Many of the materials making up the beautiful home of Donna Wilhelm and John Gunn are renewable resources, having been repurposed, reclaimed or recycled. Naturally, this couple, who is passionate about protecting the environment and the earth’s natural resources, took the same approach for their wedding – starting with the 100% cotton invitations from Crane’s.
Donna and John were wed by Reverend Marty Younkin in their spacious living room with approximately 100 friends and family members looking on.
At the end of the wedding ceremony, the guests were invited to take a small stone from baskets near the pond in front of the home. They were asked to make a wish for the newlyweds and throw the stone into the pond, leaving a memory for the couple. This “blessing stone tradition” led by Reverend Younkin was so touching, and the couple enjoyed secretly witnessing it by peering from the house through a nearby window, unseen by their guests. Donna and John took great pleasure throughout the evening asking their friends and family what wish or advice had been cast into the pond for them.
It was time for the reception, starting with cocktails…next door. All the guests strolled on a pathway of greenery to enjoy the cocktail hour at the new, equally amazing eco-friendly home of the bride’s daughter (who also served as Matron of Honor) and son-in-law. The guests noshed on hearty passed hors d’oeuvres of beef Carpaccio, salmon tartlets and onion squares before heading back to the bride and groom’s home to continue the celebration.
As guests returned, they were treated to the couple’s first dance and cake-cutting ceremony before the buffet opened and the casual, lively celebration continued. This was an encore wedding for both Donna and John, and they wanted to add special touches unique to their life together, including bringing in their love of travel. Guests were treated to food and music from all over the globe.
Chefs Jonathan Calabrese and Brad Dickens from the trendy – and very eco-conscious – Savory Catering Company prepared Mediterranean chicken with olives and wild mushrooms served on creamy Parmesan polenta onsite while guests toured the beautiful and interesting house, taking in the green elements and fascinating art and sculpture.
Music performed by the percussion-driven “Duriye and Friends” drifted throughout the house the entire evening as guests of all ages danced on the patio to the jazz, funk, Latin and Afro-Cuban rhythms, again in tribute to the couple’s international travels and love of various cultures.
The décor was all about nature. The muted pastel color palate was a wonderful way to bring the outdoors in, from green and ivory linens to the natural wood containers filled with lush white, green, peach and yellow flowers fresh from the garden…Junior Villanueva’s garden, that is. Junior of The Garden Gate did a fabulous job of keeping all the décor earthy and in balance with the couple’s lovely eco-friendly home, with his usual stunning style.
As the evening wound down, guests were sent home with hugs and small pots of fresh herbs, which the happy couple hoped they might plant in gardens at their own homes, bringing a little more green into all of their lives.
Bamboo dinnerware: Smart Living Companies
Linens/chairs: BBJ Linens and Ducky Bob’s Event Specialists
Minister: Reverend Marty Younkin, Love Notes
Music: Duriye and Friends
Wedding cake/ Cupcakes: The Cupcakery
Wedding Planners: Marsha and Staci, StarDust Celebrations