Sponsored Post

Earth Day is coming up, and I know everyone is always looking for more ways to go green! How about listing your wedding dress for sale on BravoBride? Not only is it earth-friendly to pass your gown on to another bride, but BravoBride is working with The Nature Conservancy to plant a tree for every wedding gown listed for sale in the month of April.

BravoBride isn’t just a place to buy and sell once-worn wedding dresses; it’s also a marketplace for all kinds of discounted wedding items from earrings to ring pillows to centerpieces. When you shop the 15,000+ gently used listings on BravoBride, you’re not just getting the wedding items you need at a great price, you’re also making the earth-friendly choice to re-use. Save green and go green all at the same time!

Learn more about BravoBride’s “Tree for Every Dress” program right here, and how to buy or sell a dress right here. What a fun way to celebrate Earth Day!

This post sponsored by BravoBride.

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Two treats for you today! A lovely wedding from Jose Villa, and a giveaway of his new book!

Zoe and John were married at the beautiful Bear Flag Farm in August – lots of pretty pastels and illustrations by the groom…

Says planner Michelle Miyairi from Bliss’d, “With its lavender fields and citrus trees, Bear Flag Farm had the perfect combination of just enough vintage, romance and whimsy. We didn’t want the color palette to be restricted so we started with yellows, grays and pale blue and ended up throwing in some peaches and pinks.”

John drew little illustrations of himself and of Zoe, which were printed on pins that said “I Know the Bride” or “I Know the Groom.” Table numbers were rubber stamped on heavy kraft tags.

Photography: Jose Villa

Venue: Bear Flag Farm in Winters, California

Wedding coordinator: Bliss’d Weddings & Events

Bride’s dress: Vera Wang

Hair and makeup: Kiira Love & Co.

Groom’s suit: J.Crew

Flowers: Nancy Liu Chin Floral & Event Design

Catering: Grace Lee Events

Cake: Nora del Chamberlin Custom Cakes, 510-526-8732

Ceremony music: The Camellia String Quartet

Reception music: Canaan Sound & Light

Okay, so how can you win a copy of Jose’s new book, Fine Art Wedding Photography? Just leave a comment here, either with your favorite detail from Zoe and John’s wedding, or why you want to win the book. You have until Thursday at 5:00pm to leave a comment, and I’ll announce the winner on Friday.


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Ariella Chezar recently relaunched her website with lots of new work, including Lyn and Scott’s gorgeous August wedding in the wine country, and I couldn’t wait to share it with you! Planner Kristi Amoroso and the lovely bride, Lyn, kindly sent over some details about the day. And beautiful photos by Suzy Clement. Says Lyn:

We chose Black Swan Lake because it was the perfect setting for a wine country wedding. It was a destination wedding for our friends and family, many of whom are from the East Coast and had never been to Napa before, and our venue really set the tone for the rest of the event. We loved the fact that there was a bocce court at the wedding site (it was a big selling point for us!) – bocce is a really important part of Scott’s family traditions, and many guests played throughout the evening.

We tried to incorporate many elements into the day that would honor our families and our family traditions. My grandfather used to grow orchids at his house, so Ariella included many orchids in the beautiful floral design. The ribbon around my bouquet was made from a piece of my mother’s wedding gown.

We loved that people got to stroll through a vineyard to get to the ceremony. The day before the wedding, it was 105 degrees and we were wondering how on earth people would be able to make it through the ceremony, but the day of the event, the heatwave broke and it was just a beautiful night!

The roof of the chuppah was a tablecloth handmade by the bride’s grandmother, and the wine the couple drank during the ceremony was the same wine they had at their engagement dinner.

There were so many highlights to the evening. The food was amazing – we love to cook (and eat) so it was really important to us that the food be a focus for the event, and Paula LeDuc Fine Catering did not disappoint! It was prime time tomato season, and we were really able to take advantage of the best of the harvest when designing the menu. I also absolutely loved the stationery designed by Elizabeth Hubbell. I mentioned to her an idea I had of sketches of tomatoes from old gardening catalogs and she ran with it and made it better than I could have ever imagined.

I also loved the table settings – the flowers were just spectacular, and I have always loved silver plated stemware and was so happy that the caterer was able to find it for the wedding. We decided to forgo the typical dessert course and have a cheese and port station instead – it seemed perfect for Napa, and I think it was a big hit.

See the dinner menu below!

In then end, what mattered most to us was just to be surrounded by our closest friends and family and just have a fantastic time. It’s so rare that you have the most important people in your life together in one place like this, and so we wanted to be very present during the weekend, if that makes sense. I think we both agree that we were really able to have fun with everyone – I think it helped to make an entire weekend out of the event as a destination wedding, so that there were more opportunities to spend time with people. We had an incredible time!

Congratulations Lyn and Scott! Thank you for sharing your beautiful wedding with us!

