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.
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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