2015 Winners: BEST OF Weddings


Best of San Joaquin


By Lindsey Rodrian

??‘Love at first sight’ is how Teri Lawrence describes her initial visit to Viaggio Estate & Winery. At the time, her husband Larry was working in real estate and had listed the property for its previous owners. He encouraged Teri to casually stop by, and after two weeks spent daydreaming of the walnut farm turned winery, the couple happily transitioned to owners in 2012. Together, the duo enhanced the historical grounds, as Teri nurtured her botanical interests; sprouting luscious gardens amongst the granite staircases, olive trees, plush lawns, and 400 year old oak tree overlooking the river. Nestled between it all, a picturesque hanging swing; effortlessly filling the criteria for any modern day utopia. But the magic doesn’t stop there.

What once was a white-walled villa, is nothing short of a life-sized dollhouse, welcoming you through double doors leading to a spiral staircase and 12 uniquely decorated rooms inspired by different eras, cultures and locations, and as Teri perfectly puts it, “takes you to another place.”

The microbiologist turned winery owner and wedding coordinator strives to bring each bride and groom their perfect, dream wedding. While there are things the couple needs to handle, such as knowing that average diamond size is 1 carat and getting rings accordingly, with Viaggio’s full wedding services, all the bride needs to worry about is her gown and invitations; the rest of her dreams are in capable hands, sure to be executed. “My motto is, if you want it, and it’s legal, I will do it for you!” giggles Teri.

Although Viaggio is home to nearly 25 weddings a year, Teri and her staff avoid routine in order to honor each bride and groom individually. “One thing I tell my staff before every single wedding is, ‘you might have done this the last 12 weekends in a row, but for this couple, this is the biggest day of their lives…. and we treat each wedding as just that,” she says.

From the Tuscany Banquet Hall and tasting room, to the cottage, man cave and infinity pool, Teri and Larry Lawrence haave successfully created a seamless, dreamy atmosphere for the bridal party to enjoy hours before their wedding; as the girls sip champagne in the cottage, and the boys play pool and watch sports.

“We encourage each wedding party to take full advantage of our amenities. We wait on them and cater to all their needs… this makes for truly stress-free and memorable hours leading to the ceremony.”

Where is your favorite date night spot in San Joaquin?

Cactus Inn- it’s the best! Their food is great and they’re awesome.

What do you do to unwind in San Joaquin?

My two favorite things are bike riding and swimming – I hit the country roads and do 20 miles several days a week- it’s my best relaxation. I also love to attend church on Sunday mornings when I can!

What’s your favorite characteristic of our community?

The people! I love the weather, the people, and our wineries.


Wedding Planner

Oooh My! Tablescape Designs & Events
(209) 910-4159

Oooh My! Tablescape Designs and Events takes the guesswork out of designing your guest tables. The company, started by two best friends in 2013, calls on their imaginative eye to transform tables into the things dreams are made of. From votives to candelabras, the duo has a knack for fusing flatware and linens to complement your wedding atmosphere. Not looking for a complete takeover? Oooh My! will work with couples to build a design around pre-existing heirlooms and centerpieces.

Wedding DJ

Marquis DJ Entertainment
2235 Hacienda Dr., Stockton
(209) 951-1982

Music sets the tone for your fairytale evening. The DJ not only spins your favorite records, but acts as the master of ceremonies, as well. Offering a trustworthy voice to take your guests from ceremony to reception, Marquis DJ Entertainment employs true entertainers. DJs not only work with you to organize the evening’s entertainment; they also interact with guests to offer a memorable night for all. In business for more than 25 years, they serve the entire San Joaquin area and beyond.

