These Grooms and Their Wedding Party Wore the Coolest Patterned Suits at Their Laid-Back Sonoma Celebration
Architects Austin and Alex initially met in college back in April 2012. Five years later, Austin planned a trip to Palm Springs as a surprise for Alex's birthday. Despite the July 120-degree heat at Joshua Tree National Park, the couple chose to hike the 39 Palms Oasis trail. "You hike through a desert to an oasis in the middle of nowhere," Alex says. "Austin proposed under all the palm trees."
They invited 125 guests to watch them tie the knot at Scribe Winery in Sonoma, California, where the pair have been members for four years. The winery's scenery set the tone for the pair's relaxed California wedding with a rust, cream, brown, and olive color palette. It was important for them to host a casual wedding with good food, good wine, and good people, they say.
The hardest part of planning their June 8, 2019, wedding was coordinating all the details. "Because we are designers, we knew exactly what we wanted so we didn't really need help choosing items and décor," Alex says. "But you don't think about all the little details like gifts for guests and stamps for invitations—the little things surprised us." To get ahead of the minutiae, they planned monthly check-ins with Alisha O'Connor of Events by O'ccasions and then let Alisha take over the month leading up to the wedding.
Welcome to Sonoma
The couple's custom stationery suite featured a letterpressed accordion-style invite. Alex wanted a Lord of the Rings-inspired map illustration, while Austin was more interested in maintaining a rustic vibe and incorporating cacti elements to represent Sonoma. The couple asked their printer, Katherine Jalaty, to hand-draw the Hacienda, a 200-year old house on the winery property where the reception took place.
Sonoma's Scribe Winery was an easy venue choice for this couple, as they live just five minutes down the road and spend a lot of time there. "Their vibe was exactly what we were going for and their food is incredible, so we just ran with that—it took a lot off our plate" Alex says. The couple also loved the fact that the winery offered so many different areas to the couple, including the Hacienda and the Knoll.
Two Grooms in Tuxes
For the ceremony, both Austin and Alex wore classic black tuxedos with black bow ties.
A Colorful Quick Change
They switched it up come the reception; their party attire showcased their personalities. Austin changed into a floral-patterned suit with blue and green tones from Etro and brown woven shoes from Mohinders for the reception. Alex went with a paisley patterned suit, also from Etro in yellow, green, and brown shades. His shoes matched his husband's in style, but were lighter in color.
The Wedding Party
Putting a twist on the tradition of requiring the wedding party to stick to a color scheme, Austin and Alex asked their attendants to wear patterned suits in any color or print they liked—even the women. "It was a risk because they could have all clashed together, but it turned out so rad! It was nice because for the ceremony, we stuck out in the black suits from our wedding party, and then for the party we were one big happy family!" explains the duo.
The First Look
Although Austin and Alex didn't plan on having a first look, their wedding party made it happen. The pair didn't completely separate before the wedding, but they got ready in separate rooms, so they had their first look upstairs in the Hacienda. "It was amazing, emotional, and exciting!" they say.
A History Ceremony Setup
The ceremony took place on the Chamomile Lawn, which was once the foundation of the old wine cellar—it dates back 200 years. The couple chose cruise deck-style chairs with big white umbrellas to fit in with the relaxed vibe of the wedding.
A Green Arch
Austin and Alex used their professional expertise to tackle several DIY projects for their big day, including creating the altar design. They bought a rusted metal arbor and two giant birds of paradise to flank each side; a mix of black oak tree branches, green apple tree branches, and sweet green flowers were woven onto the structure. After the wedding, the arbor was placed in Alex's mom's garden, and the birds of paradise were planted in the couple's outdoor patio.
The pair also incorporated a vintage rug they bought on a trip to Morocco; it marked the place of their vow exchange.
A Few Traditions and Tunes
Even though the ceremony wasn't religious, the pair ultimately incorporated the Jewish tradition of smashing the glass. They made their way down the aisle to a live rendition of "Leather and Lace" by Stevie Knicks; Austin was accompanied by his mom while Alex was escorted by both his parents. They chose "This Will Be Our Year" by the Zombies for the recessional.
A memory that stands out to this couple is taking photos at sunset with their photographer, Annamae. "We were slightly tipsy by this point as we were getting into the night and we had been drinking wine all day," the couple shares. "It was the first time we stepped away from the whole event, and even though Annamae was there, it felt personal, silly, and downright fun!"
After their outfit change and a few family photos, Austin and Alex joined their guests at the cocktail hour, where they served local wine and beer. Guests enjoyed charcuterie and cheese plates, grilled flatbreads with baba ghanoush and hummus, grilled local pork sausage, marinated mozzarella with cherry tomatoes, olives, and almonds.
A Low-Key Party
The couple's reception took place up at the Knoll, where they set up a dozen vintage Moroccan rugs and leather poufs, all purchased on their recent trip to Morocco.
Guests were encouraged to seat themselves throughout the property, come dinner; picnic-style wooden tables, set with simple, greenery-filled bud vases and surrounded by benches, created a casual nook.
Canapés All Around
Instead of a traditional plated meal, Austin and Alex went with a canapé dinner, catered by the venue. Oysters, spring rolls, patatas bravas, and fish tacos were just some of the delicious bite-sized selections that made the rounds.
The First Dance
Some guests may have thought Austin and Alex choreographed their first dance, but according to the couple, they winged it. They wanted a fun song that would allow them to bust a move, so they chose "Yer So Bad" by Tom Petty.
This couple wanted a quintessential Memphis band, so they hired Marcella and Her Lovers from Memphis to perform creole music. "We had an epic dance party the whole night!" Alex says. "But having everyone around us spread the love and smiling all night while we boogied was something we will never forget!"
Austin and Alex chose two simple round cakes so that they could offer different flavors (they opted for red velvet with cream cheese frosting and vanilla buttercream and chocolate devil's food cake with salted caramel jam and vanilla buttercream); each dessert was decorated with fresh flowers.
The day before the wedding, Austin and Alex bottled olive oil with custom labels for their guests. "We wanted to give our guests something that rang true to the valley," the couple says. The happy couple honeymooned in Palm Springs, California.
Photography, Annamae Photo
Location, Scribe Winery
Event Design, Austin and Alex, Homme Boys
Event Planning, Alisha O'Connor
Flowers, Evermore Flowers
Stationery, Katherine Jalaty
Catering, Scribe Winery
Grooms' Suits, Etro
Grooms' Shoes, Mohinders
Hair, Caysi Jean Artistry
Music, Marcella and Her Lovers
Rentals, Bright Event Rentals
Cake, Bouchon Bakery