This summer blush outdoor estate wedding in Napa was definitely one of our favorites! Ellen and Mike wanted to have an outdoor wedding in an area that had at least some sentimental value to them. At first, they started looking in the Carmel area where Mike is from. They then expanded their search to Napa because they have spent several special anniversaries there (and Ellen loves wine!). While searching online they saw that The Pavillion at The Vintage Estate hosts weddings which sparked their interest because Ellen’s grandparents hosted a big 65th wedding anniversary there the same year her grandmother passed. In addition to feeling connected to the space, they fell in love with The Pavillion’s expansive garden and potential to be a magical place on their special day!
Ellen’s dress was Atelier Pronovias, and the detachable overskirt was from Casablanca Bridal. Her realization that it was “the one” was a process for her. She went to her first appointment at Novella Bridal in San Francisco with a stack of torn-out magazine pages, and the bridal consultant there looked at them all with Ellen and helped her articulate what she liked about them. She knew that she wanted something that looked unique, vintage, and high-fashion at the same time so was open to trying many different styles. They put the dress and the overskirt together at her first appointment, and as Ellen later tried on many other dresses, she just could not stop thinking about it and how happy and pretty she felt in it! I think it’s a brilliant idea to have a detachable skirt/train so that you can remove it during the dinner reception!
Ellen wore Romy 85 – ivory satin pointy toe pumps with crystal tiara that were from Jimmy Choo‘s bridal line. She felt like the ultimate bride in them!
Her engagement ring and all of their wedding rings were custom-designed by Cresalia Jewelers, a San Francisco jeweler that her family has gone to for several generations. Mike knew that Ellen wanted this particular ring design and it wasn’t something they could just buy in a store, so the Cresalias worked with him to create exactly what she had envisioned. They went back to them to do their wedding bands – Ellen wanted the band to match her engagement ring, and Mike wanted a unique darker-looking ring.
For earrings, Ellen borrowed her mom’s diamond studs (for “something borrowed”). The same grandma who passed away after having her 65th wedding anniversary at their wedding venue gave her a chandelier necklace when she was younger that was her great-great aunt’s – so she wore that as well.
Ellen has always loved pretty writing and stationery, so she really enjoyed selecting the wedding invitations and paper goods. She wanted the invitations to look very formal and old-fashioned so that their family and friends would feel special and get sort of a preview for what to expect at the wedding. They selected a classic gold script font on ivory paper. They then picked out some vintage-looking stamps and gold wax seals to tie it all together. Ellen hand wrote and addressed all of the wedding invitations and tried to emulate a calligraphy style.
All of the bridesmaids wore matching pink floral rompers during their getting ready.
And then they changed to their gorgeous dresses by Natalie Deayla – a local dress designer in San Francisco. Yes, their dresses absolutely tied-in with the theme, which was muted colors. Ellen thought that the necklines looked timeless, the dresses effortlessly elegant, and the color was one of the wedding colors – tan/beige, peony-pink, ivory, and cascading greens. The overall style was perfect for making everyone’s cascading flowers really stand out.
Ellen’s hair and makeup were by Dreamcatcher Artistry. She wanted her hair to be up and accentuate the neckline of the wedding dress. She chose a look that she felt was very “her” since she frequently wears her hair in a bun or french twist, and she liked that it was simple and classic.
Mike’s father handmade all of these personalized wood handle pocket knives with engraved boxes for Mike and his groomsmen. He presented them to each of them during the getting ready portion of the wedding day.
Instead of doing a first look with Mike, Ellen did one with her father instead. We thought that was very special!
Ellen’s dad owns a classic Rolls Royce and it was the perfect wedding car! Dad even drove her to the church!
Their wedding ceremony was a very traditional Catholic ceremony… and so many favorite parts! First of all, Ellen and Mike didn’t do a “first look” and she joked that she wanted to “make Mike cry” when he saw her… little did she know the rush of emotions she would feel as she appeared in the aisle and saw him! Ellen tried so hard to not bawl her eyes out as she walked down the aisle. She also loved that the Deacon talked about their dogs in the ceremony and had to tell them to put their rings on after the vows since they forgotten! 🙂
The flowers were done by Ellen’s aunt, Teresa Stoner Floral Design. Ellen grew up seeing all of her flowers for weddings and have always been so excited for all the flowers she wanted her to do for her own wedding. Just like myself and many other brides, Ellen loves peonies but her wedding date was problematic because peonies are not in season in the summer! She really was not expecting that she would be able to have them at all. Her aunt worked her magic and was able to get all the peonies she could have wanted – all the way from Alaska! So she had light pink peonies, garden roses, and dahlias cascaded with lots of greenery.