Wedding Gown

The Elizabeth Bridal
20 S. School St., Lodi
(209) 369-9046

Finding the perfect wedding dress is almost as important as finding Mr. Right. After accepting a proposal, the dress becomes the biggest checkmark on the wedding to-do list. Nestled in downtown Lodi, The Elizabeth Bridal Salon is a welcoming boutique that serves as a one-stop-shop for all your wedding apparel needs. In addition to rows of wedding gowns, The Elizabeth Bridal also offers tuxedos, bridesmaid dresses and mother-of-the-bride dresses. The atmosphere is relaxing and a full alteration staff is available to transform the dress into your dress.

Wedding Flowers

Sweet Peas Floral Design
6231 Pacific Ave., A2, Stockton
(209) 472-9284

Sweet Peas Floral Design offers florist services with a personal touch. Classic floral arrangements are available, but Sweet Peas’ reputation is for creating fresh, innovative designs. From bouquets to boutonnières, they handle it all, and they don’t leave the duties up to the bride. Staff will set up all of the floral décor and even pin boutonnières and corsages in place before they leave. Large trumpet vases and bronze pedestal bowls are just a couple of the delicate pieces available to adorn your wedding venue.

Wedding Invitations

Best Wishes
325 Lincoln Center, Stockton
(209) 478-3220

The wedding invitation is your guests’ first impression of impending nuptials. It sets the tone for your evening months in advance. Many guests garner exactly what to expect of your evening from that first piece of paper that arrives in their hands. To ensure you are making the proper impression, Best Wishes, in business for more than 30 years, is there to guide you. Owner Julie Van Noate boasts Best Wishes is “your store for all occasions,” including your most important event to date.

Wedding Make-Up

Exclusive Beauty Salon
4343 Pacific Ave., E1, Stockton
(209) 479-9251

All eyes are on you as you descend down the aisle. The last thing you want guests to remember is running mascara or smudged foundation. Exclusive Beauty Salon offers make-up services for your wedding day to help ease your nerves and bring out your bridal glow. In fact, they’ll pull that inner glow out of every woman in your wedding party. The hair salon offers other services for your big day, or every day, as well.

Wedding Photographer

Caroline Photography
1755 W. Hammer Ln., Suite 3, Stockton
(209) 477-4363

Your wedding day is fleeting. The photos, however, will last forever. Choosing a photographer to capture your first kiss, first dance and first moments as husband and wife just got a little bit easier. With more than 30 years of experience, the award-winning Caroline Photography offers a full-range of photography services catered to meet each couples’ needs. From planning portraits to helping brides and grooms feel and look relaxed, they possess a passion for capturing your day’s biggest – and smallest – moments.

Wedding Rings

Danz Jewelers
220 S. School St., Lodi
(209) 368-0424

A wedding band is a symbol of everlasting love, so why buy a pre-fabricated piece from the mall? Family-owned Danz Jewelers offers custom jewelry design to ensure your symbol of happily-ever-after is a perfect fit. From engagement rings to wedding bands, experts assist couples in creating the perfect piece. Diamonds are carefully selected in Belgium and inspected by hand. A graduate gemologist is on staff to ensure quality takes precedence.

Indoor Wedding Venue

Morris Chapel
3601 Pacific Ave., Stockton
(209) 946-2538

Romance is in the air. Stained-glass windows, arched entryways and towering columns adorn the inside of Morris Chapel, set on the campus of University of the Pacific in Stockton. The picturesque chapel can hold up to 300 of your nearest and dearest while a bridal room offers a sanctuary for the bride and her honored attendants. A red brick façade and lush greenery set the scene for a dreamy ceremony as guests pile into dark-stained pews.

Wedding Videographer
Media Fusion Studios
1833 W. March Ln., #5, Stockton
(209) 957-4003

Sometimes photos aren’t enough to capture the mood of your wedding day. Luckily, brides and grooms can relive their once-in-a-lifetime event with videography services offered by Media Fusion Studios. Professional, high-definition equipment ensure a quality video while trained staff are committed to capturing all the splendor of your day. They boast high-end equipment and software to produce superior videos couples can enjoy for a lifetime. Their dedication to excellence has made them a premiere wedding video company since 1993.

