Real Wedding: Alexa and Matthew, Napa, California
Alexa and Matthew
Alexa and Matthew began dating while they were students at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. After six years and a move to San Francisco, the couple tied the knot in front of 175 guests at the picturesque Carneros Inn, in Napa Valley, California. Opting out of a themed wedding, the couple's vision resulted in an eclectic mix of elements that playfully sparred with the venue's rustic elegance.
A vintage photo of Napa Valley was the precursor to invitations letterpressed with geometric motifs in creamy tones.
An expanse of fruiting vines and Napa Valley scenery surrounded the ceremony site at The Carneros Inn.
Stenciled wooden boards let friends and family know they'd come to the right spot. Other signs between the ceremony and cocktail-hour locations encouraged, "Keep Going" and "Almost There."
Like all the other paper goods, the cards -- which announced the ceremony order on one side and the wedding party on the other -- featured a triangular pattern.
Before their vows, Alexa and Matt sat in anticipation on the patio outside their cottage suite. "We were near the apple orchard and could hear our guitarist tuning up and all the guests arriving," says the bride.
Alexa's gown combined the mesh collar of one frock with the body of another.
A Bountiful Boutonniere
Matt's lapel was adorned with a little bundle of olive leaf, seeded eucalyptus, passion-vine tendrils, silver brunia, and local greenery, all cinched with a piece of frayed muslin.
Father of the Bride
Alexa’s dad escorted her down the aisle to “Sea of Love,” performed by Matt's jazz guitar teacher, Bruno Pelletier-Bacquaert.
The ceremony included a reading of the couple’s favorite Pablo Neruda poem, "Sonnet 17," by the maid of honor.
These rough-hewn geode pendants contrasted with lush bouquets of white heirloom roses, blushing bride, seeded eucalyptus, and white ranunculus wrapped with muslin.
Alexa’s natty grandfather -- who traveled from Pala, California, where he farms avocados and citrus -- enjoyed a glass of bubbly during the reception.
Metal sap buckets overflowed with ranunculus, blushing bride, scabiosa pods, pineapple mint, seeded eucalyptus, and passion vine. The pale flower arrangements shared the space with bell jars, crystals, and mounds of salt.
Seats of Honor
Garlands of dip-dyed watercolor-paper triangles singled out the newlyweds' spots.
Sage honey from a local farm was given in jars sporting custom labels.
Escort cards, dangling on frayed strips of gray linen tied to the branches of a lush fig tree just outside the dining room, informed loved ones of their table numbers.
“Rather than sitting by ourselves, we laid out a long table in the center of the room so we could be surrounded by friends and family,” says Alexa. “It was good to be part of the action!” On the tabletops, ikat-patterned napkins brought a punch of color to gray table linens.
Attendees left their marks on a custom-made poster, which the couple framed and hung in their apartment after the big day.
Along with a small vanilla cake, these chocolate-mousse cups, berry tartlets, and panna cottas tempted guests.
Alexa and Matt spun gracefully around to “All Over Again,” by Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings. “We took some basic ballroom-dancing lessons in San Francisco,” Alexa says. “I was afraid I would trip over my dress!”
The newlyweds shared an intimate moment framed by Napa’s famous vine-covered hills.
Location, Catering, and Cake: The Carneros Inn
Event Planning, Design, and Flowers: Paige Appel and Kelly Harris of Bash, Please
Bride's Gown: Monique Lhuillier
Hair Ornament: Jennifer Behr
Groom's Suit: Ermenegildo Zegna
Stationery: Bella Figura
Rentals: Wine Country Party & Events
Photography: Feather Love Photography
DJ: The Flashdance
Photo Booth: Smilebooth
Bride's Shoes: Loeffler Randall
Groom's Shoes: Allen Edmonds
Junior Bridesmaid Dresses: Zoe Ltd.
Groomsmen's Ties: Nordstrom
Hair: Rachel Gardea at The Powder Room
Makeup: Audrey Crandell of Glowing Bridal
Honey Favors: Hurley Farms