I’m always a little jealous of California’s year round sunshine. It offers up the perfect weather for an al fresco affair, even in the Fall. And Beaulieu Garden couldn’t be a more stunning backdrop with it’s garden finery and canopy of twinkling lights. It’s made even more so at the hands of Atelier Joya, Stacy McCain Event Planning and loads of pretty images by Elle Jae. Click here for even more.
From The Bride…I had no idea Morgan was going to propose. It was the morning of my grandmothers birthday and we got up early to take our bulldog, Dexter for a hike along the beach in Half Moon Bay. We were supposed to be at parents house for an early bbq that afternoon to celebrate my grandmother’s birthday. Dexter loves the water and the beach and was dragging me towards the water and Morgan was walking very slowly behind us. I finally stopped to ask him if he was feeling ok and he had already taken the ring box out of his pocket. He asked me if I would marry him and Dexter and I laughed and said yes. He asked me again if I was sure and I said yes. He said “good, because all of our friends and family are going to be at your parents today to celebrate”. Turns out, I was the only one who didn’t know he was proposing. That afternoon was so much fun because it ended up being a surprise engagement party with our closest friends and family…….
When Morgan and I got engaged, we both immediately knew that we wanted to be married in the Napa Valley. We wanted to invite our family and friends to not only celebrate with us on our wedding day but spend the weekend with us and enjoy all that Napa has to offer.
Our weekend began at the Andaz Hotel, located downtown Napa, surrounded by restaurants, shopping and the Napa river all within walking distance. Our family and friends were greeted with a goodie bag and map of downtown with places to see and visit during their stay. We wanted to spend as much time as we could visiting with everyone who traveled to celebrate so we had an open cocktail party instead of a rehearsal dinner on the patio at the Andaz.
The day of the wedding, our guests were shuttled to Beaulieu Gardens, a private estate located in Rutherford. We chose this venue for its obvious beauty and with its many different gardens, we were able to move the party from one area to another, creating a “roaming party” feel.
The overall theme or aesthetic of our ceremony and reception was a natural-rustic Napa feel with pops of glam. Farm wood tables with sequin runners and mercury glass, hanging tea lights from over head, just made everything look so rich glamorous without taking away the already beautiful landscape from the venue. It was perfect clear fall evening and we had placed throws on all the ladies chairs for them incase they got chilly. We wanted everyone to feel like they were included and had the best seat in the house so we had couches and lounge areas set up near the reception area and dance floor to give it a more intimate feeling. Instead of a guest book, we had photo album on one of the coffee tables for everyone to sign and write messages in. That was fun for us to read though the next day.
We still wanted it to be fun and personal and at the end of evening, we wanted our friends and family to leave thinking that it was the best party ever. We chose Pop Rocks as our band because we loved their energy and we wanted everyone to dance. We had late night snacks passed for guests during the last hour of dancing to keep the party going. At the end of the evening, our guests were shuttled back to the hotel and we invited all of our guests who weren’t ready to go to bed yet, to join us after hours for some sushi and cocktails next.
Photography: Elle Jae Weddings | Wedding Planner: Stacy McCain Event Planning | Floral Design: Atelier Joya | Wedding Gown: Vera Wang, Beverly Hills | Cake: Sweet on Cake | Jewelry: Ippolita | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Joanna August | Caterer: Paula LeDuc Fine Catering | Lighting: Got Light | Band: Pop Rocks | Groomsmen's Attire: Vera Wang, Beverly Hills | Transportation: Pure Luxury Transportation | Hotel: Andaz Napa | Wedding Venue: Beaulieu Garden | Bridal Shoes: Via Spiga | Bridesmaids Bracelets: Anthropologie | Canvas Bags With Bulldog Logo: 4promos | Cashmere Throws: West Elm | Ceremony & Cocktail Music: An Elegant Touch of Strings | Chalkboard Seating Chart: Atelier Joya | Flower Girl Attire: Kmart | Flower Girl Shoes: Gymboree | Flower Girl Wands: Atelier Joya | Groom's Tuxedo: Vera Wang, Beverly Hills | Groomsmen Sunglasses: Vans | Hot Air Balloon For Cards: BLHDN | Printed Pieces: chewing the cud | Ring Bearer: Gymboree | Sound: Delicate Productions | Vail: Vera Wang, Beverly Hills