January 12, 2017

Cherry Blossoms Wedding in the Wine Country

We work with clients from all over the world that dreams of getting married in Napa Valley. It really is such a gem up there, and I have to remind myself often not to take it for granted that we're just a short drive away from one of the most beautiful destinations in the world!

Christine and Oskar lives in Hong Kong but reached out to us to plan a memorable wedding weekend for 80 of their friends and family from Hong Kong, Sweden, New York, and other parts of the world. One of the best parts about the occasion of a wedding truly is its ability to bring all your loved ones together in one place! Our team was super excited to take Christine and Oskar's vision of a fun, cozy, and comfortable wedding and to turn it into a reality with beautiful and personalized details.

Christine loves blossoms and envisioned an outdoor wedding with a vineyard view. The challenge wasn't in finding the right venue for them. It was to find a venue that could still offer this even if we had to move to a rain plan at the last minute, because the only month that Christine and Oskar could wed was February. With El Nino in the forecast, we had to make sure to find a place where we could erect a clear tent outside to still give a lovely vineyard view even in a downpour, which was our worst case scenario. Auberge du Soleil, nestled in the hills of Rutherford, won the hearts of our clients.

As planners, we're used to scheming up contingency plans. We often have Plan B, C, and even D in place depending on the venue. Such was the case with Christine and Oskar's wedding, but to everyone's delight, their wedding day fell on one of the warmest, and most pleasant days of that month. How lucky was our couple?! 

The wedding weekend began with a welcome dinner for everyone, at a "secret location", as stated on the invites. We shuttled all 80 guests from their respective hotels to the secret location, which was the breathtaking Ram's Gate Winery in Sonoma Valley.

We love arriving on the morning of the wedding day to find our brides relaxed and joyful, and those were the exact words to describe Christine when we saw her in her suite at Auberge. She had enjoyed a nice workout in the morning and was watching her bridesmaids get their makeup and hair done in the suite before it was her turn. Upon arrival, our hospitality team arranged for room service to bring some high protein food for the ladies to give them enough energy for the day, and helped to style everyone's dresses, shoes, and accessories for Kevin Chin to photograph. If you ever wonder what our hospitality team does on the wedding day, you can view this behind the scenes Snapchat video on our Facebook page

Christine picked the most feminine and gorgeous dress by Monique Lhuillier, with just the slightest hint of blush. Even before she put the dress on, she looked absolutely radiant!

She chose to have her bridesmaids and her mother present to help her get into her dress....one of the more sentimental moments of the wedding day because as soon as you see yourself in the mirror with the dress on, it all becomes very real!

Auberge is a vast property full of picturesque areas, and Christine chose to have her first look with Oskar in the quaint and quiet olive grove. The moment was simple, yet romantic, just the way they envisioned it to be...

The wedding ceremony was held on the terrace of Auberge, and we created a design that was romantic and lush, full of blooming branches, birch, hydrangeas, garden roses, succulents, moss, and jasmine vines. Some key words we used as inspiration for this wedding were:

Classic modern organic glam
Clean modern vintage
Refined and polished with some hints of whimsy
Simple and understated
Dreamy and ethereal 
Swanky soiree

For colors, we used shades of blush pink and white with neutral tones like warm greys and browns. We played with modern vessels such as cement while focusing on really lush, asymmetrical arrangements to make it classic modern. The results were stunning!

The ring bearers held mini wooden stumps with tiny blooms and jasmine vines spilling out. For their custom stationery, we used a combination of gold foil and laser cut methods to create an intricate design with scallop edges, lace details, and gold accents. 

During cocktail hour, guests were surrounded by beautiful fountains and decor as they enjoyed a spectacular panoramic view of the valley and vineyards, with cocktails and hors d'oeurves by Auberge's Michelin-star restaurant. In lieu of signing a guest book, guests were encouraged to write down their well wishes and best marriage advice for the couple. We designed custom wine bottles for the notes to be dropped into, each one representing a marriage anniversary in which Christine and Oskar would break the bottle to read the notes.

When dinner was ready, guests found their seats from a large custom wooden board that had everyone's names and table numbers beautifully calligraphed in white script.

Dinner was held in Auberge's Vista I. and II. rooms, and we made sure that the design was a continuation of the gorgeousness that the guests already experienced from ceremony and cocktail hour. Long Queens' tables were filled with tall blooming branches, flanked by smaller, modern asymmetrical arrangements. Classic taper candles made the entire room glow, and the rustic-feel of the room itself was completely softened up by white, chiffon fabric all around. 

The menus were a circular die cut menu with lace scalloped edges. The front side had each guest's name calligraphed in gold while the back was a description of the dinner menu, printed in gold foil. 

It is part of the Swedish tradition to have a continuation of toasts during dinner, and that was exactly what we did. Christine's brother was the "Toast Master" and over the course of the 2 hour dinner, he introduced a number of friends and family members that got up to tell stories about the couple and to toast to their new beginnings.

During the wedding planning process, Christine had conveyed to us her desire to create a wow factor at the wedding, and wanted advice on where and when that wow factor should take place. After some collaboration on ideas, we decided that the the dessert bar that Christine and Oskar wanted would be an excellent place to play it up. Auberge's Cedar Room was right across from Vista I. and II. It was a circular room with a thick, large wooden pillar right in the center. When our Creative Director, Gloria Wong, walked into the room during an initial site visit, she immediately saw it as a giant tree. She proposed several really fun, unique ideas and Christine chose her favorite--to use the wooden pillar as a focal point, making it look like a partial snapshot of a tree, filled with white and blush wispy flowers draping from the ceiling. We would scatter cement pedestals and wooden stumps in various heights around the room where the different desserts would be presented. And ofcourse, such an extraordinary dessert room couldn't house just one wedding cake, so we designed 3 different cakes! 

It definitely took a village to transform the Cedar Room that day, but we definitely achieved the wow factor for guests! 

Besides the sumptuous desserts, one of the biggest hit of the evening was the floral wall that acted as the photobooth backdrop, which filled the room up with the most amazing floral scent! 

As mentioned earlier, it truly took a village to produce this wedding, and we're immensely grateful for the teamwork that it took to make it happen for our clients!

Event Design, Planning + Production: Jubilee Lau Events
Venue + Catering: Auberge Du Soleil
Floral Design: Cherries
Photography: Kevin Chin Photo + Cinema
Cinematography: Kevin Chin Photo + Cinema
Lighting + Draping: Impact Lighting
Wedding Cakes: Sweet on Cake
Photobooth: Giggle & Riot
Cake Stands: Francis Lane
Stationery: Aerialist Press
Calligraphy: Curlicue Calligraphy
Makeup + Hair: Jane Kim
Transportation: Pure Luxury Transportation
Ceremony Chairs: Blueprint Studio
Specialty Furniture: One True Love
Tabletop Furniture: Classic Party Rentals
Linens: La Tavola Fine Linens
Votives: Theoni Collection
String Quartet + Live Band: Bay Music Entertainment

All photos above by Kevin Chin Photo + Cinema.

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