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Rutherford Wedding from Docuvitae + Lyndsey Hamilton Events

I’ve spent years now pouring over weddings. Gorgeous, take-your-breath away affairs that leave you speechless.  But I can honestly say this one is in a league of its own. It’s spectacular, and with the lovely Lyndsey of Lyndsey Hamilton Events behind the design and seriously talented Docuvitae snapping up the most timelessly perfect images I’ve ever laid eyes on, I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. But the level of polish put on this elegant evening makes you stop and take note, because ladies and gents, this one is special – and definitely shouldn’t be missed. See every last gorgeous detail right here.

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Seasons
Fall
Settings
Estate

From Lyndsey Hamilton EventsJulie Chapgier and Brian Biel married at the Biel family estate in Rutherford, California. The couple was inspired by the Evelyn Waugh and Nancy Mitford’s novels about impeccably dressed, high society characters that threw fabulously eccentric parties. When we met, Julie immediately referenced “Downton Abbey” and the goal was to infuse a British flare into their wedding. Julie and Brian hoped to turn the Biel estate into a scene from Gosford Park. “Very clean, very masculine—I’m really not a girlie girl—very polished,” she says. Julie was stunning in her Vera Wang gown. Dinner was held in the bosque, which made for a lovely setting with dozens of sycamore trees and lanterns hanging overhead. We placed hundreds of candles throughout the property, lining stone walls and walkways. Her two bridesmaids did not wear matching dresses, but rather stunning couture. Julie changed into an Alexander Wang cocktail dress for dancing. Brian wore a Tom Ford tux.

They very much wanted a “hunting lodge” theme, where we used a mix of their own collection of taxidermy, consisting of an owl, armadillo, deer, rooster, and a fox, with supplemented pieces from Paxton Gate in San Francisco. The taxidermy was placed atop Julie and Brian’s own incredible collection of antique books. For place cards, Julie personally selected each vintage postcard from the Marché aux Puces in Paris. We also infused the menu with Julie’s French heritage: for the cocktail hour overlooking Napa Valley, Paula LeDuc shucked oysters and served Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé Champagne. And for dessert, we served a croquembouche, which was an exact replica of her parents wedding cake. Guests left with some great treats: L.A. Mill Tea boxes and bouchons from Bouchon Bakery. It was also important that the evening to end with someone swinging a tuxedo jacket overhead, which it certainly did!

Wedding Photography: Docuvitae | Wedding Venue: Private Family Estate in Rutherford, California | Event Planning: Lyndsey Hamilton Events | Floral Design: Sharla Flock Designs | Catering: Paula LeDuc Fine Catering | Furniture Rental + Lighting Design:  rEvolve Rentals | Entertainment: Boutique Wedding DJs | Wedding Stationery: Sugar Paper | Wedding Dress: Vera Wang | Rings: Cartier

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Napa Garden Wedding from Amy Nichols Special Events

Wedding planning isn’t easy, that goes without saying. And wedding planning from across the world is a feat all its own. But this beautiful mama-turned-bride proved it’s positiviely possible thanks to top-notch vendors like Amy Nichols, Nancy Liu Chin and Ceci New York. The result? A gorgeous Napa garden party filled with the most magical of moments and prettiest of details. Gertrude & Mabel documented the day to perfection and you can see it all right here!

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Styles
Al Fresco

From the bride…I met Ben in Hong Kong. One date later, we were smitten. Nine months later, among friends and the setting sun, Ben asked me to marry him. Planning our wedding from Hong Kong was a unique, online-only experience. While wedding planning, I was pregnant and studying for the bar exam so I could not afford the time to travel to visit venues and try on dresses. But like lots of brides, I have been planning my wedding since I was a little girl. The biggest challenge for Ben and I was deciding on the destination: Ben is from Perth and I am from Hong Kong so we have friends scattered all over the world. We decided on Napa as it was the first place we visited as a couple and it was easy for our friends and family to get to. Also, Ben always wanted a winery wedding with spectacular trees. The moment I saw Beaulieu Gardens, I knew it was perfect.

During the planning process, I was most anxious to pick my dress. My stomach was growing by the week and I knew I wouldn’t have time to pick a dress once the baby arrived. I tried on a dozen dresses and ended up picking the Elie Saab dress because it was the first dress I tried on and loved. I loved the lace detail and the vintage look. My mom was invaluable in the wedding planning process. In addition to all her wonderful advice, she helped me scour the Hong Kong markets for fun take-home gifts. We made all the envelope liners for the save-the dates, stuffed and stamped all the wedding invitations, made the labels and tied all the ribbons for the flip-flops/shoe bags/pashminas, and put together the take-home gift boxes of marionberry jam and Tim-Tams (a taste of home for both Ben and I)

We loved all the people we worked with. Amy Nichols was the ultimate wedding planner. We connected because we had both attended the same tiny boarding school in Santa Barbara. Amy fielded every phone call and email–I must have sent her a dozen emails a week with picture of flowers, invitations and furniture! Nancy Liu Chin, event designer and flower designer, helped turn my rustic French country wedding vision into a reality. Our photographers, Judy and Heidi, the geniuses behind Mabel and Gertrude, kept us in good spirits despite heat and frozen faces. And their gorgeous pictures have helped us win features in great publications like Style Me Pretty! Pop Rocks!, our band was amazing and people are still raving about us having the best band at a wedding. Paula LeDuc cooked up some of the most delicious wedding food we, or any of our guests, have tasted. We had a dessert and cheese bar, in addition to down-home comfort hors d’oeuvres including fried chicken and mini-burgers.

