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Rustic Summer Wedding at Annadel Estate Winery

I often ponder why I live in the chilly northeast when places like Sonoma exist. This stunning celebration had me oohing and aahing over every beautiful detail and deciding that there needs to be more blue and blush combinations in 2015 weddings. Melanie Duerkopp snapped up every gorgeous moment, all planned by A Savvy Event, and I’ll be daydreaming into the weekend with this gorgeous gallery.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Winery
Styles
Rustic

From The Bride… When I met John he had been in the U.S. just under one year and so while we were dating it was fun to show him more of California and see his awe and enthusiasm for all the beautiful places just outside our doorstep. It actually gave me a new appreciation for the place I grew up! So from the start we knew we wanted to be married outdoors. John really wanted to share all the best of his new home with family and friends coming from the UK for the wedding. The wine country provided a perfect destination holiday for those traveling a long distance and allowed John to show off what he loves most about California – good food, good wine, and stunning scenery.

We wanted a venue that would be naturally beautiful but would also feel personal and romantic. I was also harboring secret English Garden wedding fantasies. Annadel met all our wants and more. The property is so beautiful and unique. We loved that there were so many options for how you could set the venue up and personalize it for your day. The ruins are gorgeous and provided a very romantic and intimate setting for our ceremony which I loved. The lawn was an absolutely lovely setting for a relaxing wine country dinner and gave me that garden party feel. The entire Annadel property is so breathtaking and we knew our guests would have a beautiful, relaxing and enjoyable day there. We also thought their wine was spectacular and knew our guests would love it too!

For our colors we wanted subtle, romantic colors that would complement Annadel’s natural beauty without drawing attention away from the setting. For the flowers we wanted pretty spring pastels that again would look garden-gathered. For the wedding party wardrobe, table decor and other details we found ourselves drawn to pale, dusty, and vintage blues. Overall, we wanted the day to be classic, romantic with a bit of California casual and a touch of English (the delicious Scotch eggs of course!).

Picking a favorite moment of day is difficult, there are too many moments I loved! Seeing John for the first time during our first look was a big one. He looked so handsome and happy and I was excited to surprise him with the gift of the watch I got for him. I loved walking down the aisle with my Dad and seeing so many family and friends smiling back. Having my oldest brother perform the ceremony meant so much to both of us. He and my sister-in-law worked with us to write the ceremony and did such a beautiful job. John and I both agree that among our favorite moments was when we were seated for dinner – enjoying the beautiful weather, delicious food, looking around at all our happy guests, and listening to the speeches by John’s brother and my sister. Their speeches were both so thoughtful, funny, and heartfelt, and touching. The pictures Melanie took during that time are among my favorites as well. I didn’t even realize John and I were holding hands and listening to the speeches and she captured that sweet and happy moment beautifully.

Photography: Melanie Duerkopp | Planner: A Savvy Event | Cake: Inticing Creations | Catering: SAGE | Lighting: Twilight Design | DJ: Four Leaf Entertainment | Ceremony Music: Entire Productions | Bartending: Best Beverage Catering | Florals: FleurEssence | Hair & Make Up: It's A Date | Rentals: Wine Country Party | Restrooms: Royal Restrooms | Venue: Annadel Estate Winery

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Elegant Navy and Grey Summer Wedding

When these law school sweeties set out to plan their summer wedding, pulling off an elegant garden party at Meadowood Napa Valley was at the top of their agenda. Think an al fresco dinner layered in neutrals with a pop of navy thrown in for good measure. Downey Street Events came along side them to coordinate the day, and we’ve got the goodies straight from the lens of Jesse Leake.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Resort
Styles
Elegant

From Jesse LeakeFew couples can claim that they found love while studying for the bar exam, but that is precisely what happened with Kristin and Adam. The couple met in law school, and began dating just a few months before graduation. Adam had already accepted a position at a law firm in Los Angeles, and Kristin had accepted a position at a firm in Palo Alto. With bar studying looming over the summer, and jobs in different cities following graduation, neither necessarily expected a long-term commitment.

