From the Bride...Davide and I just missed each other during our time at Lehman Brothers as I was on my way out when Davide was an incoming summer associate. Our former colleague thought we would get along and suggested numerous times that the three of us get together. However, given three busy persons’ schedules (I’m just a busy bee), it never happened. Davide finally asked for my number and called me the night after Halloween, five years ago. We had dinner and discovered how similar our backgrounds were and that was the beginning. Davide grew up in Italy and came to the U.S. when he was about 10 years old with his mother and brother. He didn’t have a lot growing up but thanks to his smarts and good looks, he graduated from USC and got a job in banking. I came to the U.S. with my mother and brother when I was about 3 years old. You may have heard stories of Vietnamese refugees and boat people, that was us. The rest is history and now we’re pursuing the American Dream together…
Given our two different cultures, he’s Italian and I’m Vietnamese, we decided on a setting and style that reflected how we met and our bond in a third culture, the American culture. We’re reminded everyday of where we came from so we weaved certain elements of our heritage throughout the day. We also knew we wanted a smaller, intimate wedding and we knew exactly where we wanted to get married – The Carneros Inn in Napa, California.
A year into our relationship, we went to a good friend’s wedding there and fell in love with the venue. It’s unique, cozy and private setting has incredible views of the rolling hills –just one aspect of the beautiful backdrop. Good food was a big piece of our wedding requirement as we wanted to treat our family and friends to a really great dinner and a fun time. For all the times that we’ve been to Napa, each meal was incredibly delicious, including the Farm and Boon Fly Café at the Carneros Inn. We both had demanding jobs that didn’t allow for a lot of time to plan so we chose to keep things on the simple side but are fortunate enough to have wonderful, talented family and friends to help with the many DIY details. My two maids of honor helped with all the stationery. The invitations were from Smock Paper but the programs, menu cards, name cards and all paper goods were hand and home made with one-of-a-kind details by our maid of honor.
We didn’t necessarily want to go with a main theme or color but rather chose to believe that all the details would come together nicely the day of. Given our love for The Carneros Inn, we incorporated hints of orange throughout the invitations, the ribbons that were used to wrap the pashminas and the tissue paper that lined the Welcome to Napa bags. We also had parasols that were tied with orange ribbons, although it was unused because of the rain. (And yes, it rained - the Italians and Chinese believe it brings good fortune but we saw it as just another hurdle, such is life). The flowers were alternating arrangements of white and pink peonies. My mother spent days on making the crystal sash I wore with my dress as well as the bird cage veil.
As for the tables, we looked at quite a few table linens and didn’t quite find one that was just right, they were either too overwhelming with color and texture or too expensive. Thankfully, the Los Angeles fashion and textile district is just a hop through traffic away and we scoured over blocks of stores to finally find the mini rosette fabric in ivory. Instead of covering the entire tables, we decided to use it as a runner, which was perfect and more economical! The bridesmaids all wore dresses of their choice in shades of white, ivory and cream. (For the record, decisions were made and dresses were bought before Pippa’s debut…) The groomsmen wore classic, black tuxedos. My Vietnamese infusion was having all the girls change into traditional Vietnamese dresses and the Italian side came out when Davide’s dad danced a traditional Italian number.
It was an unforgettable day. The planning and details were all worth it and so much fun to plan and coordinate! Until next time when we renew our vows…
Wedding Photography: Angie Silvy Photography / Photo Assistant: Shawnee Pedraza / Hair + Make-up: Jane Kim - The Glamourist / Location: The Carneros Inn / Floral Design: Fresh 4 Us / Invitations: Smock / Wedding Cake: The Carneros Inn / Wedding Videography: Thomas Hughes Films / Wedding Planner: Always a Bridesmaid