You fall in love with someone and decide to get married. You search and find the perfect venue, dress, suit, shoes, florist, photographer, invitations, caterer and on and on and on. Planning a wedding is a ton of work, so you better believe that every couple wants the perfect weather too. “Rain on your wedding day is good luck” … “Rain makes the wedding knot tighter”. Sure.
I think it came as a shock to everyone when the weather for Marisa & Zach’s Northern California wedding didn’t look so… wedding-like. I’m sure like me, everyone was glued to that 10 day forecast, checking it everyday multiple times. The storm system was just not budging.
When the email came in that Plan B, the rain plan, was moving into effect, I think everyone involved with the wedding felt a little saddened. Except I’m thinking the tent rental company, they kind of have to love Plan B!
BUT imagine this, what if Plan B was really Plan A+? Well I am here to show you that Plan B was like unicorns and rainbows- well actually just one rainbow. But an awesome rainbow!
Plan B was simply spectacular and this lovely couple deserved it all, especially that rainbow!
Just down the road from the winery, Marisa got ready surrounded by her leading ladies at a lovely home they rented out from VRBO.
Well there was one little dude, but with a smile like that he was allowed to hang with the ladies!
Marisa and Zach made an ethical choice for their rings from Brilliant Earth, a company that only uses conflict free jewels. Since Marisa and Zach are both nurses, the stethoscope made the perfect little nest for the rings to be photographed!
Marisa’s hair looked so amazing, it was perfectly curled and braided by the talented Diadra of Wash & Brushup Co.
It was time to go and the dress was in good hands with Marisa’s sister-in-law! While all the girl primping was happening, the guys were getting ready at the Hotel Les Mars.The guys do not have to do much except watch sports, have a few drinks and eventually tie a tie and their shoes. But they do clean up nice!When I asked Marisa and Zach why they chose Arista Winery, they told me that when they visited other venues the actual place did not look as good as the pictures. But when they arrived at Arista, the place was even better than the pictures! They loved the charm and beauty of it all and were blown away by the staff, especially wedding planners, Meredith and Taylor. The ladies tucked themselves away in the tasting room. As you can see it’s still not raining but the sky was threatening. Marisa’s dress so masterfully created by Hayley Paige! Sure it was cool to hang it and get this image but this dress cannot be truly appreciated until you see it on Marisa! Take a tip from this bride and stay on your getting ready timeline on your wedding day! She arrived at her venue with some time to hang out and enjoy herself with her ladies! Zach and his guys headed up the hill to the Pavilion to make sure he didn’t see Marisa. One of the incredible aspects of this venue is how the layout can be used for different parts of the wedding day. For this wedding, the ceremony was behind the tasting room but for other weddings the ceremony might be up the hill at the Pavilion. There are so many options to customize your wedding at Arista. Back in the tasting room it was time for Marisa to get dressed!Zach’s Mom and Marisa’s sister-in-law beamed with happiness!
With the guys wayyyyy out of site, the ladies headed to the charming Japanese garden outside the tasting room for the last touches of getting ready. This dress! Marisa in this dress! Awwww, Mom’s little girl all grown up! Such a sweet moment!
Not only did Marisa have some time to hang with her ladies but we also had time to take just some pictures of her! I was in photo heaven and secretly praising Mother Nature for holding on to her raindrops! Can you believe this bouquet? Incredible! All the floral design and work was just stunning. Job well done by The Bloomery Co!The ceremony was held at the Front Lawn. It’s a space that’s perfect for a smaller wedding such as this or even a cocktail hour. Everything looked so sensational and the sky just was making it even more exciting and dramatic!
Beautiful details everywhere you looked!I even got some time to photograph the handsome groom! His sharp suit was created by Christian Roche. How cool is that under the collar detail!? No excuses now for forgetting the anniversary!
It was time for the ceremony to start. The guys headed down and Marisa headed back to the tasting room. Zach escorted his Mother down the aisle. Can you feel the love?! With music playing and excitement in the air, Marisa appeared into sight with her parents. Zach’s face erupted into the biggest smile at the first glimpse of his beautiful bride!So much love at this wedding!
The ceremony began and was wonderfully officiated by their good friend Dean Baxter. Marisa and Zach exchanged vows……then rings.
With a stomp of a foot, Zach shattered the glass!Then he kissed his bride!!!Married!!!!!!!!! Mazel Tov!!Whoot! Whoot!
While the newlyweds shared a few minutes together in their newlywed bliss, I got to spend some blissful minutes with this incredible bouquet!The guests were taken up the hill to enjoy cocktail hour and we were busy having some fun photographing Marisa and Zach around the property and taking advantage of the dry weather.So much happiness!Everywhere you turn at Arista there is a place to take pictures! This venue is a DREAM for weddings!And yes, this couple considered the pen that held the goats to be one of those places for pictures! They risked being bitten, stepping on poop and anything else that can happen with animals because they just love them so. And the animals loved them too and played nice!Marisa wore her Mother’s veil! And with a little wind and some magic it performed so beautifully for some photographs!We hopped on the Hummer driven by Meredith and headed up the hill. We were only halfway up when we were surrounded by the vineyards. The view seemed endless and was awe-inspiring. Of course we headed into them for some photographs, I mean this place is all about the wine!Marisa’s Dad who was enjoying the said wine came by to say hello!Besides the fact that these two were radiating such joy, do you notice anything?!?! The light changed. And just like that it became a sunny day! Mother nature decided to take her full gray clouds to the next town and let her rain drop! The sun delivered it’s wedding gift, some powerful and amazing rays of sunshine!Sun + lavender + love!!! Yes!!
