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Fall Al Fresco Napa Valley Wedding

Sylvie Gil wedding never fails to amaze, and this Napa affair is the latest beauty from her lens. Kissed by that California sun, it’s a celebration centered on good food, good wine and loved ones all around. Kathy HigginsAtelier Joya and Julie Morgan made the day something truly special, and I highly recommend you scroll through every last bit.


From The Bride…Mark and I were both living in NYC when my boss set us up on a blind date five years ago. Although we seemed like an unlikely pair in the beginning, it was our shared love of good friends, good food and good wine that brought us together. After Mark popped the big question on a moonlit Clydesdale sleigh ride in Deer Valley, we immediately began planning our wedding. We both wanted our wedding to have an intimate, romantic, yet casual feel. Napa Valley was the obvious choice — it was the perfect venue to bring together the people we loved to share some of our favorite things: food and wine!

Julie Song, whose style is beautifully whimsical and romantic, designed our invitation suite detailing the weekend of events. Mark and I hosted a Welcome Dinner at Cade Winery for all of our wedding guests to create a family-like atmosphere and to make sure no one left Napa Valley without experiencing an authentic vineyard tour and tasting! After a brief tour of the vineyard in small groups, everyone met deep in the wine cave for a more formal wine tasting and outrageous chacuccerie spread from Oxbow Wine & Cheese. The group then sat down to a casual dinner in the courtyard over-looking the Valley floor with the food catered by gourmet food-truck extraordinaire Mark at X Marks the Spot. The night was filled with toasts from our friends and family and set the tone for the weekend.

The following afternoon, Mark and I were married at a private estate on Spring Mountain overlooking the valley. Kathy Higgins, our wedding planner, was instrumental in making some of our unorthadox requests become a reality. In addition to finding the perfect venue, Kathy was able to connect us a with Choice Entertainers, an acapella Motown group whose melodies accentuated our ceremony and cocktail hour and showcased our obsession for classic Motown music. Fitting with our style and personalities, Kathy also introduced us to one of her personal friend’s who served as our wedding officiant. As our ceremony drew to a close, two of our closest friends read a personalized rendition of Shel Silverstein’s poem “Ations”, which cleverly depicted how we fell in love and why Napa was so special to us.

Chef Katie and the staff at Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc worked with our dear friends Monica & David Stevens at 750 Wines to create a perfectly paired feast served at sunset overlooking the Valley floor. Keeping with the inclusive family theme, the meal was served family style at two long tables in multiple courses. Lisa and Priska at Atelier Joya helped create tablescapes that were both beautiful and functional; the arrangements were all designed with a low profile to encourage guest conversation and accommodate the additional flat and stemware needed for our family-style dinner. Together Kathy, Lisa and Priska transformed a naturally beautiful landscape into an enchanting setting complete with urns of flowers in warm pastels and vintage rentals from Found Vintage Rentals. As dinner wound down, guests let loose to some dangerously melodic beats by D.Veloped (who just happened to be in SF that weekend because a friend called in a personal favor). The whole day was perfectly captured by Sylvie Gil, whose warm, infectious personality (and charming French accent) brought a smile to us both throughout the day.

Wanting a moment to ourselves, Mark and I were whisked away in a vintage Packard convertible at the end of the night. That private moment gave us the opportunity to reflect on what was such a special day and allowed us to sit and appreciate everyone who was a part of it. 

Photography: Sylvie Gil Photography | Wedding Planner: Kathy Higgins | Catering: Ad Hoc | Cutting Cake : Calistoga Cakes | Florals : Atelier Joya | Hair And Make Up : Julie Morgan | Lighting : Lux Production | Linens : La Tavola | Rentals : Classic Party Rentals | Venue: Private Estate

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Gorgeous Gifting with Wedding Paper Divas

When something fabulous is happening, we like to shout it from the rooftops.  Which is why we’re taking a moment to remind each and every one of you lovelies about the amazing giveaway from Wedding Paper Divas that is happening right here, right now on SMP.  I’m talking a $300 credit to use towards everything from crazy cool holiday gifts to fab favors to everything in between.

Yep, you heard me right.  A $300 credit to use towards fun goodies for your nearest and dearest like lovely Address Stamps, sparkly Gold Shimmer Ribbon and, of course, drop-dead gorgeous paper pretties. It’s a little gift from the team at Wedding Paper Divas that will make your holiday shopping just a tad bit more awesome. Who doesn’t love that?

So what are you waiting for, m’dears?  Do yourself a favor and click here to comment to win!


Organic Black Tie Bridal Inspiration

Dreamy doesn’t even begin to describe these images from Austin Gros. Inspired by timeless affairs, Jessica Sloane styled a fairytale vision filled with elegant Chaviano Couture gowns and organic blooms by Amy Osaba. It’s style perfection and seamless storytelling all the way. See it all here!


From Austin Gros…“Happiness is spiritual, born of Truth and Love. It is unselfish; therefore it cannot exist alone, but requires all mankind to share it.” ­ Mary Baker Eddy

A classic bride knows her wedding dress will represent her past, her present and her future. Her dress fuels her imagination when she envisions an elegant, timeless and intimate affair.

She values her heritage and tradition. Carrying her grandmother’s silver to share with her cherished friends and family who joined her on the special day. The patinated silver and pale mint blue balance the old with the new. The flowers cascade over the table, just as the fabric of her dress moves in the breeze. She shares her innocence and joy during this sacred time.

Photography: Austin Gros | Flowers: Amy Osaba | Dresses: Chaviano Couture | Hair And Beauty: Amanda Gros | Rentals: Blue Eyed Yonder | Styling And Design: Jessica Sloane ­ | Venue: Private Residence

How to Build An All-White Bouquet

You might have noticed we’re a bunch of flower junkies around these parts. And while we count every bouquet lovely in its own right, nothing stands the test of time like an all-white bundle of blooms. Want to create the look for yourself? Our very own Abby Larson is here to show you how to build one using our favorite flowers, a touch of greenery, and a little bit of skill.












Spray Tulips
Flower Stem Cutters
Floral Tape



step-1Start by removing the leaves and thorns from the stems of your flowers.

step-2Begin with the largest bloom as your focal point. Once you’ve chosen your bloom, begin to layer in additional flowers and stems around your focal point. For height add longer stems around the outside of the bouquet.

step-3Once you’ve added your blooms into a nice bouquet, reach into the center to pull up any flowers that may have been hidden throughout the layering process.

step-4In order to keep the shape you’ve created you will need to secure your bouquet with floral tape. Wrap floral tape around the stems, this will help keep your flowers in place.

step-5Cover the floral tape by wrapping a ribbon of your choice around the floral tape. Be sure to leave extra ribbon towards the top of your bouquet when you begin wrapping. Continue wrapping the ribbon around the stems until the two ends of your ribbon meet.  Tie the ribbon ends together in a knot at the front of your bouquet.

step-6Use your flower stem cutters to trim the stems at an angle. Keep your freshly prepped bouquet in a vase of water until ready for use.