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Fall Al Fresco Wedding at Beaulieu Gardens

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 JoyaStacy McCain Event Planning and loads of pretty images by Elle Jae. Click here for even more.

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Settings
Garden Venue
Styles
Elegance

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 | Wedding Planner: Stacy McCain Event Planning | Floral Design: Atelier Joya | Wedding Gown: Vera Wang | Cake: Sweet On Cake | Jewelry: Ippolita Earrings And Bracelets | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Joanna August | Caterer: Paula LeDuc Fine Catering | Lighting: Got Light? | Band: Pop Rocks | Groomsmen's Attire: Vera Wang | 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 | Groomsmen Sunglasses: Vans | Hot Air Balloon For Cards: BLHDN | Hotel: Andaz | Printed Pieces: Chewing The Cud | Ring Bearer: Gymboree | Sound: Delicate Productions | Transportation: Pure Luxury | Vail: Vera Wang | Wedding Venue: Beaulieu Garden

Joanna August is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. Elle Jae Weddings, Got Light, Sweet on Cake, Stacy McCain Event Planning and Paula LeDuc Fine Catering are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
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Romantic Garden Wedding under a sea of chandeliers

In my mind, chandeliers have always been the benchmark for romance in an outdoor wedding. The more the merrier or so the saying goes and this garden wedding designed by Stacy McCain is awash with sparkling chandeliers. Plus pastel florals by Sharla Flock Designs and a reception backdrop as lovely as they come. Have a look at the images by Yvonne Wong and then prepare to get lost in the gallery for awhile.

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Settings
Garden
Styles
Romance

From The Bride…Dan and I got married on September 2nd 2012, 11 years after we first started dating in high school. We stayed together through college, long-distance, first jobs and apartments. We grew up together and we wanted our wedding to be a celebration of that.

We wanted to get married in wine country, because even though it’s only a short distance from Oakland where we’re from, you can feel like you’re a million miles away. We fell in love with Beaulieu Garden the first time we saw it, and knew right away that it was the place. The tree-lined drive and courtyard felt like a secret European hideaway, and dining under the arbor was the perfect combination of casual California and romantic elegance.

Most of all we wanted our wedding to feel personal, and tried to carry that through with all of the vendors we used. Our invitations, designed by Lotus & Ash (a friend from Dan’s days at Stanford) were inspired by the menus at Chez Panise, the restaurant in Berkeley where we first fell in love with food. For dinner, the amazing team at Paula Leduc recreated a roast chicken with bread salad dish from Zuni Cafe, which has become our go-to spot in SF. Our table numbers were photos of Dan and I throughout the years (including an awkward prom pic which I’m still not quite sure how that got in there…) Sharla Flock worked up the most beautiful arrangements in soft romantic colors that had reminded me of my grandmother’s rose garden, and Yvonne Wong and the masters at Seaglass Cinema captured it all for us to look back on.

The day itself was so filled with joy, we were both grinning from ear to ear the entire time. It was everything we hoped it would be, and ended with a our guests dancing into the night.

Photography: Yvonne Wong Photography | Videography: Seaglass Cinema | Wedding Planner: Stacy McCain Event Planning | Floral Design: Sharla Flock Designs | Cake: Sweet On Cake | Reception Venue: Beaulieu Garden | Catering: Paula LeDuc Fine Catering | Hair & Makeup: The Glamourist | Lighting: Got Light? | DJ: Jeff Virzi For California Mobile DJ | Photo Booth: Swag Bunch Photo Booth | Transportation: California Wine Tours

Got Light, Sweet on Cake, Stacy McCain Event Planning and Paula LeDuc Fine Catering are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
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Napa Valley Wedding at The Vintage Estate

Napa Valley is the land of gorgeous weddings, and we have another beauty to add to that list of lovely today. And trust me when I say, this one is a beaut. Lauri Levenfeld captured every picture perfect moment at this stunning soirée hosted at The Vintage Estate, and you can see it all right here.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Inn

