Sophie Symonds and Ulises Giacoman hosted their wedding at Vine Hill House in Sebastopol, California on Saturday, August 5, 2023. Their celebration was colorful, full of joy and entirely al fresco. Vine Hill House’s outdoor event spaces made it an easy Sonoma County venue choice. The landscaped lawns and gardens are extremely well-maintained. I loved taking candid photos of the couple as they strolled through Vine Hill House’s garden or under the branches of redwood trees. Sophie and Uli’s guests wore cocktail attire and light jackets to this wine country wedding.
Breathtaking wedding and event venues like this one are a big reason why I cherish being a Sonoma photographer. I love to document people’s happiest moments in front of some of the most beautiful backdrops in the world.
Vine Hill House is located on the O’Connell Vineyards and Apple Orchard Estate in the Russian River Valley wine region of Sonoma County. It’s just four miles north of Sebastopol, five miles south of the Russian River, and seven miles west of Santa Rosa and the U.S. 101. From ceremony to cake cutting, Sophie and Uli’s guests were mesmerized by the stunning Sonoma wine country setting. Vine Hill House has unmatched views of grapevines and apple trees as far as the eye can see. You can even see Mount St. Helena to the north and the coastal mountain range stretching south.
Sophie and Uli’s wedding in Sebastopol beautifully honored their love and heritage. Keep scrolling to see more photos from this special Sonoma county wedding day.
A Wedding at Vine Hill House is available for rental daily between April 1 and November 30. Couples receive up to six-hours of wedding rental time and access to the guest house throughout the day. This Sonoma County wedding venue offers day-of event management and coordination. They provides day-of personal assistance for couples, their bridal party, and their families. This includes the setup of tables, chairs, decor, ceremony and lounge areas, bars, games, and signage.
This venue has ample off-street parking and parking attendants. The venue can accommodate any size shuttle or bus. They have ADA-approved restroom facilities and a fully equipped outdoor kitchen/prep area. Couples get access to tons of tables, chairs, and umbrellas. Facility lighting includes landscape uplighting, small white lights, dance floor lighting, and dining area festival lights. They also has a dance floor and outdoor patio heaters.
Despite working for the same company, Sophie and Uli’s paths had never crossed. She was on the sales recruiting team and he was on the engineering team. They first met in Tahoe on a trip organized by a mutual friend/coworker. As fate would have it, the same friend that introduced Sophie and Uli would officiate their wedding!
Sophie and Uli made pasta from scratch for their first date. She loved to make pasta after studying abroad in Italy and Uli bought supplies for homemade pesto. Sophie chuckles at the memory of Uli bringing his own dish towel and olive oil, just in case she didn’t have either. Their differences made her unsure, but Sophie couldn’t deny the sparks she felt once they sat down to eat and talk. She even gave Uli a second chance after he brought a terrible first-date dessert of cheese and quince paste.
The couple got engaged over Memorial Day Weekend in 2022. Sophie was not surprised by the proposal, although she originally thought Uli would do it in Italy a week later for her birthday. Uli’s strange behavior leading up to Memorial Day gave Sophie reason to believe that the big question was incoming. Finally, Uli asked Sophie to brunch and a walk with their rescue puppy Luca at Golden Gate Park. When they got to the top of Stowe Lake, he got down on one knee.
“To be honest, I don’t remember exactly what he said,” says Sophie. “I think I blacked out a bit. But I do remember seeing him down on one knee and I knew I would say yes without hesitation.”
After the proposal, Sophie called friends and family to tell them the news and remembered thinking they weren’t excited enough. Little did she know they were already on their way to her mom’s house for a surprise party. That part of Uli’s proposal was a successful surprise.
For Sophie’s wedding at Vine Hill House she wanted to see her Grandmother’s memory everywhere at their beautiful wedding. When the bride closed her eyes, she could hear her say “You look marvelous, darling” in an iconic New York Accent. Sophie placed a photo of her grandmother and a homemade vase on an empty seat in the front row of their ceremony. She wrapped her grandmother’s wedding garter around her bouquet – so they could hold hands.
A handkerchief from Aunt Netty on her wedding day wiped the bride’s tears. The couple’s wedding bands were made from a ring that belonged to Sophie’s grandmother. The diamonds are on Sophie’s band and the gold in Uli’s. Sophie’s grandmother saw the rings before she passed away and loved them.
Her grandmother’s letter chest collected the couple’s cards and gifts. Grandmother’s signature Vodka Gimlet was featured on the menu, along with the champagne she gave them the day they got engaged. Sophie’s grandfather’s tallit was included on their chuppah.
Sophie and Uli hopped on a honeymoon flight to Belize after their wedding. Today, they enjoy cooking, traveling, and watching reality dating shows together. It was an honor to photograph their wedding. Click here to book Alicia Parks Photography for your upcoming wedding or event.
Alicia Parks Photography
Venue // Vine Hill House
Photography // Alicia Parks Photography
Videographer // Tifani Beecher Photography
Florals // Vanda Floral Design
Catering // Trends Catering
Rentals // Encore Events Rentals
Entertainment // Grapevine Music and Photobooth
Hair and Makeup // Santa Rosa Powder Room