A Daytime French Inspired Winery Wedding

What could possibly be better than a sunny day in wine country? How about a stunning wedding in wine country. Dressed up in California sunshine, this french inspired day is seriously sweet and we’ve got Caitlin O’Reilly Photography to thank for every snapshot. See it unfold firsthand in The Vault!

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From the Couple…We were engaged in France and followed the rustic French theme throughout the wedding. I envisioned a soft romantic vibe with a neutral color palette, which fit in perfectly with the backdrop at Arista Winery.

We were introduced by my big sister in my sorority (Tri-Delt at Vanderbilt), Jenn Festa Giordano. Jenn’s husband was friends with Greg, and when he moved to San Francisco, Jenn introduced us. She told me she could see us ending up together, and she was right!

The day was magical. It was everything I dreamed of. Not only was it all so beautiful….it was so much more. It was sentimental, emotional, and full of love. The best part of the wedding was the deeper, spiritual part and feeling love and support from our nearest and dearest.

We are both very close with, thankful for, and grounded by our families. We dedicated our wedding to our parents, who have each been married for over 40 years. We honored our loving grandparents by including a table of photos of their weddings, we know they were there in spirit with us, and they had a ball. The maids of honor were my sisters, the groomsmen were Greg’s dad and brother.

Favorite memories include Dad’s heartfelt toast which brought tears to all 110 guests, and our 7 nieces and nephews who brought that family-ish at home feel. Anyone who knows us knows how much we adore our nieces and nephews. It would not have been the same without those precious faces as our ring bearers and flower girls.

I was inspired by 2 things. First, Greg proposed in France, one of my favorite places in the world. So, of course I wanted a French feel. Second, I always thought I would get married in my parents’ backyard. I love the old-fashioned homey feeling, and the space we used at Arista feels like a backyard. I grew up with huge oak trees and a large grass yard (Winter Park, FL), which looks a lot like the Oak Grove at Arista. The ambiance I was going for was effortless elegance, vintage, rustic, romantic, bohemian, and French. Mom understood my vision and really brought it to life. We used my grandmother’s and great-grandmother’s lace on the cocktail tables, books from my home, and a painting of where we were engaged in Eze for a personal touch. Many of the personal ideas were from my Mom……who is a version of Martha Stewart meets Mother Goose.

We were married at the ages of 38/40 and had attended many weddings. We wanted something different, not the evening country club wedding. I always wanted a day wedding. I love daytime and sunshine. I go to bed early and wake up early. I love afternoons on a picnic blanket int he sun. When Kate Middleton had a day wedding, I realized this was possible. The wedding took place at 2:00 pm.

All the ladies in the wedding party wore ivory/champagne colored lace. My two sisters were my bridesmaids and wore champagne lace dresses from J. Crew. Both mothers wore ivory lace, going against the “don’t wear white to a wedding” rule! I am so glad we broke the rule. All the soft tones of cream and tan looked lovely together. Greg’s groomsmen were his Dad and brother. My father and brother-in-law wore the same suit, which looked wonderful in the photos. Greg really wanted to wear navy, and it looked great on him!

Instead of table numbers, we used words. We thought of twelve words that are important in marriage like patience, laughter, and humility.

The engagement ring is an antique Old European cut diamond. My wedding band includes French cut diamonds, and all rings are from Eric Trabert in San Francisco. Not surprising that all the diamonds are vintage and European!

We knew we wanted a wine country wedding, and we prefer Sonoma to Napa because it is smaller and less touristy. We love spending weekends in Healdsburg, and were thrilled when one of our favorite wineries happened to have an opening. This was a 4 month engagement, and everyone thought we were crazy. I knew if I had Mom, we could pull it off.

When the wedding and planning was over, I really missed the creative process, so I found something else to continue to use that part of my brain. I started a blog called oohlalamode. The wedding planning reminded me how much I enjoy and appreciate flowers, fashion, hair, hosting, lace, decor….all of it!

The wedding day is a memory I will forever hold dear in my heart, not because of the beautiful decorations, but because of all the love that surrounded us. We are so grateful.

From Ooh La La Weddings I think it’s safe to say that from the moment Greg proposed to Neely in France, in front of her parents, Neely’s mother began planning their French inspired wedding. Her first purchase, a set of crystal toasting flutes from the city of lights. I was grateful for the opportunity to be part of the planning process and was completely on board with the vision that Neely and her mom come to me with.

