union Hill Inn // Videography ~ Amari Productions // Wedding Dress ~ Jin Wang // Accessories ~ Mignonne Handmade // Florals ~ Maison De LaCroix // Wedding Cake ~ Corner Space Cakes // Stationery ~ Compass & Cloud // Stationery Calligraphy & Design ~ Brown Fox Calligraphy // Bridal Jewelry ~ BHLDN // Jewelry ~ Elle-même // Catering ~ Lunch Lady Catering // Hair & Makeup ~ Minia Makeup // Lighting ~ Classic Party Rentals // DJ ~ DJ 2Degrees // Band ~ Before The Brave // Groom’s Attire ~ Taylor Stitch // Groomsmen’s Attire ~ The Cordial Churchman // Groomsmen’s Attire ~ JCrew // Bridesmaid’s Fur ~ SC Love Collections // Chalkboard Art ~ Swoon Custom Chalk // Event Design & Coordination ~ Christie & PJ Of Going Lovely // First Dance Choreographer ~ Annemarie Of The 8Count // Rentals ~ Milk Glass Vintage Rentals // Shoe Designer ~ Sole Society // Transportation ~ VIA // Wedding Candy ~ The Candy Store