Monday, February 11, 2013

Olivia & Seth {Real Wedding} Calistoga Ranch, Napa, CA

Photo Credit: Tia & Claire Studios
I first begin working with Olivia in February of last year after she was referred to me by one of the venues she targeted on her recent visit to the Bay Area. She was looking for the perfect place to host her winter nuptials and she had a very clear vision on how she wanted it to feel.

Being from Texas where large weddings are the norm, it was decided that they would do something a little bit different. Olivia's vision was an intimate destination wedding for only the most important people in California's wine country.

From the start, Olivia had her heart set on an elegant winter affair in one of the most beautiful regions in all of Northern California. It was equally important that the food and wine experience was unsurpassed while still feeling very relaxed. Olivia toured a half a dozen beautiful venues and nothing really felt like it was "the one" until she experienced Calistoga Ranch. The exclusivity, serenity and gorgeous accommodations felt just right, and the vision of having a romantic and warm candlelit dinner was exactly what she was looking for.

One of the biggest reasons why she elected to have an intimate destination wedding was so that she could share the very things she and Seth loved the most with the people whom they love the most.

A full four days of festivities were planned for their forty-five person guest list - a welcome reception at Hotel Yountville, a custom wine blending class, hot air balloon rides, and a fantastic family-style rehearsal dinner at Michael Chiarello's flag ship eatery, Botegga.

When we begin to conceptualize the wedding design, it was important to us that it felt warm, romantic and inviting, but still very connected to the winter season and the environment of Napa Valley. We loved the olive trees that are lush along the Silverado Trail, the hardy nature of succulents and herbs, and all the exposed wood at Calistoga Ranch. Since we used the magical wine cave for both the ceremony and dinner reception, we wanted all floral to be very structured and for the lighting to play a large role throughout the entire event. It was also important that we matched the elegance and formality of Olivia's gorgeous Monique Lhuillier gown called "Catherine".

We loved the cool tones and bright contrast of our color palette of white, lavender, slate gray and moss. We also focused on using natural wooden components such as exposed wood kings farm tables, various styles of wooden dining chairs and natural wood floral vessels. To compliment the cool tones, we decided to bring in silver metallic and mercury glass accents in the form of tall taper candlesticks and votive candles to add that special sparkle.

To set a tone of warmth and romance, we flooded the wine cave with hundreds of candles in various vessels such as lanterns, water votives and glass hurricanes. The feeling was so inviting that each guest felt relaxed and excited as they entered the wine cave.

Since the wedding was so close to Christmas, Olivia really wanted to incorporate one of her favorite family holiday traditions into their wedding by giving each guest a special ornament as a take home keepsake. To incorporate this element into her event, we created elegant ornaments made of clear glass spheres filled with Air Plants attached with slate tags with each guests' name and table using white ink calligraphy. The ornaments were then placed on a bed of dried lavender on top of glass trays at the entrance of the dinner reception and were used as escorts and then taken home as favors in custom letter press boxes.

One the most special and beautiful details that we created for Olivia and Seth were our Prayer Scrolls. As a couple, along with their families, have a deep spiritual faith which played a huge role throughout their entire wedding. We asked Olivia to select her favorite scripture about love which we broke into individual lines and had embroidered on to ivory muslin scrolls. As part of the dinner prayer, we placed a single scroll across each guests' dinner place setting and had them recite their line around the room in sequence of the scripture. It was so beautiful to hear the words spoken by each person in their group that was there to celebrate in their union.

After a three course dinner of a Cranberry-Ginger Amuse Bouche, Winter Squash Risotto, Sea Bass and Beef Short Ribs, they danced the night away to the amazing sounds of The Wall Street Band.

It may have been 37 degrees and raining on their wedding day, but only a feeling love and warmth and sounds of laughter exuded from within the wine cave at Calistoga Ranch.

Congratulations to Olivia and Seth.

Vendor List:
Wedding Planning & Design: Simone Lennon, Soiree by Simone Lennon
Floral Design: Yasmin Zialcita Ali, Floral Theory
Photography: Tia and Claire Studios
Catering: Calistoga Ranch
Venue: Calistoga Ranch
Videography: Jessica Ringer, LoveSpun Films
Event Specialty Lighting: Enhanced Lighting and Sound
Event Rentals: Hartmann Studios
Vintage Furniture Rentals: One True Love Vintage Rentals
Specialty Linens: La Tavola Fine Linens
Letter Press Invitations: Oblation Letter Press via Union Street Papery
Menus and Escort Cards: Union Street Papery
String Quartet: Garden Strings
Band: The Wall Street Band
Hair and Make-up: Sarah Hyde, sHe Beauty Company
Bride's Wedding Gown: Monique Lhuillier
Bridesmaids Gowns: Monique Lhuiller
Prayer & Chair Scrolls: Esty by Tree & Ink


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