When a California wedding planner sets out to plan her own wedding, you know expectations will be high. From choosing the perfect venue to finding the dress, Lauren of Laurel & Fey had her work cut out for her. Residing in Pasadena, Lauren and Christian frequented the endless amount of wineries within a few hours drive of their home. On a wine tasting excursion in Paso Robles, they came across their soon-to-be wedding venue, Hammersky Vineyards. Tucked away in the Central Coast's rolling hills, Hammersky provided the charming backdrop to create the French countryside inspired wedding the couple was dreaming of as a nod to Christian's roots.
Fast forward to the wedding and the couple made sure that the day was full of their favorite people, things and memories including message-in-a-bottle place cards as an ode to Christian's proposal and their favorite olive oil cake from home. We caught up with Lauren about planning her own wedding, all of the details that went into it, and, of course, all about her stunning Marchesa dress.
Photography by Ally Burnette
Tell us about you and your now husband!
We live happily in our bungalow style home in Pasadena, CA with our two small dogs. Christian is a Story Producer for reality TV and I work from home as a Wedding Planner. It's quite ideal and we're very happy together as creatives in a city that I love.
Give us a rundown of your vision for your wedding.
We wanted to tie in my husband's "french countryside" roots with the central coast landscape that I was born in. It was important to us that our families all felt as if they were invited to a weekend getaway on a vineyard tucked away in the rolling hills. Guests arrived on the lawn under a curved oak tree that framed the vines for the ceremony, then moved over to the tasting room to tastes the wines and listen to music from the 1940's. After guests took their seats for the reception in front of the farm house and barn, they enjoyed a family style meal and wine on the tables. Family style plates, white stock, thistle and olive leaves aligned down the center of the communal style tables kept conversation flowing. Christian and I are not big cake fans, so we thought brought up our favorite olive oil cakes from Lincoln Pasadena to share with our guests. We ran with the idea of baked goods and offered a dessert table with floral pressed shortbread cookies, pies and a rolling pin with the words "that's how we roll." Everything was personalized and geared toward we what we enjoy most, food, wine and music.
Why Hammersky Vineyards?
Christian and I stumbled upon Hammersky Vineyards while wine tasting one weekend. We were mesmerized with all the beauty that Hammersky Vineyards had to offer as it was tucked in the rolling hills of Paso Robles. We wanted our wedding guests to feel the same way we felt when saw the vineyard for the first time.
And your dress... give us the scoop there!
I took a few friends and my Mother to dress hunt a few times. I kept waiting for the feeling of "this was the one", but I didn't feel that until I went on my own to the Marchesa trunk show at Lovella Bridal. It was the second dress I tried on and it fit like a glove. It was so different from all the other dresses I saw. I knew I could dance the night away and feel completely comfortable in it. The seamstress at Lovella proposed that I should be able to bustle the third layer at the bottom to make it shorter that night so we can continue the dancing at a local dive bar. I got so many compliments that day and STILL to this day I hear about it. It was the best decision I made!
What was your favorite moment of the day?
My favorite moment was sitting on the balcony of this 100 year old farm house after the ceremony with a glass of rosé in hand with my new husband. It was our "quiet moment" to sign the marriage license and take in the scenery by ourselves. It was so romantic and rewarding to take a moment to just sit back and look down at the event unfolding.
Did you incorporate anything special or meaningful?
Christian proposed with a message in a bottle, so to personalize our "thank you" gifts that doubled as placecards, we decided to order the same mini bottles and fill them with local herbs. We wanted to be thoughtful and make sure the gifts were something our guests could fly back home with and take a little of Paso Robles home with them. We also repurposed the wine bottles we drank as an engaged couple into water vessels and table numbers.
Book your event at Hammersky Vineyards →
Event Design + Planning: Laurel & Fey | Photography: Ally Burnette | Day of Coordinator: Weddings by Susan Dunne | Catering: Field To Table | Rentals: All About Events | DJ: DJ Mochee | Florals: Brass Fern House | Officiant: Kyle Robinson (Cousin of the Bride) | Dress: Marchesa from Lovella Bridal | Bride's Earrings: Jennifer Behr | Rings: Single Stone | Hair & Make-Up: The Blushed Company | Hair Assistant: Montana Tsai | Groom's Suit: J. Crew | Groom's Tie: Dazi USA | Invitations: Paper Plum Co. | Calligraphy: Lettered Love by Lauryn Janay | Cakes: Lincoln | Pies: Karlie Bakes