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Summer Wedding at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone

Napa weddings are uniquely special, always a sight to be seen. But add in a venue guaranteed to have beyond amazing food, and we’ve hit the magical jackpot. This summer celebration at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone had every element to make it the masterpiece it was, including the talents of Josh Gruetzmacher behind the lens. See every delicious detail in the gallery right here.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Styles
Rustic

From The Bride… I love telling the story of how we met. Years from now, we’ll be telling our grandchildren this story to prove how fun we use to be. Marcus and I both attended Purdue University. For all those who aren’t Boilermakers, Purdue has a long standing tradition known as Breakfast Club. During the early mornings of every home football game, Boilermakers show their school spirit by dressing up in the most ridiculous costumes and head to the campus bars.

It was game day on September 23, 2006, roughly 7am. As the football team was gearing up for battle against the Minnesota Golden Gophers, my pharmacy school friends and I put on our costumes and headed to our favorite bar. It was crowded, the music was loud and the drinks were overflowing, a perfect combination for a perfect Saturday morning. We had been enjoying Breakfast Club for several hours when one of my friends suggested we visit another bar just across the street.

There, we saw a group of gentlemen wearing some pretty skimpy costumes – American flag swimming thongs. One of those scantily clad men was none other than Marcus. We shared laughs and drinks, but by then it was getting pretty late – it was almost noon! Knowing a nap was in order before heading out again that same night, Marcus bravely asked for my phone number. I borrowed a pen from the bartender and wrote my number down on Marcus’ chest. My exact words were, “If you can read this, call me.” You can guess what happened next. Of course Marcus called – that same night! And the rest is history….

Oh yeah, and in case you were wondering what happened with the football game, Purdue won 27-21. Toot Toot!

When planning my wedding, I had two thoughts in mind: my guests and my sanity. I wanted my guests to really enjoy themselves and at the same time, I didn’t want to spend the next year stressing over wedding plans. I chose the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone because I knew the food would be amazing. Fortunately, the CIA took care of almost everything. I didn’t have to worry about hiring a caterer, finding a baker, or renting table linens. Because this venue was able to take care of so many details, I knew this would be the perfect place.

Choosing my dress proved to be a little more difficult, I ended up trying my dress on four different times before finally saying yes. I loved my dress because it had a simple silhouette but had gorgeous beadwork and elegant details. The best part of my dress was how comfortable it was! The inside was lined with silk charmeuse, so it felt like I was wearing the softest pajamas under my dress! As for my shoes, I knew I wanted to them to be my something blue. While shopping in Las Vegas during my bachelorette weekend, I saw the perfect pair at Dior. They were tall (I’m a foot shorter than my husband), blue, had glittery straps and a sequins heel. Sold!

I was pretty anxious on the day of our wedding, but my favorite part the day was our “first look” photo session. I’ll never forgot how handsome my husband looked and his reaction at that moment. I’m glad we decided to take photos before the ceremony, which gives us a special memory just between the two of us (and our photographers).

The best advice I received from other brides was rather than having a long dinner table of the wedding party, opt instead for a sweethearts table. With all the craziness of the day, it was so nice to sit down and just relax with my new husband. Plus, I think the bridal party was also glad their duties were over and they could also enjoy dinner with their significant others. Besides the open bar, another big hit at my wedding was the photobooth. I knew our friends would go crazy in the booth, but my husband and I were pleasantly surprised to see parents and grandparents being silly and having an amazing time.

Photography: Josh Gruetzmacher Photography | Florist: St. Helena Florist | Invitations: Zucchini & Co | Bride's Shoes: Christian Dior | Rings: Joe Escobar Diamonds | Bridesmaids Dresses: Von Vonni | Catering: Culinary Institute Of America At Greystone | DJ: DJ Stan Loh | Wedding Venue: Culinary Institute Of America At Greystone | Bride's Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Bride's Getting Ready Venue: Vineyard Estate | Bride's Hair: Shine Salon | Ceremony Officiant: Rev. Mark E. Frady | Film Lab: Richard Photo Lab | Groom's Tuxedo: Hugo Boss | Groomsmen Cufflinks: Etsy | Save The Date: Devin Hunt | Shuttle: Pure Luxury

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Whimsical Garden-Inspired Bridal Shower

You might have a hard time believing me when I say this, but this stunning shower was set in the Bride’s breathtaking backyard. I know, right? From the darling pink and white carnation backdrop to the floating frames to her sweet floral crown and white dress, smitten is my middle name when I’m flipping through the adorable gallery from Honey Honey Photography.

