Summer Willow Tree Wedding at Black Swan Lake

I’m pretty sure Jose Villa has more talent in his pinky finger than most do in their entire body, which is why his weddings never fail to get our hearts racing. This time around he’s taking us to the ultimate summertime nuptials anchored in traditional elegance thanks to Kathy HigginsKathleen Deery, Paula LeDuc and so many more. Sit back and whisk away to wedding heaven in THE VAULT.


From The Bride…My husband and I met in a chance encounter about 6 years ago when we were living in Washington, DC. We had both just returned from Tanzania; he was there working to develop mobile banking strategies in rural Africa, and I was there climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, and we bonded right away over our love of travel and literature.

Napa Valley has always been a special place for us – I grew up spending summers there and ever since I brought my husband for the first time, it became one of the only places we could truly relax and unplug. After several trips back together, we got engaged on top of Diamond Mountain, and knew right then and there that we’d get married in the valley.

We were so excited to share our special place with our closest friends and family on our wedding weekend. We had few concrete ideas for our decor, but wanted to have a simple yet elegant wedding that let the natural beauty of the valley shine through. Neither my husband nor I are particularly aesthetically creative, so we relied heavily on our excellent team of vendors. It starts and ends with Kathy Higgins, who made the planning process not only stress-free but downright fun. Kathleen Deery created the most beautiful backdrop for our day – from the flowers braided into the willow trees framing our ceremony to the dreamy floral arrangements and every detail in between – her creative vision is unparalleled. Paula LeDuc and her team are the utmost professionals and delivered a meal we still get compliments on a year later – and one that I made sure I carved out time to eat during our reception! Finally, working with Jose Villa was a dream — he is truly an artist and, while his work speaks for itself, I could not think of a more thoughtful, genuine and effortlessly fun person to spend our day with.

Our vendors seamlessly executed on the major details so that we could focus on the sentimental moments that made it truly our day — the vows that we wrote together, the speeches from our family and friends, and my personal favorite, the memory of jumping up and down in the middle of a packed dance floor, with my parents, new husband and sister surrounding me, and screaming the words to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin” before being whisked off in our vintage Packard under a flash of sparklers. It was truly unforgettable!

Photography: Jose Villa Photography | Event Design: Kathleen Deery Design | Event Planning: Kathy Higgins Weddings | Floral Design: Kathleen Deery Design | Wedding Dress: Carolina Herrera | Cake: Perfect Endings | Invitations: Mr. Boddington Studio | Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Catering: Paula LeDuc Fine Catering & Events | Makeup: Darcy Hunt | Hair: Sage | Lighting: Illusions Lighting | Band: Hip Service | Ceremony Music: Eloquence String Quartet | Transportation: California Wine Tours | Venue: Black Swan Lake | Getaway Car: Wine Country Classic Limousine | Linen Rentals: BBJ La Tavola | Photo Booth: Denon And Doyle | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals