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Elegant Navy and Grey Summer Wedding

When these law school sweeties set out to plan their summer wedding, pulling off an elegant garden party at Meadowood Napa Valley was at the top of their agenda. Think an al fresco dinner layered in neutrals with a pop of navy thrown in for good measure. Downey Street Events came along side them to coordinate the day, and we’ve got the goodies straight from the lens of Jesse Leake.

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Seasons
Summer
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Resort
Styles
Elegant

From Jesse LeakeFew couples can claim that they found love while studying for the bar exam, but that is precisely what happened with Kristin and Adam. The couple met in law school, and began dating just a few months before graduation. Adam had already accepted a position at a law firm in Los Angeles, and Kristin had accepted a position at a firm in Palo Alto. With bar studying looming over the summer, and jobs in different cities following graduation, neither necessarily expected a long-term commitment.

Leading up to graduation, Kristin had told Adam that she planned on locking herself in the library to study by herself all summer and would have no time to see him. Growing up, Kristin had heard the story of her parents getting married two weeks after her mother took the bar exam, and her mother had actually moved out of the house and into an apartment to have time to study on her own. The family lore was that Kristin’s mother said to her father “Bryan, I love you, I am going to marry you, but I cannot live with you while studying for the bar.” Considering Kristin’s parents have worked together for thirty years and clearly work well together, Kristin assumed bar exam studying was a beast of its own, and something that she had to do solo.

Adam accepted her neurosis, but figured they didn’t have to cut ties for the entire summer. Adam started bar review classes in San Francisco, and Kristin started a few days later in Berkeley. She assumed they would be apart for the summer, and then move to different cities, and did not know how their new relationship would progress after that. Kristin’s master plan changed two hours into the first day of her bar review. After the first session of multiple-choice diagnostics, she called Adam and sheepishly asked if he perhaps wanted to study together. He did. In fact, he was on the next BART over to Berkeley from the city, moved into Kristin’s house for the summer, and the two of them spent every day for the next ten weeks studying together. They both realized that regardless of how stressful the studying was, they worked exceptionally well together. Adam calmed Kristin down when she stressed out, and Kristin made Adam study far more than he would have otherwise. 1,400 bar flashcards, thousands of multiple choice questions, hundreds of hours of bar review videos, dozens of practice essays, and three days of torture later, the California bar exam was over, and Kristin and Adam were closer than ever.

To celebrate, Kristin’s parents treated the couple to a dinner at The Restaurant at Meadowood, a resort close to Kristin’s family’s heart, as they had spent Mother’s Day there when Kristin was growing up. Having spent little time with Adam as the couple had just started dating before spending the summer studying for the bar, Kristin’s family finally was able to understand how Kristin could have spent every moment of the summer with Adam. Kristin’s younger brother tested Adam’s knowledge, not of constitutional law, but of obscure Simpson’s references (Adam passed with flying colors). Adam won Kristin’s father over with Monty Python quotes. By the end of dinner, Kristin’s brother and father had invited Adam on a family vacation without actually consulting Kristin first (Kristin was fine with it).

Unfortunately, after their actually enjoyable summer of studying for the bar (they both passed), Kristin and Adam had to part ways; he to LA, she to San Francisco. Over the course of first year as law firm associates, the two traveled back and forth to see each other almost every weekend. Finally, when Adam received the news at 6:00 pm on a Friday evening that his firm was moving him to the San Francisco office, he packed all his belongings that night and drove up to San Francisco.

At the point Adam got the news he was being transferred to San Francisco, he was already in the process of designing an engagement ring with a jeweler in Santa Monica. Having moved, there was no way for him to choose the diamond. So, Adam sent two of his best friends (and future groomsmen) to select the stone. They did a very good job spending Adam’s money for him. Adam proposed in a secluded redwood grove in the Avenue of the Giants in Northern California.

Choosing a wedding venue was a simple decision for the couple. They immediately thought back to the dinner they had with Kristin’s family at Meadowood. They loved the fact that Meadowood had meaning in their past, but was also a location they could always return to in the future to relive their wedding memories.

Kristin and Adam wanted the wedding to feel like an elegant, intimate mid-summer garden party – similar to parties Kristin’s parents have hosted over the years in their garden. The couple loves good food and wine, and wanted to take advantage of the abundance Northern California offers. They dreamed of long kings tables, and a farm-to-table family style dinner, ensuring that their guests would share in the experience of the dinner together. Though bringing together two families, and friends from around the world, Kristin and Adam wanted everyone to feel comfortable enough with each other that by the time dancing started everyone would be dancing with each other! They truly wanted their guests to feel part of one big family instead of multiple, disparate groups.

Given that the celebration was a destination wedding for most invitees, the couple decided on the Fourth of July weekend so that guests would be able to make a vacation out of it. Kristin and Adam wanted to ensure that guests were able to experience the bucolic Napa Valley lifestyle. In the days leading up to the wedding, guests wine tasted, played croquet on the famed Meadowood lawn, and went for bicycle rides. The rehearsal dinner was held on the Fourth of July at Rutherford Hill Winery, and all wedding guests were invited to experience an authentic California taco truck and play lawn games as they watched the sun set over the valley.

Kristin and Adam wrote the ceremony themselves, and it was officiated by a dear law school friend. A Berkeley Law professor, and Kristin’s godmother, performed one of the ceremony readings. The ceremony took place under a chuppah that Adam and Kristin’s father and brother built together.

