This past weekend was one of our favorite weddings ever. Liz and Kevin were married at Cline Cellars in Sonoma, and it was truly a reflection of them as a couple and of the joining of their two families.
Liz & Kevin…no words can express how grateful we are to you for trusting us to capture your big day. We knew it was going to be an awesome wedding, but we had no idea it was going to be this awesome. You two are absolutely stunning, inside and out. Best wishes and cheers many, many more wine bottles on future anniversaries!
We started the day bright and early with a traditional tea ceremony at the Cline Villa…
They don’t make it easy to get your girl here! Kevin, his groomsmen, and various family members on both the bride and groom’s sides had to limbo under three progressively lower steams of ribbon– to show flexibility in a marriage.
We got some pretty awesome reactions!
Next up was a test of groom’s endurance to be strong for his bride (and to show his prowess as a lover, hehe)– the guys had to do 299 push ups.
One-armed push ups!
And some poses for Chris’ camera:
Next, Kevin had to choose Liz’s lipstick print from a few others…
Unfortunately, he chose the wrong one! The punishment, which was to remind him not to cheat on his wife, was choosing various mah-jong tiles out of a bucket of ice. His reaction here is priceless!
His best man, Nick, cheered him on:
And in the end, Kevin prevailed, numb toes and all!
The mah-jong tiles Kevin had to pick out were 1314, which means “lifetime,” meaning he has pledged to love Liz for a lifetime despite the tough times (and he promises not to mistake her for another woman ever again!).
But wait! There’s more! Kevin had to taste something sweet, something sour, something bitter, and something spicy, each of which represented an aspect of married life.
He took it like a man and did the worst one first…which we later found out was cider vinegar (!!!).
Nick helped him out again–
And finally Kevin gets his bride! :)
The tea ceremony is a time-honored tradition honoring the elders of both sides of the family. The white lotus seeds (lean ji) in the tea cups and tray symbolize how many children the couple will have.
In exchange for tea, the elders give the couple lucky envelopes (usually red, sometimes gold) and words of advice about married life.
Many of Liz’s relatives flew halfway around the world from Hong Kong, including Auntie Mary, Uncle Eric, and Auntie Sankey, so it was an especially meaningful tea ceremony.
Uncle Gareth is Liz’s dad’s sifu (master/teacher), and when he held her as a baby, he knew she was going to be a beauty!
Auntie Eileen, Kevin’s godmother, really enjoyed this tradition.
After the tea ceremony, we had some time to relax.
Liz’s gorgeous Vera Wang gown:
Hot pink– it’s Liz’s signature color.
Brides & grooms, this is why having a well-padded timeline is so awesome– not only was Liz one of the most relaxed brides I’ve ever come across, the girls had time to enjoy a few glasses of champagne! :)
Love this moment between Liz and her mom:
Liz…seriously?! You are GORGEOUS.
The girls and I headed to the Adobe Mission Inn for some group photos…the light was absolutely beautiful!
The guys got ready nearby at Villa Verato (and by got ready I mean they hung out for a few hours, swimming, tossing around a football, and being guys in general).
Again, the benefits of having a well-padded timeline: guys were able to spend some time at the top of Syrah Hill, swapping old stories over a few beers.
Chris was taking a group photo, and all of a sudden, Kevin was upside down!
Ceremony time! Love this photo of Liz and her dad right before they started walking down the aisle/lawn:
Liz is the oldest and only daughter, so her daddy was especially proud…
Since there were two of us, we were able to get both reactions of the hand off. They have a special relationship and it’s apparent in these photos.
During their vows…Dan (the officiant): “Do you, Liz, take Kevin to be your lawfully wedded husband?”
Liz: “My what?!” LOL
We absolutely love it when couples set aside time for the 10-minute rule (and we’ll go over this more in a future post!). In a nutshell, immediately after the ceremony, we take you to a spot away from family and friends for just a few minutes to let you bask in the glow of literally being “just married.”
Kevin admiring Liz’s dress :)
Afterwards, we went back to the lawn for family photos…
While their guests enjoyed cocktail hour, we wandered around Cline’s vineyards for a few portraits.
The reception was…I can’t even begin to describe how beautiful it was in there. Heather and her team at Holliday Weddings did an AMAZING job!
This ring shot is probably my favorite one:
Liz and Kevin are huge wine enthusiasts, and their sign-in table was exactly a reflection of that. Guests signed 4 huge bottles– one was opened that night, and the others will be opened on their first, fifth, and tenth anniversaries.
The table cards and centerpieces were equally unique: each centerpiece was a bottle from a different winery, along with a story from Liz and Kevin’s relationship. LOVE this idea!
Table 1, the sweetheart table, had a bottle from Audelssa– after a recent change in ownership, the winery is starting anew, just like Liz and Kevin.
The bride and groom cake pops were made by my good friend Steph (who taught me how to make these). Steph is Liz’s brother’s girlfriend, and she’s one of our biggest supporters as Chris and I grow our business. Love ya, Steph!
Cupcakes from Sift!
All those signed bottles at the end of the night!
We’ll end on this note: Liz & Kevin surrounded by their closest friends and family as the last song ended their best day.
Of course, a shout out to the amazing team of vendors!
Preparations, ceremony, and reception: Cline Cellars, with special thanks to Anita and Alex Yuen
Coordinators: Heather Holliday, Holliday Weddings
Officiant: Daniel Duett
Band: The Fundamentals
Cupcakes: Sift Cupcakes
Cake pops: Steph Yuen
Flowers: Tutti Fiori
Catering: Park Avenue Catering
Wedding gown: White by Vera Wang
Hair: Milvali Salon
Makeup: Ani Troselj
Ceremony musicians: AMS Wine Country Music
Lighting: Got Light
Transportation: Royal Coach Tours