Melissa and Rob’s Yountville wedding is a total dream. From the bride’s lacy peplum gown to the monogram on the neon cups for the after-party, every detail was carefully planned, and the results are a wine country wedding you simply won’t want to miss. Get ready to start pinning, because Melissa’s beautiful bouquet practically deserves its own board!
“We heard it from many people but this really rang true – your wedding is probably the only day in your life when everyone that matters to you is gathered in one place. It’s so important to take moments throughout the day to step back and really soak that in. It all goes by so quickly!”
What advice do you have for other couples in the midst of planning a wedding? Hire great vendors. We prioritized people who were not only talented but also fun and easy to be around. The experience of waking up on my wedding day and not worrying about a single thing – seeing faces we recognized, knowing they were on top of the details and all working to realize our vision – was priceless. There was plenty of stress leading up to the wedding, but we were totally calm on the big day.
“We wanted an outdoor wedding and loved the idea of having our family and friends experience Napa Valley, a place that we love and where we have spent many weekends. Our ceremony and reception were at the same venue, which made for a seamless, easy evening.”
How did you go about planning your ceremony? It was important to us to have a Christ-centered ceremony that was focused on the joy, commitment and blessing of marriage. We wrote the ceremony with help from a pastor at our church, who also officiated.
What was your ceremony music? I walked down the aisle with my father to a string quartet playing “Can’t Help Falling In Love.” Rob and I walked back up the aisle together to an instrumental version of Jason Mraz “I’m Yours.”
What were your ceremony readings? Family members read Colossians 3:12-17 and an excerpt from Madeleine L’Engle’s The Irrational Season.
What were your vows like? We wrote our vows together and each used the same vows. It was important to us that we each made the same commitment to one another.
What was your favorite thing about your wedding ceremony? At the end of the ceremony, all of our guests joined the pastor in reading the Apache Blessing, which was a really special way to have everyone involved in the ceremony and made us feel tremendously loved.
Is there anything else that you’d like to share about your wedding ceremony? It felt like it went by so fast! I cry easily, so I spent the whole time trying to keep it together. A few funny moments kept the mood light, such as when the microphone cut out just as Rob made his vow to be faithful, and when our little flower girl realized she had forgotten to throw her petals because she was so focused on just making it down the aisle.
“Our vision was for a natural but elegant wedding. We used a lot of white with gold accents, greenery and wood. We had beautiful white flowers everywhere and used magnolia leaves for place cards at the dinner tables. We also had a custom monogram that made an appearance on everything from programs and menus to cocktail napkins and neon cups for the late-night party.”
How would you describe your reception? Our reception was a blast! We had cocktails outside with a string quartet playing contemporary music, dinner under string lights as the sun set, and dancing and cake in the venue’s Barrel Room with an amazing band.
Are there any DIY details you’d like to tell us about? I have always loved the tradition of displaying family wedding photos at a wedding and wanted to take it one step further. We tracked down wedding photos for all of our married wedding guests, in addition to old family ones, and created a display of over 50 photos with names, dates and wedding locations. It was quite an effort to acquire all the photos and frames, but it was an amazing surprise for our guests and a reflection of how much we take support and inspiration from each of them in our own marriage.
Did you have a signature cocktail? We both love spicy food and drinks, so our signature cocktail was a Cucumber Jalapeño Cooler. It was such a hit that by the time we joined our cocktail hour, they were almost out of it! We also served “his” and “hers” choices – Manhattans and French 75s. Of course, being in Napa, there was plentiful wine flowing as well.
How did you arrange the seating at your reception? Our guests were seated at large round tables, while Rob and I shared an intimate meal at our sweetheart table. I loved the idea of having a little time alone with my new husband during our reception!
If you had it to do over again, is there anything you would do differently? Have a backup plan for inclement weather. Rain in Napa in September is so unlikely that we didn’t even think about this. When a few raindrops started falling just as our guests had been served their dinners, we had a few minutes of panic and envisioned a disaster. Luckily, it was momentary and we all stayed dry!
What was your first dance song? “Whatever It Is,” by the Zac Brown Band.
What was your favorite moment or part of the reception? I made Rob take dance lessons with me before the wedding in the hopes we wouldn’t just sway back and forth awkwardly for three minutes. After all that money and effort, I got stage fright right before our first dance and refused to do it! So sway we did! Everyone assumed we were just really happy because we were laughing the whole time, though we were really laughing at how ridiculous the whole thing was.