From Wendy of Perfect Affairs EventsAriana’s whimsical bridal shower was inspired by her luscious backyard garden. With scenery filled with tall oak trees, thick green grass, and crisp blue skies, our vision was clear. We knew we would combine Ariana’s love for blush tones, fresh floral crowns, and organic woody elements for an enchanted soiree deep in the woods.

For the tablescape, we combined components of burlap, lace, wood crates and slices, vineyard chairs, off white linens, and glass vessels. We finished the look by hanging rustic white birdcages overflowing with baby’s breath and greenery. While the highlight of the afternoon was taking pictures in front of the mesmerizing pink ombre backdrop, handcrafted with fresh carnations. Yummy desserts were also waiting on the playful drawer turned dessert table draped with feminine wooden squared frames.

In essence, we were able to produce a celebration that emitted Ariana’s love for nature and an ambiance of soft pink prettiness. When planning, remember to always stay true to what makes your heart race! There’s nothing Ariana loves more than blush accents, soft detail, feminine touches, and of course her two precious Shibas!

Photography: Honey Honey Photography | Stationary: Prettly Little Papers | Food: Porto's Bakery | Bride's Dress: Asos | Design, Planning And Production: Perfect Affairs Events | Florals: Perfect Affairs Events | Private Residence: N/A | Tables, Chairs And Linen Rentals: A1 Party Rentals

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Rustic, Elegant Barn Wedding in Santa Cruz

I’m already completely obsessed with every single thing Jana Williams snaps up, but this rustic barn beauty takes that admiration to the next level. The images are stunning, the couple is beyond gorgeous and every detail is honestly perfection. It all makes for a gallery of images I would hang on my very own wall if I could, and you can see them all here.


From the Groom…Myriah and I both went to the same university in Santa Barbara, she played tennis and I played soccer. However, somehow our paths never crossed until we both moved to San Francisco to start our careers. We were introduced by Myriah’s sister and her then fiancé, who was a colleague of mine at the time. Once we were introduced, we immediately hit it off; we had so many things in common. Not only was this girl beautiful, but she was independent and passionate about travel and exploring the world; something near and dear to my heart. I truly believe that I began falling in love with Myriah the moment I met her.

I proposed to Myriah at our secret little picnic spot on Mount Tam (in Marin, right outside of San Francisco). This is a special place for us because this same picnic spot is where we had one of our first dates. Since that first date we regularly would go back to hike Mount Tam and have our picnics (cheese, baguettes, and a bottle of wine).

From the Bride… The vision of our wedding was a combination of rustic glamour and romantic elegance. I wanted it to feel classic and timeless. Once we selected Rancho Soquel for the venue, the colors and fabrics quickly came together. Corey had chosen a slim-fit black tuxedo, and I fell head over heels in love with my dress; a combination of peony colored lace and tulle. I found the most beautiful Amsale tulle bridesmaid dresses, which so perfectly complimented my dress. Naturally, I chose blush for Keira and black for Kelsey. This color theme influenced our choices for linens, flowers and vintage rentals.

When choosing the flowers, I wanted a subtle blend of both feminine and masculine, tying the blush and black themes together. I was craving the perfect pop of color, and I found that in the chip and dale garden rose, which complimented my lip shade (Dior Addict Extreme: Lucky). I worked closely with Laurie (the owner of Seascape Flowers), describing my vision, selecting each flower and vintage rental. I was overcome with such emotion the moment I saw my bouquet the day of my wedding. She exceeded any expectation I had; they were truly the most beautiful floral arrangements I had ever seen.

Flowers used: Cream and blush garden roses, café au’lait dahlias, white anemones, chip and dale garden roses, white ranunculus, scabiosa pods, olive and camellia leaves, privet berries, and jasmine.

When we first visited Rancho Soquel, it was love at first sight. The grounds were so serene, the colors of the landscape so lush and bold; we simply felt like we were in a secret garden oasis. That is exactly how we wanted to feel on our wedding day, and the experience we dreamed of for our family and friends celebrating with us. The estate is sprawling, incredibly private, and includes a barn, water tower, Spanish style hacienda, gazebo with a romantic bare-bulb lit dance floor, and so much more. Every time we stepped foot on the property, we were overwhelmed and left speechless with it’s beauty.

