Do you remember that moment you fell in love with your forever? For Yoni and Ro, that cherished time happened in Napa. So, when it came to choosing a spot to say I do, wine country was the obvious choice. Graced with the warm California sun and the planning genius of Alexandra Kolendrianos, they celebrated with the vineyards as their backdrop, smiles as big as the sky and their loved ones there to soak it all in with them. With his lens in hand, Joel Serrato made sure to produce the prettiest of images and Elysium Productions set it all in motion with a stunning film, so we can all join in the beauty, too.
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From the Bride & Groom… We met in Chicago, IL while Yoni was completing his medical school training. Funny enough, we met online via OkCupid! Little did Yoni know, his first ever online date would lead him to the love of his life. He was immediately hooked by Ro’s amazing sense of humor, incredible taste in music, stunning looks and sense of style. Ro, on the other hand, had to filter out a few guys before she would meet her perfect match. But as soon as she met this budding Jewish cardiologist it was a done deal and Ro was already looking for a Ketubah.
Our first vacation together was to Napa, California. While the trip was planned to celebrate our one year anniversary together, it would go on to carry so much more meaning – this trip to Napa was when we had fallen in love and it was at that point that we both knew this love was the real deal. One of our favorite memories to this day is renting bikes in Younteville and biking along the beautiful Silverado Trail. We soaked in the warm California sun, tasted some of the Napa’s best wines (*shoutout Robert Sinskey Vineyards*), enjoyed breathtaking vistas and topped it all off with a dinner at Ad Hoc. So when it came time to picking a location for our wedding venue Napa was the clear choice. We wanted to create more beautiful memories in the town that was already so special to us.
We landed on Carneros Resort and Spa after thoroughly researching all of Napa’s amazing wedding venues. Carneros captured everything we love about Napa – incredible views overlooking rolling hills and vineyards, a rustic yet refined and luxurious vibe and a premier catering service. What’s more is while many wedding venues in Sonoma/Napa enforce strict early event curfews and beverage/liquor restrictions, Carneros Resort and Spa afforded us the later curfew and the full bar package we were hoping our guests could enjoy.
The amazing event staff at Carneros were incredibly flexible and accommodating, allowing us to customize everything to the last detail in order to create our dream wedding celebration. We really wanted to utilize as much of Carneros Resort and Spa’s beautiful grounds and maximize the time outdoors with our guests. The on-site event manager, Courtney Swinson had the wonderful idea of flipping the traditional wedding format at Carneros on its head to make this happen. We held our ceremony at the Hilltop and then used the Arbor (typically used for the wedding ceremony) for a beautiful cocktail hour where our guests could continue to enjoy the vistas, before finally migrating down a fruit tree-lined path to the Napa Ballroom for the reception and festivities. We loved the flow this format provided to the evening.
Working with our wedding planner, Alexandra Kolendarios, was truly a phenomenal experience. Her incredible patience, creativity and vision helped transform Carneros into the wedding venue of our dreams. Alexandra vetted top vendors and set us up with best photographer (Joel Serrato), videographer (Elysium Productions), florist (Nancy Teasley of Oak & the Owl) and band (Sound House of Élan Artists). Nancy created the perfect floral arrangements to accompany the natural beauty of Carneros. Our wedding chuppah was lush and beautiful with flowers that Nancy transported all the way from Los Angeles in her custom-built refrigerated van (!!!). The chuppah was made particularly special by creating a roof tapestry of interwoven talits from all the patriarchs from both sides of the family. Together with our families at our sides during the ceremony, it felt like the perfect sanctuary. To add to this, we had the distinct honor of having Ro’s 90-year-old grandfather, Rabbi Victor Weissberg, who flew in all the way from Chicago, officiate the wedding ceremony – it was truly a magical moment.
For the wedding reception, Alexandra helped us create a space that looked classy and luxurious while maintaining the rustic and natural beauty of Carneros. We picked clean oatmeal-colored velvet table linens (that our guests were obsessed with) paired with stunning floral centerpieces incorporating roses, garden roses and dahlias in a white, peach and blush color pallet with dark pink accents. Our tables were accented with peach fruit and an element of height was incorporated using a variety of candles. We brought in greenery to drape from the chandeliers to bring the outdoor vibe inside and soften the edges of the light fixtures. To contrast the table scape we selected dark colored silverware and chairs, which perfectly balanced the room. We both remember the distinct moment we walked into the reception ballroom for the first time and being absolutely blown away by its beauty.
Finally, Alexandra created a lovely outdoor lounge space in the courtyard for our guests to mingle and enjoy. The outdoor bar and furniture was the perfect complement to the ballroom design. Our favorite was the beautiful fireplace seating arrangement, where we used variations of the indoor dining chairs accented with furs. The MirMir photo booth with the slideshow display was a huge hit!
We are so beyond incredibly happy with how the whole evening and weekend turned out. We were truly able to share our love for Napa with our friends and family and create memories that will last a lifetime.
Photographer : Joel Serrato Film Photographer | Photography: Joel Serrato Film Photographer | videography : Elysium Productions | floral design : Oak And The Owl | dress: Monique Lhuillier | lighting : Got Light | band: Elan Artists | ceremony music : Synchronicity Strings | venue: Carneros Resort and Spa | invitations & all paper products: Swell Press | linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | photo booth : Mir Mir | wedding planner & design : Alexandra Kolendrianos