A Petaluma Wedding // Gillian and Josh

Petaluma wedding photographer

With so many options for wedding venues out there, sometimes the best, most special option is right beneath your nose, your childhood home! With it's bucolic mix of coast redwoods, vineyards, historic buildings, and abundant fresh, local food, Petaluma is by any definition a perfect place to be married. Petaluma holds a really special place in Gillian's heart, and she always knew she would be married in her parents' back yard. With its Victorian style architecture, large backyard, and the benefit of Gillian's mother being a master gardener, the venue couldn't have been any more perfect. In the bride's own words

"...the location means home, and being with those who are most important to you, be they friends, family, or those who've helped you throughout your life, is most important to our day."

From start to finish, all events of the wedding day took place within a few hundred meters of the home, which provided the atmosphere of a down-home gathering - a reunion of sorts -that began with their ceremony and celebration of their new life and continued with a family style luncheon on the back lawn. As children roamed around the edible gardens, snacking on tomatoes and sniffing basil, the smell of charcoals and barbecued suckling pig filled the air as guests enjoyed ice cold libations and extended conversation with the couple. As the afternoon light waned, the family-vibe of the day culminated with a full, multi-generational dance-floor showcasing all varieties of eclectic moves, to the equally eclectic sounds of the Rivertown Skifflers.

 A bit more about the couple

Tell us a bit more about the back story to what brought you both to this day

Gillian aggressively pursued Josh... joking. They were connected through a dating website and met for the first time over coffee. After several dates like this one, Josh kissed Gillian at Audubon Park in New Orleans, and they soon began a relationship. Since then, we have been busy building a life together. Josh is a high school social studies teacher and Gillian is a biological anthropologist who has done extensive research on capuchin monkeys in Costa Rica. Together they enjoy traveling, camping, the outdoors, and searching for the best cheeseburger in the world.

Describe the wedding planning process. What has been the hardest part / best part? Do you have any advice for future couples who are in the planning stage still?

The most difficult part is balancing all of the necessary plans with life's other responsibilities. We all have busy lives, and there is a lot to consider. If you have the resources, pay someone to plan the wedding for you (this still only mitigates some of the demands). Plan early and don't be afraid to ask people to help check out venues or menu items.

Tell us more about any inspiration(s) for your wedding day

Josh was born and raised in Southeast Louisiana, and the menu for the wedding is inspired by Southern cuisine. The Rivertown Skifflers will provide music during the reception, bringing a country feel to the festivities.