As the midsummer sun dipped beneath the trees and the bistro lights flickered on, the celebration moved inside for dancing with the amazing San Francisco-based band, Pop Rocks. Kristin and Adam’s dream came true with a packed dance floor spanning all generations. At the end of the night, Kristin and Adam were whisked away by their brothers in the getaway car: Kristin’s brother’s restored 1967 VW bus. In all, it was truly the perfect event, filled with amazing food, friends and family, and effortless sophistication.

Photography: Jesse Leake | Event Coordinator: Lauren Geissler; Downey Street Events | Florist: Sharla Flock Designs | Wedding Gown: Monique L'huillier | Cake: Sweet Things Bakery | Invitations: Alexandra Rinde; The Aerialist Press | Shoes: Valentino | Bridesmaid Dresses: Kate Spade | Hair And Makeup: Meaganne McCandess | Band: Pop Rocks | Groom's Attire: Jcrew | Guitarist: Elizabeth Lowery | Linens: La Travola | Venue: Meadowood Napa Valley

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Romantic Napa Valley Fall Wedding

I can’t decide if it’s the girly girl within me, or that the color is just simply always gorgeous, but either way, I never get sick of blush. It makes my heart flutter and combined with these dark tabletops and white roses, this wedding is picture perfect. Weddings By Sasha captured it all, and Reel Eyes Media made sure to bring the romance. Join me as I swoon over every beautiful detail right here.

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Settings
Resort
Styles
Rustic

From Shannon Leahy Events… Leslie and Paul were one of the most in love and kindest couples I have ever had the pleasure of working with. They met at a friends Super Bowl party and after years of bachelorhood in San Francisco, Paul instantly knew that she was the one. He loved her family values, her fun-loving personality and of course, was struck by her beauty. Not too long after their courtship began, Paul proposed to Leslie at their favorite Napa getaway, Meadowood and they decided to get married there the following Fall.

Leslie is a girly girl at heart so we had to use white and blush roses, lots of lace and sweeping, romantic decor. We brought in the rustic Napa Valley and Paul’s masculine side with lots of touches of dark wood. The ceremony on the golf course was absolutely lovely, framed by their large bridal party of friends and family.

One of my favorite details for this wedding arose out of finding a solution for keeping guests out of the dinner space. Since the cocktail hour and dinner lawn were connected but we didn’t want guests to enter until it was time, we hedged off the space and created a grand entry with a simple sign “Good things come to those who wait.” The purpose, of course, was to urge guests to wait until dinner, but it also served as a beautiful reminder of Paul and Leslie’s love that they both waited for many years.

Individual roses on each place setting mirrored the rose wine served at dinner. A macaroon station and cake from Perfect Endings for dessert and a sparkler exit made for a gorgeous evening in the Napa Valley.

Photography: Weddings By Sasha | Videographer: Reel Eyes Media | Event Design: Shannon Leahy Events | Event Planning: Shannon Leahy Events | Floral Design: Atelier Joya | Cake: Perfect Endings | Catering: Meadowood | Lighting: Impact | Band: Pop Rocks | Ceremony Musicians: Synchronicity Strings | Custom Event Decor: Yonder | Paper: Tiny Pine Press | Rentals: Wine Country Party Rentals | Rentals: La Tavola | Rentals: Hartmann Studios | Venue: Meadowood

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Casual St. Helena Farm-to-Table Wedding

Have I mentioned how much I love California weddings? Especially when they involve a gathering of loved ones feasting on fresh and delicious food surrounded by an idyllic landscape. This more than perfect affair was topped off with the perfect amount of elegant rustic details like Alicia K Designs arrangements and the gallery from Matt Edge is too good to miss. See it all here.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Ranch

From The Bride…Our friends and family were dispersed across the country, and our new home of Chicago couldn’t be counted on to cooperate for a July outdoors wedding. In considering destinations, we settled on picturesque Northern California. Not only would we be surrounded by natural beauty, but Morgan had spent her childhood in nearby Santa Rosa and has fond memories of days spent enjoying the outdoors there.

We knew we wanted two things at the reception – great food and a fun party that wouldn’t be shut down at 10:00 pm. We were drawn to Farmstead because of their fantastic cuisine, especially their ribs, which we ended up having cooked over an open fire for the wedding. We could enjoy dinner outside under twinkling bistro lights plus take advantage of a perfectly sized indoor space that let us dance well into the morning.

We wanted a more intimate setting for the ceremony, closer to nature and away from the “hustle and bustle” of St. Helena. After much research, we came across the beautiful Rust Ridge Ranch, a horse ranch and winery in the mountains. The venue houses a lovely bed and breakfast, allowing our closest friends to stay on site with us, maximizing time amongst far-flung guests. While remote (no need to warn guests to turn off their cell phones), the idyllic setting was a perfect match for our vision of the ceremony.

We asked our friend Tom to officiate, whom we met in DC the same night we met each other – introduced by our future maid of honor and best man. Guests kept (somewhat) cool by picturesque parasols while a fiddle-cello duet played folk songs and bluegrass in the background. The stumps lining the aisle came from the Rust Ridge property. The overall design of the events emphasized an organic and rustic aesthetic, focused more on the beautiful surroundings than on a overly-styled theme. It was a truly magical day in our lives spent with people we love.

Photography: Matt Edge Wedding Photography | Floral Design: Alicia K Designs | Wedding Dress: Catherine Deane From BHLDN | Ceremony Venue: Rustridge Ranch & Winery | Reception Venue: Farmstead Restaurant | Groom's Attire: Custom From The Trunk Club | Bridesmaid's Dress: Reformation | Event Planning And Design: Alicia K Designs | Groom's Tie: Salvatore Ferragamo | Hair & Make-up: Sherrie Long | Rentals: Wine Country Party

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