Love at The Four Seasons Barn in Cloverdale, CA

Posted on Jan 7, 2018

Amanda + Peter


The Vendors

  • Wedding planner | Simple Country Weddings 916-271-6345
  • DJ/Band | Matthew Mason (nephew:, 916-694-8535) and Dave Chelini (accordionist; 916-428-8764)
  • Caterer | Preferred Somona Caterers (Edie,
  • Bakery/desserts | Giorgi’s Wedding Cakes (Judy),
  • Photographer | Chloe Jackman Photography,, 415-699-2671
  • Venue | The Highlands Estate, Whitney & Gard Cookson,  707-894-9500
  • Floral | Accents by Sage, Cheryl Sage; 916-799-6242 


The Details

How did you meet? We met playing tennis.  Mutual friends of ours were practicing for a tournament and they brought us out to the courts for a little mixed doubles practice.

Where was your first date? Hmmmm, this can be disputed.  Peter thinks it was on the tennis court.  Amanda thinks it was at Mikuni’s.  Amanda can be convinced, though, that our first date was on the tennis court.

Where did you get engaged? It was Amanda’s 38th birthday, and we had just purchased a boat that we were cruising to our home port.  After a day on the boat, when it was finally just the two of us, we were hanging out in the galley and Peter said, “I have a present for you.” And he pulled out a small box with a fancy bow.  The rest is history.

What was you first impression of each other?I (Amanda) thought he was a good tennis player.  Peter was smitten.  😉

When did you start planning your special event?Within a couple of weeks of getting engaged.  First we selected a date.  Amanda is a little obsessive with numbers, so all of the numbers had to be even, and when we found a date with multiples of four, even better.  Once we found the date, Peter suggested The Highlands Estate for the venue.  We had stayed there a few months prior and adored the owners and loved the charm of the venue.

What was the most fun detail in planning your wedding? Peter playing Bella Notte on his accordion, and also Peter’s accordion instructor playing at our wedding.  It showcased Peter’s Italian heritage.

How did you choose your style/theme? The venue, The Highlands Estate, looks like it could be in Tuscany, so it was easy to choose a Tuscan/rustic/soft/elegant wedding theme.

What was the most difficult detail to agree on? There really wasn’t one.  The most important thing for both of us was that the people we loved were there to celebrate our day.

What was the most unique detail about your ceremony? Reception? My sister made my wedding gown, and she sewed our wedding date into the hem of the dress.  She also sewed a button from my grandmother’s wedding dress into the hem.

What personal touches did you include in your ceremony? Reception? Hmmmm . . .my nephew prepared chalk art signs for the bar, showcasing our “signature” drinks.

What was the inspiration behind your flowers? I love peonies and hellebores.  I hadn’t even told the florist that hellebores were my favorite, and she included them into the bouquets.  This was a HUGE surprise, as 1) hellebores aren’t in season in August, and 2) she and I hadn’t discussed it.  I loved them!

How did you choose your wedding colors? I was looking for something warm and elegant, and the fuchsia, pinks, whites, and greens were calling to me.

What was the inspiration for the dress you chose? Who is the designer of your gown? My sister made and designed my dress.  She saw pictures of gowns that I liked; different bodices, skirts, fullness, etc. and then she took a few patterns and made my dress especially for me.

In one paragraph, please describe your wedding day. We woke up to a beautifully sunny day; we had to get an early start because the ladies had hair and make-up, and the guys were planning a movie in the theater at the venue.  Once our hair and make-up was complete, we had some down time, as the vendors began to arrive.  And slowly guests began to arrive.  I was glad when guests began to arrive, because the night before the officiant had gotten lost getting to the venue, so I was hoping all of the guests would be able to find their way.  (We only had two guests that arrived after the ceremony because they got lost.) We wouldn’t have changed anything.  It was an absolutely perfect wedding.

How did your wedding reflect the dream wedding you had as a child? My Prince Charming was at the other end of the aisle.  That was the only detail that mattered to me.

If you could go back and change one thing about your wedding day, what would that be? Most newlyweds will probably agree, we would have liked more time with our guests, but we were often away taking photos.

How did you pick your first dance song? What song was it? We are both old souls, so we selected La Vie en Rose.  I don’t remember how we chose it, but Peter’s accordion instructor played it for us.

What was the funniest OOPS moment of your wedding day?Earlier in the week of our wedding, the venue had a little trouble with a wild boar digging up the lawn where the ceremony was to take place.  They replaced it, and kept it properly irrigated, but that meant heels would sink into the ground.  I made it down the aisle OK, but when I turned around to head back up the aisle with my new husband, my heels sank into the soil.  I could tell I wasn’t going to make it back up the aisle, so I quickly kicked off my shoes and went barefoot until I could reach solid ground.