This Couple Proved That It's Possible to Throw a Thematic Valentine's Day Wedding Without Being Kitschy

wedding couple portrait on garden walkway
The Ganeys

When Evelyn and Bryan chose their wedding date—February 15, 2020—the theme became obvious: a Valentine's Day-style celebration full of hearts, cute messaging, and lots of love. But that doesn't mean that cheesy cupids, boxes of drugstore chocolates, stuffed animals, or a red-and-pink color scheme made an appearance.

In fact, the event spoke more to their relationship than the holiday. The pair first met in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where they were both getting their MBAs in September 2017, and got engaged two years later at one of their favorite places to be outside. That's why it made sense that their wedding venue would also be filled with natural beauty—which made the Solage in Calistoga, part of California's Napa Valley, the right choice for their nuptials.

As for the day's overall palette and feel, the couple let the theme be their guide. "​Our floral color palette and nod to Valentine's Day were bold, so we kept the rest of the design elegantly minimalist," says event planner Callista Osborn of Callista & Company. That meant playing with a range of neutrals (ivory, nude, and oatmeal), dusty blue, and pops of pink.

On the big day, the love theme appeared throughout all the details, from an escort card display that asked, "Will you be our Valentine?" to the tiny conversation hearts that guided each of the 93 guests to their seats; a dramatic floral display in the reception area featured transparent acrylic hearts. The result was a sophisticated, modern Valentine's Day celebration that was, well, all about the love.

01 of 21

The Blue Note

blue, tan and pink wedding invitation suite with flowers
The Ganeys

Thick cardstock invitations by Papel & Co. introduced the day's color scheme: nude, pale pink, and dusty blue. Calligrapher Libby Tipton scripted envelopes with white ink. Instead of reply cards, guests gave their RSVP online.

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02 of 21

California Sun

exterior of tan wedding building with hedges
The Ganeys

"We loved Solage because it's pretty and in nature," Evelyn says—plus, the venue's close-together celebration spaces allowed the couple to host their ceremony, cocktail hour, reception dinner, and after-party sans transportation.

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03 of 21

Lots of Laughs

couple smiling during first look outdoors
The Ganeys

The couple saw each other for the first time at Solage—Bryan in a Men's Warehouse suit, and Evelyn in a Watters wedding dress. "We were nervous before it," Evelyn admits. "But we had a lot of fun during the first look and the photo shoot after."

04 of 21

Blushing Blooms

bride's pink floral wedding bouquet
The Ganeys

Evelyn clutched a foliage-free collection of pink-and-coral flowers including garden roses, ranunculus tulips, butterfly ranunculus, muscari, and poppies. Gather Design Co. put the whole thing together.

05 of 21

A Guy Thing

pink and purple wedding boutonnieres
The Ganeys

To complement the bridesmaids' bouquets, which were made from single-flowers, each boutonnière was composed of a single type of bloom.

06 of 21

Periwinkle Pals

bridesmaids in slate blue holding pink and lavender bouquets with bride
The Ganeys

Evelyn's bridesmaids chose from eight or so dress styles at Azazie, all in the same shade of dusty blue.

07 of 21

Awesome Archway

pink flowered wedding arch for outdoor ceremony
The Ganeys

Gather Design Co. created a rounded floral ceremony arch composed entirely of blooming branches and more than 2,000 stems of bright pink-and-coral blooms, without using any greenery.

08 of 21

Straight and Narrow

white ceremony chairs with cushions set up on lawn
The Ganeys

Narrow rows of chairs created a longer aisle, even with the intimate number of guests.

09 of 21

A Tiny Mistake

flower girls in white and blue in front of floral ceremony arch
The Ganeys

The flower girls, clad in white dresses with dusty blue sashes, got a little lost during their walk down the aisle. "They were supposed to meet with their parents when they were close to the arch," Evelyn says. "However, the girls' father thought they had to go up next to the arch so he kept signaling them to walk up, while Bryan tried to wave them back. They eventually found their way back to the seats."

10 of 21

Walking Buddies

bride and father processing in outdoor garden wedding
The Ganeys

Evelyn's father walked her down the aisle to a version of "A Thousand Years" by The Piano Guys. "I normally cry at every wedding when the father gives the bride to the groom," she says. "When it was my turn, I almost cried but used every ounce of my concentration to hold in the tears."

11 of 21

I Do

couple holding hands during outdoor wedding ceremony
The Ganeys

A friend officiated the non-religious ceremony where the couple recited self-penned vows. Even though the whole affair was in English, the pair provided a book with a Chinese translation for Evelyn's mother so that she could follow along.

12 of 21

The Happy Couple

couple arm in arm at ceremony in front of floral pink arch
The Ganeys

The newlyweds capped off their ceremony with a walk back up the aisle to an acoustic version of Bruno Mars' "Marry You."

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13 of 21

Drink with Me

wedding cocktails on table with flowers and sign
The Ganeys

During cocktail hour, signs asked attendees, "Will you be our drinking buddy?" Two signature sips, an amaretto sour and an espresso martini, were on offer.

14 of 21

Cupid's Touch

wedding valentine escort cards on stand with flowers below
The Ganeys

To play off the Valentine's Day theme, the seating chart asked guests a very important question.

15 of 21

Love on Display

candy hearts wedding escort cards in boxes
The Ganeys

Guests found their seats by opening a customized acrylic box filled with conversation hearts and a table number.

16 of 21

Dreamy Dining

neutral and coral elegant wedding reception with clear chairs
The Ganeys

Dozens of brightly colored bud vases dotted each table while taupe candles in glass votive holders created a glow. Overhead, thousands of blooms hung from the ceiling, interspersed with acrylic hearts.

17 of 21

Sweet Seating

neutral and pink elegant wedding place settings
The Ganeys

The questions continued at dinner, where menus read "Will You Be Our Dinner Date?" On the other side, each guest's specific meal appeared, from butternut squash soup to seared scallops or braised short rib.

18 of 21

Touching Toasts

couple happy during wedding toasts at head table with flowers
The Ganeys

One of the couple's favorite parts of the night was their parent's speeches, some of which were in Chinese and translated by the maid of honor. "A lot of our English-speaking guests told us afterwards that they could feel the sincerity even though they don't understand Chinese," Evelyn says. "Bryan's father sang 'Father and Son' in his speech, which made Bryan cry out loud."

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19 of 21

Dreamy Dessert

blue fondant wedding cake with pink flowers
The Ganeys

"It was harder than we expected to cut the cake," Evelyn says of their four-tier chocolate raspberry confection with Swiss buttercream. "Bryan even accidentally poured the Champagne on our officiant, who held the cake stand steady for us!"

20 of 21

A "Perfect" Ending

couple wedding first dance under hanging valentine decor
The Ganeys

Evelyn and Bryan swayed to "Perfect" by Ed Sheeran for their first dance.

21 of 21


bride and groom toasting champagne after cake cutting
The Ganeys

Photography, The Ganeys
Venue and Catering, Solage
Event Planning and Design, Callista & Company
Flowers, Gather Design Company
Stationery, Papel & Co.
Calligraphy, Libby Tipton
Cake, Flour & Bloom Cakes
Music, Boutique DJs
Rentals, Theoni Collection; La Tavola
Bride's Gown, Watters
Shoes, Badgley Mischka
Hair and Makeup, Blush
Bridesmaids' Dresses, Azazie
Groom's Suit and Menswear, Men's Warehouse

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