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we like it wild: wine country wedding

by StudioChoo

It’s rare that florists get to work a wedding where they create all of their designs on-site, and it’s even rarer for those same florists to get to stick around for cocktails and dancing. The fact that we got to do both last weekend was both exciting and exhausting. As one of our nearest and dearest friends prepared for her walk down the aisle we were busy stringing garlands, climbing ladders to dangerous heights, winding jasmine wreaths, and documenting the behind-the-scenes floral fun that went into creating this special event.

A private house and garden in California’s wine country is a pretty good place to start when planning a wedding, both for the bride-to-be and for the florists. The backdrop of rolling hills, vineyards, and the nice warm afternoon breeze was idyllic. The bride agreed that having us work on location the days leading up to the wedding was the only way to go, and we’re always extra-thrilled to work on events for our friends and family, so we were completely in. We loaded up the car heavy with fresh flowers, supplies, and wedding clothes on Thursday morning and headed north.

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Two days at the ceremony and reception location to primp, arrange, and brainstorm was almost overwhelming. In such a beautiful natural setting new ideas were popping into our brains every minute but we had a strict game plan to follow and some serious, but fun, work ahead of us. The shaded back deck of the location became our impromptu outdoor studio where three of us spent two days up to our elbows in flowers. We filled brown bottles for the table centerpiece groupings, built grand urn arrangements for the bar, designed a huge bouquet for the bride, and came up with a series of serendipitous mini-projects along the way. We also found ourselves with an unexpected (but awesome) “problem”, a peckish peacock we dubbed Fredrick who had his eye and beak on our blackberry branches.

Luckily we had some low maintenance pieces lined up, too. Pre-potted herbs were easy to set out early on the day and thrived under the hot valley sun instead of going limp like cut flowers would have, and can be easily transplanted post-wedding. We also made a special surprise herb wreath for the bride which we began several weeks earlier in our own backyard. Mint, lavender, and thyme were packed in moss and secured in a sturdy metal wreath frame where we sunned and watered it flat for a few weeks so the plants could take root, then hung it upright for the last week so out little herbs would start reaching for the sky. With a few on-site final touches, the wreath found its home against the rusted metal shed which later became the bar. Although it took some pre-planning, this piece was easy to set up and made a big impact.

Jill’s husband, Matt, was also recruited ahead of time to help us with some other key pieces including a large wreath-like chandelier that hung over the main table (which we filled with white peonies) and a custom-built two person swing, complete with the bride’s and groom’s initials carved into the seat. Personal touches like these at a wedding are both affordable and memorable.

Although time was tight, we managed to run back to our hotel room to shower and get dressed before heading back to the site where we ran around barefoot through the grass moving bottle after bottle out of the moving sun and ultimately onto the (finally!) shaded dining tables, thanks in part to some very helpful caterers. By five o’clock on Saturday afternoon we felt that we had really earned our glasses of champagne, and managed to pretend that we were merely guests for the rest of the night. What a luxury that was!

Flowers used:
Chocolate cosmos
Garden roses
Mock orange
Dusty Miller

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  • I love the we-like-it-wild team! Thank you for so much inspiration over the past several months since I’ve been reading. My own wedding was last weekend and I stayed with simple cut flowers and greenery gathered in jars and easy glass vases. They were all over the house and it gave me exactly the look I was striving to achieve. I even made our bouquets and I owe it all to you! Thanks so very much!

  • What a beautiful setting for a wedding. Love the rustic elegance of the floral aggrangements. Makes me want to get married all over again…almost:)

  • As a big vino myself, I can appreciate a beautiful bash among the grapes. The rustic details here are absolutely flawless and gorgeous. This is so inspiring! (Sidenote: what kind of dessert is that, because my mouth might be drooling)?

  • can you say fairy tale wedding…if i had a daughter i would want this for her, i do have a future daughter in law that loves wine!!!! hmmm

  • this was a gorgeous wedding! i’m extremely jealous of the outdoor venue! we’re also doing the multiple vases with flowers in them…which i’m a bit worried about. the thing i want to know most out of this post is WHAT is that chocolate dessert?!?! it looks phenomenal!

  • love. that. swing.

    herbs are such a good idea for hot weather. I will be stealing that idea when my turn down the isle arrives

  • Looks great…very similar to what I did for my wedding in Norway, lots of wild flowers and local oldfashioned roses in old mason jars scattered along the table….

  • Lovely! But I can’t believe you didn’t tell us what that delicious-looking donut was. Dulce de leche filled topped with chocolate pearls??

  • Love the herb wreath. Super idea! And what a great job to have–three days in gorgeous surroundings with a car load of gorgeous flowers to “play” with. I would be in heaven!

  • Gorgeous and creative! Thanks for showing us! Where can I but chocolate cosmos seeds or plants? I’ve heard they are very hard to come by, and have never seen them to buy. Thank you!

  • Seriously — what is that chocolate thing? I think there have been at least 4 requests prior to mine. We must know. We’re women, afterall (well, most of us). You can’t withhold the name of a tasty-looking chocolate dessert from us. We’ll revolt.

  • sorry sorry- we were away from the computer yesterday! the chocolate “thing” was our breakfast on saturday morning that we picked up on the way to the site from bouchon bakery in yountville! it was so delicious- a specialty donut that they make only on the weekends and that sell out quickly! and the lunch trays were used to hold the corsages and boutonnieres. and there are lots of places online to get bottles- just do a search for bulk glass bottles.

  • and Suzy Q- there is a fun website called chocolateflowerfarm.com that has lots of fun chocolate plants/seeds. we did a quick online search and found a few other places as well. they are not too hard to come by here in san francisco at specialty nurseries.

  • this is one of the most beautiful weddings I have ever seen. So simple and so lovely, the idea of using herbs as well as wild flowers and traditional ones is great! so sweet! dream wedding!

  • Oh my!
    If I were to be married again I would like to have a place and decoration just like that.
    Fabulous! Beautiful details, excelent choice of flowers, elegant and sensible.

  • omg i love it. its so ethereal. one thing i fantasize about for my wedding is having an abundance of greenery and this is so inspriring! thank you for sharing!

  • Amazingly, my daughter’s wedding is just weeks away, and her inspiration book looks just like your photos!
    Now, instead of ‘visualizing’ how it will look when we’re finished setting up…I can already ‘see’ it for myself!!… Kinda! :D
    Thanks for sharing!

  • Beautiful photos!
    This is really similar to what I’m planning for my August wedding, but I haven’t been able to find wooden tables like these. If anyone has suggestions in the NY/PA/NJ area, I’d love to hear them.

  • You guys did an amazing job, I would love to know where the venue was? was it a private residence? Thanks so much!

  • you guys are amazing, i love your work! the setting was beautiful. can you tell me more about where this was, looks like a perfect place. would love to know if i could rent it. thanks!

  • I’m getting married soon and this is going to be my inspiration !!!!!! Love love love. The place I have chosen is country side, wine region 1 hour from Sydney. It will perfectly work with the theme!