This Couple's Outdoor California Wedding Was a Flower- and Food-Centric Affair
What appeared to be an average Saturday evening in April of 2014 actually proved to be the moment that would change Aaron and Angela's lives. While on vacation, Aaron—who is from the United Kingdom—first crossed Angela's path at a bar in her San Francisco neighborhood. While they immediately hit it off, they simply kept in touch for a couple of years while Aaron still lived in London; they began dating officially in the spring of 2016.
Almost two years later, the couple became engaged during a quiet brunch in Tiburon, California. "We ordered a bottle of sparkling wine, and as the waiter walked away, I remember asking, 'Aaron, when are we going to get engaged?'" Angela recalls. "Aaron laughed, and of course, proposed right then! It was a funny and sweet moment—private and representative of the dynamics of our relationship." One year later—nearly five years after they first met—the pair tied the knot at the Meadowood Napa Valley on October 5, 2019. The duo had two things in mind to complete their big-day vision: privacy and good food. "We wanted our wedding guests to feel transported to another place—Meadowood really allowed us to move from venue space to venue space, and create a new, fun, and magical experience every step of the way," Angela shares.
To perfect their day, they wanted to give their 104 guests an unforgettable experience—namely with tasty treats. "Aaron and I love food and drinks!" she adds. "We truly believe that everyone is happy when they've got great food and great drinks, and we wanted that to be a key focal point as well for the entire weekend, especially on the wedding day."
Dark gray, white, and natural greens accented the couple's color palette—which was first illustrated through their big-day invitation suite. Kathryn Christenbury of Fleur Calligraphy pieced together their stationery, completed with a custom illustration of a bicycle. This meaningful symbol paid tribute to Aaron, an avid cyclist, in whimsical fashion.
Moment of Love
The bride knew her silk faille Vera Wang wedding dress was "the one" as soon as she tried it on. "I wanted something that was simple (one fabric) but had a wow element or factor, and this dress was that for me!" she says.
A Sparkling Touch
Angela opted for glamorous shoes with statement heels for her walk down the aisle.
All Dressed in White
She finished her look with a bouquet filled with white-and-cream blooms, which was arranged by florist Marisa Tsikounas of Revel Floral.
Spending time with their loved ones served as the couple's main priority throughout their wedding weekend. "Aaron and I are happiest when enjoying some of the simplest things in life—being surrounded by close friends, family, food, and drink," Angela shares, noting that she spent the morning of the wedding getting ready with her mother, sister, and closest friends (in matching pajamas!). "We felt the wedding reflected that—it was simple, but elegant. The focus of the entire day was on our people and having a great time."
Angela and Aaron's flower girl and ring bearer made it down the aisle without a hitch.
All dressed in BHLDN, Angela's bridesmaids held greenery-filled bouquets with jasmine, viburnum, and gardenia.
Love at First Glance
In a private wooded area on the venue's property, the couple shared their intimate first look—which was one of the bride's favorite moments of the day. "I felt nervous before! Then I felt emotional during (I cried, of course)," Angela says. "Afterward, I just felt super excited to get the show on the road."
The couple kept their ceremony décor simple. A lush flower arch served as the sole accent for the service, which was held in front of a scenic lake at Meadowood Napa Valley.
With This Ring
During the processional, Angela's mother and father walked her to the altar to Claude Debussy's "Clair de Lune," performed by a string quartet.
Words of Endearment
The pair wrote and recited their own vows as their close friend officiated the intimate nuptials.
Since the couple took a majority of their photos before the ceremony, they enjoyed almost all of their cocktail hour alongside their guests. They sipped on signature drinks like a Spanish gin and tonic, a turmeric shrub mule, a custom white wine spritzer, and more.
Along with their specialty cocktails, the couple (creatively!) passed around appetizers including crispy fennel and leek arancini, bigeye snapper ceviche, braised beef short rib, and wild mushroom vol-au-ve.
Lush Outdoor Seating
Come dinner, guests sat underneath cascading greenery chandeliers; each table was named after a place Angela and Aaron had visited together, and marked with a framed black-and-white photo of them there.
"Various floral centerpieces were arranged continuously down two long trestle tables, and we opted for an overall glow for lighting, instead of any visible fixtures," planner Alexis Alexander of Cole Drake Events noted of the tabletop décor and reception space.
Simple and Sweet Confection
The duo's white buttercream cake with subtle stripes and floral accents was filled with raspberry and apple caramel flavors, thanks to Fleur de Lisa. An ice cream and brownie bar was also served during dessert.
Surprise of a Lifetime
Angela surprised her groom with a heartfelt song to commemorate the start of their journey as husband and wife.
Little Black Dress
Angela changed into a black velvet Tom Ford halter mini dress for the rest of the evening.
Under the Lights
The party continued well into the evening, thanks to a lounge that was set up outside the tent, which also boasted a bar; string lights provided ample light on the subject.
Thanks to the help of Alexis, the couple's day went smoothly. The couple suggests that all newlyweds-to-be plan everything in advance to ensure all of the day-of details fall into place. "Give yourself plenty of time to plan, so that you can have fun and enjoy the process—and hire a wedding planner!" Angela notes.
Photography, The Edges
Venue and Catering, Meadowood Napa Valley
Wedding Planning and Event Design, Alexis Alexander of Cole Drake Events
Videography, Justin Fones Productions
Flowers, Marisa Tsikounas of Revel Floral
Invitations, Fleur Calligraphy
Other Paper Products, Meredith Law Design
Officiant, Kathy Fang
Bride's Dress and Veil, Vera Wang
Reception Dress, Tom Ford
Hair, Bobbi Gutierrez
Makeup, The Glamour Room
Bridesmaids' Dresses, BHLDN
Groom's Attire, Pal Zileri
Groomsmen's Attire, The Black Tux
Music, Wine Country Entertainment
Cake, Fleur de Lisa
Rentals, La Tavola Linen; Hensley Event Resources; Found Rentals; Encore Events Rentals; Bright Event Rentals
Transportation, Pure Luxury
Tent and Lighting, Peak Productions