Sarah Rorrer met Brad Somberg at a design industry event in Chicago in March 2008, she was intrigued. “He was wearing an Italian suit and Converse tennis shoes,” she recalls. The two talked for hours, and yet, Sarah confirms she didn’t realize he was the host of the party until he was asked to sign the bill. Brad admits he was so captivated by her that he ignored all his guests.
Sarah soon agreed to see him again. Three years of dating and traveling around the world followed. The proposal came in February 2011, in Paris, as the couple gazed at the Eiffel Tower from their riverboat perch on the Seine. There, Brad presented Sarah with a ring and asked for her hand in marriage. “I said ‘yes’ in the city of love and lights,” she recollects. “I’ll never forget that moment.”
"WE WANTED OUR WEDDING TO BE INTIMATE, CREATIVE, FASHIONABLE, FUN AND MEANINGFUL. IT WAS NOTHING LESS.”
Their first intent was to host the wedding in Bali, but instead the couple opted on a location closer to family and friends. Their place of choice was Beaulieu Garden, a sprawling, European-inspired vineyard and private estate deep in wine country. Still, while the venue exuded romance, Sarah was always in search of ways to add a little edge. She found it in her wedding dress.
Determined to find a gown she was told would just “feel right,” Sarah tried on versions from around the world. But, it wasn’t until she previewed Vera Wang’s black and nude collection that she fell in love with one in particular on the other end of the color spectrum. A visit back to the shop with her future mother-in-law confirmed her selection. “She took one look at me and started to cry,” says the bride. “I knew it was perfect.”
The couple married during an evening ceremony among fifty of their family and friends in the Italian Garden. The couple’s King Charles Spaniel, Theodore, preceded the bride down the aisle. She was accompanied by an instrumental piece composed by Imogen Heap. Her groom cried as she made her approach.
Among the couple’s favorite details of the day was the release of butterflies just after they were introduced as husband and wife. “It had been my one little wish,” reveals Sarah, adding that Brad had sworn the wedding planner to secrecy and made the details a surprise.
Cocktail hour followed in the Sunken Garden. Later, guests were escorted to the Sycamore Arbor to enjoy a magnificent four-course meal and lounge music reminiscent of Hotel Costes, a European hot spot favored by Brad and Sarah.
As an ode to the Big Apple, the couple enlisted the Bumbys, a performance-art twosome, known for their quirky disguises and spot-on evaluations of party guests, to entice the evening chatter. “We wanted our wedding to be intimate, creative, fashionable, fun and meaningful,” says the bride. “It was nothing less.”
After their affair, the newlyweds embarked on a three-week honeymoon that began with a safari in South Africa and ended on North Island, a private sanctuary in the Seychelles.
Location: Beaulieu Garden, Rutherford, CA; Caterer: Paula LeDuc Fine Catering, Emeryville, CA; Cake: Sweet on Cake, Napa, CA; Event Design and Planner: Lisa Vorce Event Design & Production, Los Angeles, CA; Floral and Event Design, Linen and Draping: Mindy Rice Floral and Event Design, Los Olivos, CA; Rentals: Blueprint Studios, San Francisco, CA; Rentals: Hartmann Studios, Richmond, CA; Stationery: Papel Paper & Press and Henderson/Dale; Wedding Dress: Vera Wang; Bride’s Bracelet and Groom’s Watch: Cartier; Groom’s Tuxedo: Tom Ford; Photography: Aaron Delesie, Santa Ana, CA