Posted by Lauren
On November 3rd, I had the pleasure of attending the wedding of my close friend Miranda to her soul mate Matt. And I’m finally blogging about it! :) When Nicole and I started this blog, I was in my first job out of college – the one in Monterey, CA that required a 2 hour round trip commute from San Jose. My faaaavorite part about that job was working right next to Miranda. Every day we shared stories, discussed blogs on the internetz, occasionally went for runs on the gorgeous Fort Ord trails, entertained each other during the long vanpool commutes… oh, and we worked.
We also did what all girls do – talked about relationships. From what I heard about Matt, the two of them seemed absolutely perfect for each other. They are both passionate about cooking (serious cooking), Cal football, whiskey, running/biking, and their cat Maddie. I’m ridiculously happy for the two of them and can’t believe how things have changed since our days in that office!!! Ok, let’s get to the wedding details! Everyone, meet Miranda, the beautiful bride…
Miranda with her mom Lisa (left) and Matt’s mom (right)… a few of these are “borrowed” from Facebook.
As soon as Kyle and I arrived at the ceremony/reception site, I snapped a few scenery photos so that I could share how amazing the Sova Gardens location is.
In the heart of Sonoma County’s wine country, the quaint Sova Gardens, on Sebastopol’s Gravenstein Highway, has:
- a large lawn called Fountain Court – where their reception tables were set up
- an indoor tavern area – where we signed the guest book and packed up goodie bags with the best caramel corn ever
- a covered outdoor deck – where we gathered for cocktail hour and coffee after dancing
- a rustic garden – Miranda and Matt took wedding photos in it, I bet they will be breathtaking
- a tented dancing area – a place for YMCA and Call Me Maybe :)
Right before the ceremony, Kyle and I signed their photo guest book. Miranda: all of those engagement photos are so great! I signed next to my favorite one! We also enjoyed the live music and soaked up the gorgeous California sunshine.
At 4 o clock, the ceremony began. The bridal party looked amazing under the huge redwood trees. The bridesmaids had matching dresses, but all wore different shoes – loved that!
Their vows were so touching. I loved that Matt memorized his and Miranda consulted notes so she wouldn’t forget a thing – very fitting :)
BADA BOOM! Look at that!
We all blew bubbles as the newlyweds walked back to the Farm House adjacent to the ceremony space. Kyle had a lot of fun blowing the bubbles.
The crowd moved up to the deck for drinks and snacks while Matt and Miranda took a few photos in the nearby gardens. Miranda: tell me when you have the final pictures I really want to see them!
Guests could choose between beer, wine, and a few cocktails. My first order was a gin and tonic, after that I stuck to beer. In between bites of cheese, crackers, and fruit from the gorgeous display below, I caught up with another ex-coworker, Kristin, and someone who I was on the dance team with in high school, Claudia.
Around 5:30, we took our seats. I mentioned awhile ago that I wanted to sit next to Claudia so I could hear more about her adventures since our high school days and Miranda didn’t forget!
The centerpieces had a “fall” vibe and totally fit the venue. The mossy bits kind of remind me of Monterey. Pretty, huh?
All the food was family style per table. Instead of a plated dinner or buffet, each table had six generous portions to share! So smart.
Wild arugula salad with shaved parmesan, peppitas, and sherry vinaigrette
Heirloom tomato platter – local tomatoes, basil, balsamic vinegar and olive oil
Boneless beef short ribs, slow braised for fourteen hours until fork tender, finished with truffle demi-glace
Tarragon roasted root vegetables – butternut squash, carrots, beets, turnips (hiding in above photo, upper right hand corner)
Roasted garlic mashed Yukon potatoes – mashed with butter, sour cream, and buttermilk for a silky texture with lots of garlic and chives
Spiced rubbed chicken breasts – sautéed and rubbed with cumin and paprika, finished with artichokes and golden raisins.
The food was fabulous! I wouldn’t expect anything less from these two foodies. Miranda and Matt got their chow on, the best man and maid of honor delivered their speeches, and Miranda’s dad recited a poem that he wrote especially for their wedding (it was really really cute).
Some point between the speeches and the first dance, Matt and Miranda made their way around to each table to say hello, welcome, thank you, etc. The sun had set and the temps dropped slightly, so Miranda put on the neatest pink, furry, shrug. I think I should get one of those for my mom’s wedding!
From the first dance (awwwwww) to the glo stick dancing….
Everyone had a blast on the dance floor. Miranda, you’ve got MOVES. And Lisa, I’m amazed at your abilities to “get low” – seriously how do you do it?
Me, Miranda, and Kristin – no longer solving data questions for the DoD…
…and a photo with the New Zealand- bound newlyweds. p.s. have I mentioned before that Matt is a speeeeeedy runner? The three of us need to form another relay team!!
Possibly one of the best parts of the entire night: CHEESECAKE MARTINI BAR.
Say it with me…. CHEESECAKE. MARTINI. BAR.
I read a few wedding blogs and have been to a grand total of 4 weddings in the past 3 years, but never have I ever heard of a cheesecake martini bar. Each guest grabbed a martini glass with a scoop of creamy New York style cheesecake and topped it with whatever their heart desired: dark chocolate sauce, white chocolate sauce, cranberry sauce, strawberries, raspberries, and toasted nuts. SWEET GENIUS!
The couple cut into a mini cake for the cake tasting. I love the little Maddie cake topper! Matt gave Miranda a kitty back in 2006 (I think?) so this is their homage to her :)
Dancing continued into the night…. Miranda did some sweet pop n’ lock moves while three semi-professional swing dancers showed off their moves (in a good show off way).
Here’s a view of the dancing tent from the deck. Doesn’t it just look so intimate and cheerful?
I only managed to take one grainy photo of Kyle and me…. This is after a few cups of coffee and right before we left for Hopmonk Tavern in Sebastopol to continue partying.
We had an amazing time. Miranda and Matt, your wedding was beautiful! I’ve read all your honeymoon recaps and can’t wait to hear more in person! Expect me to start harassing you about dinners and races soon!
Question: What do you prefer at weddings when it comes to food: plated dinner, buffet, or family style?