Today’s feature is actually a rehearsal dinner, but I think it could just as easily be a really fun wedding, and it felt like a really fun theme for the Fourth of July weekend. Laurie Arons created this retro hoedown party for a bride and groom in Calistoga, and Thayer Allyson Gowdy captured it all in these great shots…

 During the cocktail hour guests enjoyed a full bar, including the signature drink of whiskey sours, as well as mesquite grilled prawns and chipotle deviled eggs. Dinner included buttermilk fried chicken, barbecue ribs, biscuits, cornbread and coleslaw.

 Everyone came dressed in their cowboy gear! Welcome baskets included the classic children’s book This is San Francisco, old fashioned peanut brittle, Popchips, sunscreen, a San Francisco/Napa Valley Zagat guide customized with the couple’s wedding date (a gift from the Zagats, close friends of the couple), a tin of roasted almonds from Torn Ranch, Calistoga mineral water, and a detailed welcome letter listing the weekend’s activities.

 Instead of numbers, tables were named after vintage western movies and shows.

 Guests enjoyed a country western themed movie about the bride and groom.

 

  Dinner was followed by square dancing, complete with a caller, and dessert. The bride loves cake, so Perfect Endings made a display of home-style favorites, including devil’s food, banana, spiced pecan, and red velvet. There were also s’mores (with organic dark chocolate, and homemade marshmallows and grahams – of course!) to end the evening. Guests were sent home with small burlap bags filled with retro candy.

If this doesn’t look like a fun time, then I don’t know what does! Congratulations Chrissy and Alex – see some pics of their actual wedding day over on Laurie’s blog.

Photographer: Thayer Allyson Gowdy / Venue: Durham Ranch in St. Helena, California / Planning, Design: Laurie Arons Special Events / Catering: Daniel Ripley Catering / Cakes:  Perfect Endings / Bluegrass Band: Innovative Entertainment / Table Numbers: PS Paper / Hats, Bandannas: Oriental Trading Company
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