Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Wedding Dreams Come True
May 15, 2017
California
RusticParkHotels + Resorts Weddings
When planning an outdoor wedding, every bride's biggest fear is rain, yet when it poured during this al fresco, autumn wedding in Sonoma Square, this bride and groom kept their cool. Their wonderful photographer, Jessamyn Harris provided the couple with clear umbrellas and captured the most darling photos of the pair, and a sweet family friend donated a tent to house the reception. Best of all, when the glowing newlyweds ventured out into the rain for sunset photos, they were treated to a double rainbow and a brilliant sunset – the perfect ending to their special day. Want more of these lovebirds? Head to the Vault to see their adorable engagement session.
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From Jessamyn Harris Photography... Allison and Marty were married on the square at the Mission San Francisco Solano in downtown Sonoma. The weather held just long enough for them to walk with their parents and siblings from Bungalows 313, the adorable hotel where they had their first look (joined by Allison's son, Eli), to the Mission, which was built in the early 1800s. By the time we did family portraits, however, it started pouring as hard as I've ever seen it; but this adventurous couple wanted to do some outdoor couple shots, so we drove around Sonoma and hopped out to take pictures in vineyards despite the rain. Allison didn't mind getting her dress wet, and I brought a pair of clear umbrellas that kept them from the worst of the rain.

The ceremony was held in the beautiful old Mission chapel, next to the tiny state park museum room that hosts tourists and schoolchildren on field trips during the week. Then the rain lightened enough for the whole party to walk the block or so to the Swiss Hotel restaurant, where the tented back patio was filled with puddles and a lot of happiness. When the forecast was for rain, and the bride and groom were concerned about adding thousands of dollars for tent rentals to their outdoor reception, a family friend who runs the Petaluma Seascouts donated the use of their tent, and all of the guests got to stay nice and dry! The guests ate a delicious, family style Italian dinner under the tent and moved inside the wine cellar for dancing and cake. They were then able to stay at the restaurant's bar as late as they liked!

I really don't know if I've seen a bride happier and more beautiful than Allison, who glowed with peace and joy despite the rain! The umbrellas give the portraits a cozy feel, and when it came time to do sunset portraits, we were blessed with a double rainbow AND a fiery sunset sky.

The couple created a beautiful wedding on a smaller budget and had a fantastic time even when the weather didn't cooperate. They are Sonoma locals and made the wedding feel exceptionally personal (and very "Sonoma") by using unexpected venues – a state park and a favorite restaurant.

A few special details from the day: Marty owns a home brewing supply store, so he had the florist incorporate hops into his boutonniere. Allison's son, Eli, got ready with the men, so Marty (his new stepfather) helped him with his bow tie. Marty's father, a woodworker, carved them a beautiful cake platter and toasting goblets for their cake cutting. The sweetest moment was when Eli broke down in joyous tears during the ceremony and snuggled into his grandmother, both of them beaming at the newlyweds.