After meeting online, Doug and Aileen dated for two years before tying the knot in a beautiful outdoor ceremony at Hans Fahden Vineyards. The reception that followed took place in the wine cellars of the vineyard, where a pink and gold color palette combined with soft candlelight created an atmosphere that simply oozed elegance and romance.
From the Bride:
Doug and I met on eHarmony two years ago. After our first date, we knew we had something special. When the time came to plan our wedding, we knew we wanted a small, intimate gathering with our family and closest friends (40 guests). While dating, Doug and I took many weekend trips to Napa Valley and with a deep love for each other, we also had a deep affection for a good bottle of wine. So it only made sense we tie the knot in Calistoga!
We chose Hans Fahden because of its dreamy and romantic setting, but it was the pond inspired by many of Monet’s paintings that we fell in love with. The property was full of lush gardens, shaded paths, and a vineyard that served as the perfect setting. We were on a tight budget so we decided to keep things simple with a vintage theme to reflect our “old timer” and “down to earth” personalities.
I had somewhat of a vision of what I wanted our wedding to look and feel like, but couldn’t piece it together. Ironically, as a photographer, I couldn’t decide what I wanted my OWN wedding to feel like. I’ve always believed that a couple’s wedding should exude an emotion reflective of that couple. And for us, “romantic” was one word that could describe both Doug and I.
With the styling help of Wilmarose of Lovely Jubilee, our dream wedding became a reality. She was an absolute joy to work with, with brilliant and cost effective ideas, as she was able to add the little details all within our budget. For the ceremony, instead of spending tons on large floral arrangements we decided on large bunches of baby’s breath in galvanized pails that sat atop the wine barrels. This gave our ceremony the down to earth feeling we also wanted. However, I had to spend money on my bridal bouquet which was full of luscious pink peonies – my favorite flower!
One of my favorite DIY ideas from Wilmarose was a photo installation in which we hung photographs underneath the archways of a shaded path that led to the ceremony. As guests arrived, they could see some of the old photos took with with them and it was our way of making everyone feel like they were part of our day. There were so many little decisions and details, from the 5-year anniversary wine box (which was nailed shut during the ceremony with letters to each other inside) to the rose colored champagne coups and vintage custom cake forks, that to talk about them all in one breath is impossible.
While details can help make a wedding look beautiful, it wasn’t the most important thing to us. Having our immediate family and closest friends, along with Doug’s dad officiating our ceremony, were the more important elements for us. We mostly wanted a day full of genuine emotions. When our cinematographer presented our Same Day Edit video at the end of the night, everyone was in tears. I’ve probably watched the video over a dozen times and I’ve cried every time. Even our family, friends, and those who could not attend who saw the video all have said they’ve teared watching it.
It also helps to get to know your vendors on a more intimate level such as creating a more meaningful friendship because in turn they can help make your vision a reality. Jeremy Chou, our good friend and photographer, did an amazing job capturing every moment we wanted preserved. The photos captured our relationship’s true beauty and can describe the emotions felt that day in more words than I can.
Would I have done anything differently? Honestly, I can’t think of a thing to do differently. But you might appreciate this story… Our original wedding plans consisted of a much bigger destination wedding with a much larger budget, but because of the effort it took to plan such a wedding Doug and I decided to scale back and keep it simple.
We talked about what a wedding should represent and we thought it was more of a celebration with our closest family and friends. That’s when we decided to cancel our vendors for the much bigger wedding and start re-planning for our intimate wedding in Calistoga with 40 guests. We lost out on our deposits for the much bigger wedding, but in the end this was the BEST decision we made and it turned out more perfect and more dreamy than we could have ever imagined. If we planned for the much bigger wedding, I probably would have later on wished we did a smaller one. :)
Get a closer look at this elegant vineyard wedding in pink and gold by watching the wedding video created by Mon Villacorta of Twentyseven Studios below!
Photographer: Jeremy Chou Photography
Event Designer: Lovely Jubilee
Venue & Coordinator: Hans Fahden Vineyards
Hair & Makeup: Sherrie Long Hair Makeup & Effects Artist
Cake: Village Bakery
Caterer: All Seasons Catering
Cinematography: Mon Villacorta of Twentyseven Studios
DJ: AMS Entertainment
Dress Designer: Jim Hjelm
Flowers: Julie Stevens Design
Groom's Attire: Dolce & Gabbana
Shoe Designer: Valentino
Stationery: Jen Simpson Design
Read on to see how much this elegant vineyard wedding cost. Please note that costs change as the years go by, and prices are subject to change. This is just one couple’s breakdown to give you a rough estimate on how much a wedding like this may cost you.
Our small wedding at Hans Fahden was all-inclusive (with a few credits because we had our own photographer and our own Officiant which was my husband's father) that included up to 40 guests, catering, cake, tables/chairs, DJ, ceremony pianist, coordinator, 2 crates of wine, 1 crate of champagne. Total is $12,300.
Groom's attire: $1,700
Birdcage veil: $75
Rhinestone hairpiece: $40 (vintage)
Invitations by Jen Simpson Designs: $270
Other stationary by Jen Simpson Designs: $550
Silk linen rentals: $540
Gold chargers: $140
Wedding rings: $5,000
Bed and Breakfast lodging: $1,400
Rice Krispy Treat favors (Sweet & Saucy bakeshop from Long Beach, CA): $140
At the end of the day, we spent about $35k on the wedding itself. I think when you have a budget in mind (ours being $15k), you might as well double it because that's what usually happens. Hahaha.