Leading up to graduation, Kristin had told Adam that she planned on locking herself in the library to study by herself all summer and would have no time to see him. Growing up, Kristin had heard the story of her parents getting married two weeks after her mother took the bar exam, and her mother had actually moved out of the house and into an apartment to have time to study on her own. The family lore was that Kristin’s mother said to her father “Bryan, I love you, I am going to marry you, but I cannot live with you while studying for the bar.” Considering Kristin’s parents have worked together for thirty years and clearly work well together, Kristin assumed bar exam studying was a beast of its own, and something that she had to do solo.

Adam accepted her neurosis, but figured they didn’t have to cut ties for the entire summer. Adam started bar review classes in San Francisco, and Kristin started a few days later in Berkeley. She assumed they would be apart for the summer, and then move to different cities, and did not know how their new relationship would progress after that. Kristin’s master plan changed two hours into the first day of her bar review. After the first session of multiple-choice diagnostics, she called Adam and sheepishly asked if he perhaps wanted to study together. He did. In fact, he was on the next BART over to Berkeley from the city, moved into Kristin’s house for the summer, and the two of them spent every day for the next ten weeks studying together. They both realized that regardless of how stressful the studying was, they worked exceptionally well together. Adam calmed Kristin down when she stressed out, and Kristin made Adam study far more than he would have otherwise. 1,400 bar flashcards, thousands of multiple choice questions, hundreds of hours of bar review videos, dozens of practice essays, and three days of torture later, the California bar exam was over, and Kristin and Adam were closer than ever.

To celebrate, Kristin’s parents treated the couple to a dinner at The Restaurant at Meadowood, a resort close to Kristin’s family’s heart, as they had spent Mother’s Day there when Kristin was growing up. Having spent little time with Adam as the couple had just started dating before spending the summer studying for the bar, Kristin’s family finally was able to understand how Kristin could have spent every moment of the summer with Adam. Kristin’s younger brother tested Adam’s knowledge, not of constitutional law, but of obscure Simpson’s references (Adam passed with flying colors). Adam won Kristin’s father over with Monty Python quotes. By the end of dinner, Kristin’s brother and father had invited Adam on a family vacation without actually consulting Kristin first (Kristin was fine with it).

Unfortunately, after their actually enjoyable summer of studying for the bar (they both passed), Kristin and Adam had to part ways; he to LA, she to San Francisco. Over the course of first year as law firm associates, the two traveled back and forth to see each other almost every weekend. Finally, when Adam received the news at 6:00 pm on a Friday evening that his firm was moving him to the San Francisco office, he packed all his belongings that night and drove up to San Francisco.

At the point Adam got the news he was being transferred to San Francisco, he was already in the process of designing an engagement ring with a jeweler in Santa Monica. Having moved, there was no way for him to choose the diamond. So, Adam sent two of his best friends (and future groomsmen) to select the stone. They did a very good job spending Adam’s money for him. Adam proposed in a secluded redwood grove in the Avenue of the Giants in Northern California.

Choosing a wedding venue was a simple decision for the couple. They immediately thought back to the dinner they had with Kristin’s family at Meadowood. They loved the fact that Meadowood had meaning in their past, but was also a location they could always return to in the future to relive their wedding memories.

Kristin and Adam wanted the wedding to feel like an elegant, intimate mid-summer garden party – similar to parties Kristin’s parents have hosted over the years in their garden. The couple loves good food and wine, and wanted to take advantage of the abundance Northern California offers. They dreamed of long kings tables, and a farm-to-table family style dinner, ensuring that their guests would share in the experience of the dinner together. Though bringing together two families, and friends from around the world, Kristin and Adam wanted everyone to feel comfortable enough with each other that by the time dancing started everyone would be dancing with each other! They truly wanted their guests to feel part of one big family instead of multiple, disparate groups.

