Today I’m stoked to bring you this elegant, intimate wedding held at the Vezer Family Vineyard’s Blue Victorian venue. With just the right amount of tradition and a whole of of intentionality, beauty & personality, it really is a pleasure to share this one.
The Oakland engagement
This couple enjoyed a sweet little engagement shoot right by Oakland’s Lake Merritt, near their home – you can read their story, how they met, the proposal story here.
The shoot was great practice for wedding day at the Blue Victorian which was happening just a few days later! Come wedding day they were absolute pros and posing like models 😉
The wedding story
Sara and Chris describe their wedding as “absolutely perfect”. Held outdoors among the vines at Solano’s Vezer Family Vineyard, the vibe of the day complemented the ceremony – relaxed, romantic, and intimate.
They wanted the ceremony to feel like a special event, but weren’t fussed with many of the super traditional aspects.
After a relaxed morning together they began to assemble the final touches. They had a relaxed lunch as a family in the backyard of the house before getting ready.
Sara and Chris are SUCH a team and wanted the wedding to feel like it represented each of them equally. They decorated together and shared little moments throughout the day. And they even walked in to the ceremony together, smiling and holding hands.
Solano wedding venue the Blue Victorian at Vezer Family Vineyard
These two tied the knot in epically romantic style in April 2019 at the Blue Victorian. It’s a stunning wedding venue nestled in the heart of rural Fairfield, Solano County CA surrounded by lush vineyards and majestic palm trees.
It forms part of the Vezer Family Vineyard and winery that is known for its Petite Sirah and Zinfandel. Incredibly, this place has followed the family tradition of wine making since 1938. It’s perfect for large weddings of up to 300 guests inside the beautiful barrel room.
Plus gorgeous, tiny outdoor ones like this, set right in the vines!
The couple wanted a whole week’s retreat for family to stay together. They wanted the wedding ceremony to be the focal point. It was an idyllic 4 days at the rented house that forms part of the Vezer Family Vineyard, enjoying beautiful wine country and the gorgeous springtime weather.
The unique arrangement of the property meant that the couple and their guests got to know each other. Every guest had traveled between 500 – 5,000 miles to be there.
Vezer accommodation is only 5 minutes’ drive from the ceremony and is super pretty! It’s really convenient for adult groups like this, with 5 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms.
Designing their Vezer wedding day
The couple’s priorities from the beginning was that the entire event felt “like them.”
Sara and Chris had something in common with my own wedding celebrations, in that Chris going to be moving from the UK subject to his fiancé visa.
As per the K1 visa rules, weddings must take place within 90 days. That doesn’t leave too long for planning and getting everything in order for the wedding. There is also uncertainty to deal with!
And boy I know exactly what that’s like. Trying to plan a wedding when you’re not sure both parties will be in the same country, is tough.
Luckily the staff at Vezer were wonderfully accommodating. Pam there prioritized the flexibility that was an inevitable part of this couple’s planning process.
This is an amazing benefit of getting married on a weekday during the wedding off-season! Vendors can be super flexible!
The wedding vibe: quiet, intentional, relaxed & emotive.
There is a quiet joy that pervades all of Sara and Chris’ wedding and is visible in the images. In Sara’s first email she said “we love the idea of having someone capture our day, including the small moments.”
And there were so many delightful small moments during this wedding. From the quiet ritual of getting ready to the ceremony to the dance and the toasts.
They passed on ‘first look’ that’s common these days, when the bride taps the groom’s shoulder – deeming it too cheesy.
Instead Sara traveled separately to the venue as Chris waited and I captured his face just as he saw her! An unstaged, informal first look was what they wanted. They then walked up the aisle together.
Their wedding was intentionally very simple and pared-down but retained some traditional elements. I was struck by the real sense of occasion they curated despite the small VIP guest list of just 7.
Flowers and many dinner ingredients were home-grown in the gardens of the amazing floral designer and chef.
The rented arch and table were made from repurposed wood. Fleeting Moments, the videographer specializes in small weddings, and understood how to capture the day.
They included a poignant “ring warming” – with each of the seven guests taking a turn to hold the wedding rings and quietly and intentionally instill their best wishes for the couple and their life together before they exchanged the rings
Wedding week was the first time both respective parents meet, so it was wonderful to capture some memories of those little interactions for the day.
The photography coverage – short & sweet weekday wedding!
We fit all this into just 4 hours, which is something that just wouldn’t be possible for a larger wedding.
Also I loved that this was a weekday wedding, so I was able to offer a much shorter coverage time than say a Saturday during the wedding season.
I photographed mostly candid-style, except for the posed portraits and capturing the details. I love picking up on and preempting the little moments, plus it’s more unobtrusive too.
The bigger a wedding gets, the more it tends towards a production, even a performance of sorts. Guests can feel like spectators rather than participants. This one really honored what the couple wanted for this family-led celebration.
They had a BIG wedding bash in October 2019 over at Camp Mendocino! I’m excited to share that one soon!
With a killer vendor team, and such heart and soul this wedding was really one for the books. I can’t wait to shoot at Vezer’s beautiful Solano wedding venue the Blue Victorian again. Congratulations, Sara and Chris!
Vendor love //
Featured One Fab Day
Venue The Blue Victorian at Vezer Family Vineyard
Photography Zoe Larkin Photography
Florals Flower Mama
Dress The Wedding Party
Rentals French Events Rents
HMUA Whimsy Katie
Officiant Matt Marries You
Videography Fleeting Moments Cinema