Together the three of us, along with a great team of local professionals, succeeded in bringing a touch of France to Sonoma County. Neely selected a color palette of whites and greens with natural accents. Their wedding included a personalized ceremony and heart felt toasts, darling vintage and rustic lounge vignettes, flower carts with fresh lavender, farm tables with burlap runners draped in fresh olive branches and rosemary garlands, and bistro chairs reminiscent of that of a Parisian sidewalk café, and of course what French themed wedding is complete without a macaron cart? The night ended with a 1949 white convertible Packard as a surprise get away car…and specialty Krispy Kreme donuts from the mother of the bride for her new son-in-law!

However, the most important part of the couple’s wedding day was sharing it with family and friends. Neely and Greg have such a beautiful love story and heritage; seeing their families come together along with their vision for this day was

truly special.

From Aimee Lomeli DesignWorking with you and your Mom was a delight. You always wanted to keep the style timeless and classic while using an eclectic mix. Designing with the details that told your story was a fantastic, such as the cart. Oh, and I loved creating baby’s breath garland for the entrance. 

From Caitlin O’Reilly PhotographyNeely and Greg hosted a rustic, European inspired wedding in the heart of wine country. Neely and Greg have a little mix of city and country in them and certainly a lot of love for Europe. They were engaged in France and incorporated special French inspired touches to compliment their love of wine country. I particularly loved the use of olive branches down the center of the farm tables and the bunches of lavender that lay across the darling flower cart as guests entered the dining space. Cocktail hour had gorgeous lounge furniture and cute side tables with books about travel and art. And of course, the Patisserie cart was a must! Decadent little desserts atop the cutest cart made everyone smile! But probably the most memorable moment for me from this wedding was capturing these two as they stood in the middle of a lavender field as the setting sun glistened over their shoulders.

From the Mother of the Bride… This experience was pure joy. Neely knew exactly what she wanted her day to look like and never wavered. Each day leading up to the wedding, we shared an early morning phone call (East coast to West coast), and these special conversations will forever be held in my heart. We each brought different gifts to the planning process which made the end result — her wedding day — everything she imagined. Neely’s nickname is “sunshine,” and she was a radiant bride. Neely and Greg have invested in deep friendships throughout their lives. And on their wedding day, it was a gathering of family and friends that resembled a beautiful bouquet of flowers hand picked from their garden.

From Arista WineryNeely and Greg’s wedding was like something out of a dream. Not only was every little detail scrumptious but the bride and groom themselves were (and are) some of the sweetest we’ve ever had the pleasure of working with! We cannot wait to watch as Neely and Greg continue to live their love story, and we feel honored that they chose to start their journey of marriage at Arista.

From Justin Fone ProductionsWhere do I begin with Neely and Greg’s wedding? Was it the picture perfect setting in the lavender field? Is it the timeless beauty of the newlywed couple? I believe what stuck me the most about Neely and Greg’s wedding was the outpouring of love, care, and thoughtfulness that was mutually shared between each and every person at their wedding. It was an honor to be able to bask in such warmth!

Photography: Caitlin O'Reilly Photography | Cinematography: Justin Fone Productions | Event Planning: Ooh La La Weddings & Events | Floral Design: Aimee Lomeli Design | Wedding Dress: Katie May | Cake: Moustache Baked Goods | Invitations: Bella Figura | Invitations: Union Street Papery | Invitations: Minted | Shoes: Loeffler Randall | Bridesmaids' Dresses: J.Crew | Catering: Elaine Bell Catering | Hair + Makeup: Brush Salon | DJ: Denon And Doyle | Groom's Attire: Bonobos | Groomsmen's Attire: Jos. A. Bank | Wedding Venue: Arista Winery | Bridal Boutique: And Something Blue | Bridesmaid's Luncheon: Hotel Healdsburg | Classic Car: Wine Country Classic Limousine | Guitarist: AMS Entertainment | Photo Booth: A Flying Camera | Rehearsal Dinner Venue: Sofia Coppola Champagne | Rentals: Encore Event Rentals | Rentals: Bright Event Rentals | Shuttles: Beau Wine Tours | Signage: Hand & Heart Event Design | Sunday Farewell Brunch: Hyatt Vineyard Creek | Thursday Welcome Dinner: Hyatt Vineyard Creek | Veil: Jaclyn Jordan New York