Of all the wedding preparations, the invitations took the longest time. Ceci and her team were wonderful and understanding. We went through nine drafts and the final product came out more beautifully than I would have ever imagined. Our funniest moment was riding in the blistering, red leather interior, vintage Rolls Royce to the venue. It was a blistering hot day and the driver had parked the car directly in the sun. We got into the car and asked for him to turn on the air conditioner and he just turned around and laughed. “Ma’am, the car is from the 1950s, there was no air conditioning in cars back then.” Ben and I sweated (through his Tom Ford tux and my Elie Saab wedding dress) all the way to the venue. The driver couldn’t even drive the car faster for a better breeze because the car was so old! Talk about arriving in style!

The wedding planning would not have been as fun as it was without Style Me Pretty. I went on the website every morning to look at the new featured wedding, as well as spending countless hours going through the archives for inspiration. I hope our wedding provides inspiration for future brides!

Wedding Photography: Gertrude & Mabel | Wedding Venue: Beaulieu Garden in Napa, California | Wedding Planner: Amy Nichols Special Events | | Floral Design: Nancy Liu Chin | Officiant: Judith Caldwell | Cinematography: Thomas Hughes Video Production| Invitations: Ceci New York | Programs + Escort  Cards + Menus: Union Street Papery | Guest Book: Kolo Turquoise | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals | Vintage Furniture: One True Love Vintage | Wedding Catering: Paula LeDuc Fine Catering | Ceremony Music: Eloquence Strings | Band: Pop Rocks! | Wedding Cake: Patisserie Angelica | Desserts: Paula LeDuc Fine Catering | Wedding Dress: Elie Saab | Hair + Makeup: Sarah Hyde | Veil: Marco Cucinotta via Designer Bridal Room | Shoes: Christian Louboutin | Bridesmaid Dresses: Giorgio Armani, Blanc de ChinePosh Little Tutus | Groom and Groomsmen: Tom Ford | Bow Tie: Neiman Marcus

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Wine Country Wedding from Suzy Berberian Weddings & Events

When a bride has you crying only moments into her description, you can pretty much guarantee you are going to love her wedding.  That’s a theory that has been proven time and time again.  So, it pretty much goes without saying that when the tears started falling a few sentences into this lovely bride’s narrative, I knew I was done for.  And, oh, was I ever correct. With the perfect planning of Suzy Berberian Weddings & Events, amazing images from Megan Holly Clouse Photography and beautiful blooms from Fleurs de France, it’s pure lovely from start to finish.  See so much more right here.

From Suzy Berberian Weddings & EventsOne of the only bad things about being a wedding planner in an area known for destination weddings is that the couples all live far away. Sometimes, as with Chris and Corinne, I wish they lived here in town because then I could be friends with them and not have to say goodbye! This couple epitomizes fun, light-hearted romance, and both are as smart and successful as can be. It was truly a pleasure to help them with their wedding details over the year of planning, as well as an absolute delight to witness the wedding day come together so perfectly for them! 

From the Bride… I was never the little girl who dreamed and planned out every detail of her fairytale wedding. I never pranced around in my mother’s old wedding dress and I never fantasized about the debonair, handsome Prince Charming that would sweep me off my feet and choose me to be his wife. Now I know why — there was no way I could have possibly dreamed of a more perfect wedding day then the one my best friend and I shared on May 19th, 2012 in the breathtaking expanse of Napa Valley at Auberge du Soleil. 

Our wedding was an intimate gathering of 60 people, and our wedding guests witnessed us profess our vows to each other on the deck at Auberge overlooking the vibrant green Rutherford Valley on a perfect California summer day. Following our ceremony, we enjoyed cocktails on the deck, and as the bright orange sun set, we headed indoors for Michelin-rated cuisine along with wine pairings of our favorite Napa blends. The dining room was decorated in vibrant blue, green, purple and gold to give the natural setting some bursts of color, and our classic lace cake was elegantly designed to match my favorite lace pattern. For favors, guests were given personalized wine opener cases and purple, chocolate-covered blueberries wrapped together to mimic a bunch of grapes. After endless hours of dancing with the people we love dearly, the night was slowly brought to an end in the lounge and on the deck for one last hour of snacks and nightcaps. 

We are incredibly thankful for the amazing team working with us to help make such a perfect wedding day that was truly beyond anything we could have ever dreamed of! I look forward to reminiscing about that unforgettable day for the rest of our lives together!

Wedding Photography: Megan Holly Clouse Photography / Wedding Venue: Auberge du Soleil in Rutherford, California / Wedding Planning: Suzy Berberian Weddings & Events / Floral Design: Fleurs de France / Officiant: Peadar Dalton of Your Ceremony Matters / Wedding Cake: Perfect Endings / Stationery: Arabella of Arthur’s Invitations / Calligraphy: Mrs. McCormick of Lacey Township High School (The Bride’s High School Art Teacher) / Ceremony Music: Lawrence Strings Trio via Wine Country Entertainment / Dinner + Dancing Music: DJ Dave Tutton (davetutton@sbcglobal.net) / Wedding Dress: Lazaro via Bridal Reflections / Bride’s Veil + Earrings: Bridal Reflections / Bride’s Shoes: Christian Louboutin / Hair: Stella Rickett / Makeup: Audrey Crandell / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jim Hjelm via Here Comes the Bridesmaid / Bridesmaids’ Jewelry: Jennifer Miller / Groom’s Tuxedo: Hugo Boss via Bloomingdale’s / Groom’s Shoes + Tie: Barneys New York / Engagement Ring + Wedding Bands: T. Gluck & Company

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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