In a wedding world where we’re always looking for ways to reinvent the wheel, sometimes a Bride willing to embrace tradition comes as a breath of fresh air. The grand church, the seated dinner, the beautiful ball gown and timeless formalities all add up to a day that wedding dreams are made of. And it’s that elegant sensibility that carries throughout these Napa nuptials thanks to Amy Nichols and Stephanie Pool. With just one look in the full gallery you’ll see why we just can’t get enough of this classic wedding infused with West Coast style.
From the Bride… Justin and I met on a foggy San Francisco evening when he hosted a BBQ at his apartment shortly after moving to the city. He invited the few people he knew in town and told them to bring friends; I was a friend of a friend of a friend and also new to the city. Over the next two years, we explored the city and the surrounding area together, with many trips to Wine Country and Lake Tahoe. We knew we wanted to get married in the Bay Area so we could have an opportunity to share the place that had become so dear to both of us with our close friends and family. We quickly identified a few “must haves” to make our wedding special for us and our guests: getting married in a Catholic Church, having indoor and outdoor space at our reception, dancing to a live band, and offering several opportunities for our family and friends to mingle and enjoy the area. After several unsuccessful trips to wine country to find a venue, we made an unscheduled stopped by The Carneros Inn on a whim. After peaking in the event space, we immediately knew it had the elegant, yet comfortable feel we wanted. The gorgeous courtyard surrounded by vines would be a perfect place for guests to mingle before dinner and when they needed a break from dancing.
We also decided to hold our ceremony at the Mont La Salle Chapel, which sits on a hill overlooking wine country, offering an incredible vista for our guests. And, to round out the Napa Valley experience for our guests, most of whom were from out of town, we reserved the barrel room at Artesa Winery for our rehearsal dinner. After we found the venues, we identified vendors to help bring our vision to life. Lydia created the gorgeous, romantic floral arrangements and bouquets in a medley of white, cream, peach and blush, which looked lovely with the navy/amethyst bridesmaid dresses. The musicians for our ceremony and reception were incredibly talented and willing to learn a couple very special songs for our big day. Our wedding planner, Amy Nichols, and the venue planners kept us on track and made sure we thought of all the details in advance. And Stephanie Pool, our photographer, captured the casual elegance beautifully. One thing I read on an SMP post stuck with me and proved very true: Work with vendors that you trust to ensure you are stress-free on your wedding day. I trusted each one and knew that all of the pieces would come together so I could enjoy every minute!
We wanted to add several personal touches to the reception and worked for more hours than I would admit on a few do-it-yourself projects. Justin uses any excuse to head to Home Depot and use his tools, so he volunteered (with the help of a great friend) to build a photo booth from scratch when we realized that our budget wasn’t going to allow for us to hire one for the day. He really amazed me with not only his dedication to the project, but also his craftiness! Our guests were impressed too. We also built a sign post representing all of the cities in which we have lived that looks similar to traditional winery sign posts. We were inspired by the white-washed wood at The Carneros Inn, so we carried that into our crafts and added pops of navy blue, blush and silver. Although each project took more time than expected, it was fun to work together to make our wedding “ours.” I would recommend that all brides find some project that the grooms are excited to help out with – he might even surprise you with his crafty skills! We were also very thankful to have the love and support from both our families. We could not have done it without their design help, wine and food guidance, technical expertise, extra hands, and lots of laughs. We couldn’t have been happier with our wedding – it was so special to have our closest friends and family with us to celebrate, to dance, and to take silly pictures in our homemade photo booth!
Wedding Photography: Stephanie Pool Photography / Ceremony Venue: Mont La Salle in Napa, California / Reception Venue: The Carneros Inn in Napa, California / Wedding Planning: Amy Nichols Special Events / Floral Design: Lidia Sadoun of La Fleuriste / Wedding Cake: Patisserie Angelica / Band: Pride & Joy / Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental / Rentals: Hartmann Studios / Wedding Dress: Romona Keveza (Legends Collection) via Serendipity Bridal / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: The Dessy Group (in Amethyst) via Joielle