Real Weddings: Amy & Michael’s Vineyard Wedding

Amy & Mike had a laid-back, intimate wedding with 35 guests. Their ceremony took place on an expansive lawn underneath one of the HammerSky Vineyard’s century-old oak trees.

According to wedding planner Erin McDonald from Dandelion and Grey, the ceremony site was simple and sweet, so the focus would be on Mike & Amy and the natural beauty surrounding them.

“Guest’s spent cocktail hour playing lawn games, taking photos in the polaroid photo booth and enjoying wine from the vines that surrounded them. One long dining table provided a cozy, inviting atmosphere for dinner, which was served family-style. Dancing and dessert took place in the barn underneath an antique chandelier and an abundance of string lights,” says Erin. “It was such a beautiful day.”

vineyard wedding california

Amy, 30 & Michael, 33

Paso Robles, Ca

Wedding Date: September 26, 2010

Number of Guests: 30 adults and 5 kids

Wedding Cost: $20,000

Wedding Ceremony Location: HammerSky Vineyard

Wedding Reception Location: Same

Black and white couple portrait

Why did you have an intimate wedding?

We have a very small group of friends and both have small families.

bride getting ready black and white bride portrait

What are some the challenges that you faced planning an intimate wedding?

None compared to an other wedding. It was actually easier because I didn’t have to accommodate too many people.

bride and groom kissing at reception table bride and groom walking through vineyard

Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?


wedding dress hanging in window blue wedding shoes rings on mirror

chalkboard lawn games sign colorful striped straws in a mason jar vintage fan decor wedding beads

Did you have any ‘issues’ with the small guest list from friends and family? If so, how did you address them?


bride in hallway

What were the highlights of the ceremony?

Soaking it all in and the excitement that this day is finally here!!

outdoor vineyard wedding ceremony bride and groom exchanging rings outdoor wedding in california vineyard

What were the highlights of the reception?

Since we had a small wedding with only 35 guests it was easy to spend time with all of them as well as each other without feeling pulled in all different directions. Also, we had afamily style meal and that was really special because it felt like two families, along with our friends, coming together to share a meal together for the first time.  That was really great, like Thanksgiving!

polaroid name cards bride and groom chair signs bride in california vineyard wedding flowers for outdoor wedding in vineyard

What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?

How relaxing it is to look around and see only the closest people in our lives gathered together. And not being spread too thin by too many guests.

bride and groom walking through vineyard

What advice do you have for couples who are considering an intimate wedding?

We explained that we can only have a limited amount of guests, that way nobody’s feelings got hurt. Also, planning it in a destination location was a huge deterrent for a lot of people like co-workers and such who we like and all, but didn’t necessarily want to invite.


Venue:HammerSky Vineyard

Catering:Epic Catering

Photography: Sarah Kathleen Photography

Event Design: Erin McDonald with Dandelion and Grey

Flowers: Flowers By Kim


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5 Comments  |  Filed Under: Real Weddings, Vineyard Weddings

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  1. Posted by Lizzie on October 12th, 2010 at 3:22pm

    Beautiful bride! This wedding has all kinds of cute details!
  2. Posted by Kelly on October 12th, 2010 at 8:01pm

    Wow. What a stunning wedding. I really love the dress. The details are awesome. Thanks for featuring this wedding. And congrats to the bride and groom. :)
  3. Posted by Jaime Miller on October 13th, 2010 at 11:18pm

    This intimate setting truly shows that you don't need an over-the-top guest list for your special day. Also, I bet the wine was delicious!
  4. Posted by Ramesh on October 30th, 2010 at 10:37am

    Beautiful, love how the bride looks.
  5. Posted by angel on July 16th, 2011 at 2:56pm

    I love this wedding! I'm from The Philippines and getting married early next year. We are planning an intimate DIY wedding with just family of 30 persons, with 4 kids, counting our toddler. Reception is dinner at a nice Italian resto and winery. I need all the inspiration, since we are already getting raised eyebrows for having usch a simple wedding. Here in our country, smallest number of guests 1s 150. And to have a beautiful wedding in a nice and popular church and hotel or venue, designer MTO gowns, flowers, photo and videographer, souvenirs, invites, coordinator etc etc you'd need around $15,000. All that for a tiring day, and moments you can just look back at in the video and photos. The Wedding suppliers industry here is really big. ... I am really inspired right now in this site! Thank you!
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