A Formal, Romantic Garden Wedding in California
Gabrielle and Chris
You could say the Internet brought Gabrielle Rose and Chris Chang together -- after all, they were online while both living in San Francisco -- but the couple credit fate. A year and a half after meeting, the now Chicago-based pair tied the knot at Meadowood Resort in California's Napa Valley, paying homage to the state where their love first took root.
Lily of the valley, lamb's ear leaves, and lavender and rosemary sprigs adorned the groom's lapel.
The bride carried garden roses in shades of cream and dusty pink, along with lily of the valley, sweet peas, and lamb's ear.
The Bridal Party
Instead of bridesmaids and groomsmen, the couple's families walked down the aisle.
The Bridal Party
William, Gabrielle's 1-year-old nephew, sported a bow tie that matched the gown of his grandmother, who made his neckwear.
Lola, the pair's beloved Chihuahua, acted as the ring bearer, and wore a crocheted outfit made by Gabrielle's mother, Regina.
Letterpressed booklets tied with delicate raw-silk ribbons were distributed by the bride's young niece and nephew.
The Ceremony Site
An altar constructed of hanging white sweet peas and birch-wood poles was amid the towering trees of the Meadowood's picturesque grounds. It looked like "an oasis in the middle of Wine Country," Chris says.
The Ceremony Site
Wildflowers punctuated the tall pampas grass behind the altar.
The Ceremony Decor
Olive-leaf garlands and satin ribbons adorned the back row of chairs.
The Young Attendants
All three flower girls carried baskets of garden roses and jasmine vine.
The bride's and groom's parents stood at the altar for the start of the ceremony. Then, Dr. Judith Caldwell led the service, which included the exchange of personalized vows. Chris recited "Sonnet 89" by Pablo Neruda and Gabrielle read the poem "Love" by Roy Croft. At the end of the service, the groom's young niece sang the blessing "Long Time Sun" by Snatum Kaur.
Paper parasols kept guests shaded and cool during the service.
Photographer Gia Canali captured the couple before and after the ceremony. Their beloved pup made it into more than a few of the newlyweds' photos.
The Guest Book
Hopes, prayers, and well-wishes for the couple were written on cedar wood tags and hung on the branches of an olive tree.
The Signature Drink
Guests sipped white peach sangria during cocktail hour and noshed on hors d'oeuvres like black-eyed pea and shrimp fritters (a classic Brazilian dish) with Korean-inspired kimchi aioli and "his" and "hers" tacos. The bites nodded to Gabrielle's Brazilian roots and Chris's Korean heritage.
The Escort Cards
The Escort Cards
The seating assignments were displayed on a bed of moss resting under manzanita branches hung with "mica fairies" and crystals that reflected the afternoon light.
Lush arrangements of garden roses, ranunculus, sweet peas, snowberry bush, and astilbe decorated every tabletop.
Other bunches featuring jasmine, hydrangea, garden roses, and sweet peas were also scattered around.
The Table Names
Each table was assigned a different gemstone, and a framed sign and specimen explained the meaning of each. Amethyst, which signifies pure and true emotional love, marked the bride and groom's table. Others, like this one with citrine (which promotes success and abundance), nodded at protection, wisdom, inner peace, harmony, and imagination.
The dinner buffet, which celebrated California's seasonal cuisine, included slow-roasted organic salmon, beef tenderloin, orange and beet salad, heirloom tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, and grilled artichokes. While the couple's 100 friends and family dined, a strolling violinist serenaded them with soft music.
The First Dance
After dinner, guests moved to the Vintner's Room for Gabrielle and Chris' first dance to Death Cab for Cutie's "Follow You into the Dark." An oversize chandelier of white flowers and jasmine vines hung overhead as they twirled on the floor.
Each layer of their three-tier confection by Perfect Endings boasted a different flavor: red velvet, vanilla bean pound cake with raspberry, and Chantilly sponge cake with white chocolate filling. It was surrounded by other sweets, including mini strawberry shortcakes and chocolate mignardises.
"Chris and I will always remember the incredibly moving and oftentimes hilarious toasts given by our family members," Gabrielle says. "They were a perfect reflection of the love and appreciation we feel toward them all."
Photography: Gia Canali Photography
Location and Catering: Meadowood
Event Planning, Design, and Stationery: Amy Kaneko Events
Flowers: Cherries Flowers
Cake: Perfect Endings
Music: Dave Kim Music
Rentals: Hartmann Studios
Videography: LoveSpun Films
Lighting: Got Light
Linens: La Tavola Linen
Engagement Ring: Designed by the groom, from Lester Lampert
Hair and Makeup: Sarah Hyde
On-Site Dressing and Pressing: SewHeidi Wedding De-Tailer (707-479-0790)