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Karolina & Kevin’s Vine Hill House Wedding Photography

November 14, 2015

Karolina & Kevin

Vine Hill House

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We were engaged near the beginning of a 9 day trek through the Dolomite mountains in northern Italy. Kevin bought and brought a 2 ct. vintage diamond ring made by Shreve.

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Karolina wore a Monique Lhuillier gown (that I actually picked off the rack for her to try)

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I wore a bespoke suit in summer weight wool from Tailors’ Keep in San Francisco, and a deep navy grenadine tie from Paul Stuart in New York

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We met in Boston, online. I had moved out to Boston once for college, and once again for a previous relationship, and stayed in Boston for work.

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Karolina had lived there most of her life, although she had left for a lot of travel and graduate school in London for a time.

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Karolina left for California. After a year of long distance, I moved to Los Angeles for a new job, and Karolina moved down south to move in together.

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We were separated once again when Karolina took a job in SF. So this time I moved north to where I always wanted to be, anyway. It has been quite a journey.

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Karolina loves yellow and sunflowers, so we made sure the flowers included these amazing pale yellow and wine colored sunflowers that are my new favorite flower. I hope I’ll be buying them for anniversaries for decades to come.

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We wanted our minimal decorations to emphasize the pinot noir grapevines heavy with ripening clusters. The Gravenstein apple trees just about to be harvested for Martinelli’s Apple Cider that were all around the property.

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Vine Hill House is an amazing outdoor venue, like having an intimate backyard wedding in the quintessential wine country backyard.

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Kevin processed to a live rendition of “It Had to Be You”

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Karolina processed to a live rendition of “Love is Here to Stay”.

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Our ceremony was exceedingly secular. It was intended to be light hearted and honest. It was performed by our dear mutual friend, Kevin Weng.

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Kevin: “I promise to work at our love and always make you a priority in my life. With every bit of my being, I will love you always.”

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Karolina: “…because together is how we will accomplish everything.”

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The recessional song was a performance of Nat King Cole’s “L-O-V-E”.

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We served two green cocktails at the cocktail hour, a Copa Verde (and a Southern Exposure; both were inspired by cocktails served at local establishments in our home neighborhood of Cole Valley in SF.

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Our only wedding favor were the Gravenstein apples that served as escort cards for our guests. Our wedding weekend was the same weekend as the Gravenstein Apple Festival in Sebastopol, and the fruit was in peak season

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The flowers were all from a local organic flower grower, and were selected and arranged by my sister-in-law, Val.

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The flower selection were the best, and most natural looking, wedding flowers I have ever seen.

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Our first dance was to Etta James singing At Last (as we were together for nine (9!!!) years before the wedding finally came around).

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Our cutting cake was a carrot cake from SusieCakes in the Marina district of SF – Karolina’s favorite and the best damned carrot cake in the whole world.

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For desserts, though, we served pies from Mom’s Apple Pie in Sebastopol, Best.pies.ever. I have bought some every time I went up there.

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Enjoy.every.second. It is the most amazing day…and it goes by so so so fast….

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Download 2015 Prices PDF

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Vine Hill House Wedding Photography by Apollo Fotografie

Venue: Vine Hill House

Caterer: Park Avenue Catering

Wedding Planner: Dan O’Connell with Vine Hill House

Cake: SussieCakes

Pies: Mom’s Apple Pie

Hair & Makeup: DeeAnna Reese with It’s a Date at the Powder Room

Florist: Val Davis (Kevin’s Sister in Law

Flowers: B-Side Farm

Jazz Band: The Clint Baker Jazz Quartet

DJ: AMS Entertainment

We met in Boston, online (through Match.com). Kevin had moved out to Boston once for college, and once again for a previous relationship, and stayed in Boston for work. Karolina had lived there most of her life, although she had left for a lot of travel and graduate school in London for a time. We started dating, and within a year Karolina left for California, probably because Kevin wouldn’t shut up about how nice it was. After a year of long distance, Kevin moved to Los Angeles for a new job, and Karolina moved down south to move in together. We were separated once again when Karolina took a job in SF. So this time Kevin moved north to where he always wanted to be, anyway. It has been quite a journey.

We were engaged near the beginning of a 9 day trek through the Dolomite mountains in northern Italy. 80 miles of hut to hut hiking with thousands of feet of climbing every day.. Kevin bought and brought a 2 ct. vintage diamond ring made by Shreve (the quintessential famed San Francisco jeweler). So we were engaged doing things we love best – traveling, being outdoors, challenging ourselves physically. We did not have a real theme, but we were aiming for classy and casual California style. We are very casual people, who love love love love living in California. Karolina is a transplant, but Kevin was born here in the Bay Area.

Our wedding weekend was the same weekend as the Gravenstein Apple Festival in Sebastopol, and the fruit was in peak season. All of the child guests at the weddings each had at least two (and sometimes 4-5) apples apiece, picking their extras right off the trees. Our invitations were designed by us, and included stylized headshots of each of us, as well as of Sawyer, our border collie pup who was 2 days shy of 9 months old on our wedding day.

