Mazel Tov & Matrimonio: A Jewish-Italian Outdoor Wedding in Petaluma

Getting married under a chuppah in a traditional Jewish ceremony was important to Berkeley residents Elliott Rector, an attorney, and Allegra Poggio, an art production director. They chose a canvas chuppah printed with wildflowers as a central symbol of their wedding last July. It represents four open walls, explains Elliott. “Your house is temporal. You don’t need your physical structure to have your home. You are the home.”

It’s an apt metaphor for the outdoorsy couple, both avid runners and hikers, who met through mutual friends. Love blossomed along trails in San Francisco and Marin, and they were engaged on a run to Tomales Point in Point Reyes.

They settled on Petaluma’s Olympia’s Valley Estate, a working farm with a willow-lined pond, golden meadows, and masses of lavender, as an ideal spot for a wedding emphasizing local, sustainable food and flowers. Allegra and Elliott adopted the theme “wild love” to describe the day to friends and family.

The ceremony was led by a progressive rabbi from Berkeley who was recommended to them by the rabbi at the conservative Portland synagogue in which Elliott was raised. The ceremony included changes that reflected the couple’s shared spiritual values. Allegra, whose family is Catholic, said her vows in Italian, and instead of the bride circling the groom seven times, they chose to circle each other.

The reception menu honored Allegra’s Italian heritage: heirloom tomato salad with burrata and pistachios, pesto pasta, Arctic char, braised beef, and berry tarts instead of a traditional wedding cake. Berries also found their way into the appetizers and floral designs. Allegra had asked for flowers that were seasonal, local, and, in her words, “not super curated.” Their designer translated this into a summery pastel collection of roses, dahlias, clematis, and wildflowers. “My best man, I think, had a pretty sizable blackberry in his boutonnière,” joked Elliott.

Guests departed with uniquely heartfelt wedding favors: honey from Elliott’s parents’ backyard apiary. Wild love indeed.

Resources

Venue: Olympia’s Valley Estate
Wedding planner: Jack & Ginger Studios
Photography: Nichols Photographers
Videography: Colin Stice
Caterer: Jessica Lasky
Catering Dessert: Della Fattoria
Florals: Scarlett & Grace
Rentals: Encore Event Rentals, Pieces By Violet, Frances Lane
Linens: La Tavola
Officiant: Rabbi Adina Allen
DJ: Dart Collective
Gown: Peter Langner
Hair and makeup: April Foster Artistry
Invitations: Jack & Ginger Studios
Photo booth: Two Dudes Photo

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