The Field Guide for Crafting a Garden Party to Remember
December 8, 2017
Al FrescoGarden WeddingsSummer Weddings
From Lunch Club buddies to engaged, happily ever after was in the stars for this Bride and Groom. And with the help of an awesome team of vendors, including planning by Bustle, florals by Loop Event Arts, and images by Vicki Grafton, they crafted a garden party to remember. Beaulieu Garden is gorgeous all on its own but when you add in copious amounts of pastel blooms and a canopy of chandeliers, it totally nails that whole intimate garden wedding vibe.
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From the Planner... It was nine years ago. Some may say Charles and Lily met "twice" in the span of two weeks during a summer internship in Hong Kong. Charles introduced himself to Lily during a field trip, only to find out he had done the same at orientation the week prior! What an impression! But perhaps due to his silliness, they started a "lunch club" with other interns and quickly became good friends who saw each other almost daily. Charles tried numerous times to subtly invite Lily on dates, but those always ended up as larger group outings... Persistence is key, right? Two weeks before Lily would return to the US, Charles took a leap of faith to ask her out and the first date happened spontaneously. One their first date Charles and Lily stayed up all night chatting at Victoria Peak in Hong Kong. Just before the break of dawn, Charles took Lily to a special isolated spot on the Peak that had a breathtaking panoramic view of the island, where they watched the sun emerge from the horizon and the city gradually come to life. Not long after, they made their way to the southern beaches of Hong Kong and enjoyed a relaxing brunch at a seaside restaurant. For their wedding they really wanted a classy, elegant garden feel. The invitations set the tone for the wedding with whimsical blooms water colored on the outer pocket and a rendering of the stunning Beaulieu Gardens on the actual invitation all enclosed in a vellum envelope. The wedding day began with a traditional tea ceremony at the couples hotel. Once the bride arrived at Beaulieu Gardens she slipped into a dreamy lace and tulle gown and her bridesmaids donned the most magical peach tulle floor length dresses. With the beautiful garden feel of the venue we wanted to keep with the garden feel and incorporate a ton of floral. So, we enlisted Loop Event Arts florist. Anna created billowing arrangements filled with lush garden roses, peonies and trailing greens. During cocktail hour Paula Le Duc Fine Catering served up the favorite Ahi Tuna cones and other delicious bites. For the reception Lily literally let her hair down and the couple enjoyed a wonderful meal with friends and family seated around tables with a lace textured linens and chargers, modern gold flatware and grey napkins. Each place setting had a menu and silk ribbon calligraphed with each guests name. The billowing floral arrangements filled with cream, dusty rose, white and soft pink flowers spilled out of gilded compote containers. The nighted ended with everyone on the dance floor dancing under the stars.

From the Bride...We had never lived in the same state so much of our dating history was characterized by travel. Despite the headwinds of long distance, Napa provided a mid-point between our families in the East Coast and Hong Kong, not to mention the neighboring Bay Area is where Charles (and his dad and our officiant) went to college. We both love the outdoors and wanted to be surrounded by natural greenery for our wedding. Beaulieu Garden provided a nice, private retreat from the daily grind and city life that most of our guests are used to and reminded us of some of our first few dates from nine years ago, which included the Rose Garden at Berkeley and Phipps Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh. The different spaces of the venue's layout added versatility and dimension to the intimate garden party setting we sought - whether it was the Italian garden, reflecting pool, or sycamore arbor. Our vision was to have an elegant day full of heart and meaning. It was fun getting to weave in details that we enjoyed as a couple, such as earl grey chocolate favors that we customized with a local chocolate maker in Washington DC. We also held traditional Chinese pre-wedding customs, including a tea ceremony that is culturally significant to us and our families. On our wedding day, we couldn't have asked for more perfect weather to exchange vows, dine under twinkling lights, and dance under the stars. The whole day was magical and we're especially thankful for our amazing family and friends who traveled across the country and globe to celebrate with us, as well as our talented vendors team who made everything happen seamlessly!
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