For our reception, we wanted to share our favorite things with our closest family and friends. We had an incredible guitarist playing Bossa Nova jazz during our cocktail hour. I grew up listening to that music, and Corey and I listen to it nearly every night. The signature cocktail was champagne with Saint Germain liqueur; a huge hit. We love to travel, and made sure to incorporate that theme by having guests pin us a wish to their favorite destination (on a wooden framed map). The dance floor was so beautiful and romantic, lit up with candles and bare-bulb lighting. From the ceremony to the emotional speeches, I think that everyone felt very connected, not just to us, but the other guests. It was the most loving celebration I’ve ever experienced.

Photography: Jana Williams Photography | Cinematography: TIM&CO Motion Pictures | Wedding Coordinator: The Wedding Connection | Wedding Dress: Martina Liana | Cake: The Buttery | Brides Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Catering: Feast For A King Catering | Makeup: Raquelle Lozada | Hair: Bay Area Beautiful (Kathryn Horen) | Groom's Attire: Calvin Klein | Officiant: Ken Robins | Floral & Vintage Rentals: Seascape Flowers | Music: Santa Cruz DJ | Private Estate: Rancho Soquel

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Rustic Summer Wedding at the Dana-Powers House

After literally leaping into marriage with one fantastic proposal story, this adorable Bride knew what she wanted for her special day and found it all in the Dana-Powers House and their beautiful barn. Pastel florals by Bella Bloom accented it’s rustic beauty and Jen Rodriguez captured it all, from giggles with girlfriends to sweet moments with the Bride and Groom. See all their love right here.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Barn
Styles
Rustic

From the Bride… On January 9, 2010, I (Ileana) was invited to a birthday party in Studio City, California. The birthday boy (Hans) was celebrating the 25th year of life surrounded by his close friends. We talked about our interests and professions and danced the night away. Fast forward to Valentine’s Day, I was invited to a single’s bar crawl in Pasadena. However, the bar crawl turned into Hans, a mutual friend, and I having drinks and dinner (kinda awkward…LOL). We all went home after a few drinks, but that was the beginning of a friendship. Hans and I chatted on Facebook for months to follow. I decided to get a dog in early April, enter Mr. Bentley Bear and needed a leash and dog supplies. Hans used this opportunity to invite me to lunch. Hans, Bentley, and I went to lunch on a sunny Sunday afternoon in Pasadena. This was the early start to what is now my family, all my love for my boys.

The fall before our engagement Hans mentioned a trip to Montana de Oro State Park with our good friends Megan and Lukas. Montana de Oro (MDO) is a state park nestled in the Central Coast, San Luis Obispo (SLO) to be exact, my favorite place in the world. Hans and I had camped there a number of times when we wanted to get away from the city. MDO has a special place in both of our hearts, as we enjoyed our time jumping off the sand dunes and climbing alongside the bluffs.

The week of the engagement Hans and I came down with the flu and almost didn’t make it to MDO. So instead of camping, we ended up staying in a hotel. Nights in MDO can get very chilly, so we didn’t want to risk getting more sick. “The morning of a day I will never forget,” Hans said that to me that morning. And he was absolutely right, one of the best days of my life. I knew something was up when Hans suggested to bring a change of clothes to watch the sunset. I thought to myself, why would I dress up to go hiking? We met up with Megan and Lukas for breakfast and continued our planned hike to MDO.

We found “our spot”, decided to jump around in the sand dunes like we usually do. It was clear warm day, which is rare in January. Especially since our summer trips were covered in fog and cool days. Hans asked me to take a jump with him, of which was the usual modus operandi. Taking my usual cautionary distance away from him, he asked me to get closer. I hesitantly said “Ok”, my voice showing my shaky hesitance. I was afraid he’d land on me as we took our jump. So as we locked hands, Hans counted to three, like NASA counting down a launch. I was ready to go because there was no way I was going to let him beat me to the bottom of the dune. Once he said three, I was mid-jump when Hans dropped down to one knee. Time stood still for the coming minutes. His proposal was a blur of words, just like vision through the tears. That was just the beginning of the journey of a lifetime with my best friend.

I’ve always known I wanted to get married in SLO. I wanted an outdoor ceremony and natural rustic elements. Dana Powers House is that dream in the form of reality. It is a beautiful wedding venue on it’s own, we didn’t want to take away from it’s seamless beauty. Our floral design vision captures our wedding colors and accents the barn.

