Hooray for color! This Napa wedding from Lisa Lefkowitz is just aglow with vibrant hues from the adorable bride's rosy pink cheeks to the kaleidoscope of coral, peach and fuchsia flowers. Simple, elegant and oh-so pretty is the name of the game here, folks. Can you imagine a more idyllic setting for a wedding? Surrounded by the Mayacamas mountains and acres of lush vineyards, Joanna and Chris created an intimate celebration that not only honored their love for each other but their love for the important people that have touched their lives. Don't miss the full gallery for even more sweet, sweet elegance!
From Joanna, the bride...
Although we live in New York City and love it, I just couldn't see us getting married here. We decided to have an intimate, destination wedding in the Napa Valley, which was close to my husband's family and many of our friends. I had absolutely fallen in love with its natural beauty and wide-open spaces on our engagement trip.
We didn’t have a planner or a limitless budget, so we really had to figure out what was most important to us. I think that the key was finding amazing vendors who were able to accomplish wonders with our budget and capture the feeling we were going for. My ideal wedding was a simple, elegant dinner party with our family and friends -- great food, great wine, great company (and an excuse to bring many people we love together in one place). At the same time, tradition is very important to Chris, so we also wanted to incorporate some traditional elements. Both our ceremony and reception were held at the Carneros Inn. The property and its surroundings (vineyards, mountains, open fields with horses) are already beyond gorgeous, so we were able to keep everything simple. Carneros also met all of our other requirements -- it has a fantastic chef, a great wine list and wonderful staff, including an onsite wedding consultant, Brooke Baglietto, who made sure everything ran smoothly. Instead of a traditional rehearsal party, my wonderful in-laws hosted an open-invitation dinner for all of guests at one of the Homes at Carneros, which allowed us to spend more time with everyone.
I fell in love with letterpress invitations and we loved the simple elegance of hand calligraphy, which we then carried through from our invitations and envelopes to our menus, and escort and place cards (all created by the fabulous Debi Zeinert and Bella Figura). Rather than choosing a particular color, we went with a fall-inspired color palate of green, ivory, and shades of orange, apricot and pink/red and relied on the creativity of Jennifer French at Lush Floral to bring our vision to life. We incorporated the green of the cymbidium orchids into our envelope liners and linens. A few months before the wedding, the wedding photographer we had hired canceled on us. This turned out to be an incredible blessing, because a friend then recommended Lisa. Lisa captured our day so beautifully and was such a joy to spend time with. In truth, I hate being photographed and always end up looking uncomfortable, but Lisa made it easy. The only photographs of me that I have ever liked are Lisa's.
Some of the more unusual aspects of our wedding were the most meaningful to us. It's not exactly in keeping with tradition, but my husband and mother-in-law cast the deciding votes on my dress and cathedral-length mantilla. My fabulous sister-in-law, Kate, made our wedding rings for us and brought the most exquisite, diamond jewelry for my "something borrowed." My 10-year-old daughter, Madeleine, participated in our ceremony (and later exhausted our friends on the dance floor). I loved seeing how happy and included she felt. Chris lost his first wife to breast cancer, and we wanted her family to know that they will always be a part of ours. I know it was very difficult for them, but we are so grateful that they came to celebrate with us. We also made a donation to the Breast Cancer Foundation in her memory in lieu of favors. While I am not sure it was what either of us would have planned on our own, I am happy to report that we wouldn't have changed a thing. For the two of us, it was perfect. We can't thank our family and friends enough for sharing it with us.