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Jessica & Daniel’s Hollister at Leal Vineyards Wedding Photography

Hollister At Leal Vineyards Wedding Photography

Jessica & Daniel’s Leal Vineyards Wedding


The colors in the bouquets matched our wedding palette – dark purples and oranges with hints of green.

When I say we, I mean my bridesmaid Cat – the gorgeous tattooed brunette. She is an insanely talented person with the best eye for aesthetics I have ever seen.

I found my dress at Novela Bridal in SF. It was one of the first dresses I tried on. Didn’t buy it for a couple of weeks – shopped around some more, but I knew it was the one.

For the boutonnieres I asked for mini succulents and was incredibly happy with how they turned out.

at suggested gray tuxes with brown shoes – which is infinitely better than black tuxes for an outdoor wedding.

We ordered the same suit for all the groomsmen and for Dan, but ordered a vest for him so that he could be fancy.

And of course we chose burnt orange to coordinate with the bridesmaid dresses.

Cat found these amazing bridesmaid dresses on Etsy. They were burnt orange infinite dresses and I loved the fact that the girls could wear them any way they wanted with no alterations required.

I wanted to find a place which was “all inclusive”; food, venue, bar, lodging. Dan and I envisioned a kind of Mexican style hacienda theme. And since we love wine, we wanted to be married in a vineyard.

I googled weddings in San Juan Bautista. The first thing that came up was Hacienda de Leal, which is the hotel owned by Leal Vineyards. Just like that, I found the perfect venue.

When Daniel proposed to me it was with his mother’s rings. The center ring had 3 diamond clusters and there were 2 diamond guards. Cat, who manages a jewelry store, re-designed the ring.

“What I didn’t tell Daniel, and what was the absolute hardest secret for me to keep until the day of our wedding, was that we used the original gold from her ring to make his band.

The most special part of the ceremony was the fact that our officiant is a friend of my parents. He married them back in 1984.

Daniel and I met through mutual friends when we were living in Portland.Daniel is from LA and I am from SF. We would see each other at parties now and then but he did not ask me out for two years because his roommate liked me.

About one year into our relationship, Daniel’s mother – who had been battling cancer – fell ill. He moved down to LA to be with her, and I moved down to be with all of them shortly after.

We wanted the colors to complement the barrel room where the reception was taking place.

I have catered enough weddings to know that I did not want a wedding cake. Went with s’more station and dessert bar instead, and had a little cake so that we could do the ceremonial cake cutting.

The barrel room was somewhat dark, and since this was a fall wedding we chose burnt orange and Cabernet as the main palette with pale green as an accent color.

My brother Josh gave an incredible and unexpected speech at our wedding. Josh says when it comes to how you treat each other, always strive to raise the bar rather than test to see how much it can be lowered..

I am definitely a food snob, and this venue had outstanding food.

My bridesmaid Kelly made the toppers, which I think Dan used to smear frosting on my face.According to him, Dan and I – no matter what we are going through – try to be as nice to each other as possible.

“When it comes to how you treat each other, always strive to raise the bar rather than test to see how much it can be lowered.”

 Most couples reserve their date in our calendars 12+ months prior to their wedding day.



Daniel and I met through mutual friends when we were living in Portland. Daniel is from LA and I am from SF. We would see each other at parties now and then but he did not ask me out for two years because his roommate liked me (gross). About one year into our relationship, Daniel’s mother – who had been battling cancer – fell ill. He moved down to LA to be with her, and I moved down to be with all of them shortly after. Sadly, she passed away the following year. When Daniel proposed to me it was with her rings. The center ring had 3 diamond clusters and there were 2 diamond guards. Cat, who manages a jewelry store, re-designed the ring. It turned out a lot bigger than I expected, and when I first saw it I was so appalled and upset I cried. But this was also the same reaction I had to the marriage proposal, so I thought maybe it was a good sign. After wearing it for a week I completely fell in love with the ring. What I didn’t tell Daniel, and what was the absolute hardest secret for me to keep until the day of our wedding, was that we used the original gold from her ring to make his band.