IMG_1265Put His Name on It (Editor’s Pick)

Bliss Bridal Salon
306 Lincoln Center, Stockton
(209) 473-9200
Facebook.com – Bliss Bridal Salon

He put a ring on it, so why don’t you put his name on it!? Bliss Bridal Salon of Stockton, owned by Tammie Dimas, offers more than just an array of designer gowns- but also a host of fun, personalized items for you and your wedding crew. Customized T-shirts are available for the bridal party, so you can proudly sport your bride-to-be status and new last name at your bachelorette party and pre-wedding celebrations. Add a custom touch to their existing tops reading “Keep Calm and Marry On,” “It’s All About Me… The Bride!” or, create your very own!

Whimsical on Your Wedding Day (Editor’s Pick)

Magda’s Cakes
1119 W. Fremont St., Stockton
(209) 467-7244

Owner Maria Lopez opened Magda’s Cakes in 2002, employing a host of cake decorators and bakers bursting with talent and creativity, bringing San Joaquin unique special occasion cakes like no other. The team makes dreams come true, creating custom cakes that display as art and taste like heaven. Vanilla chocolate, strawberry, raspberry, cherry, caramel and lemon are just a few filling flavor choices, and for the outer design, opportunities seem endless. Stop in to meet their accommodating staff, browse through their book of cake design ideas, or bring in a photo or vision of your own.

shutterstock_119020687Bronzed and Bea(UV FREE)tiful (Editor’s Pick)

Taylored Tanning
(209) 222-TANS

Nothing is more beautiful then a bronzed and glowing bride, but we’ve all been warned of the suns negative effect on our skin, including premature wrinkles, sunspots and even melanoma. Brides, worry no more! And get that glow without the guilt. Taylored Tanning, owned and operated by Taylor Bova, an elementary school teacher in San Joaquin is here to help. Taylored Tanning will even come to you, to ease the seemingly endless errands leading to your special day. The organic and vegan company offers a full body spray for an extremely affordable price, all in the comfort of your own home. Shimmer on, brides!

Light up Your Life as One (Editor’s Pick)

K & T Lights
4851 Tudor Rose Glen, Stockton
(209) 957-0829

K & T Lights has become a booming business in the Central Valley for a simple reason…they are the best! The family owned and operated business, out of Stockton, offers custom designs for your wedding lights… magically enhancing your desired mood and atmosphere. Packages include everything you’ll need to light up your life as one- lights, extension cords and timers. They even offer the opportunity to use your own lights, and will gladly install them for you.


Event Planner
Oooh My Tablescape Designs & Events
So Eventful
Wine & Roses

Wedding Cake
Frosted Flour Cakery & Supplies
Fizz Bakery (Tie for 2nd)
M and W Dutch American Bakery (Tie for 2nd)
Something Sweet Bakery

Marquis DJ Entertainment
Elite Entertainment
Exclusive DJ

Wedding Dress
The Elizabeth Bridal Salon
Bliss Bridal
Maggie’s Bridal

Sweet Peas Floral Design
Silveria’s Flowers & Gifts
Charter Way Florist

Best Wishes
Creative Vision Printing
The Paper Habit

Wedding Photographer
Caroline Photography
Heather Jean Photography
Briggs Photography (Tie for 3rd)
Mr. & Mrs. Photography (Tie for 3rd)

Wedding Rings
Danz Jewelers
Gary J. Long Jewelers
Pecks Jewelers

Aurora Limousine Service
Vintage Limousine Service

Tuxedo Shop
Formal Connection
Tuxedos of Lodi
Bliss Bridal Salon

Outdoor Wedding Venue
Wine & Roses
Viaggio Estate & Winery
The River Mill

Indoor Wedding Venue
Morris Chapel
Wine & Roses
Stockton Golf and Country Club

Media Fusion Studios, Inc.
Mr. and Mrs. Photography
Signature Videography