This stunning Bride described her wedding day as a blur of amazing love. And from the looks of the beautiful imagery from U Me Us Studios, that’s exactly what it was. Splashed in coral charm peonies, blush tones and set amongst the gorgeous vineyards at Brix, every bit of pretty made way for smiles, sweet kisses and a whole lotta love. Peruse the full gallery right here!
From the beautiful Bride… We met in Washington, DC in January of 2011 at a swearing-in party for Representative Colleen Hanabusa from Hawaii that was hosted by a mutual friend. It was very crowded and we ended up being crammed in a corner together. He asked for my number and the rest is history! We were engaged in February of 2013 in Miami.
In early 2014, we both started new jobs and had been very busy traveling over the holidays for family events. We had a long-planned President’s Day weekend trip to Miami to get away, congratulate ourselves on the new jobs, and spend some much needed alone time together. On Saturday, we had late dinner reservations in Brickell Key and after spending all day at the beach, Ankit casually suggested we get cleaned up for dinner and go for a walk on the beach at sunset. The beach had cleared out so it was virtually deserted as we kicked off our shoes and walked in the sand. Ankit surprised me by getting down on one knee and asking me to marry him. We’d been talking about getting married but I didn’t have a clue it would happen that weekend! I was completely surprised. We hugged and laughed and cried and then walked to get a glass of champagne and call our families.
We had a small Thursday night gathering at the Hill Family Estate Tasting room in Yountville, a family-run winery that Ankit and I love to taste the current release of wine and sample some charcuterie and to die for cheese. We had a family dinner planned at Redd Wood that had to have a sight detour due to some late flight arrivals. We ended up ordering a bunch of pizzas to bring to our families at the hotel when they arrived, Nora’s dad bought beer and wine and we had a great time! On Friday night, we had a welcome dinner for everyone attending the wedding at the beautiful Flora Springs Estate in St. Helena. The group of about 140 guests took a wine cave tour, sampled the current selection of wine, and ate delicious local fare from Marks the Spot food truck: prosciutto wrapped figs, wild mushroom tarts, gluten-free fried chicken, duck and pulled pork sliders, seasonal ravioli, risotto, potato and celery root gratin, and meyer lemon curd with graham cracker crust. Despite the rain (and a last minute rented tent) the guests had a blast and enjoyed the food and Flora Springs Wine, including by drinking them dry of a guest favorite red blend. A fantastic party to start the weekend!
Once we decided we were going to do a destination wedding in Napa, we took a trip over Memorial day weekend in 2013 on a whirlwind wedding venue tour. We fell in love with Brix Restaurant and Gardens immediately and even more so after eating lunch there! The food is off the hook. The grounds are absolutely stunning and we loved the idea of getting married in the vines in the garden with the bluffs as the backdrop, seeing the wine train go by in the evening, and being able to use the restaurant when the sun went down and it got chilly! Matt Guyot was so friendly and helpful and we knew that he would be able to help us create our perfect wedding. Food and beverages were extremely important to us for the wedding, as well as making guests feel really special. Having the wedding on restaurant property made the food and beverage service flawless and every guest felt really well taken care of. All the food was so incredibly delicious we are still getting compliments from our guests about it. We loved being able to design our menu with fresh, local, seasonal ingredients and creating a wine paring with each course. We loved being able to use the entire property for different purposes. Guests experienced being in the vines for the wedding, in the gardens for cocktail hour, in a beautifully decorated tent for dinner, then inside the restaurant for dancing and desert and outside on the heated patio if they wanted to sit by the fire pits or smoke cigars. It really allowed for a feel of many different locations all in one for our 150 guests.
Having been to a lot of weddings before our own, guest comfort, amazing food, and lots of good wine was a priority! We did an american wedding, but I really wanted to incorporate some design elements from the Indian culture, which started with the invitation and our other printed materials. We used a lot of small touches to personalize the wedding – welcome bags that included Wisconsin cheese curds, my Dad did the ceremony, my brother played an original composition on his saxophone during the ceremony, and our friend Senator Mark Warner gave the reading. Ankit’s nephew (with help from his brother) was the ring bearer. We had a table with photos of our parents and grandparents at their own weddings, as well as some family photos and memories of those no longer with us, like Ankit’s Dad. The escort cards were hand-painted wooden elephants I got in Crawford market in Mumbai when Ankit and I went to India in December. The place cards were stamped with a lotus leaf and tucked in the napkin. We put a sign near the vineyard with the places we both grew up (Madison, WI for me and Nutley, NJ for Ankit) the place we met and live together (Washington, DC), and the place we got married (Napa, CA). We used a lot of candles and flowers to create a beautiful and romantic, warm and welcoming feel. We chose the menu and the wine pairings with each course, and had the menu printed with our monogram.