We wanted the colors to complement the barrel room where the reception was taking place. The barrel room was somewhat dark, and since this was a fall wedding we chose burnt orange and Cabernet as the main palette with pale green as an accent color. When I say we, I mean my bridesmaid Cat – the gorgeous tattooed brunette. She is an insanely talented person with the best eye for aesthetics I have ever seen. This stuff is effortless for her; she pretty much designed the entire look of my wedding in a short conversation over breakfast.

Cat found these amazing bridesmaid dresses on Etsy. They were burnt orange infinite dresses and I loved the fact that the girls could wear them any way they wanted with no alterations required. For the groomsmen, Cat introduced me to theblacktux.com. The models on that site are ridiculously attractive and I also loved the suits. Cat suggested gray tuxes with brown shoes – which is infinitely better than black tuxes for an outdoor wedding. We ordered the same suit for all the groomsmen and for Dan, but ordered a vest for him so that he could be fancy. And of course we chose burnt orange to coordinate with the bridesmaid dresses. I found my dress at Novela Bridal in SF. It was one of the first dresses I tried on. Didn’t buy it for a couple of weeks – shopped around some more, but I knew it was the one. I ordered it in blush, which they said was the color of the dress I tried on… but I don’t think so. I think the one I tried was ivory, but was totally happy with the blush when it came. Daniel is only about 4 inches taller than me, so I decided to wear kitten heels. Found a nice pair online and ordered them in blush.
We originally proposed a fruit and floral theme for the wedding bouquets. We made a Pinterest board with bouquets containing oranges, pomegranates, artichokes, etc. The decorator was thrilled with this idea and took it from there. She ended up mostly using succulents and even artichokes, and I thought she did an amazing job. The colors in the bouquets matched our wedding palette – dark purples and oranges with hints of green. We wanted the bouquets to be very organic looking and not too tight. For the boutonnieres I asked for mini succulents and was incredibly happy with how they turned out.
All throughout college in Portland, I catered weddings. Based on my experience, the thought of renting a space and then hiring a bunch of different vendors seemed terrible. So I knew that I wanted to find a place which was “all inclusive”; food, venue, bar, lodging. Dan and I envisioned a kind of Mexican style hacienda theme. And since we love wine, we wanted to be married in a vineyard. I visited 3 different venues; none of them were right. After months of researching I told my grandma I was frustrated with looking. She asked if I have ever been to San Juan Bautista and said she thought Dan and I would like it there. So I googled weddings in San Juan Bautista. The first thing that came up was Hacienda de Leal, which is the hotel owned by Leal Vineyards. Just like that, I found the perfect venue. For the processional song it was Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb in instrumental. And for the recessional it was Canon in D. The most special part of the ceremony was the fact that our officiant is a friend of my parents. He married them back in 1984.
I am definitely a food snob, and this venue had outstanding food. My favorite was the braised short ribs and potatoes au gratin. Since we are avid campers, I had to go with the s’more bar! Our signature cocktails were: Cosmopolitan (tribute to Sex in the City) and what was SUPPOSED to be Dan’s late grandfather’s signature drink, but we did not get the recipe in time. So it was some other kind of tequila drink, it was fine, it got me drunk. We did have a photo booth because it was an option that came with the venue, and getting access to all of the pictures at the end was a huge plus! The table numbers were locations which had special meaning for Dan and me (e.g., Portland) and each had a relevant photo and anecdote to go with it. A very special song for Daniel’s mother and her husband Mark was “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis. For our first dance, we used Chris Isaac’s version. Dan and I didn’t rehearse anything for our wedding. Everything – our first dance, our entrance into the barrel room, our speeches to each other – was totally spontaneous.
I have catered enough weddings to know that I did not want a wedding cake. Went with s’more station and dessert bar instead, and had a little cake so that we could do the ceremonial cake cutting. My bridesmaid Kelly made the toppers, which I think Dan used to smear frosting on my face. My brother made the gifts for the guests – he owns a carnivorous plant business (predatoryplants.com) and the gifts were little glass terrariums with carnivorous plants inside.
My brother Josh gave an incredible and unexpected speech at our wedding. According to him, Dan and I – no matter what we are going through – try to be as nice to each other as possible. Josh says this might not seem like much, but it is rare. I would like to share this with future couples. When it comes to how you treat each other, always strive to raise the bar rather than test to see how much it can be lowered.