I’m back with more fabulousness from Jessica’s big day! The feedback we have been getting has been astounding; thank you all for your immensely kind words! Make sure you check out Jessica’s blog for her personalized recaps of the day, as well as the feature posts by awe-inspiring photographer Jose Villa and blogger-extraordinaire Abby @ Style Me Pretty. (Follow-up posts on SMP here, here and here.)
I last left off at the end of cocktail hour… Guests were mingling and noshing on crab cakes and heirloom tomatoes with chèvre, basking in the sun-dappled shade of an immense tree dotted with chandeliers. Sound about right?? It was a magical scene… :) At dusk, guests were invited along another winding path to the reception area…
Guests collected their seating arrangements on the most fabulous escort card display, created using a salvaged door, some metal hooks, vintage keys and tea-stained tags. Each guest’s name was written on the door in metallic gold ink, and stationer Kari Dyas installed hooks next to each name. On the hook, a guest would find an aged skeleton key attached to a tea-stained tag simply noting their table assignment. The door was propped up against an old piano for the perfect seemingly makeshift (yet so very intentional…) stand.
The entryway to the dinner area, which had been mowed out of a wild area of tall grass… The site owners at 3 Stones graciously went along with our request to let the rest of the meadow run wild with the growth of the tall grass so it was like an outdoor “room” surrounded by walls of wispy stalks of grass. Incredible. Guests entered the area by crossing the threshold of an old door (still attached to its frame!), completely bedecked with magnolia leaves and florals by Gilly and his team.
This little arrangement makes me SO happy. It encapsulates all of the genius of Gilly, the man behind the flowers. :) Delectable textures, unique floral elements, whimsy and playfulness paired with a rustic romance. Adore the jeweled bugs nestled among the mounds of moss!
An old coat rack proffered various shawls and scarves, as well as vintage hats, to “rent” for the evening. A vintage suitcase sat at the rack’s base to collect the accessories at night’s end. Kabrel and I brought an assortment of our own personal scarves and shawls for this display, and the owners of 3 stones added these delightful hats! This was a way to play up the eclectic feel of the evening (instead of going out and buying 20 orange shawls, for example.) Both plaid scarves in this photo are mine — it’s sort of wild seeing them in this photo, making up a part of the magic. :)
I could just live in this photo. Something about all the colors, the textures, the glass bottles, the tiny silver bee in the corner… Everything is utter perfection. Our goal with the tablescapes was to inspire the guests and spark conversations over the incredible treasures laid before them. Each item was a one-of-a-kind piece of history and the “collected” feeling of the various floral vessels added a sense of charm to the tables.
When the right linens can’t be found, what do you do? Have them custom-made, of course! Cindy did a fabulous job creating these runners from burlap, backed in pumpkin-hued dupioni silk and edged with the perfect teal velvet ribbon.
This photo is my new computer desktop display. I feel like I’m drawing a chair up to this majestic table for dinner everytime I turn on my computer. :)
Guest seating was at a mix of long and square rough-hewn wooden tables, topped with custom-made burlap runners edged in lengths of wide velvet ribbon. We brought in a playful selection of mismatched china for the placesettings, where guests discovered personalized menus that had been aged with tea, letterpressed and designed with burned edges and a wine glass stain. It was yet another genius element brought to life by stationer and artist Kari Dyas.
Lush tablescapes brimming with whimsical details graced each table. An astounding collection of vintage tins, copper vessels and apothecary glass were was pieced together for months (purchased one by one by event stylist and designer Kabrel Polak — firstname.lastname@example.org) and Gilly Flowers filled each one with wild, organic-feeling arrangements using uncommon blooms, branches and foliage. Jeweled bug brooches were gingerly poised amongst the florals as another layer of delightful design. There was a fabulous detail everywhere you turned!
The decadent dinner menu featured butternut squash soup, roasted halibut, and lamb chops with a pomegranate orange reduction. A masterful cake created by Napa’s own renowned bakery, Perfect Endings, was an ideal dessert paired with fresh milk shooters and an assortment of freshly baked cookies. The cake’s fondant design was inspired by the wedding china, Jeff’s shoes, and the ubiquitous skeleton keys.
Jessica’s favorite singer, Kyler England, entertained guests with two live music sets and DJ Mark of Denon & Doyle kept the dance floor packed until the couple’s formal grand exit at the end of the night.
It was a perfect day from start to finish and guests were truly immersed in an extraordinarily styled environment that oozed inspiration. Not a single thing was left undesigned. Watching Jess and Jeff sway back and forth during their first dance (performed by Jeff’s brother, photographer Michael Norwood!), lovingly gazing at one another, is a poignant memory. It was a joy to be a part of and I will never forget the way I felt as the sun set and we dined under the stars.
Their beautiful first dance brought tears to my eyes. It is truly powerful to watch two people so blissfully in love get lost in one another, surrounded by nearly 100 of their friends. It was as if they were all alone in that meadow in that moment…
Here are some of my absolute favorite portraits of the couple from the big day!
You can check out Jessica’s blog for all the details on their fabulous attire! Jessica’s Amsale dress is very remniscent of my own wedding dress, and she accessorized it perfectly with her floral crown & necklace. Jeff’s Armani suit was the epitome of style.
I’ll be back with one more installment of inspiring images tomorrow, featuring highlights on the amazing & talented team of vendors who brought this day to life. I’ll also be sharing a bit more about my experience in working on this dreamy wedding. Thank you again for all of your feedback; the true joy is knowing that Jess & Jeff were beyond thrilled with the outcome. That is always the measure of my success at the end of the night (i.e. total and utter DELIGHT), and the fact that all of you are equally inspired & moved by these photos is just the icing on the cake!