A Relaxed, Romantic Wedding at Retzlaff Vineyards Winery in Livermore, California

Inspired by the beauty and carefree feel of summer nights, Hope Bovenzi (25 and a systems engineer) and Jake Bucher (25 and a mechanical test engineer) planned a romantic late-summer wedding with a palette of copper rose, antique gold, mauve, peach, blush and ivory. “My goal was for everything to feel romantic, so we picked an evening wedding in the late summer, so it would still be warm, especially at night,” Hope says. “I picked a palette that would reflect a romantic feel and the colors of the sunset. I then carried it throughout the wedding in the linens, emblems and other decor.” When it came to choosing a location to host their wedding, Retzlaff Vineyards Winery seemed like an obvious choice for Hope and Jake. The pair stumbled across the family-owned winery while visiting several other Livermore, California, vineyards, and fell for the intimate setting and welcoming staff. They were so head over heels that Jake suggested, out of the blue, that the two should tie the knot there one day. “He had never said anything like that before, so I was pleasantly surprised knowing that if he felt that comfortable in this location that must mean something! We weren’t even engaged yet,” Hope says. “After we did actually get engaged, one of the first things he said as we were starting to plan was ‘Remember Retzlaff? We should get married there.’ ” 

Hope and Jake took advantage of the stunning setting and hosted their ceremony on Retzclaff’s expansive lawn, providing their family and friends beautiful views of the vineyards and the rolling hills beyond. Every aspect of the ceremony was customized, from the handcrafted wedding arch that Jake’s father built to the personalized vows and a wine box unity ceremony. “Jake and I will drink it together on our five-year anniversary, read our vows to each other again and replace the bottle of wine to be enjoyed on our 10-year anniversary.” The celebration continued outdoors with a lively cocktail hour complete with corn hole and giant Jenga, both made by Jake’s father. “My favorite memory of him was hand-painting the corn hole emblem we used throughout the wedding. It was the last time I got to spend with him, and we spent the day being creative together,” Hope says. “I am forever grateful for that memory.” Dinner took place under a canopy of pepper trees and brightly lit bistro lights. Tables were dressed in blush, ivory, burlap and sequin-flecked linens and boasted cascading arrangements of ivory and blush blooms centered on skyward-reaching manzanita trees. After an al fresco dinner, Hope and Jake surprised their guests with ice cream tacos and cake pops from the Rocko’s Ice Cream Tacos food truck in lieu of wedding cake. “Jake and I had three goals that we wanted to make sure we always kept in sight as we planned the wedding: to get married, spend time with the people we love and have a party,” Hope says. “I think everything about our wedding really reflected us as a couple.” A tip from Hope and Jake: “Our advice would be to focus on those same goals. If you’re worried or stressed, refocus and think about if these things are part of your essential goals. When it comes to planning, nothing is more important than the love you have for your significant other—that’s the whole purpose of the wedding in the first place. Everything else is secondary.” —Libby MacCarthy