The planner: Sasha Souza of Sasha Souza Events in Napa Valley and Beverly Hills, California
“Napa Valley, with its romantic weekend getaway feel, is the perfect spot for a wedding,” says Souza. “In this case, a private Napa estate, surrounded by vineyards, made a gorgeous backdrop for a ceremony and reception featuring a rich color scheme of burgundy and other shades of red, with some pink thrown in for fun. The deep reds are definitely the most romantic on the spectrum. We added gold and touches of orange and pink, so that the reds really popped and created a sense of luxury. Besides passionate colors, romance to me means several things: loads of dripping, hanging flowers, an afternoon breeze and, later, the glow of candlelight. This wedding had them all.”
“For an ultraluxe start, the bride and groom as well as their 30 guests were chauffeured to the wedding in 1947 Packard limousines. At the ceremony guests were seated in a grove with a gorgeous view of the western hills. A custom-built structure dripping with flowers and greenery gave an intimate feel to the outdoor ceremony and contributed to the English country garden vibe. Each post was covered in ferns and ivy and accented with Ecuadorian roses, calla lilies, orchids and amaranth. The flowers and greenery cascaded down into the ceremony space, and there were tons of rose petals blanketing the ground. For an extra-special touch, we draped a moss purse overflowing with a deep-red rose and amaranth—which has a romantic tassel look—over the backs of the rustic wooden chairs. Additional moss purses hung gracefully from nearby trees.”
“At the reception, guests were seated around a U-shaped table to create an intimate environment that encouraged conversation. The dramatic table was topped with burgundy taffeta linens and centerpieces of tulips, orchids, ivy, coffee- berry and red roses in custom-made copper troughs. Candlelight is part of any romantic dinner and that was true here. We pour all of our own candles so we were able to create unique burgundy and gold ones. Guests danced to a DJ’s selections on a wooden floor that was built around a grove. There were trees growing up through the dance floor for a pretty, natural look. At the base of each tree were candles and a scattering of rose petals. Italian party lights and hand-painted round Japanese lanterns of different sizes completed the look.”
“Pre-ceremony, arriving guests were greeted with pomegranate martinis and hors d’oeuvres that included pulled pork biscuits, baby potato chips with salmon and chive dip, Sonoma lamb with mint dipping sauce and pancetta-wrapped prawns. After the vows, there was a traditional cocktail hour featuring lots of mini hors d’ oeuvres and finger nibbles. I think eating with your hands is very sensual! There was also an incredible ice table with shrimp cocktail and oysters—
what could be sexier than that? For dinner, guests feasted on gorgonzola potato gnocchi; an appetizer trio of potato soup, crab cones and tomato soup; crab cakes and grilled filet and lobster with drawn butter; and mashed potatoes topped with crispy fried leeks. A selection of wines, champagne and martinis accompanied the meal.”
“For dessert, each guest was presented with her own three-inch-tall baby cake that sat atop a sugar cookie. Another sweet treat was a strawberry pyramid—with tempting rows of strawberries layered with vibrant red flowers—with dipping sauces such as white chocolate, dark fudge and mango.”
Photography: Sherman Chu
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