Set amidst a seemingly endless sea of grapevines and within earshot of the Russian River, is Jennifer's family's gorgeous Healdsburg home, and the site of their late spring wedding in Sonoma County. As I write this blog from Portugal, it feels ironic that we stood out to the bride not only by our photography, but by our name, Viera. The surname has been americanized from the original Vieira family name that my great-grandfather brought with him when he emigrated to the United States over 100 years ago. Jennifer's paternal lineage is Portuguese as well and that was all it took for our conversation to take off.
Though still a few days shy of its official beginning, it definitely felt summer-like in Sonoma County with temperatures soaring to over 100 degrees on the day. Despite the heat and the inherent pressure of the wedding itself, Jennifer maintained an ethereal coolness that defied the elements. The vibrant reds in the bridesmaids dresses and the groomsmen's ties added a sharp pop of color to the late spring palette of straw and green earth tone colors. Guests were seated in the back yard of the home which papa Joe had just finished landscaping and hardscaping to accommodate the nearly 200 guests that would be descending upon their Healdsburg wedding. Portuguese guitarists set the tone as Antonio led first his mother, then Jennifer's mother down the aisle. The ceremony was full of tears and adoration for this couple who met through friends 6 years prior. The couple, in an homage to their Sonoma wine country wedding and Portuguese heritage, celebrated their unity by performing a wine pouring ceremony.
The flawless coordination efforts of So Eventful turned their intimate property into a multi-sectioned venue with areas for enjoying the views, cake cutting, high-top cocktail tables throughout and a dance floor set between twisting oaks. As evening's cool gifted the guests with a reprieve from the heat and another trademark California sunset, the family-style dinner service began. The couple delivered a touching thank you speech which was then followed by a speech by Jennifer's teary-eyed father, welcoming Antonio into the family. Under market lighting and constellations, friends and family were serenaded by the underground hip-hop-stylings of Nic Nac who brought a bit of Oakland love to Alexander Valley; coaxing some of the older crowd out of their comfort zones and onto the dance floor to celebrate together as one big new family.