There's No Passport Needed for This Mediterranean Style Affair
June 7, 2018
California
Classic WeddingsRomanticVilla
Villa Montalvo has the feel of a gorgeous Italian estate with the convenience of a California zip code. And in keeping with all those Mediterranean vibes, Charmed Events Group and Gavita Flora crafted a gorgeous alfresco affair infused with baguettes at every place setting and olive oil gifted to guests. Now if that's not a dream combo, we don't know what is. Have a look at all the magic captured so beautifully by The Grovers and  Aaron Novak Films.
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From the Bride... Dylan and I met through a mutual friend who invited us both to lunch. There was an undeniable, instant connection and Dylan and I spent the hour talking, laughing and getting to know one another. I remember calling my best friends immediately and declaring, "I just met the man I'm going to marry!". Four and a half years later, Dylan's Mom invited us to her birthday party. The plan was to meet at the end of a dock in Newport Harbor, where his family would pick us up for a sunset boat ride. (This was a birthday celebration we had done multiple times in the past, so I suspected nothing!) As we approached the end of the dock, Dylan took hold of both of my hands, got down on one knee and delivered the most beautiful proposal. After immediately saying "Yes!" and celebrating for several moments, we returned to Dylan's parent's home to find that my whole family and Dylan's siblings all traveled from out of town to surprise me and to celebrate our engagement! The evening was complete with dinner, champagne, wine from wineries we had visited together around the world and framed photos of us throughout the years. It was the most beautiful, thoughtful and detailed proposal!

A hometown wedding meant the world to Dylan and me as we began envisioning and planning our wedding day. We wanted to welcome our nearest and dearest to celebrate our love in a location close to our hearts and it wasn't long before we decided on Villa Montalvo, a Mediterranean inspired estate, in the town I was born and raised, Saratoga, California. Villa Montalvo is special to us, as it is a place I have been visiting with my family since I was born and a location where I brought Dylan the first time he traveled home with me to meet my family. Villa Montalvo was built in 1912 and is set on 200 acres with a dramatic sprawling front lawn and picturesque mountain range as the backdrop. After visiting the property once again after we were engaged, we knew there was no better place in the world for us to start our life together as husband and wife!

With a color palette of whites, grays and greens, we played upon the Mediterranean aesthetic of the Villa by incorporating olive branches into our floral design and adorning each place setting of our tablescape with a mini olive baguette. We wanted our guests to feel as if they were at a dinner party at a Villa in Italy, with an abundance of personalized touches that would make the day just as special for our them as it was for us!

Karla Lim of Written Word Calligraphy was an incredible partner in helping us create personalized details that brought our vision to life, including: a watercolor painting of the Villa which was featured on our save the date and on the envelope liner of our wedding invitation and a custom, hand-drawn monogram. These special touches helped set the tone of our wedding day from the start. Our monogram was used throughout our wedding on elements including: the invitation, ceremony program, dinner menu, signage, cocktail napkins, wooden cocktail stir sticks, embroidered pillows on the lounge in the Spanish Courtyard (which are now displayed in our home today!), hand-bottled olive oil bottles (which served as escort cards and favors), sugar cookies and coffee cups displayed at the coffee/tea station. Adding this dimension of detail was something we were passionate about from the start so our guests could feel the love poured into each aspect of our wedding day.

As it was important to us that our wedding was filled with meaning, Dylan proudly wore his paternal Grandfather's cufflinks and his maternal Grandfather's watch and bow tie. I wore Dylan's maternal Grandmother's vintage Cartier earrings and a diamond bracelet that was gifted to Dylan's Mother by her Father on her wedding day in 1985. Dylan and I toasted for the first time as husband and wife with the silver kiddush cup that my parents used on their wedding day in 1978. We incorporated familiar items into our wedding day including a heirloom wooden wedding cake stand that belongs to Dylan's Grandparents and a vintage wooden box for cards which is a decorative piece in Dylan's parent's home. Additionally, in honor of those we love most, we displayed wedding photos of our parents and grandparents in the library of the Villa.

When Dylan and I first started discussing our wedding ceremony, we knew we wanted someone special to marry us. We wanted someone who has watched us grow over the course of our relationship, someone who would remain a big part of our life moving forward and someone who we admire and look up to. The decision ended up being rather easy, as all signs pointed to my twin brother, Michael. Michael captivated our guests while creating an intimate and meaningful ceremony. Being that my Dad passed away, my Mom lovingly walked me down the aisle. I will never forget seeing Dylan at the end of the aisle, watching his eyes fill with tears as I walked towards him while the string trio played Canon in D. My three sisters were my co-maids of honor, Dylan's two sisters were my bridesmaids and Dylan's brother-in-law was his best man. It meant the world to us to have all of our siblings standing by our side during the most monumental moment of our lives. Our ceremony included our Mothers reading a modern version of the Jewish seven blessings and Dylan and I reading handwritten, heartfelt vows to one another. The ceremony ended up being one of our favorite moments from our wedding day as Dylan and I felt as if we were the only two people in the world!

After our ceremony, guests were escorted to one of our favorite locations at the Villa for cocktail hour, the Spanish-style courtyard. Lush with greenery, the courtyard displayed vintage wooden bars with olive branch garlands, a lounge complete with embroidered monogrammed pillows, and a display of personalized olive oil bottles. Our string trio continued through our cocktail hour as hors d'oeuvres were passed and drinks were flowing. In addition to an open bar, our signature cocktails were a “Montalvo Mule” served with a wooden, monogrammed stir stick and a “Lavender Sparkler” garnished with a fresh lavender stem. For our reception, guests enjoyed an al fresco dinner on the veranda of the Villa, overlooking the grandiose front lawn of the estate. After dinner service, we danced the night away to a live band in the main estate!

Growing up, my Dad started the tradition of celebrating birthday mornings in our home with a pyramid of donuts complete with candles. It’s a special tradition that my siblings and I still honor to celebrate birthdays today! Dylan and I felt like our wedding wouldn’t be complete without a pyramid of glazed donuts from the bakery where my Dad purchased donuts from my whole life. In addition to the glazed donuts, we had way too much fun cake tasting at Studio Cake and ultimately decided on cookie dough, cookies and cream, funfetti and strawberry shortcake for our wedding cake flavors!

One of our favorite aspects of wedding planning was giving back to our closest friends and family, and letting them know just how much they mean to us! I asked my sisters and sisters-in-law to be my bridesmaids with a woven basket filled with: a monogrammed blanket from Restoration Hardware, a Jo Malone candle, a mini bottle of Veuve Clicquot and a letter. On our wedding day, I gifted my bridesmaids a silk Stone Cold Fox robe, along with a note detailing how much they mean not only to me, but to us as a couple. Dylan asked his groomsmen to be in our wedding with personalized golf balls and divot fixers and on our wedding day gifted them a monogrammed pocket squares for their tuxedos along with monogrammed socks. We welcomed our out-of-town guests to my hometown with a welcome box complete with: Saratoga Rosé, San Pellegrino sparkling water, Ghirardelli chocolates, Dean & Deluca artisan popcorn, Feridies peanuts, a monogrammed sugar cookie, monogrammed cups and a letter welcoming our guests and highlighting our hometown favorites! (Are you sensing a theme here? Yes, we love a monogram!)

Our wedding day was pure bliss and we are forever grateful to our amazing family, friends and vendors that made our vision a reality! It was absolutely magical!