This Saturday, August 10th, is our one year wedding anniversary. I can’t believe it’s already been a year since our closest friends and family met us in Napa to celebrate us spending our life together. I’ve been very nostalgic this week thinking back to all the excitement and fun those days brought, so I figured this would be a good time to share the details of our wedding day.
In the initial months of our engagement we were planning on having a big wedding in Chicago. I had suggested a destination wedding, but Zack really wanted a large wedding closer to home, so we looked at venues in the city and absolutely fell in love with River East Arts Center. If you ever consider getting married in Chicago you must check this place out, it really is an awesome venue. So we set a date there, my dad put a deposit down, and we got to work on planning the rest of the details. As we begun to plan though, we realized we weren’t going to get a lot of the things we really wanted if we had this massive wedding with a huge guest list. We were both on the same page about what we wanted for the details, and it was pretty quickly decided that my initial idea for a destination wedding would make us both much happier. This way we could cut the guest list in half to just family and our closest of friends, and therefore have more money to spend on the things we both really wanted for our wedding day. I was never really one to dream about my wedding, but I always said to myself if I got married I wanted a small destination wedding in Napa, at the Auberge Du Soleil. So we flew to San Francisco, spent a day there and then a few more in wine country, and Zack fell in love with all of it. We set our date for 6 months later, and to this day we are both so happy things worked out the way they did. Rather than spending one day with 200 plus of our friends and family, we were able to spend 5 days with an intimate group of the closest people in both of our lives. Don’t get me wrong, if we had the budget to have the wedding we had with that large amount of people we would have loved to invite everyone to Napa, but it just wasn’t realistic with what we wanted for our day…or for the venue we both ended up loving so much. So our guest list dropped from around 250 to 100. Of course, not everyone out of that close list made it, but ultimately we had a good turn out and our wedding was everything we wanted it to be.
The Auberge Du Soleil where we were married is an absolutely immaculate resort with an amazing restaurant in Rutherford, CA. Zack and I spent our wedding week staying there and it was pure heaven. The grounds and rooms are beautiful, the staff is wonderful, and no detail goes untouched in efforts to make your stay as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. I was so happy when we checked in to see that our room was Versaille 7, a good omen since 7 is not only the day I was born, but my lucky number as well! If you are ever in Napa you need to stop by the Auberge Du Soleil… grab a drink, or have meal outside overlooking their gorgeous view, it’s a beautiful place with absolutely amazing food.
The days leading up to the wedding were, of course, mostly spent wine tasting! As was the day after, when we rented a limo with all the “kids” and hopped around from one winery to the next…it was a BLAST. One of the best parts of traveling far away from home to get married was being able to vacation with a big group of friends and family. Around 60 people total ended up coming, which we thought was pretty impressive for a destination wedding. My husbands parents rented a beautiful house in St. Helena while we were there, which is where our rehearsal dinner was held the night before the wedding. We had it catered by Oak Avenue Catering, the food was spectacular, and I would highly recommend them.
Our cake was made by Patisserie Angelica, the two sisters who own this place are so wonderful. Our tasting with my parents was so much fun, and they put up with my dad’s slightly obnoxious sense of humor! Honestly though, their cakes are outstanding, and I am NOT a cake person. Every single one we tasted was excellent, but we went with lemon with a raspberry filling. They are capable of making some extravagant, unique designs, and the pictures they showed us were very impressive. I wanted simple though, and that is what they gave me, while my florist provided the fresh flowers for it. I will make a point of it to visit them for tea when we are out in wine country again. I adore their patisserie, and everyone loved the cake. One of the best parts: rather than freezing your top layer to eat on your one year anniversary, they’ll send you a new cake! This worked out especially well for us as we were a destination wedding, and I had about two bites of my cake that day. I am so looking forward to having ours arrive this week! Also, the city girl/country boy signs I found for the back of our chairs were made by a shop I found on Etsy, Morgann Hill Designs, which is where I also bought our table numbers from.
Our photographer was Ken Viale. We were very happy with our pictures, and with the fact that he provides you with the full rights to them. He is such a low-key, nice guy, and was a pleasure to work with and have with us on our wedding day. His demeanor and photography style worked perfectly for us. Some special pictures from that day:
Signing the marriage license…Zack’s best man needed a little coaxing to officially sign away his friend to me!
My cousin hugging me right after the ceremony, so happy and full of love.
Zack hugging his best man after his speech.
Zack dancing with his mom to his parent’s own wedding song, Almost Paradise.
All of our guests!
My brother Eric and I walking with his arm around me.
The girls and I looking completely silly and adorable
Me looking weak in Zack’s arms after our first kiss as husband and wife.
Zack and I laughing as people gave speeches and toasted us.