A cocktail hour picnic, farm-fresh favors and seating areas that we could spend the rest of our days in are just a few of the details tucked inside this vibrant affair. The brains behind the operation include photography by Lisa Lefkowitz, design and styling by Gloria Wong Design with planning by Jubilee Lau Events and a killer display of blooms by Cherries. See even more jam-packed inside the full gallery.
Upon our first meeting, Karen and Orson shared their vision for their wedding. They wanted to marry at a private estate, a secluded place that would feel special to them, and their guests. They stressed the importance of keeping the vibe and decor fun and casual while maintaining a beautifully put together event. They also exclaimed how they’re big-time foodies who love to eat and cook. So, the direction for the wedding was good eats and good company, at an outdoor venue that would feel exclusive to them! A fancy fun picnic with touches of French Country Farmhouse! The style that we established was casual luxe, refined rustic! The fresh color palette was comprised of bright red, salmon pink, apricot orange, and indigo blue.
After we narrowed down a few sites for them to see, Karen and Orson fell deeply in love with a private estate in Calistoga, nicknamed “Black Swan Lake.” The pristine, glittering lake on the property served as the breathtaking backdrop for Karen and Orson’s vow exchange. Guests arrived to this “secret location” by shuttle buses, and were greeted upon arrival with refreshing minted ice teas by bistro attired servers. French wooden slat chairs were adorned with brightly colored flowers wrapped in jute twine. The ringbearer held a floral embellished jute rope that symbolized the act of tying the knot. The flower girl carried a sculpted birch basket that was most suitable for the natural setting. Guests found muslin bags filled with rosemary (a nod to the food-loving couple) resting on their seats and were instructed to shower the newlyweds with this traditional wedding love charm as they walked down the aisle for the first time as husband and wife.
During the cocktail reception, guests were treated to vintage lounge seating under wooden canopies, a picnic area with rugs and grain sack pillows, and an oyster bar! Guests enjoyed a relaxing hour by the lake indulging in culinary treats by Paula Le Duc Fine Catering, which included items like “Fire and Ice”–ahi tuna, wasabi, and siricha paired with fennel sorbet. In lieu of the traditional escort card, guests grabbed canvas tote bags inscribed with their names and table assignments. They were encouraged to poke around the marketplace area where kitchen utensils like egg whisks and tea infusers were displayed. Guests were free to fill their “escort totes” with all the giveaways! In addition to kitchen utensils, we also custom printed tea towels and recipe cards which made the roundup of favors personal and all the more festive!
For dinner, guests dined al fresco by the gorgeous estate pool. Jute twine wrapped votives hung from nearby trees. Casual farmhouse tables were dressed with natural linen runners and coupled with distressed French vintage chairs. The tables were brightened up by cheerful centerpieces contained in rustic wood, tin, and antique jars. To promote a sense of community, a menu calligraphed onto a piece of slate chalkboard was passed around the dinner table. An olive branch topped off the simple yet lovely place setting. Paula Le Duc Fine Catering served a remarkable three course meal, each paired with its own wine, including a Chateau Haut Brisson, St. Emilion 2009 wine that came from the bride’s family vineyard in France.
Karen and Orson’s wedding cake sat atop a copper tin bucket. The cake itself was inspired by the hand-drawn graphics from the couple’s wedding invitation. It echoed the artistry from old Asian porcelain vases.
Following the sumptuous dinner, guests danced the night away under the clear evening stars to the music of their live 7-piece band, Big City Revue. A small dessert display on a vintage console table included delicacies such as chocolate obsession cookies, tropical panna cotta, and vanilla creme brûlée. Servers made their rounds as well, with mini waffle ice cream cones, and chai bubble milk tea shots. Still hungry? Not to worry….late night snacks included mini banh mi’s and mini ramen bowls.
Photographer: Lisa Lefkowitz | Event Design: Gloria Wong Design | Event Planning: Jubilee Lau Events | Floral Design: Cherries | Cake: Studio Cake | Catering: Paula LeDuc Fine Catering | Makeup + Hair: JBeautique | Calligraphy: Little Miss Press | Lighting: Got Light! | Band: Big City Revue | Transportation: Pure Luxury Transportation | Venue: Black Swan Lake | Cabanas: Wine Country Party Rentals | Ceremony Chairs: Hartmann Studio | Ceremony Musicians: Eloquence String Quartet | Dinner Chairs: Blueprint Studio | Linens: La Tavola | Luxury Restroom Trailer: Royal Restrooms | Musicians Booked Through: Bay Music & Entertainment | Paper Goods: Good On Paper | Photobooth: Snap Yourself | Tabletop Rentals: Classic Party Rentals | Vendor: The Bride's Aunt & Grandmother | Vintage Furniture: One True Love Vintage Rentals