Karolina and I wanted classy but comfortable. Karolina wore a Monique Lhuillier gown (that I actually picked off the rack for her to try), flowers in her hair made by my sister-in-law, and a yellow diamond necklace from Shreve that I bought her for the day. I wore a bespoke suit in summer weight wool from Tailors’ Keep in San Francisco, and a deep navy grenadine tie from Paul Stuart in New York. I have been in around a dozen weddings as a groomsman, plus I have three brothers, so we decided not to have groomsmen and bridesmaids. But my brothers all wore grey suits and royal blue grenadine ties from Paul Stuart, and all of my best guys (a ton of male friends in lieu of groomsmen) wore novelty socks with the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay on them. Karolina loves yellow and sunflowers, so we made sure the flowers included these amazing pale yellow and wine colored sunflowers that are my new favorite flower. I hope I’ll be buying them for anniversaries for decades to come. The flowers were all from a local organic flower grower, and were selected and arranged by my sister-in-law, Val. She did an amazing job. Everywhere there were flowers – in the bouquet, the boutonniere, on tup of the cutting cake – Val selected and arranged with minimal input from us. But they may be the best, and most natural looking, wedding flowers I have ever seen.

Vine Hill House has the ceremony, cocktail hour, dining site, and dance floor all within 150 ft, and on the edge of vineyards and apple orchards. We wanted our minimal decorations to emphasize (and not detract from) the pinot noir grapevines heavy with ripening clusters, and the Gravenstein apple trees just about to be harvested for Martinelli’s Apple Cider that were all around the property.We chose to have our wedding at Vine Hill House because we wanted an outdoor space with sunshine and a view. VHH is an amazing outdoor venue, like having an intimate backyard wedding in the quintessential wine country backyard.Kevin’s friend since high school, Clint Baker, brought a jazz quartet to play and sing at the wedding. Kevin processed to a live rendition of “It Had to Be You”, Karolina processed to a live rendition of “Love is Here to Stay”. The recessional song was a performance of Nat King Cole’s “L-O-V-E”.

Our ceremony was exceedingly secular, and written entirely by us. It was intended to be light hearted and honest. It was performed by our dear mutual friend, Kevin Weng. We had two readings – one from our dog Saywer / Kevin’s brother Craig (5 How Falling in Love is like Owning a Dog) , and one from Karolina’s sister (“I Like You”).

Kevin’s vows: Karolina, making you smile is my favorite thing to do each day. I love that you carry yourself with such elegance and grace, yet you have a deep, deep goofiness that only I know. I love that our little Sawyer is so awesome because you make him so awesome. I love your imaginative mind that invents whole languages and transport technologies particular to the canine world. And I love that you magically keep me balanced, and healthy, physically and emotionally. I already know I am more fortunate than most. And now I get to be married to you!Karolina, I am so happy to make you my partner in life. I pledge to encourage and support you through our journey together. When our way becomes difficult, I promise to stand by you and uplift you. Because together is how we will accomplish everything. I promise to work at our love and always make you a priority in my life. With every bit of my being, I will love you always. These are my vows to you.

Karolina’s Vows: Kevin, I love that I can ask you anything and you almost always have the answer. I love that you have the nicest legs ever. I love that you’re so selfless. I am amazed and jealous that you do as many things as 3 people combined. I love your concentration face, and that you let me dress you up and teach you dance routines. I love that you decorate our home over all of my objections because you know I’ll end up loving it. I love that you think I am capable of doing anything. Kevin, I am so happy to make you my partner in life. I pledge to encourage and support you through our journey together. When our way becomes difficult, I promise to stand by you and uplift you. Because together is how we will accomplish everything. I promise to work at our love and always make you a priority in my life. With every bit of my being, I will love you always.

We served two green cocktails at the cocktail hour, a Copa Verde (a mezcal cocktail with lime, cilantro and chipotle), and a Southern Exposure (a gin drink with celery, mint, and lime); both were inspired by cocktails served at local establishments in our home neighborhood of Cole Valley in SF. As people exited the ceremony they were offered “sparkling or still” in the form of a blanc de noir Napa sparkling wine, and a Sonoma rosé. Our first dance was to Etta James singing At Last (as we were together for nine (9!!!) years before the wedding finally came around). We had two photo booths run by our dear friends Ryan and Carrie, using a lighting set-up Ryan managed to get, and some iPads and software that I put together. And we hosted a whiskey tasting in the grotto adjacent to the dance floor with American, Scottish, and Japanese whiskeys for our guests to try.

Our cutting cake was a carrot cake from SusieCakes in the Marina district of SF – Karolina’s favorite and the best damned carrot cake in the whole world. For desserts, though, we served pies from Mom’s Apple Pie in Sebastopol, about a mile from our wedding spot. Mom is Betty, a Japanese immigrant in her 80s who made us Gravenstein apple pies and blackberry pies from fresh fruit in season. Best.pies.ever.I have bought some every time I went up there. Our only wedding favor were the Gravenstein apples that served as escort cards for our guests.

The laughter. The sunshine. The amazing and wonderful people we are lucky to surround ourselves with.

Advice?: Enjoy.every.second. It is the most amazing day…and it goes by so so so fast….

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