Sonya and Ross are two tech-savvy businesspeople, so it’s only appropriate that LinkedIn served as the conduit for their romance. “I like to say that Ross stalked me on LinkedIn,” jokes Sonya. “A former of colleague of Ross’s told him to look me up when I worked at Time, Inc. and Ross was at a startup called Meebo. At the time, Ross lived in San Francisco and I lived in Brooklyn. Ross connected with me on LinkedIn, hoping to do business with brands at Time, Inc. No business was done—but coffee quickly turned into a five-hour date a few nights later!” The bi-coastal couple’s second date was a weekend in Los Angeles, where they both traveled for business. “We had excellent dinners, fun farmers’ market experiences, and a wonderful walk along the beach in Malibu,” Sonya remembers. Two years later, Ross re-created that second date and proposed to Sonya on a Malibu beach, giving her a ring by Jean & Alex that featured a diamond from the groom’s great-grandmother.
As lovers of the world’s wine-producing regions, it was an easy decision to host their wedding in scenic Sonoma. They also wanted a venue that felt magical, as if removed from everyday life. Viansa Winery proved the perfect setting. “It’s not only a beautiful winery,” says Sonya, “but its location set up on a hill really makes you feel like you are away from the rest of the world.”
Viansa Winery event planner Cortney Antonetti-Holt assisted the couple in creating a day that reflected their style. For Sonya, part of that was capturing a classic Hollywood feel. “My father brought me up with all of the old Hollywood shows and stars, so I have always loved the era and felt like it was magical,” she says. “Working at Life.com and looking at the best of the best photos from those days only made me love the period more.”
Accordingly, Sonya chose an Elizabeth Fillmore gown that was reminiscent of 1930s/40s styles. This was paired with shoes by Pelle Moda and an heirloom diamond bracelet that served as both her “something borrowed” and “something old.” For her “something blue,” she carried a silver clutch adorned with a blue flower. Sonya’s hair and makeup were styled by Lauthr Salon. The bridesmaids wore deep purple gowns by Alfred Sung, while the groom selected a classic suit by John Varvatos. As avid supporters of small businesses and startups, Ross selected a cool money holder for his attendants; Sonya’s bridesmaids each received a hand-made clutch with colorful detachable flowers.
Most of all, Sonya and Ross’s wedding was all about personalization. “I didn’t really have a ‘wedding style’ or ‘wedding colors’; I just chose things that I liked!” the bride says. “We also tried to do everything just a little bit different, without being offbeat just to be offbeat.” The couple wrote the ceremony as well as their own vows, blending traditional Jewish ceremony pieces and blessings with literature, poems, and readings that reflected their culture and love of the arts. “That made it uniquely special and personal,” the bride says. Additionally, they exchanged custom wedding bands by Jean & Alex.
Working with the staff at Sage Catering, Sonya spent a lot of time creating the perfect menu. This included a white Fall sangria, appetizers of mushrooms and goat cheese, as well as chocolate- covered strawberries. Amidst flowers by Huckleberry Karen, guests at the reception toasted with Gloria Ferrer Blanc de Noirs. The couple also provided flip-flops so friends and family with tired feet could keep dancing all night!
Looking back on the day, Sonya remembers smiling until her face hurt and has this advice for brides-to-be: “Enjoy it. Enjoy all of it. Don’t plan it for too long—you don’t have to; it will be wonderful anyway.” As they settle into life as a married couple, Sonya sees many more wonderful days ahead. “I think it will only get better and better and better,” she says.
Photographer: Catherine Hall, Catherine Hall Studios | Planner: Cortney Antonetti-Holt, Viansa Winery | Ceremony Venue & Reception Venue: Viansa Winery| Dress Designer: Elizabeth Fillmore | Groom’s Wardrobe Designer: John Varvatos | Shoe Designer for Bride: Pelle Moda | Bridesmaids Dresses: Alfred Sung | Wedding Band and Engagement Ring Designer: Johnson Poh (Jean & Alex) | Hair & Makeup: Megan Shieberl, Lauthr Salon | Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas | Officiant: Rabbi Stephen Pearce | Florist: Huckleberry Karen Designs | Caterer, Cake Designer, & Desserts: Sage Catering | Rentals, Linen, & Lighting: Viansa Winery| Ceremony Music: Chloe Allen Trio | Reception Music: Cal Mobil DJ | Transportation: Marin Air Porter and Pure Luxury