From the Bride…We both love spending as much time as possible outdoors so there was no doubt that we wanted to have an outdoor wedding. Spending most of our time in the Bay Area, we knew that the San Francisco fog was a force we couldn’t control. So, naturally we focused our eyes on Napa as the weather during the summer months provides beautiful weather, sunshine and greenery. We’ve left every trip to Napa with a sense of relaxation and stomachs full of remarkable food and wine. We wanted our wedding to evoke these same feelings and felt that The Vintage Estate did just that. The exposed brick, exquisite greenery, stunning flowers, candlelit chandeliers, and indulgent cuisine provided everything we desired for our wedding day.

Neutrals. We didn’t want to distract from the natural beauty of the grounds so we chose white, green and champagne colors to complement the backdrop.We wanted our wedding day to depict “us” and our relationship. This meant choosing details along the way that evoked simplicity, romance, and fun. Nothing says romance better than candlelight so we had our venue lined with Italian string lights with a pathway of candlelit jars guiding our guests to The barrel room for dancing and dessert. Prior to our ceremony, we wanted our guests to feel welcomed so we had a waiter greet each guest with champagne as they arrived. As the ceremony started, my three year old nephew literally ran down the aisle carrying “last chance to run” which ultimately commenced the laughter that would continue throughout the rest of the evening. I walked up the aisle to a Beatles favorite, “Here Comes the Sun” on the harp. During the ceremony, our wedding was officiated by Brett’s cousin and readings were completed by each of our brothers. We wrote our own vows and then walked down the aisle to “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.” We kept décor simple and natural by using wood table numbers, wood chivari chairs, burlap runners, cork table holders and white linens accented with white and green roses, calla lilies, peonies, hydrangeas and orchids. Brett and I created the table signs using old newspaper as a backdrop in vintage frames. Our guest sign in table included a bottle of wine to be opened on our 10-year anniversary and wooden box full of well wishes by our guests to be read on our first year anniversary. For dessert, we hand stained an old wine crate to hold our cake. After the dancing, we were picked up in a white 1949 Packard.

Besides the amazing unplanned supermoon? Brett and I knew we wanted to take most of our pictures before the ceremony. We wanted to enjoy all the hard work we put into the wedding planning by enjoying the party as soon as we could! That meant taking most of the pictures before the ceremony, which coincidently turned out to be part of our favorite and more unique photographed moments. We sauntered around Yountville in dress and tux, enjoying the sun and the calm before the celebration. One of our favorite parts of the stroll was stopping by the mouth-watering Bouchon Bakery. We couldn’t ask for a better pre-wedding snack!

It was important to us that our photographer captured our vision but was also someone organized and someone we were comfortable having around on our wedding day. Coming from someone that does not like being photographed, Lauri put us at ease and her energy is so contagious that it’s hard not to have a fun time. We wanted photographs that were unique yet timeless, romantic but with an urban twist. Lauri did that and more. She exceeded all of our expectations and we walked away with photographs capturing all of the wonderful moments of our wedding day. We’re still in awe of her creativity and the ability to capture light and emotion in all of the photographs. Lauri and her team are an absolute joy to work with. Extremely reliable, organized with ingenious vision!

Our wedding day was everything we wanted so Brett and I were really stumped trying to pick just one moment. But some of our favorites were walking towards one another and seeing each other for the first time; meandering around Yountville and stopping at Bouchon before the wedding; hearing each other’s vows; dancing and playing under the moonlight as our car arrived.

Photographer: Lauri Levenfeld | Planner: Elizabeth Naylor | Florist: Tesoro Flowers | Dress: Marisa | Cupcakes: Kara's Cupcakes | Calligrapher: Hyegraph | Furniture Rental: Hartmann Studios | Macaroons: Bouchon Bakery | Packard car: Napa Valley Tours & Transportation | Photo Booth: Flying camera | Second Photographer: Jessica Epstein | Site: The Vintage Inn | Wedding: The Vintage Estate | Wedding Programs: Papyrus | music: Wine Country Entertainment