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Fall Al Fresco Napa Valley Wedding

Sylvie Gil wedding never fails to amaze, and this Napa affair is the latest beauty from her lens. Kissed by that California sun, it’s a celebration centered on good food, good wine and loved ones all around. Kathy HigginsAtelier Joya and Julie Morgan made the day something truly special, and I highly recommend you scroll through every last bit.


From The Bride…Mark and I were both living in NYC when my boss set us up on a blind date five years ago. Although we seemed like an unlikely pair in the beginning, it was our shared love of good friends, good food and good wine that brought us together. After Mark popped the big question on a moonlit Clydesdale sleigh ride in Deer Valley, we immediately began planning our wedding. We both wanted our wedding to have an intimate, romantic, yet casual feel. Napa Valley was the obvious choice — it was the perfect venue to bring together the people we loved to share some of our favorite things: food and wine!

Julie Song, whose style is beautifully whimsical and romantic, designed our invitation suite detailing the weekend of events. Mark and I hosted a Welcome Dinner at Cade Winery for all of our wedding guests to create a family-like atmosphere and to make sure no one left Napa Valley without experiencing an authentic vineyard tour and tasting! After a brief tour of the vineyard in small groups, everyone met deep in the wine cave for a more formal wine tasting and outrageous chacuccerie spread from Oxbow Wine & Cheese. The group then sat down to a casual dinner in the courtyard over-looking the Valley floor with the food catered by gourmet food-truck extraordinaire Mark at X Marks the Spot. The night was filled with toasts from our friends and family and set the tone for the weekend.

The following afternoon, Mark and I were married at a private estate on Spring Mountain overlooking the valley. Kathy Higgins, our wedding planner, was instrumental in making some of our unorthadox requests become a reality. In addition to finding the perfect venue, Kathy was able to connect us a with Choice Entertainers, an acapella Motown group whose melodies accentuated our ceremony and cocktail hour and showcased our obsession for classic Motown music. Fitting with our style and personalities, Kathy also introduced us to one of her personal friend’s who served as our wedding officiant. As our ceremony drew to a close, two of our closest friends read a personalized rendition of Shel Silverstein’s poem “Ations”, which cleverly depicted how we fell in love and why Napa was so special to us.

Chef Katie and the staff at Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc worked with our dear friends Monica & David Stevens at 750 Wines to create a perfectly paired feast served at sunset overlooking the Valley floor. Keeping with the inclusive family theme, the meal was served family style at two long tables in multiple courses. Lisa and Priska at Atelier Joya helped create tablescapes that were both beautiful and functional; the arrangements were all designed with a low profile to encourage guest conversation and accommodate the additional flat and stemware needed for our family-style dinner. Together Kathy, Lisa and Priska transformed a naturally beautiful landscape into an enchanting setting complete with urns of flowers in warm pastels and vintage rentals from Found Vintage Rentals. As dinner wound down, guests let loose to some dangerously melodic beats by D.Veloped (who just happened to be in SF that weekend because a friend called in a personal favor). The whole day was perfectly captured by Sylvie Gil, whose warm, infectious personality (and charming French accent) brought a smile to us both throughout the day.

Wanting a moment to ourselves, Mark and I were whisked away in a vintage Packard convertible at the end of the night. That private moment gave us the opportunity to reflect on what was such a special day and allowed us to sit and appreciate everyone who was a part of it. 

Photography: Sylvie Gil Photography | Wedding Planner: Kathy Higgins | Invitations: Julie Song Ink | Catering: Ad Hoc | Hair And Make Up: Julie Morgan | Lighting: Lux Production | Cutting Cake: Calistoga Cakes | Florals: Atelier Joya | Linens: La Tavola | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals | Venue: Private Estate

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

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(once like a spark) photography + A Discount!

Here at SMP, we get a little bit giddy when we run across a vendor that takes our breath away. Case in point? (once like a spark) photography. Based in San Diego, Los Angeles + Northern California, this boutique-style photography company creates photos that are truly different — timelessly beautiful with a touch of whimsy and a whole lot of charm.

When you work with (once like a spark) photography, you’re not only signing on with an amazing photographer, but also with a team of wedding experts (in-house planner, editor, etc.) that will seamlessly guide you through the process. Knowing that your wedding photos will be some of your most treasured memories, (once like a spark) photography not only captures you and your honey to perfection, but makes sure you’re totally comfortable on your big day, knows how to schedule everything to get the perfect light and edits beautifully to make sure the final product is picture perfect.

For a ton more information and to book your big day with (once like a spark) photography, head over to their website. OH, there’s more! Just for our SMP readers, (once like a spark) photography is offering either $200 off your package or a free engagement session for the month of November! Be sure to mention SMP California when filling out the contact form to redeem discount. 


Fleurs de France

Flowers make people happy, that’s a well known fact. But wedding flowers? Well, those beauties cause elation! And when your big day bouquets + arrangements are done by the uber talented Fleurs de France, the pretty just doesn’t stop.

With over 20 years of experience, Jessica of Fleurs de France has created countless unique floral designs for couples saying “I do” in California’s Napa Valley and Sonoma Wine Country. Passionate about weddings, parties and events and endlessly creative, she helps her clients’ dreams become reality by pulling inspiration from the area’s breathtaking scenery as well as the couple’s personal style. Fleurs de France works closely with each couple to create a floral look that is truly special. Whether you’re hosting a traditional intimate soiree or a modern over-the-top bash, Fleurs de France makes sure your big day is completely stress free and flawlessly executed!

To see even more of their gorgeous work, be sure to take a peek at the Fleurs de France blog and head over here to contact Fleurs de France to start planning your big day!

Photo Credits: Larissa Cleveland Photography | Julie Kay Kelly Photography | Larissa Cleveland PhotographyLarissa Cleveland Photography | Jenna Marie Photography | Fleurs de France | Arrowood PhotographyBriana Marie Photography Wedding Planners: Stacy McCain Events | Cole Drake Events | Suzy Berberian Weddings & Events | A Dream Wedding Venues Pictured: Calistoga Ranch | St. Francis Winery | Chalk Hill WineryGundlach Bundschu | Booneville Hotel | Harvest Inn | Chateau St. Jean


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