A Fun, Colorful Wedding in Guerneville, California
In 2013, Adam lived in the same building as one of Molly's best friends, and the pair crossed paths occasionally. One night, they found themselves at the same cocktail party, where they flirted and stole some smooches. Two weeks later, they went on their first date. A year later, the couple moved in together. "I remember during the early days thinking that he was marriage material, and that being a little scary because I knew if we kept moving forward it could very well end in something serious," says Molly, a clinical audiologist.
Eighteen months into their cohabitation, Adam, who co-founded a machine learning company, planned a secret proposal in their hometown of San Francisco. He rented a hotel room at the Intercontinental Mark Hopkins Hotel in Nob Hill. "He claimed we were just staycationing, but when I walked into a hotel room with rose petals on the floor and champagne on ice, I knew I only had a few seconds to gather my thoughts before everything changed," says Molly. Adam got down on one knee and popped the question, then the engaged pair celebrated with a private dinner delivered to their room and a night out with friends.
On July 2, 2016, Adam and Molly tied the knot at Dawn Ranch Resort in Guerneville, California. The weekend celebration with 150 guests featured fun-loving decorations, colorful floral arrangements, and bountiful patterns.
The Stationery Suite
Jack & Ginger Studios planned the whole wedding, and they created the stationery suite to be both fun and modern. Watercolor, illustrated accents, and spot calligraphy were incorporated into the various pieces, which were created in shades of white, navy, pink, and gold. The colorful design inspired the overall wedding aesthetic.
Although Molly and Adam love their hometown of San Francisco, its unpredictable weather didn't lend itself to a warm outdoor wedding. They decided to head 1.5 hours away to Dawn Ranch Resort in Guerneville, California—the perfect backdrop for their welcome barbeque, pool party, wedding, and other weekend festivities. Since the resort has 52 cabins, a majority of guests stayed at the venue, making the entire celebration feel like summer camp. According to the bride, "Guerneville itself is a small but very cute town with some great restaurant and bar options. It was fun to walk down the main road to get coffee and bump into wedding guests along the way!"
All Dressed Up
Inbal Dror designed Molly's strapless lace-embroidered wedding dress with a trumpet skirt and sweetheart neckline. "I tried on my gown on my second outing, and I knew immediately that I felt like a million bucks," says Molly. After debating whether it was too over-the-top for the relaxed venue, she tried on another 20 to 30 options before coming back to it. "The second time I put it on, I was 100% sure. It just made me feel incredible!" she says. The bride also wore a Lelet NY jeweled comb, BHLDN veil, diamond bracelet from her mother-in-law as her "something borrowed," and Nektar de Stagni spiked pearl earrings.
"Bridal shoes are hard. To be honest, I never found the 'perfect shoe,' so instead, I decided to go with something that I knew I could dance in," says Molly. She chose comfortable and strappy Badgley Mischka heels. Florist Erin Rochelle DeYoung of Scarlett & Grace also made brass knuckles, which Molly wore after the ceremony. "They were so badass and also gorgeous!" she says.
While dating, Molly and Adam visited friends in Los Angeles, and they took an unexpected trip to a jewelry store. "It was very impromptu and Molly blacked out a little bit because looking at rings is a big deal," says Adam. "We had talked about marriage very theoretically, but this made Molly realize that things were getting real." Luckily, he paid attention to the styles Molly liked, and he ordered a stunning engagement ring from Diamond Foundry. "I love my ring so much," Molly says. "I think it looks like a flower crown for my finger."
As for wedding bands, Molly chose a gold piece from Bon Levy Fine Jewelry, and she loves how it contrasts with her silver engagement ring. Adam opted for a band made out of a three billion-year-old meteor with preserved wood on the inside, which he found on Etsy. "To me, the ring represents not only love but longevity and life," he says.
Scarlett & Grace created Molly's bouquet with peonies, ranunculus, thistle, gloriosas, pitcher plants, and scabiosa.
The Ceremony Site
Scarlett & Grace arranged flower petals in a geometric pattern down the aisle; the design mimicked the shape of the dinner tables.
"The ceremony was the perfect amount of religion, family, friends, and love surrounded by towering redwood trees in a perfectly green field on a sunny California day!" summarizes the bride. First, the couple's families processed to "Electric Love" by Borns, then Molly's dad walked her down the aisle to a cover of "Higher Love" by James Vincent McMorrow. Since Adam is Jewish and Molly is half-Jewish, they decided on a Jewish ceremony that wasn't super traditional. Their rabbi (a family friend) incorporated some Jewish rituals, like circling the groom and breaking the glass. "We did our own version of the seven blessings, where we asked seven people to come up and say a blessing during the ceremony, alternating with the traditional blessings," says Molly. In lieu of vows, the couple read the words on their ketubah (a Jewish marriage contract) to their guests.
To add to the fun atmosphere, Molly's aunt created flags printed with the word "Yay!" Guests waved them throughout the ceremony. "I really wanted our wedding to feel fun, young, and fresh. 'Yay!' totally expressed how we felt about the day," says the bride.
The newlyweds recessed up the aisle to Prince's "Kiss."
After the ceremony, guests attended cocktail hour at Dawn Ranch Resort's orchard, where they enjoyed cocktails and food. Passed hors d'oeuvres included grilled squash bruschetta, marinated pulled pork, smoked salmon on potato latkes, and filet mignon with bleu cheese and caramelized onions. "This is when I put my sunglasses on, switched to my brass knuckle bouquet, and really relaxed!" says Molly.
The Seating Chart
An acrylic seating chart with pink brushstroke accents directed guests to their dinner tables. "I thought of the wedding like the biggest dinner party I have ever hosted, and I actually really enjoyed creating the 'perfect' combinations of friends and family at each table," says Molly.
The reception took place by the property's pool. Wooden farmhouse tables were adorned with runners sewn by Molly's mom. Some runners featured a watercolor design by Eskayel, while others were made from a simple gold and white fabric. Navy placemats and clear glassware balanced the bright pink and orange color palette. "I really wanted everything to feel cohesive but not matchy-matchy, which is why we used so many different patterns and prints and a range of colors within our palette," says Molly.
Dawn Ranch Resort catered a dinner of chopped vegetable salad, pan-seared California sea bass, and roasted chicken breast with Yukon Gold potato puree.
Colorful floral arrangements by Scarlett & Grace set in lush gold vases served as centerpieces.
In addition to the flowers, modern geometric shapes with flowers inside decorated the tables.
The Place Settings
At each setting, personalized navy mats doubled as place cards. Gold "love" and "xoxo" paperweights from West Elm were scattered on the tables. Wedding planner Jack & Ginger Studios originally suggested placing them on the head table, but Molly loved them so much, she decided to use them throughout the reception. "I have since been giving them away as housewarming gifts and also loaned them to my sister-in-law for her wedding!" says Molly.
Molly and her mom made party crackers for each guest as a nod to a British holiday tradition. They were filled with paper crowns in the wedding colors (navy, gold, pink, and orange), custom flash tattoos, and silly toys like finger monsters, flashing rings, and miniature slinkies. Biodegradable confetti burst from the contraptions after opening.
A Fun-Loving Bunch
Molly says the party crackers were her favorite element of the day. "I had visions of everyone crossing arms, breaking them and seeing little bits of confetti floating in the air, everyone wearing their paper crowns throughout dinner, and putting on the custom flash tattoos I had made. Well, that is exactly how it went down, and it was just perfection!" she says.
Marissa Maharaj took portraits of the newlyweds throughout the celebration, including right after dinner, when the setting sun created the perfect lighting.
Knead to Make baked three cakes for the couple: a 12-inch almond cake with grapefruit zest buttercream and passion fruit curd (which they cut into), a 10-inch red wine chocolate cake with mascarpone and fresh blackberries, and this eight-inch butter cake with salted caramel buttercream. Florist Scarlett & Grace provided fresh flowers for decoration. "The cakes were actually so amazing that there were no leftovers!" says Molly.
Dancing Through the Night
Molly and Adam danced to "I've Had the Time of My Life" from Dirty Dancing, one of Molly's favorite films. Adam credits the first dance as his favorite moment of the day. "We hired a choreographer to help us prepare and did our own variation of the song!" he says. The couple also danced to the hora, and guests literally broke the wooden dance floor by jumping along to "I Love It" by Icona Pop.
The next day, guests continued the three-day wedding celebration with a champagne-fueled river float, a BBQ, and a July Fourth fireworks display. Then Molly and Adam headed to Africa for their honeymoon, where they went on a safari, visited wine country, and saw Victoria Falls.
Photography, Marissa Maharaj
Location and Catering, Dawn Ranch Lodge
Event planning and stationery, Jack & Ginger Studios
Flowers, Scarlett & Grace
Officiant, Rabbi Tsvi Bar-David
Cake, Knead to Make
Music, DJ Odiaka
Bride's gown, Inbal Dror
Hair and Makeup, Angela Nunnink
Lighting, Grapevine Party Rentals
Ice cream cart, Nimble & Finns