Oak Farm Vineyards | Rustic Meets Romance at Oak Farm Vineyards

Written by Allison Hopkins for Très Fabu Event Planning and Design

Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns. ~ George Eliot
Cara Wademan had a very clear vision for her fall wedding. She imagined casual yet chic with a rustic flair; a relaxing ceremony surrounded by friends and family; a place where her guests would be free to roam the grounds; and an abundance of comfort food.

When Debra Michelle Hiebèrt of Très Fabu Event Planning and Design introduced the idea of Oak Farm Vineyards in Lodi, California, Cara was immediately sold.

“Debra found Oak Farm Vineyards, a gorgeous vineyard complete with a barn (my one request) and a touch of southern charm with a large, white plantation house,” says Wademan. “The barn reminded me a lot of the old hay barns I see at my Grandma’s house. I am also in love with white running fences, and Oak Farm has loads of them!”

Sunday, October 3, 2010 proved to be a perfect autumn day — sunny and mild with a bit of a breeze. The ceremony began at two o’clock in the afternoon and 150 people attended. Debra and Cara incorporated a variety of fall colors that complemented the natural beauty of the land. Patina green was brought out in the bridesmaids’ dresses. Oranges, greens, and ivories were shown in a variety of pumpkins of different shades (Luminas, Full Moons, Young Beauties, Autumn Golds, Marina Di Chioggias, Fairytales, Cinderellas, mini Jack o’ Lanterns, and Baby Boos). The table linens were carefully chosen — underlays of chocolate and burnt tangerine, and burlap overlays that were woven with a swirl design.

The floral and decorative arrangements provided by Shelley McArdle of Floral Artistry incorporated a variety of wheat and leaves, roses in red and apricot tones, cream and orange chrysanthemums, sunflowers, and other yellow hues.

“Shelley listened to my requests and she executed them 1,000 times better than I could have imagined,” says Wademan. “It really touched me that she went to the trouble of searching antique stores for a broach for my bridal bouquet. She went above and beyond.”

The wedding was performed by Pastor Kevin Brown of Lodi. He successfully created a relaxing atmosphere (the couple’s request) while they exchanged vows in a short ceremony. Six bridesmaids and three groomsmen supported the happy couple at the altar. The groom (Mike) was dressed in a classic black and white tuxedo, and the bride…

“I wanted a gown that was fun and flirty and that’s exactly what I got!” says Wademan. “It was a couture gown that has lots of vertical ruffles down the skirt. I loved it. I think I now know what a princess at Disneyland feels like with everyone wanting to take their picture with you.”

Dinner was displayed beautifully—a rustic buffet with burlap runners, wine boxes, and an antique drying rack that housed the wrapped utensils. Randy Peters Catering created a wonderful meal that consisted of wild rice stuffed butternut squash; corn on the cob (roasted in the husk) with a chili butter sauce and topped with parmesan cheese; garlic sirloin roast; freshly baked artisan rolls; cornbread stuffing; and a chilled green salad.

“People can’t stop talking about the food at the wedding,” says Wademan. “I couldn’t have imagined a meal that better fit the season. They really put a lot of thought and effort into planning it.”

For dessert, Cara wanted every guest to have a mini cake! Cupcakes were baked by Icing on the Cupcake in five autumn flavors: vanilla, chocolate, red velvet, snicker doodle, and maple nut. They were displayed beautifully on dark copper three-tiered cupcake stands.

CinZo Photography captured all the afternoon bliss (including lawn games for the guests) and the special moments of the evening as the couple danced to live bluegrass music and mingled with their families and friends.

When the night came to an end, each guest was sent home with a special gift that was baked and packaged by the bride — a fabulous little jar of peanut brittle in honor of Cara’s grandfather who passed away a few years ago. Cara has many fond memories of making the holiday treat with her Gradfather Jack and included the special story on a tag attached to each jar.

Newlyweds Cara and Mike are extremely thankful for Debra, the Très Fabu team, and for their perfect autumnal wonderland.

“The moment I realized having a wedding planner was well worth the money was during an appointment with my caterer,” says Wademan. “They were asking questions, and all I could say was ‘I don’t know, but Debra will.’ I didn’t know if there was electricity where the dinner would be served, or where the best place for them to set up a field kitchen would be so that it would be out of view from the guests, or if there was accessible running water, etc. Debra to the rescue!”

For Debra, the event was a fun challenge. “Autumn is my absolute favorite moment of the year in northern California,” says Hiebèrt. “I just knew I could encompass her vision and pull out the best that Mother Nature has to offer, and design an autumn filled wedding that Cara would just absolutely adore!”

