Photography by: Melissa Mermin Love Stories
Ask the expert
What bride does not envision the fairytale wedding walking off the pages of a storybook just like Cinderella?! If this is what you have always envisioned, then make that dream come true and consider hosting your wedding at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa. For over 100 years this incredible masonry winery has blessed the Napa Valley.
Located centrally along highway 29, Greystone Winery was the largest stone winery in the world for decades, acting as home to the Christian Brothers order and wine-making collaboration for several years and now as home to one of the world's leading culinary and wine schools. I can't imagine a more appropriate place for the ultimate foodie wedding.
The grounds of the CIA are remarkable. Organic gardens, fields of rosemary and lavender, and the arched stone corridors all give you the presence of a romantic almost mid-evil era. Most couples will choose to host both their ceremony and reception here, and when doing so, it is almost overwhelming to decide just how to do it.
The gorgeous facade of the building is one of our favorite locations for an elegant ceremony. The picture perfect stone-covered wall has ivy that has crept up the side of the building. The neutral color palette of the stone walls is in sharp contrast with the varied shades of green, gold, and amber of the creeping vines - it looks amazing and gives you an incredible canvass for your ceremony design.
White chiavary chairs are ideal and give you a tremendous amount of pop. You won't find a more regal look than having the ceremony at the base of the "castle" - white chairs, a bright white aisle runner, and a combination of brightly colored flowers and whitewashed pastels make an incredible statement. There is a rustic wood trellis that is already interspersed with ivy and greenery - create an alter under this structure to frame in the happy couple. An antique side board looks wonderful adorned with candles. Consider using a combination of full lush flowers in whitewashed hues with an occasional pop of color as a treatment at the front of the trellis, cascade flowers, vines, and loose ribbons that will catch the breeze. The massive structure is breathtaking, but can be overwhelming - the key here is to soften the look by bringing elements that create a more feminine and romantic feel.
I Do Venues wants to recognize the talented team of wedding professionals who helped to make this bride's dream a reality: Photographer - Melissa Mermin Love Stories; Floral and Lighting - Kate Stanley Design; Catering - Culinary Institute of America; Linens - La Tavola Linen; Entertainment - Mixxed Company.