Having resigned to the fact that it was probably going to rain, I had personally just been happy that it was dry during Marisa and Zach’s ceremony. I kept saying in my head, “Just let them get married outside in dry weather. Just let them get married outside in dry weather. Just let them get married outside in dry weather. ” You get the drill. It was a total unexpected bonus that the sun was out and lighting up Marisa’s glorious dress and shining down upon everyone!Marisa and Zach strolled up the road soaking up the glory!
At the Pavilion, cocktail hour was underway. The views were amazing, the wine was delicious and everyone was celebrating the newlyweds and the good old California weather!Marisa & Zach played their personalized Cornhole game!Ha! I bet those men had no idea that a photographer was creeping up behind them for the sake of taking a cool picture!Plan B involved a tent. Was it needed? Not for rain because it never did rain! But I found that it provided a sense of intimate space that held everyone together and kept everyone cozy. Like one big group hug! The tables were set so spectacularly! Nothing at this wedding was overlooked, everything was perfect! The food was out of this world! Incredible job done by Ramekins Catering.Happiness everywhere you looked!
Admiring the new jewelry!I had to see about the incredible Oak tree outside the Pavilion being so nicely lit up by the sun. Now I’m going to tell you a secret. Wedding days inspire me to no end. If I have a couple in love I could photograph them all day long even in a dark alley! This inspiration can be a blessing and a curse, I mean, my couples need to eat and they want to be with their friends and family. Even though I want to photograph them the whole time I know I cannot. BUT this tree- this magnificent tree so perfectly illuminated by the late setting sun was begging for photographs. Envisioning Marisa and Zach walking through that light felt like it would be out of a fairytale and well, Marisa likes fairytales…As luck would have it, it just so happened that these two were moving towards the other side of the Pavilion anyway! I simply kindly asked them to walk this way rather than that way… and well, I may have done a little happy dance right there on the spot!It was time for toasts. Marisa’s Dad then Mom spoke about their love for Marisa and Zach. Don’t you just love wedding toasts? Hearing the stories choke me up every time and I especially love a tiny bit of roasting… just a little though!Cheers!Next up was Zach’s Mom. Just like Marisa’s parents’ toasts, it had everyone laughing and crying! What a lovely tribute to the newlyweds!And then there is was… the RAINBOW!!! Mother Nature’s gift and one of the many reasons why I think Plan B was really Plan A+! This rainbow might have been missed from down below. But here was a group of people loved by Marisa and Zach, perched up at the Pavilion on this gorgeous sunny early evening, basking in the glory of a rainbow!!! The incredible way Plan B turned was unexpected, magical and perfect!Move over wedding cake, it’s time for some pies!When I inquired why they chose pies over a wedding cake they said wedding cakes never seemed to impress them. So they decided to shoot for amazing flavor over tradition! I like that thinking!It was time for the first dance! A sweet moment surrounded by their loved ones!A kiss and a cheer from the crowd and then we rushed off to grab sunset while everyone else got the dance floor warmed up!Zach by this time was a photo pro! He knew just what to do for some fun pictures!!
The sunset was ready and showing off its cotton candy colors! The old Oak tree allowed for a wonderful silhouetted frame of the newlyweds!Back at the Pavilion, the wedding favors were out and the parent dances were ready to pull on some heart strings!Notice Marisa’s Mom and aunt in the background?! So sweet!
Big hugs!Then Marisa’s Dad got a big hug from his brother! Being present to capturing moments like this are what makes being a wedding photographer such an honor. It was then Zach’s turn with his Mom!Their dance was faster and feistier!Super fun!
Oh man, I’m sure I wasn’t the only one with a lump in my throat from those parent dances! But nothing like a Hora to get the energy buzzing again!I think Zach knew what was coming…..
Yep! The chairs approached from the sides and the couple was lifted into the air!
Laughter filled the room as both Marisa and Zach held on for the ride!
Once back on the ground, Zach grabbed Marisa for dear life!No time for resting though, the Hora must go on!When the Hora was done and the music came on- Zach passed his bride to her Mother and the ladies danced it out!
Everyone had so much fun dancing the night away!For those who might not have been the biggest dancers or just needed a little break, there was the candlelit tent or the amazing fire pit for relaxing!But as you can see, Alex the DJ from AMS Entertainment was doing an amazing job!The evening was coming to an end and the last song was upon us.Ending with some sweetness by the fire pit, could you imagine something better than Plan B?
The wedding day was incredible from start to finish and we couldn’t be happier for Marisa and Zach. Such a nice couple with such lovely family and friends! Marisa and Zach, thank you so much for allowing us the honor to document your wonderful wedding!
Thank you to all vendors who collaborated to make this wedidng such a dream!
Venue: Arista Winery
Caterer: Remekins Catering
Hair and Make Up: Wash & Brushup Co.
Florist: The Bloomery Co.
Rental Company: Encore Events Rentals
DJ: AMS Entertainment
Transportation: Royal Coach
Photography: Susannah Gill