Every time Tanja Lippert gets behind the lens, magic undoubtedly happens. Pure.wedding.magic. And when she just happens to be shooting the work of Charmed Events Group, LLC in pretty as can be Napa Valley, it makes us want to pop open a bottle of bubbly and shout from the wedding-loving rooftops. Because this is a soiree we should celebrate, complete with a couple that couldn’t be more head over heels in love with each other and that makes for a full gallery worthy of a toast!
From the Bride… Gary and I met ages before our first date. We were both residents at Stanford Medical Center (general surgery for him, anesthesiology for me), but besides the typical operating room banter neither one of us ever took our friendship to the next level. Fast forward three years, and out of the blue, Gary asked me out. (He said it took him that long to work up the nerve!) On our first date, he warned me not to fall in love with him because he was in the Air Force and would have to move away in a year. I’m not big on pragmatism, so I said sure — then proceeded to fall in love with him immediately afterwards. He did move the next year to Virginia while I stayed in California, but we loved each other so much that we decided to make it work. Six months later, he worked up his nerve again and proposed.
We knew planning the wedding in less than a year would be challenging. We were still living on opposite coasts, and Gary was scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan. But we wanted to be married as soon as he returned, so we got to work. Napa Valley was the destination for our first weekend away together, and what a delicious place to host our family and friends. Meadowood Resort, classically beautiful and luxurious, is tucked away in the Napa Valley hills so it feels like its own little haven. It has the added benefit of being able to hold the ceremony outdoors under the trees, and then having an entirely indoors reception (a commodity in the Napa Valley). Once we had the date and venue set, it was on to the most important vendor in my mind … the photographer. Anyone who has seen the work of Tanja Lippert can only fall madly, deeply and truly in love. Added to that, her personality is as fabulous as her photos — she was the only photographer that we interviewed. (It didn’t hurt that her partner-in-crime, Tia Reagan, is a miracle-working hair and makeup artist.) And because Gary would be in Afghanistan for most of the planning period (he claims this was a lucky coincidence!), we also decided to hire a wedding planner. Frances Liu of Charmed Events really helped solidify my vision for the wedding, and she worked tirelessly to turn that vision into reality. Her creativity and organizational skills are second to none, and I cannot thank her enough for taking away all the stress of the big day.
When planning the wedding, we wanted a fun, relaxed party with great food and drinks. Small personal touches helped make the wedding unique: our colors (orange is Gary’s fave, gray is mine), an airplane theme (as a nod to our long-distance relationship and Gary’s Air Force position), handmade paper mache “Just Married” letters (that I started to make, but then got frustrated so Gary finished when he returned home from Afghanistan), and postcards for our guest book (another nod to our long-distance relationship). At the end of the night, guests filled bags with the phrase “Nuts over you” with an assortment of nuts from our “Nut Bar,” a personal twist on the popular candy bar since nuts are our favorite snack. We were so lucky to work with amazing vendors who made the day spectacularly beautiful and easy. Gary and I still remember looking at each other that day and smiling from ear to ear. We were together, we were married, and we got to share that with our family and friends … what could be better?
Wedding Photography: Tanja Lippert Photography / Wedding Venue: Meadowood in Napa, California / Event Planning, Design and Paper Goods: Francis Liu of Charmed Events Group, LLC / Floral Design: Poppy’s Petalworks / Officiant: Rev. Tim Mills / Wedding Cinematography: Burkart Studios / Wedding Cake: Perfect Endings / DJ: Feet First Entertainment / Wedding Dress: Melissa Sweet for Priscilla of Boston (Now Closed) / Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo