I’ve had some wonderful weddings that have been waiting to show their pretty faces, including Chris and Annabelle’s boho-chic shindig that I think you’re going to love – Annabelle is a buyer for Magpie & Rye, and her awesome style is really reflected in the elements she chose for her wedding. She and Chris went into planning their wedding with such a wonderful attitude about the meaning of the day, and what was important to them. Says the bride:

During our engagement, we tossed around the idea of eloping a lot. We wanted our wedding to be about our commitment to each other and less about the traditional checklist of wedding moments (like the bouquet toss, first dance and the rest). In the end, we realized that a wedding isn’t really just about you and your partner; it is so much about your families and giving them a chance to meet, reconnect and become closer. With a very large family (including a few remarriages and 95-year-old great grandparents, everyone coming together became important to us and made the day so amazing, and we were still able to make it our own. We tried to not have a defined theme or color scheme, and instead we just tried to keep our wedding timeless, casual and complimentary to its outdoor setting.

Annabelle made the save-the-dates and invitations, and splurged on calligraphy by Patricia from Primele.

I did my own hair and make-up. In hindsight, I would have done a practice run on my hair and given myself more than five minutes to do it, but whatever, it’s not really about the hair anyway.

A favorite moment? “There is a peacock and his peahen lady-friend that showed up at the property a few years ago out of the blue. Frederick the peacock has been really friendly lately and made the rounds during the wedding, even stopping on the rock wall to watch the ceremony. It was a nice little surprise for him to stop by.”

Though our hearts are in the mountains, it made so much sense for us to get married at my grandmother’s house in Napa Valley. The setting of her home is pretty amazing with a lot of lawn, mature trees, a pool and a pond. It didn’t make sense for us to spend money to have our wedding somewhere else when this was so close and easy. Upon my dad’s suggestion, he walked me down the aisle to The Jesus and Mary Chain version of My Girl, and our recessional was Tie the Knot by Digital Underground. My grandmother has worked as a non-denominational minister for years, so she was thrilled to perform the ceremony.

Because the wedding was at a private residence our dog was able to be a part of the celebration and it wouldn’t have been the same without her.

During dinner, we played the El Michels Affair album of Wu Tang instrumentals, which was fun because it is jazzy enough for the older guests and our generation really got a kick out of it once they recognized a song or two.

Says Annabelle, “The girls of Studio Choo did the flowers and did such an amazing job. Jill and Alethea went above and beyond, not only creating the most beautiful arrangements and bouquets, but also surprising us with an herb wreath to hang behind the bar and a hand-made swing with our initials carved into it!”

We spent over 50% of our budget on the food. Since the Bay Area is sort of a culinary epicenter, we wanted to give our guests a good selection of the local ingredients that we we have available to us all the time. We chose Elaine Bell as our caterer, not only because of their great reviews, but also because they catered my dad and step-mom’s wedding twenty years ago. The food was incredible and the service even better. We ate like kings and queens at our wedding! As for the cake, a big wedding cake didn’t suit us, so we had a friend pick up an assortment of our favorite treats from the amazing Tartine Bakery in San Francisco. Elaine Bell threw in some chocolate covered strawberries and creme brulees and voila! Something for everyone.

I should probably mention something about the masks: At my bachelorette party earlier that week, I found the a giraffe mask for my 21-year-old sister and thought it was hysterical. She was not as amused, but some of my other girlfriends and I were so amused that I had to pick up more for the wedding. They seemed silly at first, but by the end of the night they were a blast. When it came to music, our friends Sammy D and Shane One were the obvious choice. They don’t really do weddings, but their music selection and programming skills are exceptional, and they play what we like. We really wanted to play music that we actually listen to at our wedding!

Great food and animal masks? What more does a party need!? And aren’t these photos fabulous? Annabelle shared a bit about why she and Chris hired Traci Griffin to photograph their wedding:

I saw one image by Traci Griffin and decided right that second that she was my first choice. We wanted to really be present at our wedding, and Traci is excellent at documenting the day without it feeling like a photo shoot. We did let her pose us laying in the tall grass, but those shots are pretty great and she and her assistant Molly were so quick, it was well worth it.

Photography: Traci Griffin

Venue: private home in Napa, California

Bride’s dress / necklace: Monique Lhuillier / Magpie & Rye

Calligraphy: Primele

Flowers: Studio Choo

Catering / cake: Elaine Bell Catering / Tartine Bakery

Thank you Annabelle and Chris! And a big thank you to Traci Griffin for sharing these awesome pics (and for patiently waiting the past three weeks for me to get my computer data back). You can see tons more from this wedding over on Traci’s blog.

14 comments posted +add a comment SEE MORE: Real Weddings
  1. Amber & Ashley

    {LOVE} this post!!! the out door dance floor is amaaaazing!

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  2. Amanda Bevington


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  3. forget.me.knot.weddings

    Yeah! You are back!! Love this wedding and the photography! The table seating is such a great idea!

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  4. BEA @ BEA’s Bride Guide

    Love the homey decor for the wedding – and the last shot of the bridal party jumping into the pool!

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  5. Jenna (flutter glass photography)

    Gorgeous work, and that dress couldn’t be any sweeter!

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  6. Lou

    Gorgeous wedding! I love the feel, and the story about originally wanting to elope really resonates with me at the moment – still figuring out what to do that would be a real expression of us!

    Would really love to know which Lhuillier dress this was – struggling to match how amazing it looks in these photos with the photos on the Lhuillier website. Any ideas?


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    • Annabelle

      Hi Lou! I believe it was the Aimee. I loved it for it’s simplicity and classic details. I think there is one for sale on Once Wed, good luck and congratulations!

  7. lydia {ever ours}

    love the long tables family style.

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  8. Lizzie [Ten Thou Bride]

    LOVE the stationary and this wedding is unusually badass! Great find!

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  9. Aleah + Nick Valley

    Everything about this is charming, gorgeous, and just plain fun!

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  10. Holly Hatam

    This is what weddings should be about…intimacy, love and personality.

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  11. seesaw


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  12. Amanda Thorson

    I love this, the photos are amazing….wonderful details and beautiful bride.

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  13. Jen

    Love this wedding! I hope my guests have half as much fun as it looks like you guys did! PLEASE tell me where you got the animal masks (seriously. I lovvvve them)

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