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Venue: Cline Cellars, Sonoma, California
Mike and I are both from St. Louis, MO, but we have lived in San Francisco for over five years. My maid of honor introduced us back in 2000, and we just packed up our stuff and moved to California about a year and half later.
We picked Cline Cellars for our wedding because we had taken a bus for a friend's birthday around Sonoma, and Cline was one of the wineries we visited. It has a personal, beautiful setting, and had a lot of meaning for us and our friends, since we'd been there a few times before for parties and events. The first time we came to Cline on the bus, I lost track of Mike, and when I finally found him he was talking with a wedding coordinator! We weren't even engaged yet!The wedding day was crazy and hectic but the most beautiful day of our lives. The bridal party started the day getting ready at the Marriott in Napa Valley. Then Becky and Colin, our Bella photographers, took photos of the bridal party at the winery first. Before the ceremony, the girls and I were hanging out on the deck of the old converted train car (which is a really cool feature of the winery), when we saw the bus with the guys approaching. I didn't want Mike to see me before the wedding, so I ducked down and the girls surrounded me as the bus went by. Cline Cellars also has an old red truck out front which serves as their logo. Becky and Colin ended up taking lots of fun, creative photos there. Colin also did some great industrial shots against the wall of the barrel room as the sun was setting.During the ceremony, my brother was the one who walked me down the aisle. Mike didn't turn to look until I was at the end of the aisle, ready walk to him. The priest who married us was a very special person to us, because he was Mike's boarding school priest. We flew him out from Minnesota to conduct our ceremony. He actually marries a lot of former students.For the reception, the introduction of the wedding party was really fun. Our friend was a witty MC, and as the first groomsman walked out with a bridesmaid he twirled her. After that, each couple that walked out did a little dance. It was great because it was so spontaneous.We named all of our tables by types of wines. We had a group of kids under 21, and so we named their table the "Sparkling Grape Juice Table". The bartenders kept threatening to cut off the liquor if the kids didn't stop trying to finagle drinks.Dancing was a huge part of the night. Mike's boarding school guys have this tradition where they all take off their shirts and dance with just ties on. General merriment ensued: a few people got cut off, there was a broken beer bottle on the dance floor at some point, a friend jumped in the pond, and we all just danced the night away.
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