Photography: Jen Rodriguez | Coordination: Judy Powers | Floral Design: Bella Bloom | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Cake: Cake Cathedral | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Donna Morgan | Catering: Pacific Harvest Catering | Make-up: The Queens Bees // Jessie | Hair : The Queens Bees // Katie | DJ: SLO DJ | Groom's Attire: Hugo Boss | Venue: Dana-Powers House | Vintage Rentals : Embellish

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These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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Urban LA Wedding With a Romantic Twist at the Carondelet House

Weddings like this beauty below from Alders Photography are kind of my favorite. It’s packed with personality, pretty details and the party looks like it was one the guests will never forget. Perfectly planned by XOXO Weddings with florals from Primary Petals, this gallery is a whole lot of everything I love. 

From the Bride…We met at Chapman University during undergrad. After 3 years together, Brandon started his PhD and Rachel moved to Germany. After a year apart, they realized they were meant to be, and started dated again when Rachel moved back to California. Brandon proposed on the day after Christmas in Macy’s Union Square in San Francisco – it was a complete surprise!

When looking for the venue, we really wanted a party. We didn’t want a stuffy, time-table event. So we needed a venue where people could run around and have a party – like a house! So we found Carondelet House. It was beautiful and had spots for everything: cigars, dancing, chatting, eating, relaxing.

We were inspired by anything that had a 1920′s vibe was inspiration. My engagement ring was originally from 1929 – it was Brandon’s Grandma’s and Mom’s ring. The Carondelet House was originally built in the 1920s as well. Pair that with everything sparkly, gold, and pink, and you have our wedding! The candles that lined the aisle and nearly caught my dress on fire were a DIY project that made for nice ambiance, but were not well thought-through because of the narrow aisle. We also had small Eiffel towers throughout the reception because we were moving to Paris not long after the wedding.

My advice to future brides and grooms would be, you can’t do everything. My maid of honor talked me down from doing a bunch of crazy DIY projects the last few weeks before the wedding. I thought the wedding would be a disaster without them. She knew I would be a wreak if I tried to complete all of them. She was right. After my bachelorette party (about 2 week before the wedding), I stopped planning and just started enjoying. It was perfect!

Photography: Alders Photography | Planner: XOXO Weddings | Floral Design: Primary Petals | Wedding Dress: Justin Alexander | Cake: Fantasy Frostings | Invitations: Wedding Paper Divas | Ceremony Venue: Carondelet House | Reception Venue: Carondelet House | Catering: Tres LA | Hair And Makeup: Fairytale Hair & Makeup | Band: Wine & Roses Band | Ceremony Music: Chapman University Students

Elegant and Intimate Grand Island Mansion Wedding

From the Designs With Florae adorned tabletop books detailing their love story, to a slideshow of their lives playing in the Grand Island Mansion theatre, this perfect pair achieved an intimate environment in a gorgeous private venue. Keeping guests surprised with fun touches like The Laugh Box photo booth and a choreographed dance, while Lyndsay Undseth was behind the lens snapping it all right here!

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Settings
Mansion
Styles
Glamorous

From Lyndsay UndsethAlison and Spencer’s wedding was traditionally elegant, but filled from start to finish with personal details. From the tabletop books detailing their love story, to a slideshow of their lives playing in the mansion theatre, they achieved an intimate environment in a gorgeous private venue. The wedding was held across several locations in the Grand Island Mansion in Elk Grove, CA, beginning with the ceremony at the gazebo, champagne and hors d’oeuvres on the back patio at sunset, dinner in the candlelit dining room, and dancing in the ballroom. In addition to the focus on their unique love story, they kept their guests surprised with a number of fun touches. Guests enjoyed a flipbook photo booth, where they could create a custom flipbook favor. They were also surprised by a choreographed dance, performed by Alison and Spencer’s families, at the beginning of the reception. The day was a beautiful and fun celebration, where family, friends and the couple were united in the celebration of their once in a lifetime love.

Photography: Lyndsay Undseth | Videographer: Enrique Meza | Floral Designer: Designs With Florae | Cake: Grand Island Mansion | Cake: Grand Island Mansion | Invitations: Fizza Sultan | Makeup Artist: Shana Beals | Hair Stylist: Christina Irene | DJ: Sound Image Entertainment | Bridal Hair Piece: BHLDN | Ceremony, Reception: Grand Island Mansion | Day Of Coordinator: Dreams On A Dime | Flipbook Photo Booth: The Laugh Box | Wedding Dress Designer: Jinza Couture Bridal

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These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here