Wedding Feast

Heirloom Tomato Salad
a sampling of local organic tomatoes
with red wine vinaigrette, cracked black pepper,
fresh basil & olive oil with fresh mozzarella


Wild Mushroom Ravioli
mixed seasonal wild mushrooms & ricotta cheese ravioli
served with sherry mushroom sauce
laced with white truffle oil, fresh chives & micro greens


Garlic & Herb Roasted Filet of Beef
with panzanella & artichoke salad and demi glace


Tomales Bay Cheeses
a selection of the finest local artisanal cheeses
with seasonal fruits, walnut levain & crisp lavash


Wedding Cake


frank family vineyards chardonnay, napa valley 2006
roth winery cabernet sauvignon, sonoma 2005

Photography: Suzy Clement / Event Planner: Kristi Amoroso Special Events / Venue: Black Swan Lake in Napa, California / Bride’s dress: Vera Wang / Hair, makeup: Sarah Hyde / Floral design: Ariella Chezar / Menu, escort cards: Elizabeth Hubbell / Catering: Paula LeDuc Fine Catering / Cake: Perfect Endings / Music: The Cowling Band
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Friends, you have been so generous to let me take all this time to share our wedding with you – thank you! It was so fun for me to revisit such a special day, and I hope that any of you in the midst of wedding planning will be able to take something from me blogging about my experience. I wanted to take one last post to share some of the things that aren’t necessarily obvious or visible in photos, but that are as much part of a wedding as all the things you do see.

It’s easy for blogs and magazines to show you the design and the details, but not so easy to convey how things tasted, or how the music sounded, or if everything went smoothly. I hope by sharing our menu I’ve given you a little idea of how delicious all of the food at our wedding was, and by seeing photos of everyone dancing you can see how awesome the band was. But that’s only part of the day – so many other things contributed to what it was…

…starting with our planners, Laurie Arons and Jenna Lam, who not only helped with our wedding design and details, but who also handled vendor communication and coordination, made sure everyone was where they needed to be and that everything happened on time, and troubleshot anything that went wrong (Jenna did such an amazing job the day-of, that Ryan and I were totally unaware of any issues that might have come up with vendors or timing, etc.). I know that a wedding planner doesn’t fit into every wedding budget, but for us, having them be part of our day ensured that everything went smoothly and allowed Ryan and me to be guests at our own wedding.

In a city with limited parking, and with so many out-of-town guests, the shuttles and valets were two of the keys to making our guests comfortable – and they’re really some of the unsung heroes of a wedding. Bauer’s shuttles brought guests from their hotels, to the church, to the reception, then made trips back to the hotels all evening. And for guests who drove to the ceremony, Soiree Valet saved them the trouble of finding parking or having to walk in the rain. (Soiree’s owner even drove a guest’s car to the reception when the guest decided to hop on the shuttle!) I think when your guests feel taken care of, they’re bound to have a good time.

One thing you hear all the time in the wedding world is the word perfect - I know I use it here on Snippet & Ink, and it’s all over wedding blogs and magazines. And when you’re looking at pretty pictures, and reading about the parts of a wedding that someone decides are worth sharing, it’s easy to think that perfect is a reasonable expectation for your wedding day. To me, our wedding day was as close to perfect as you can get, thanks to our incredible vendors, planners, friends and family, and the decision that Ryan and I made to be fully present at our wedding. But the truth is, when you think of perfection as everything looking and happening exactly as you have it in your mind, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. Because even if things are as perfect as can be, even if you’re the most organized bride and have the most incredible vendors, things never happen just the way you imagine: flights get cancelled, it pours rain, cakes get stuck in traffic, babies cry during the ceremony, cousins give embarrassing toasts. Or maybe you just feel all around different than you thought you would feel.

And the only thing you can do about any of this, is to let go. Go into your wedding day as free of expectations as possible, and let yourself experience each moment for what it is. My older sister called me about a month or so after we had set a wedding date, and told me that she was pregnant with her third baby, and that he was due on our wedding day. In a perfect world, I’d get a healthy nephew and have my sister in attendance, but unfortunately that was an impossibility. I knew that she was going to miss my wedding day, and it broke my heart. But in some ways, it was a gift – it forced me to let go of the Perfection Myth. When your would-be Matron of Honor can’t come to your wedding, the color of your ushers’ ties seems totally irrelevant. So does having a runny nose at your own ceremony (I had to grab Ryan’s pocket square in the middle of the blessing and blow my nose – not solemn or romantic!), or getting cake on your dress.

The flip side of this, of doing away with expectations, is that you open yourself up to feelings and moments that you never could have imagined. Things like: the feeling of total love and support as I stepped into the church with my parents on either side of me; making eye contact with my groom through the window as he smoked a cigar outside; our friends surrounding us in a giant hug circle while singing “Stand By Me” a capella after the band packed up; jumping out of our getaway taxi at a stop light to hug my cousin who was in the car right behind us; the utter joy that I felt all day long. MARRYING MY BEST FRIEND.

And the most awesome part of all? The end of our wedding was just the beginning of our life together – how wonderful is that?!


Photos by Magnolia Photo Booth Co.


Bauer’s Transportation, Laurie Arons Special Events, Magnolia Photo Booth, and Soiree Valet are sponsors of Snippet & Ink.

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