Thursday, December 4, 2014

Elizabeth and Rhys' Grgich Hills Estate Wedding Welcome Dinner, Napa Valley Fine Art Wedding Photography

 I love nothing more than photographing an amazing party full of great friends, great wine and great food and this one is particularly special to me because it was the welcome dinner kicking off the celebration for my sister's destination wedding weekend in Napa.  I was so happy to be my sister's MOH and be present in the wedding day instead of photographing it for once!  I turned those duties over to KT Merry, who of course did an incredible job and I'll be sure to link to a few once they're published!  But for the rehearsal dinner, I decided to bring along the contax and I had so much fun photographing the beautiful space and all of our lovely family and friends.

We chose Grgich Hills Estate, one of our favorite vineyard's in Napa, to host the party and it was the perfect intro to Napa for all of our East Coast friends who had flown in from New York.  Not only is Grgich one of the most beautiful vineyards around (and the maker of my fav chardonnay), but they have a very storied history within Napa.  A bottle of 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay, made by Mike Grgich, won the blind Paris tasting in 1973 that put Napa on the map as a world class wine region.  Kelly at Grgich helped us create such a lovely evening for our friends and family, which began with a cocktail hour and hors d'oeuvres on the patio of the Ranch House.  Guests were invited to stomp the grapes (a la Lucy) and taste the grapes that had just been pulled off the vines.  Underneath strings of twinkly lights guests dined next to the vineyard and watched as the sun set over the endless rows of vines.   It was the perfect evening and since all of our guests were invited to Friday as well it felt like a little mini-wedding all by itself!  There's so much planning and time that goes into a wedding it's really fun to make it into a 3 day weekend of events rather than just one day so it really becomes a longer celebration.

The evening was so fun for me because I got to help out a little with the decorating and involve some of my all time favorite vendors like Karla from Written Word Calligraphy and Rifle Paper and Co who made the escort cards.  Having Karla involved was extra special since she made my sister's wedding gift, which was a hand drawn map of all their favorite places in Manhattan.  I included a couple photos of it at the bottom of this post and can not recommend Karla enough!  Seriously this was the most special gift I was able to dream up and I can't believe she took my ramblings and made it into this gorgeous piece of art!

Upon their arrival in Napa guests were presented with a welcome bag, crafted by Laurie Arons Special Events, containing all of the couple's favorite snacks and essentials for a weekend in wine country including a map of the area, bouchon from Bouchon Bakery and a one day membership pass at Grgich.  The totes were perfect to carry around all weekend, perhaps holding a bottle or two of wine purchased at the amazing local vineyards.  My sister accessorized for the weekend with the FEED bridal bag, which not only makes a perfect tote for the weekend, but also provides 1 child with micro-nutrient powder for an entire year!  It even has cute compartments inside for something old, new, borrowed and blue.  See more of the party today on Style Me Pretty!

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Reception Venue: Grgich Hills Estate
Escort Cards: Rifle Paper Co.

Table Number Stamps: Kathryn Murray

Welcome Bag Calligraphy: Curlicue Calligraphy

Bride's Shoes: Miu Miu

Bride's Dress: Halston Heritage

Bride's Bag: Feed

Welcome Bag Tags: Anticipate Invitations

Film Processing: Richard Photo Lab

Coordination: Kelly At Grgich Hills

Lighting And Linens: Classic Party Rentals

Floral Design: Thoughts In Bloom

Pashminas: Yadis Closet

Table Numbers: Better Off Wed


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