As a former fashion photographer, I’ve always been drawn to couples who have a deep love for couture. Wouldn’t you know my bride for this Calistoga Vineyard Estate, Napa Valley wedding has a career in fashion, as well!
The couple was drawn to my signature editorial style. And I knew it would be a perfect fit when she described how her fashion moments dictated the tone and planning of the entire Calistoga wedding.
And set the tone of the entire wedding, it did! With four outfit changes on the day-of, the bride saluted her decade-long career in fashion.
More than anything, it was a vibrant, autumn wedding worthy of a fairytale storybook. I’m honored I was there to capture everything as it came together:
The Calistoga vineyard estate served as the sole setting for their fairytale. From getting ready with the bridal party to dancing the night away, the couple never had to worry about traveling from one place to another.
For such a historic event, brides often want to be the epitome of glamorous and chic. And as I mentioned, this beautiful bride works in fashion. So she wanted all of her fashion moments to set the aesthetic for the wedding.
To start the day in the most luxe way, she slipped into her custom-designed Lé Lauriér bridal robe. It was a gorgeous robe that was worthy of being a wedding gown on its own. A sheer, lace robe that draped behind her, it was the perfect peek into the whimsy of the day.
In a stunning pinot noir color, the invitation suite paid homage to the groom’s family legacy of wine sommeliers. I opted to design the invitation suite photographs with the deep, jewel-toned florals selected for the reception decor.
The setting of the Calistoga vineyard estate ceremony site was an utter dream. All of the bridal party, including the bride and her father, walked through a stone and wood staircase throughout the forest.
The bride emerged at the top of the stairs before walking down to her groom while her friends and family watched from their seats.
After hair and makeup was finished, it was time for the bride to make her second outfit change of the day – into the bridal gown.
A sweetheart neckline adorned with lace floral details and a glimmer underskirt with layer after layer of tulle and chiffon, it was reminiscent of a true princess. Originally a custom-designed Galia Lahav, it’s now known as the “Princess Gia.”
What’s a story without the details?
To match the chiffon and lace details of both her wedding gown and her bridal robe, the ceremony was sprinkled with whimsical details.
From pink flower petals that created a red carpet moment to elegant seating for the guests, no detail was left out of planning.
After the ceremony, all of the guests made their way to the reception area of the venue. It was a stunning portion of the property that had been transformed into a fairytale setting.
Lush, dramatic florals adorned every inch of the reception area. From the table centerpieces to the magnificent arch framing the sweetheart table, these floral pieces were everywhere you looked.
To coincide with the romance and whimsy, the colors were all vibrant jewel tones. From deep merlot to pops of bright blue and coral, the flowers created an elegant touch for every photograph.
There is no such thing as a magical garden reception without ambient lighting. Before dusk fell, the sun dipped through the trees for the perfect flare on the grand banquet-style dining tables.
And once the sun slipped away, magnificent 6-foot-tall candelabras were lit as statement lighting pieces. Teardrop tea lights were placed on every table. And fairy lights were strung among the redwood forest.
It may have been my favorite part of the entire wedding day (although, it’s always so hard to choose). And it certainly stole the show!
The pair chose to sit with one another to spend more time together. Their sweetheart table was positioned directly under a grand arch that was stuffed with greenery and flowers.
In their photographs, they looked exactly like a king and queen from a land far away.
Right before the band struck its first chord, the bride’s cue for her next fashion moment arrived. She stepped away for a moment and reappeared wearing a stunning, glittering Berta cocktail gown.
It was the perfect evening gown to twirl on the dance floor with her new husband.
Right before the bride and groom said their goodbyes, the guests lined the walkway for a beautiful sparkler exit.
Of course, one final dress change from the bride set the evening’s last tone! She stepped into an Abyss by Abby sequin gown with a dramatic front slit and tail draping to one side.
As I delivered the gallery for their Napa Valley wedding, I took one last look at it. It truly was as if I had opened the pages of a fairytale storybook written just for them.
Wedding Day Vendors:
Venue: The Vineyard Estate
Planning & Design: Marilyn Ambra
Videographer: Castaneda Films
Floral Designer: Barefoot Floral
Stationery: Margo & Bees
Catering: Elaine Bell Catering
DJ: Destination DJs
Wedding Dress: Galia Lahav
Dancing Dress: Berta
Sparkler Exit Dress: Abyss by Abby
Bridal Robe: Lé Lauriér
Bridesmaid Dresses: Show Me Your MuMu