Today’s inspiration board is for Sarah, who is having a pink and brown inspired wedding at the GORGEOUS Gloria Ferrer winery in Sonoma, California. Here is the board…

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Top Row: Emily from J Crew, Photo from In Style Weddings; Center Row:First two by Martha Stewart, third photo by Ariella Chezar; Bottom Row: Champagne on Brides, Gown in Martha Stewart, Brownies by Mari’s NY

Before I get into the details of the wedding, I want to touch on a point that so many brides seem to struggle with…the color palette. It seems that when a bride talks about her wedding (and I am definitely one of those brides), there is always somewhat of a theme and always, a clear color palette. And many times, I find that the color palette is translated so literally that the end result seems a bit contrived and overdone. So I wanted to take this wedding as an opportunity to show you that using certain colors as inspiration can be done in such a way that the elegance and sophistication of the wedding, is allowed to breath and thrive.

Sarah’s colors are pink and brown. Rather than using one particular shade of pink and chocolate, I have instead decided to do a spectrum of varying colors and textures, all in the same color family…the pinks range from a dusty rose, to a more bold, magenta. The chocolate ranges from a deep espresso all the way to the lighter hue of natural wood. I feel strongly that by using color to inspire, rather than create, your wedding will seem much more chic than if you were to simply do a pink and brown theme. I also really like the idea of incorporating color through elements that are naturally beautiful…the richness of actual chocolates, the warmth of a glass of champagne, the pinks in particular flowers. Again, this will add to the natural elegance of the affair.

Starting with the fashion, the bride really wants to marry an old/new feeling…vintage chic if you will. I love the gown above because it has such a clean, modern shape but then is draped with that gorgeous vintage lace that makes it feel appropriate for a small, intimate affair. I see her hair in a low, loose bun or completely down with a bit of wave in it. Antique, gold earrings to complete the look. I love the idea of having the men in a simple black tux then perhaps adding a little color with the tie…maybe a very pale pink or champagne color. The bridesmaids I see in the chocolate Emily dress by J Crew (chiffon)…flowy and romantic.

Since both the ceremony and the reception are being held in the same location, it would be great to bring in decor during the ceremony that can be re-used in a new way for the reception. Rather than having Garland, I really like the idea of doing tall, rod iron planters overflowing with greenery and pink flowers at every other row. After the ceremony, these can be strategically arranged around the reception area. The chairs for the ceremony could be a deep chocolate brown with either white or espresso cushions that can translate easily into dinner tables once the room is flipped.

I believe that when you have both portions of the wedding in one location, you really need to let the natural ambiance of the space speak for itself. With this wedding in particular, being in such a gorgeous venue, I feel like you really shouldn’t bring in too much or try to modify the look in a way that fights with the natural beauty and ambiance.

The ceremony should be outside (you can’t beat the Napa Valley weather), among the natural beauty of the vineyard. Very little additional decor is needed if you do it this way…perhaps simply the chairs, some additional heavy floral arrangements and the bridal party (yep, they count as decoration too!).

After the ceremony, guests could be greeted with a cold glass of champagne. It would be great if Sarah could arrange a loosely, guided tour through the caves for her guests, while the photos are being taken. This will leave such a lasting impression on her out of town guests, as it is something completely unique to the area.

Food should reflect the fresh, organic ingredients that are locally grown…heirloom tomatoes, asparagus and goat cheese, organic meats. Napa and Sonoma are food and wine meccas and yet nothing is ever overdone or too modern. It is all about easy entertaining and I think that this wedding should simply follow suit. The music should be timeless and elegant…a band is ideal. The flowers should be natural and not overly designed. The table decor should be simple and elegant. The favors should be petite bottles of Gloria Ferrer champagne, or something native to the area.

Every component of this wedding should just blend in with the natural surroundings. I can completely envision the guests dancing outside, among the stars, to some great Sinatra song…completely romantic and effortless. So innately elegant that all of the little details are unnecessary.