A Napa Wedding with a Neutral Color Palette
Rae and Rob
Raeanna Reudy and Robert Lopez met while swimming in the same professional circle. They both had jobs at the same startup, and formed a connection after traveling to trade shows, spending long hours in the office, and attending work parties together. After transitioning from coworkers to friends, and then from friends to something more, they initiated their love story by "secretly" dating. Though now they're told it was the worst-kept secret.
Over two years after making it official, the couple took a vacation to Sydney, Australia. On the 15-hour flight there, Rob (who now works in software sales) kept taking mysterious trips to the bathroom. Once they landed, the pair made drink-and-dinner plans, which almost didn't happen, thanks to a confused taxi driver on his very first day of work. Upon finally arriving at their destination—a spot next to the Sydney Opera House—Rob got down on one knee.
As it turns out, the ring had been in his pocket the whole plane ride, and his restroom breaks were taken to make sure that it was still there. Prior to popping the question, Rob had also tracked down a local photographer to document the engagement. Not only did he manage to keep his cool during the flight and botched cab ride, but right before proposing, he had to secretly signal for the session to begin! Happily, it all worked out, and Rae (who now works in residential real estate) said "yes."
After a 15-month engagement, the San Francisco-based couple got married on June 24, 2017. They shared their personalized vows at a private, modern location in nearby wine country, with over 250 attendees present. "We wanted our guests to feel comfortable, be in a beautiful setting, and feel like they were at one big celebration," Rae shares of their vision, which the team from Laurie Arons Special Events made happen. Rob sums up the end result with this unique description: "Bruno Mars '24K Magic' music video meets chic, Napa estate."
A Day in May designed the couple's stationery using a color palette of white, gray, and rose gold. The pair loved the overlapping initials incorporated into their suite. "Rob was ecstatic about the fact that we have a logo he can now put on pillows, towels, and even whiskey glasses," says Rae. The invitations also featured a front page with their names cut out, and envelopes calligraphed by Curlicue Designs.
For the Boys
Rob and his groomsmen were treated to service from a mobile barbershop called Topshelf Grooming that morning. They had access to shaves and haircuts, plus games (including poker, corn hole, and darts), lounge chairs, and booze (like bourbon and beer).
While getting ready, Rob was also met by an unexpected guest. He and Rae have a Bernese mountain dog named Frank, who couldn't attend the ceremony due to his size (and shedding hair). Instead, Rae collaborated with the couple's dog sitter, who brought the pup to the venue before the wedding. Rob's brother met the sitter and tied a note from Rae to Frank's collar; the pooch was then sent over to surprise the groom.
Rob chose a classic black tuxedo from Bonobos. Rae's ensemble had a backstory. She wanted a special mother-daughter moment, so she visited a bridal salon with just her mom. After the initial trip (nothing stood out to them), they went somewhere else, and brought her bridesmaids along. "My girlfriends know me too well, and they were so helpful in being honest about what looked good and what didn't fit my style. We still laugh about just how honest they were, but it really helped," she admits. It was then that she found this embellished gown by Alon Livné White.
The Bridal Bouquet
Mixed and Matched
Friends from childhood, high school, and college (plus a cousin and a coworker) served as Rae's bridesmaids. "I met all of these women in different stages of my life, and one of the best parts of the shower, bachelorette party, and wedding was bringing all of these women together and seeing new friendships form and grow," she says. The girls stepped out in mismatched bridesmaids' dresses in cool shades by Jenny Yoo.
Rob's crew of groomsmen came from a range of backgrounds, just like Rae's group: One was a brother, two were cousins, and the rest were friends he met throughout his lifetime. Like the groom, the men were dressed in timeless ensembles, this time from The Black Tux.
Rae and Rob first made their relationship official while staying in wine country. "Now, we sneak away to Napa Valley for weekend getaways and wine tastings with our friends as often as possible," Rae shares. "It holds a special place to us both and was a no-brainer when deciding our wedding location," she adds. The couple chose to tie the knot at a private estate in St. Helena. They wed under an oak tree, with breathtaking views of the area behind them. Not even the chairs obstructed the scenery, as the clear, acrylic seating only enhanced the setting.
