Do you want to know which trend I absolutely adore? When couple’s embrace their venue’s surroundings and strive to keep things local. Which is even more beautiful (and delicious) when you are somewhere like Mayacamas Ranch. Because their list of local lovelies is miles and miles along, and when you pair some of the best wine in the country with Elaine Bell Catering - the result is a wedding guests will surely talk about for years. One peek at all the pretty snapped up by J Wiley Photography, and it’s safe to say this was just such a soiree. See it all here.
From J Wiley Photography… I photographed this completely gorgeous, heartfelt wedding at Mayacamas Ranch in the Napa region of California, and loved not just the natural beauty of the setting, but that Carrie & Sean cared so much about being eco-friendly and incorporating local, sustainable elements into their day as well. Their ceremony and reception took place on the hillside, with their cocktail hour being held in the Sunrise Garden on the grounds nearby.
Carrie & Sean are the absolute kindest, most down to earth people you could want to meet. They did all of their planning long-distance from Chicago and Seattle, and in spite of how overwhelming that might have been, they ultimately made their friends and family the stars of the day at every step, incorporating meaningful heirloom touches and requesting a photo with a sign just for Sean’s grandmother who couldn’t attend. I think that was incredibly special.
From the Couple… We knew immediately that we wanted a destination wedding so we could celebrate with friends and family over an entire weekend. We decided on Calistoga after coming across Mayacamas Ranch online. The Ranch looked like the perfect combination of rustic and gorgeous, and it did not disappoint. We loved the summer camp atmosphere and that a lot of our friends and family could stay onsite throughout the weekend.
We planned a full weekend of festivities, including a Friday Field Day for our friends, Friday night barbecue at Buster’s BBQ, and brunch on Sunday. For look and feel, we decided on “rustic elegant.” Our moms drove across the country with mason jars and other décor my mom had collected, in addition to an antique birdcage and family chuppa.
We wanted our ceremony to be very personal, so we asked Sean’s Aunt Linda to marry us and our moms to do readings that they selected. We were married under the same chuppa my sister was married under, which was made from my grandmother’s lace tablecloth. I walked down the aisle to our guitarist’s rendition of “Rivers and Roads” by one of our favorite bands, The Head and the Heart.
Food and wine were a priority – Elaine Bell created a beautiful, family style meal of local, seasonal specialties and we served signature cocktails and local wine alongside. We happened upon Lava Vine winery and fell in love. Not only did we serve their Syrah and Rosé, but they arranged to have a 9-liter bottle produced and custom painted for us by a local artist.
It could not have been a more perfect weekend. We had so much fun and felt so loved surrounded by our family and friends.
Photography: J Wiley Photography | Venue: Mayacamas Ranch | Officiant: Linda Lager, Groom’s Aunt | Floral Design: Plan Decor | Catering + Pies: Elaine Bell Catering | Candy: Buckeyes, Mother of the Groom | Invitation Design: Anne Benjamin | Maps: Natalie Kilgore of Natty Michelle | Chuppa: Bride’s Grandmother’s Lace Tablecloth | Wine: Lava Vine | Wedding Dress: Michelle Rahn | Necklace: Family Heirloom | Hairpiece: Renee Pawele | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Julie Dillon, Bloomingdales | Groom’s Suit: Hugo Boss | Groom’s Accessories: Brooks Brothers | DJ: DJ StanMichelle Rahn is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here.