When the oh-so-talented (and oh-so-sweet) Emily of Three Little Words sent along her charming Calistoga wedding, we knew we were in for a treat. An entire day set against a breathtaking vineyard backdrop with pretty paper goods galore?!? Yes. Please. And this bundle of jewel-toned goodness most definitely has us swooning in a big way – from the darling DIY details to the gorgeous images by Brown Butter Photography, we just can’t.get.enough. Care to spend your Friday morning basking in lovely? Join us in the gallery for even more.
From Emily of Three Little Words (The Bride)… Our wedding was a true labor of love for us both (as most probably are) and the culmination of a ten-year-long relationship. Rocky and I fell in love in Maine while working together at a print shop over the summer of 2001. At the time, I was in art school in NY, while Rocky was also working as a chef in Portland and attending school for massage. We both had designs on moving to the west coast in the years to come and threw caution to the wind by doing so when I graduated college in 2003. In our “leisure” time (what little we have!) we absolutely adore hopping in a City CarShare car and driving up to Napa or Sonoma. We have become real lovers of wine and everything that goes with the region! Every time any east coast friends fly out to visit, a day trip to wine country is a must, and we are proud to have turned many of them from occasional white wine drinkers to total cabernet connoisseurs. It was obvious to both of us that we had to have our wedding there. On top of that, we wanted a “wine cave” to give our event added elements of romance and history. We were thrilled when we discovered Hans Fahden, a small, family-owned cabernet vineyard in the mountains of Calistoga. It was there we decided to celebrate our big day.
The weekend kicked off with our rehearsal and subsequent luncheon in the wine library at Estate in Sonoma (owned by our favorite restaurant, The Girl & The Fig). We later met up with many of our guests who were rolling into town at the local pub on the main drag of small town Calistoga, the Calistoga Inn. Rocky and I stayed up the street at the Pink Mansion, which was the perfect setting for us to relax and take our time each morning before heading out to the hectic wedding festivities each day. We spoke our vows in a nondenominational ceremony in the garden at Hans Fahden, surrounded by 65 guests, many of whom flew across the United States to be there. My sister, parents, Rocky’s mother and our dog were part of the processional. Two close friends read poems that had great meaning to us, and aside from “the kiss” our vows were sealed with a sip of wine, of course. The ceremony was followed by cocktails and appetizers for our guests in the open tea house overlooking the grounds and the golden vineyard-lined hills beyond. After Rocky and I thanked our guests for their support in the grand room of the winery, we pulled open the huge oak doors to reveal a golden, candlelit wine cave for dinner. My sister and our best friends from Maine each toasted us throughout the meal. Of particular note were our floral arrangements – by Danielle of Brown Paper Design – which were inspired by our harvesty-wine color palette, but also included seasonal produce like artichokes and figs to carry in the theme.
Being a stationery designer, the pressure was on to create memorable stationery and other design collateral for our wedding. On top of that, Rocky severely broke his ankle, needed surgery and was unable to walk without crutches from May until the wedding day itself, so we had a lot on our plate during our eight-month engagement. But Rocky’s creativity combined with mine, and with notes taken from our event setting, season and interests in food, wine and music, everything came together in a very real that way we feel perfectly represented “us.” We designed and made everything ourselves and by hand from our original screen-printed, cork save-the-dates, sealed with a real wine stain, to the illustrated map of the road “from San Francisco to Calistoga” that I drew and printed on canvas to wrap around our invitation suite. After a long weekend dorking out to Game of Thrones on HBO, Rocky had the idea to create a custom wax seal for our stationery and we carried that in as well. Another notable creation was our favor: individual bottles of mead, which is honey wine home-brewed by Rocky in our kitchen. He used a mixture of Maine wild blueberry and California wildflower honey. We sealed the bottles with cork, dipped them in leftover wax from our seals and I designed and adhered a label with a story about the history of mead as a wedding celebratory drink.
Wedding Photography: Brown Butter Photography / Wedding Venue: Hans Fahden Vineyards in Calistoga, California / Floral Design: Brown Paper Design / Catering: Piper Johnson Catering / Wedding Cake + Cupcakes: Sift Cupcake & Dessert Bar / Cake Toppers: DIY by the Bride / Officiant: Rev. Blane Ellsworth / Ceremony Acoustic Guitar: Leo Cavanagh / DJ: Alex of AMS Entertainment / Wedding Stationery: Three Little Words (Owned by the Bride) / Wedding Signage, Menus, Programs, Favors, Save-the-Date, Invitation Suite, Wine Totes: DIY by the Bride & Groom / Wedding Dress: Marisa Bridals via Bridal Galleria / Hair + Makeup: Philippa Shenandoah / Bride’s Gold Sequin Jacket: Handmade by Kate O’Toole of Filia, A Friend of the Bride / Jacket Fabric Purchased at: Britex Fabrics / Hair Fascinator: DIY by the Bride / Earrings: BHLDN / Bracelet: Borrowed from a Co-Worker / Amethyst Ring: A 150-Year-Old Family Heirloom from the Bride’s Great-Great-Great-Grandmother / Bride’s Shoes: Malbec Heels by Miss Albright via Anthropologie / Groom’s Tuxedo: Calvin Klein / Groom’s Shoes: Rockport via Macy’s / Bride’s Wedding Band: Yayoi Forest / Groom’s Wedding Band: Benchmark / “Best Dog’s” Tie: Fabric Pattern Designed by the Bride + Tie Designed & Sewn by Carla Yates, the Bride’s Sister