Here Comes the Bride
The ceremony began in the afternoon, but early enough to embrace the natural lighting, and to give guests a clear look at the scenic surroundings, which were the couple's favorite part of the venue. The processional began with groomsmen and Rob's family entering to "Remember When" by Alan Jackson, and bride's side following to "Tiny Dancer" by Elton John. Rae and her father walked down the aisle to a guitar playing Johann Pachelbel's "Canon in D."
Rae and Rob recessed to "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)" by the Four Tops. After the ceremony, their wedding party followed them to the spot where they took photographs, and then again to the cocktail hour. Rob couldn't help but dance as he led the way with his new wife.
The Cocktail Hour
Guests enjoyed cocktail hour by the pool. There was a patio with a lounge space and umbrellas to take shade under, plus a few tables to sit at on the lawn. The region's breathtaking landscape stood in the distance.
Attendees munched on Rob's must-have—crab cakes—as well as other Paula DeLuc-prepared appetizers, like short-rib beggar's purses, which were so good, someone Instagrammed about them.
In the summer, Rae and Rob spend time at Lake Tahoe, and love to drink lemonade by the water. As a nod to the pastime and their newly-shared last name, they served boozy versions of the beverage, called Lakeside Lopezes, complete with monogrammed cocktail napkins.
Honoring family members was important to Rae and Rob. For the former, that meant gifting her parents a thank-you album of old photos on the day-of, which she'd been sneakily compiling for months. For the latter, that meant spending time with his grandmother (pictured here) who raised him from birth.
Rob's grandmother shared some sage advice with them before they said their vows: "Be patient and know that you have to give this your all. You're both winning either way, since no matter what, you'll always have each other."
The Escort Cards
Names were calligraphed in copper ink on rectangular escort cards, which were displayed on a table with potted plants and candles.
Unique arrangements of peachy, yellow-green, and white flowers decorated the tables, as did both tall and short candles.
Much like the escort cards, the menus were printed on thick, gray paper with copper, letterpressed foil. Curlicue Designs calligraphed each guest's name so that they doubled as place cards. They were tucked into the pocket-fold of each place setting's napkin, atop matte gray plates.
For the first course, Paula LeDuc Fine Catering served organic greens with savory nut brittle, topped with avocado cream and citrus vinaigrette, and paired with Chardonnay. The entrée was grilled filet of beef tenderloin, plus potato purée, box squash, bell peppers, and oregano salsa verde; it was paired with a glass of Syrah.
"Tennessee Whiskey" by Chris Stapleton served as the soundtrack for Rae and Rob's first dance. But that wasn't the only important tune of the night. "Choosing songs was one of the most memorable parts of wedding planning," Rae shares. In turn, the pair's selection process was quite involved, and included "listening to every song, and of course, impromptu dance sessions to test them out."
Rae twirled with her father to Rod Stewart's "Have I Told You Lately," in honor of her memories of dancing to '80s hits with him as a kid. Rob chose Boyz II Men's "Mama" for his spin with his grandmother, and then shocked everyone with a track change to "Suavemente" by Elvis Crespo. It was then that his grandmother threw her cane in the air and salsa danced with the groom, just like out of a movie.
Perfect Endings designed this petite, two-tiered confection with a gold-edged edible flower. Guests noshed on two cake flavors: vanilla with vanilla buttercream, and double chocolate.
"What stood out the most were the moments where we could take a breath and realize we were surrounded by all of our closest friends and families, and everyone was there to celebrate and support us," the couple reflects. "Sharing this day with such an amazing tribe made us realize how lucky we are."
Photography, Joel Serrato
Event planning, Laurie Arons Special Events
Catering, Paula LeDuc Fine Catering
Flowers, Sarah Winward
Videography, Mason T. Howard Productions
Stationery, A Day in May
Calligraphy, Curlicue Designs
Cake, Perfect Endings
Bride's gown, Alon Livné White
Hair and makeup, Artists by Sherrie Long
Bridesmaids' dresses, Jenny Yoo
Groom's suit, Bonobos
Groomsmens' attire, The Black Tux
Lighting, Illusions Lighting Design
Transportation, California Wine Tours
Mobile barbershop, Topshelf Grooming
Wedding attire concierge, The Wedding Detailor
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