Now that the year is coming to a close, we thought it would be fun to share our top fifteen weddings of the year with you! We’re so grateful for our sweet brides & grooms who shared their stories with us. Our BEST OF 2016…
This wedding is going to make you want to cancel any current wedding plans you have and just copy it entirely, detail for detail. Inspired by a British Vogue editorial, no less, this elegant bride pulled off a flawless mix of, as she says, “perfect and imperfect” for their intimate Napa Valley wedding. We love everything about this day, including the soft, unstructured florals in ivory and cream, her gorgeous gown (just the thing for a winter’s day!), their candlelit dinner in a wine cave, and most of all the ethereal, romantic feel woven throughout it all. Dive in for more of this truly stunning wedding!
Photography by Caroline Yoon.
How beautiful is Anne’s long-sleeved lace Monique Lhuillier gown? It compliments their ethereal, romantic day perfectly.
Are there any details you’d like to tell us about? My husband and his groomsmen had the most beautiful bespoke suits made from the wonderful team at Etre Clothing. He had an elegant velvet tuxedo jacket and oversized velvet bowtie, and he looked so handsome and timeless. I never knew how important bespoke suiting was! I got butterflies when I first saw him.
Did you include any other traditions in your wedding? I wore my Mom’s veil from my parents wedding, which was over 35 years ago. It was so special to me and complimented my dress so well. It had the most incredible French tulle, a blusher and these tiny silk applique flowers on the comb. I hope to pass it down to my daughter one day.
Why did you choose this location for your ceremony? We knew we wanted to be in Napa Valley because of its natural beauty. The property is so tranquil and romantic; it was an absolute dream. Nestled between tree-covered hills and overlooking the lake it was a stunning backdrop for our day.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? Walking down the aisle with my dad and looking at my future husband. I felt as if I were floating. I have never been happier than that moment.
What was your ceremony music? We had a mixture of traditional and non-traditional music for our ceremony. Since I was a little girl I would tear up thinking of myself walking down the aisle to the man of my dreams to Canon in D by Pachelbel. It still gives me goose bumps thinking of that moment.
Bridal Party Processional: Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring, Bach
Bride Entrance: Canon in D, Pachelbel
Recessional: You’re My Best Friend, Queen
Your ceremony in three words. Romantic, joyful and traditional.
Who officiated your ceremony? How did you choose him/her? We were so blessed to have Pastor Eric Heard officiate our wedding. Our good friends introduced him to us and we feel in love with his positive and enthusiastic outlook on life. Every time we met with him we felt instantly lifted – his optimistic energy is infectious.
How did you go about planning your ceremony? We wanted our ceremony to be personal to our journey. At the same time we wanted it to be traditional so had Eric help us with the structure of it. It was so nice to have someone who had gotten to know our relationship so well-it really made the ceremony that much more touching and memorable.
What were your ceremony readings? 1 Corinthians 13
What were your vows like? We had very traditional vows, which I love. I think such simplicity has such a powerful affect.
Is there anything else that you’d like to share about your wedding ceremony? It was February in Napa Valley so we were cognizant of the weather but we fortunately had a dry day with beautiful grey puffy clouds (which was great for photos). As we were saying our vows, it began to lightly mist for a moment then a ray of sunshine peered through the clouds. It was such a transcendental moment.
What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? Remember that the wedding is about you and your soon to be husband. Make sure you stay true to yourself. It will only make the day more special. Also look into bespoke suiting for the groom! It will make the groom feel just as great as you do in your dress.
What was the best advice you received as a bride? Try to be present in each moment – my coach from UCLA told me to make sure to take a moment together after the ceremony. He said it was his favorite memory of his wedding. Also, after the ceremony, our coordinator took us to our room and surprised us with a glass of champagne. We were so excited and overwhelmed with joy and it allowed our emotions to sink in. From the room we see our guests heading to cocktail hour so it was so fun to see the wedding from an outside perspective. I really recommend taking a moment together after you are pronounced husband and wife.
How would you describe your reception? Our reception was in Calistoga Ranch’s wine cave with two long king’s tables. The tables were lined with large freestanding pillar candles and mercury glass votives creating a soft, glowing ambience. Flowers were lush and perfectly overgrown. We had a dance floor and a bar towards the end of the cave so it made the wedding feel larger than it was.
What inspired you when you were planning your wedding? I was very particular about how I wanted the wedding styled. I choose vendors that had amazing taste and could deliver what I was envisioning. I really enjoyed working with such talented people and it was so inspiring! The overall feeling that I wanted to have in words was: “ethereal, old world romanticism, natural black tie, film photography, perfectly overgrown and textural flowers, olive leaves and garden roses, whimsical calligraphy, long king’s dinner tables, candlelit dinners, flowing champagne, lovely people and conversation.”
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? The speeches were so heartfelt and touching-we could feel so much love in the room. One of my favorite parts of the day though was walking into the cave and being introduced with Cedric and looking at everyone in the room who had come to celebrate our love.
Please tell us about any other special details or moments from your reception. My side of the family is very enthusiastic about dancing so that was also a highlight. One of my bridesmaids did the worm battle with my brother in 5” Saint Laurent heels.
What was your first dance song? Our first dance was John Legend’s Stay With You. The lyrics have a lot of meaning to us and we felt it was the perfect song.
What type of cake or dessert did you serve? We had a dessert course, which was incredible. Chef prepared a gourmet twix bar with sea salt caramel – it was divine! We also had a traditional two-tiered cake of chocolate and vanilla with vanilla buttercream frosting.
If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently? I wouldn’t have done anything differently, the day turned out to be everything it was supposed to be.