Given that the celebration was a destination wedding for most invitees, the couple decided on the Fourth of July weekend so that guests would be able to make a vacation out of it. Kristin and Adam wanted to ensure that guests were able to experience the bucolic Napa Valley lifestyle. In the days leading up to the wedding, guests wine tasted, played croquet on the famed Meadowood lawn, and went for bicycle rides. The rehearsal dinner was held on the Fourth of July at Rutherford Hill Winery, and all wedding guests were invited to experience an authentic California taco truck and play lawn games as they watched the sun set over the valley.

Kristin and Adam wrote the ceremony themselves, and it was officiated by a dear law school friend. A Berkeley Law professor, and Kristin’s godmother, performed one of the ceremony readings. The ceremony took place under a chuppah that Adam and Kristin’s father and brother built together.

As the midsummer sun dipped beneath the trees and the bistro lights flickered on, the celebration moved inside for dancing with the amazing San Francisco-based band, Pop Rocks. Kristin and Adam’s dream came true with a packed dance floor spanning all generations. At the end of the night, Kristin and Adam were whisked away by their brothers in the getaway car: Kristin’s brother’s restored 1967 VW bus. In all, it was truly the perfect event, filled with amazing food, friends and family, and effortless sophistication.

Photography: Jesse Leake | Event Coordinator: Lauren Geissler; Downey Street Events | Florist: Sharla Flock Designs | Wedding Gown: Monique L'huillier | Cake: Sweet Things Bakery | Invitations: Alexandra Rinde; The Aerialist Press | Shoes: Valentino | Bridesmaid Dresses: Kate Spade | Hair And Makeup: Meaganne McCandess | Band: Pop Rocks | Groom's Attire: Jcrew | Guitarist: Elizabeth Lowery | Linens: La Travola | Venue: Meadowood Napa Valley

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Romantic Napa Valley Fall Wedding

I can’t decide if it’s the girly girl within me, or that the color is just simply always gorgeous, but either way, I never get sick of blush. It makes my heart flutter and combined with these dark tabletops and white roses, this wedding is picture perfect. Weddings By Sasha captured it all, and Reel Eyes Media made sure to bring the romance. Join me as I swoon over every beautiful detail right here.

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Settings
Resort
Styles
Rustic

From Shannon Leahy Events… Leslie and Paul were one of the most in love and kindest couples I have ever had the pleasure of working with. They met at a friends Super Bowl party and after years of bachelorhood in San Francisco, Paul instantly knew that she was the one. He loved her family values, her fun-loving personality and of course, was struck by her beauty. Not too long after their courtship began, Paul proposed to Leslie at their favorite Napa getaway, Meadowood and they decided to get married there the following Fall.

Leslie is a girly girl at heart so we had to use white and blush roses, lots of lace and sweeping, romantic decor. We brought in the rustic Napa Valley and Paul’s masculine side with lots of touches of dark wood. The ceremony on the golf course was absolutely lovely, framed by their large bridal party of friends and family.

One of my favorite details for this wedding arose out of finding a solution for keeping guests out of the dinner space. Since the cocktail hour and dinner lawn were connected but we didn’t want guests to enter until it was time, we hedged off the space and created a grand entry with a simple sign “Good things come to those who wait.” The purpose, of course, was to urge guests to wait until dinner, but it also served as a beautiful reminder of Paul and Leslie’s love that they both waited for many years.

Individual roses on each place setting mirrored the rose wine served at dinner. A macaroon station and cake from Perfect Endings for dessert and a sparkler exit made for a gorgeous evening in the Napa Valley.

Photography: Weddings By Sasha | Videographer: Reel Eyes Media | Event Design: Shannon Leahy Events | Event Planning: Shannon Leahy Events | Floral Design: Atelier Joya | Cake: Perfect Endings | Catering: Meadowood | Lighting: Impact | Band: Pop Rocks | Ceremony Musicians: Synchronicity Strings | Custom Event Decor: Yonder | Paper: Tiny Pine Press | Rentals: Wine Country Party Rentals | Rentals: La Tavola | Rentals: Hartmann Studios | Venue: Meadowood

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