For more information about the vendors, please visit:

Event Planning, Design & Decor: Très Fabu Event Planning and Design, www.tresfabuevents.com

Flowers/Leaves/Wheat: Floral Artistry: www.floralartistrybyshelley.com

Photography: CinZo Celebration Photography: www.cinzophoto.com

Custom Designed Seating Chart ~ Table Names ~ Bar & Wedding Menu ~ Robyn Lyn Steward of Philosophia: www.laphilosophia.com

Cupcakes: Icing on the Cupcake: www.icingonthecupcake.com

Venue: Oak Farm Vineyards, www.oakfarmvineyards.com

Catering: Randy Peters, www.randypeterscatering.com

Video: Sheffield Media: www.sheffieldmultimedia.com

Rentals: Celebrations Elegant Party Rentals: www.CelebrationsPartyRentals.com

Linens: Mimi & Co.: www.mimiandco.com

Wedding Favor table Linen: Wildflower Linens www.wildflowerlinens.com

Wedding Hair Styling:  Renee Marquez: www.stylesbyrenee.com

Wedding Make-up Styling:  Leilani Bryan: www.makeupbyleilani.com

Wedding Favors: Cara Johnson-Wademan ~ Our fabulous bride

Oak Farm Vineyards | Note of Gratitude from Cara & Mike for their Autumnal Celebration on 10.3.10

Hello everyone!!

Mike and I are heading out on our honeymoon soon, but I just need to tell you all something. From the bottom of my heart thank you. I know why Debra recommended each and every one of you.  Our wedding yesterday was beyond breathtaking and above what I could even imagine. I wish I had more time to e-mail you individually, but this will have to do:

Shelley – You incorporated everything I asked for into the floral decorations and bouquets.  The bridesmaids and I could not stop talking about how gorgeous they were.  The fact that you went to such depths to create my autumn vision ~ shows how dedicated you are to your craft. The wheat bunches were also a highlight, and looked better than the ones I showed you in the magazine.

Cindi and Lorenzo – I wish more than anything that the sun would have been out longer so we could have spent the whole evening taking pictures! You two have an amazing talent, and work so well together, which in turn makes your subjects comfortable and relaxed.  I can not wait to see the pictures. I know they’ll be great because you did such a fabulous job with the engagement ones.

Pastor Kevin – At dinner, Mike introduced me to his 8th grade science teacher, Mrs. Parker. She is now 85 years old and said she has been to more weddings than she can count. Your service yesterday was the best she has ever heard.  Your voice was warm, you were funny, light hearted, and not pretentious. I couldn’t agree more.  Thank you for capturing our spirit in your ceremony.

Renee and Leilani – In the events leading up to the wedding I have had my hair and makeup done multiple times. None of them compared to what you did yesterday. After the ceremony Mike leaned in and told me that I looked absolutely beautiful and whoever did my hair and makeup really knew what they were doing. My bridesmaids were thrilled. Each and everyone. I couldn’t have asked for a better group of girls!

Mimi & Gaby – Thank you for being one of the few vendors who actually stocks burlap, and fancy burlap at that!!! The linens were absolutely gorgeous, and really helped to tie the whole event together!

Randy and Lisa – Not one complaint about the food. NOT ONE!!! You and your crew were professional and very attentive to the guests. This was no ordinary buffet food, let me assure you!!!  Not only did everything taste delicious, but you really took the time to pick menu options that were unique and autumn appropriate. Our guests were amazed.

Sarah – Talk about an amazing venue!  Thank you for being such a great host.  Our guests loved the grounds, and I caught glimpses of several of them wandering around the premises taking peeks and pictures. GORGEOUS!

And of course, my lovely Debra: I don’t have words to express my gratitude for making our day so special and unique. I saw you hustling around working your butt off – all for our occasion and to make our day so special. You are an amazing and caring person.  You have a talent unsurpassed by others in your profession for taking a theme and running with it.  Your vision for our autumnal celebration was spot on! And your staff!  I can not believe that one of them (Danielle?) gave me her flip flops to wear. Such a sweetheart. You picked fine helpers! Also, please please, please tell the stationer/printer (Philosophia Custom Paperie) that I have NEVER seen such amazing work in my life. I CANNOT get over how amazing the seating chart is.  SERIOUSLY. Wow!!! I’m still gitty about it!!!!!!

Thank you all again!!


Mrs. Cara Wademan 🙂

Cara & Mike’s Dream Team consisted of:

www.CinZoPhoto.com ~ CinZo Celebration Photograpy ~ Cindi Kinney & Lorenzo Bartone
www.FloralArtistrybyShelley.com ~ Floral Artistry ~ Shelley McArdle
www.RandyPetersCatering.com ~ Randy Peters Catering ~ Lisa Peters & Team
www.MimiandCompany.com ~ Mimi &Co. ~ Mimi and Gaby
www.OakFarmVineyards.com ~ Oak Farm Vineyards ~ Sara Vigil Jones
www.weddingmakeup.blogspot.com/ ~ Make-up by Leilani ~ Lelani Bryan
www.stylesbyrenee.com/ ~ Styles by Renee ~ Renee Marquez
www.LaPhilosophia.com ~ Philosophia Custom Paperie ~ Robyn Lyn Steward
www.SheffieldMultimedia.com ~ Sheffield Multimedia ~ Jim Foust
www.CelebrationsPartyRentals.com ~ Celebrations Elegant Party Rentals ~ Lacey Wright
Pastor Kevin Brown ~ Officiant