Napa Valley is one of those places that never grows old, never loses its luster and, in turn, always makes for the most gorgeous of backdrops. It’s an extra special, secret-sauce blend of natural, gorgeous light, wine a plenty and beautiful outdoor spaces for marrying. We call it wedding Mecca, and through the lens of Sylvie Gil, it’s a beautiful, beautiful thing. Have a look right here for so much more.
From the bride… Patrick and I knew we wanted an outdoor wedding with no chance of rain, and living on the East Coast this posed a bit of a problem. It didn’t take long for us to realize that Whitehall Estate in St. Helena would provide the perfect setting for our reception. While this wasn’t the most convenient of locations for friends an family coming from the East Coast, Turkey, and Germany, it turned out to be more amazing than we could have ever imagined. Both sets of parents struggled with the idea initially, but afterward agreed that the wedding just wouldn’t have been the same if it had been anywhere but Napa. With the help of Kathy Higgins our vision came to life and was captured perfectly on film by Sylvie Gil.
We were married at Grace Church in St. Helena and from there Patrick surprised me with a local antique fire truck that drove us to our reception. Patrick worked as a volunteer firefighter at Colgate University and then later as a paid firefighter in Los Angeles. I’m not normally one for big scenes, but driving down highway 29 with our bridal party on the back of the truck was the best. People were honking and literally leaning out their car windows to wave to us. There was so much happiness, it felt very special.
When we arrived at the reception the flower arrangements put together by Valley Flora took my breath away, I simply could not have envisioned anything so beautiful for our day. I brought about 12 succulents home from the reception and nine months later I still have four of them thriving in my backyard. Who needs pressed or dried flowers!
After cocktails and appetizers around the pool we sat down to a delicious dinner and some very moving toasts given by friends and family. From there we moved into the barn for an awesome dance party with music provided by Suite Love Express. They rocked, and literally had all generations on the dance floor. During one musical break, Patrick’s Turkish relatives showed guests a traditional Turkish dance. I couldn’t believe it, everyone was joining in. It was such a meaningful moment to see friends from all over the world enjoying each other and feeling so comfortable, that is exactly what we were hoping to accomplish.
From Sylvie Gil… I’ve had many introductory meetings with potential wedding couples, but when I first met Alexis and Patrick I could tell they were very special. They were warm and charming, putting me at ease to the extent they even invited my husband (who they had only met moments earlier) to their wedding. This personal warmth was reflected during the entire wedding process in every detail.
So much of their taste and personalities went into creating the event, from the European/Mediterranean setting to the heirloom flowers vases and the vintage fire truck, it all created a very beautiful vibe.
Photography: Sylvie Gil | Floral Design: Valley Flora, Polly Harrington | Event Consultant: Kathy Higgins Weddings | Rentals: Wine Country Party + Classic Party Rentals | Linens: La Tavola | Lighting: Illusions | Officiant: Father Wm. MacIlmoyl | Organist: David Auerbach | Transportation: California Wine Tours | Cocktail Music: Steel Drum Trio, Derek Smith (510.593.8883) | Band: Suite Love Express | Cakes: Perfect Endings | Catering: Elaine Bell Catering | Makeup: Darcy Hunt-Ceballos (707.815.9097) | Hair: Leilani Slack, Bloom on Main