It was the most epic party we’ve ever thrown! Both Ankit and I love to entertain and a wedding is the quintessential gathering. We were thrilled to have loved ones from near and far join us to celebrate in our day. From the morning of getting ready, to walking down the aisle with both my parents, to my dad marrying us, the incredible cocktail hour, the ridiculously delicious dinner, touching toasts, Ankit’s mom dancing up a storm on the dance floor, everyone dancing up a storm on the dance floor, late night food and apps, people hanging out on the patio smoking cigars by the fire pits outside and the photo booth – everything was the absolute most amazing time. We also loved how after spending a few days together everyone knew each other and the photo booth had new friends from the weekend taking pictures together!
Everything was the most memorable and everything was the highlight! We had SO much fun. Marrying Ankit was so touching, real, and meaningful. Everyone loved how meaningful the ceremony was with the personal touches and emphasis on family and love. My dad was a hit and a genuine mix of funny and emotional. My veil flying off because of the wind during the ceremony was pretty memorable, and it got everyone laughing. The food was really incredible as was the stunning scenery. But most of all, we were so happy to have all of our family and friends in one place and having a blast, and marrying each other. We were thrilled to see everyone having such a blast. The whole day was a blur of amazing love.
I wanted to incorporate some Indian elements into the design but also keep things classic and romantic, classy and elegant but warm and welcoming. It was tough to incorporate small touches while still maintaining a soft romantic feel, so the vision changed a lot as things evolved. The colors changed from the navy base with magenta flowers I had originally envisioned to a navy accented affair with ivory, gold, white and many colors of pinks for the flowers. I worked with the florist to refine the idea I wanted with tons of flowers and candles. I wanted a look that was polished and full of flowers, but also didn’t look too fussy. I never wanted to get married in a ballroom, I wanted to get married outdoors because I love how beautiful natural colors are outside, so we built off of that. Music – we just wanted to keep people dancing!
The escort cards were painted wooden elephants that Nora bought in Mumbai when she and Ankit were visiting there in December before the wedding. It was Nora’s first experience “street haggling” in India and Ankit’s cousin helped her negotiate the prices.
I was looking for something unique but classic – just like my rose gold ring with a classic design. I tried on a lot of dresses and wanted something with some lace but that felt more structured and “bridal” to me. I had given up thinking I was going to find “my dress” when I found this Matthew Christopher dress at a small boutique about 30 minutes outside of DC. It has a champagne underlay and lace overlay and is trumpet style with a lot of crinolin underneath. The lace overlay has a classic floral design but also some formal striped patterns that make the dress really unique and the color look great on my fair skin. Ankit also wanted something a little different than a black tux and decided on a beautifully tailored navy tux.
When it comes to the day of – just enjoy! I was so incredibly happy the day of my wedding, any minor things that went wrong I didn’t even care.
Photography: U Me Us Studios | Event Planning: Boutique Events | Floral Design: Kate Stanley Designs | Wedding Dress: Matthew Christopher | Ceremony Venue: Brix | Reception Venue: Brix | Bride's Shoes: Kate Spade | Caterer: Brix | Makeup Artist: Carrie Aldous | Hair Stylist: Stella Stevens Hair Designs | DJ: Boutique DJs | Tent: Classic Party Rentals | Baker: Sweetie Pies | Blue Beaded Bracelet: Gorjana | Bride's Rings: Shenoa & Co. | Ceremony Musician: Bellarosa String Quartet | Chiavari Chairs: Classic Party Rentals | Earrings: BHLDN | Groom's Bow Tie: Isaia | Groom's Tuxedo & Shirt: Z by Zegna | Grooms' Shoes: Salvatore Ferragamo | Grooms' Wedding Ring: Boone and Sons | Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental