(click above for the slideshow!)
I love shooting at the Villagio (at the Vintage Estate) in Yountville - the staff is amazing (so friendly, accommodating, and competent!), and the estate is gorgeous. So I knew that with a great couple like Alexis and David, who are hilarious, are gorgeous, and adore each other, it was going to be a fabulous wedding.
Married on 8/16/08, I thought it was cool to get some shots of the guys getting ready with the Olympics on the nearby tv's - I think it puts you in the time of the wedding. You know?
Alexis and her ladies got ready in what was formerly the Villagio's spa. Apparently they've built a new, amazing spa... Devon and I spent our anniversary there last December, so perhaps we'll have to revisit to try the new one out. Here's Ali with her beautiful mother, Dana:
And bridesmaids. I love how the warm, vibrant colors make it seem as though they're in Mexico or the Caribbean somewhere!
This certainly extended to the flowers - gorgeous! Update: they were made by Lush Floral in downtown Vallejo.
Their ceremony was long and filled with laughter and tears. I particularly loved how they had friends and family do readings and officiate, and I really got a sense of Ali and David's community, and how well they are loved. I also got to see more evidence of their smart-alecky-ness in their vows, which were hilarious as well as loving. I've never heard anyone use the term "poopoo head" so affectionately before!
This was another new one for me - similar to the Jewish tradition, Ali and David wanted to break the glass. However, they did it together - two people, one smashed glass. I thought this was so cool - it still symbolizes the official end of the ceremony (and, if you're going to get technical, "a reminder to all in attendance that the world is replete with imperfection"), but to me it proved that they are truly equals, from the very start of their married lives. I loved how this new tradition illustrated the teamwork and parity of a modern marriage. Very cool.
We had so much fun playing in the vineyards. A big thanks to Katherine at the Villagio, who (when a golf cart was unavilable for the quick drive to the vineyard area) drove us in her own vehicle! This woman is amazing, and seriously dedicated to going above and beyond.
These two are so stunning together!
Wine Country Moment:
Ali and David provided their guests with these parasols to keep the late afternoon Napa sun off of their faces - a brilliant and colorful idea. So we made sure to incorporate that lovely pop of color in some of their portraits. I have so many favorites from this part! But I narrowed it down to just a few.
David did not want to stop kissing Ali, ever! They have such a playful, teasing love. At our whole first meeting, they had me cracking up... these are not difficult people to like! I'm a bit of a smart ass, so I love when I get to work with other smart asses. And I really think Ali and David had the right blend of fun and sweetness on their wedding day.
Anyway, back to the photos - here's David going in for another hug and a kiss, and I think Ali looks so dramatic and beautiful as she tries (and fails) to resist his charm:
A few more details from the day:
Love the oranges and the greens together!
The Villagio's food is outstanding. They use delicious, fresh, local produce, and their chef and serving crew is (are we sensing a theme here?) SO warm, friendly, and helpful. And the food is also highly photogenic! Always a good thing.
I got a lot of shots of this little cutie pie throughout the day:
The weather had been sort of funky all day- hot and cloudy - but the evening ended up just perfectly. I love it when out of town guests get to enjoy the perfect Napa/ Sonoma/ San Francisco/ etc weather! Most of Ali and David's guests came from Southern California, and Ali and David were in from NYC themselves. I felt oddly proud that the weather came together so nicely, and with a phenomenal sunset and everything.
There were a lot of beautiful toasts:
And the most awesome of them all - when Ali's brother and sister presented Ali and David with this fabulously giant, framed shot of little gymnast Ali in the 1980s!
(though I'm not sure if it made it all the way back to New York with them... somehow I think Ali might've tried to "forget" it at the Vintage Estate...)
And then dancing, cake cutting, bouquet tossing craziness ensued! You'll have to check out the slideshow for even more of that. I loved the cake (with real grapes draped over it), made by Sweetie Pies, and I know that Alexis and David were really happy with it.
Updated to add more details!:
bride's dress: Jenny Yoo
bride's shoes: Jimmy Choo
groom's and groomsmens' suits: Theory
bridesmaids' dresses: Calypso
Thank you two for having me to photograph your wonderful Napa wedding! I wish you many more great years together filled with laughter (which I don't think will be a problem...).