Mediterranean and Jewish wedding in wine country
Sara and Stephanie honored both of their Mediterranean and Jewish cultures with an outdoor summer party in wine country in Sonoma, California. Sara proposed first in Whistler, British Columbia, and then Stephanie did a week later on the roof of their apartment building in San Francisco.
What advice would you give to engaged LGBTQ+ couples?
We were not going to have a videographer and at the last minute, we decided to. It was hands down the best decision we made.
Spend your money on what is most important to you—for us, it was the food across three days—so we had a friend do our flowers, bought a small two person cake and DIY’d most decorations.
Advice for vendors and venues working with LGBTQ+ couples?
Photographers, please ask for photo lists as the couple probably has an idea of photos they want to see from their wedding day. It’s important to get all the details, big and small, so we can remember everything, even if we didn’t get a chance to see it on the day.
Who walked down the aisle and with whom? Or who (if anyone) waited at the front?
Steph walked down the aisle first, with her mom and stepfather accompanying her. She stopped halfway down the aisle, her parents hugged her and took their seats and then Sara walked down the aisle with her parents to greet Steph. Once she reached the center, Sara’s parents took their seats and we walked the rest of the way to the chuppah together. Warren Haynes’ “I’ll Be the One” played the whole time.
What challenges did you face as an LGBTQ+ couple planning your wedding?
We were really lucky and had a great experience with all the vendors we worked with. It was a little challenging planning with family because we wanted to make our ceremony very unique to us and our parents had more traditional ideas about how it should be.
In the end, they were very supportive and went with what we wanted, but there was a lot of opinion management along the way. We ended up writing our own vows, doing the Greek Stefana exchange (wreaths), signing our marriage certificate in front of everyone (that was really important to us to have everyone witness our marriage) and breaking the glass (a traditional Jewish tradition). It was a wonderfully blended Greek, Jewish and Sicilian ceremony.
Did you encounter any pleasant surprises as an LGBTQ+ couple planning your wedding?
Everyone was really happy for us, like really happy! It was refreshing to walk into vendor’s offices and have them glow as we told them our story.
Photographer: Alanna Govenlock, Stollen Still
Venue: Private residence
Florist: Rebekka Paynter Higgins
Planner: Cuvee Wine Country Events
DJ: Christina Ladany
Jewelry: Le Vian
Videographer: Andi Wardrop/a>
Catering: Cuvee Wine Country Events
Cake Designer: Krumb’s Cakes
Officiant: Hadi El Heneidi
Rentals: Encore Events
Liquor: William Grant & Sons
Alaina Leary Lavoie
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