Ellen wanted the reception space to look elegant with a hint of old-world vintage. She did mostly muted colors to not compete with all pretty greenery and landscaping that was already there, so peony-pink, ivory, cascading greens, and tan/beige. And then lots of glass/mirrors with the candles at the fountain, tapers and votives at the table, glass bulbs in the tree, table numbers, chandeliers, string lighting, and mirror signs /seating chart.
One thing we thought was super awesome was when we saw Ellen and Mike’s NEW last name! Yes, they created a brand new last time for themselves after their wedding. Mike’s last name was DeMaria, and Ellen’s was Thompson. So instead of her just taking on Mike’s in the traditional way, they created a new one combining both of theirs – Demson!
The blush linens from Napa Valley Linens paired with the farm head table and clear acrylic ghost chairs from Encore Event Rentals fit exactly the style that Ellen was looking for – elegant with a hint of old-world vintage. The lounge furniture provided a relaxed area for guests to mingle during the rest of the evening. The string market lights from Magical Lighting created a warm romantic ambiance in the evening.
Love the hanging chandeliers and the fabric draping at the pavillion!
The temperature was really hot that day and the estate provided misting fans during the reception.
Ellen and Mike made their own honey as wedding favors. Her dad keeps/has kept bees, so she thought it was fitting.
Ellen and Mike loved the mirror signs – they now have two of them hanging in their home – the welcome to their wedding mirror and their last name mirror which they have hanging in their entryway.
For the photo below, the seating charts were printed and taped to the sliding divider but they were originally written on a mirror as well; sadly the mirror completely shattered right before the reception which Ellen thought was pretty funny now because everyone was afraid to tell her on the wedding day! Honestly, she said so many big things could have gone wrong and would not have even mattered, it’s such a special day — and they were so up in the clouds!
Ellen and Mike are not huge cake lovers, but for the photo op, they had a red velvet cake from Branching Out Cakes with vanilla buttercream frosting.
When Ellen’s mom asked what kind of toasting glasses they wanted, she expressed that she loved the old-fashioned silver toasting flutes but that people don’t really sell silver like that anymore and so didn’t really care what they used… her mom somehow found exactly what she had in mind and had them engraved! It was definitely a nice surprise. 🙂
Ellen loved the tent-like lighting that they did, that was one of her favorite wedding elements that she was looking forward to seeing come together with all the candles, tapers, chandeliers, and mirrors that they had.
The talented creative team:
Photographers: Evonne & Darren Wong of Evonne & Darren Photography
Event Planner: Cinthy Walsh of A Touch of Grace
Ceremony Location: St. Helena Catholic Church
Reception Location: The Pavillion at The Vintage Estate
Floral Designer: Teresa Stone Floral Design
Wedding Dress Designer: Atelier Pronovias
Wedding Dress Detachable Overskirt: Casablanca Bridal
Bridal Salon: Novella Bridal
Wedding Shoes Designer: Jimmy Choo
Bridesmaids’ Dresses Designer: Natalie Deayala Collection
Bride’s Engagement Rings: Cresalia Jewelers
Wedding Rings: Cresalia Jewelers
Wedding Attire for Groom & Groomsmen’s: J. Crew
Wedding Shoes for Groom: Men’s Wearhouse
Hair & Makeup Stylist: Dreamcatcher Artistry
Invitations/Stationery Designer: Hyegraph Invitations & Calligraphy
Caterer: The Pavillion at The Vintage Estate
Wedding Cake: Branching Out Cakes
Linens: Napa Valley Linens
Rentals: Encore Event Rentals, Big 4 Party Rentals
Lighting: Magical Lighting
Ceremony Musicians: Bellarosa String Quartet
DJ: Wine Country Entertainment
Cigar Rollers: Wine Country Entertainment
Guests Transportation: Napa Shuttle & Limousines
Congratulations, Ellen and Mike!
The Pavillion at The Vintage Estate
6481 Washington Street
Yountville, CA 94599