A huge, unstoppable grin formed on my wedding-loving face when I first came across these images by Lori Paladino. Because this wine country beauty is just so downright charming, so adorable, so everything I love about weddings. It’s well thought out details perfectly reflecting these two adorable newlyweds curated by L’Relyea Events nestled amongst beautiful California backdrops, and it’s all sitting pretty here.
From the Bride… As every bride does, more than anything I wanted our wedding to be a true reflection of us and full of the love we have for each other and our family and friends. We decided on a wine country wedding on July 14th, 2012 because we’ve gone up there many times during our relationship and love the comfortable elegance of so many places there. We were so excited to find a venue that was somewhere we had been together independent of wedding planning and reflected our style – we wanted it to feel comfortable and casual, but also classy and elegant.
My husband is from Vermont and loves big open space and farm animals. I am from Northern California and have always loved the beach. When we saw Solage and the combination of wine country, palm trees and a barn-like open door reception space, we new that was the place. While I thought the wine country would preclude us from a beachy feel, our designer, Kate, loved the idea of brining the beachy feel into our design, especially at Solage. To bring these themes together, our invitations featured cows in honor of Vermont and palm trees in honor of California. To bring the beachy theme to life, our name cards were on shells, we had a candle-lit shell lateen entrance, and yellow and white tropical flowers throughout. I also gave all the girls in the wedding party yellow and white flip-flops for dancing.
Bringing my husband’s, Vermont roots into the picture was where we had the most fun getting creative and throughout the reception we had a theme of “all of our favorite things.” Our specialty cocktails where lemonade and sweet tea vodkas served in mason jars with DIY name tags that we cut, stamped and tied with twine, along with a Vermont beer – Magic Hat that we brought in, especially for the reception. Our table names were all of our favorite things to do together – these included things like taking Sunday walks or Looking for cows. We started dinner with a Vermont Cheddar cheese amuse-bouche (one of our favorite snacks), we brought in steak from our favorite butcher in Palo Alto called “Fred’s Steak” that we eat all the time and cooked together on our third date, and we finished dinner with our favorite Vermont ice cream – a three tier Ben & jerry’s ice cream cake featuring 8 of our favorite flavors. Our favors were Vermont maple syrups.
Additional personal touches included our DIY programs from Minted that we made and tied ourselves, lots of candles which we love, a polaroid guest book so people could leave “messages from our favorite people” and an iPad set up to video for a video guest book so our guests could leave us “videos from our favorite people” throughout the evening which was a highlight on our honeymoon. We had an outdoor fire-pit, which is also one of our favorite activities and even managed to find a barn to take wedding party photos at for my husband, as well as a dog to take a photo with at Solage, just like we did for our save the date since we both love dogs, but own one ourselves yet. I surprised my husband with one of his favorite foods – chicken wings, made with his favorite recipe – as an additional late night snack.
As an extra special touch for the ceremony, we flew our priest out from Biloxi, Mississippi, who my husband had met and kept in touch with after volunteering after Hurricane Katrina. We had incredibly talented friends as our pianist and singers for our ceremony as well. The day was definitely comprised of all of our favorite things and our favorite people and we could not have asked for a more incredible wedding!
Wedding Photography: Lori Paladino | Ceremony Venue: St. Helena Catholic Church in Saint Helena, California | Reception Venue + Catering: Solage Calistoga in Calistoga, California | Event Planning: L’Relyea Events | Floral + Event Design: Kate Stanley Design | Meat: Schaub’s Meat, Fish & Poultry | Wedding Cake: Ben & Jerry’s Napa | Musician: Lisa Schieble | DJ: Sean Evans | Linens: La Tavola | Wedding Invitations: Papyrus | Wedding Stationery: Minted | Wedding Dress: Christo’s | Shoes: Kate Spade | Hair + Makeup: Betten Chaston