Destination weddings and elopements are a fun, often-cost-effective way to blend nuptials and a vacation (or, for some, a honeymoon). Bethany and Brandon did just that when they stole away from their Maryland home to California in September. Only three people knew they were headed to Napa, and of those three only one knew their true intention for the trip. We were honored that they chose us to share their momentous day with them.
Our time with them began at their Own Private Vineyard, a magical hideaway bursting with plump grapes and positive vibes. Bethany was radiant in a lacy bohemian slip dress and flowery fabric headband, while Brandon rocked a three-piece suit, a wool bowtie, and a paper calla lily boutonnière. Her paper bouquet, which was composed of maps of places on their must-go-to list, was one of the prettiest we’ve seen.
After the humor-filled ceremony and fingerprint-ring exchange, Brandon surprised Bethany with a burlap banner he had made and toted all the way from home. By this time, Bethany’s phone was buzzing constantly with texts from their families, wondering where exactly they were and what they were doing. She mischievously decided to keep them in suspense, exploring the grounds and sampling grapes and private-reserve wine with her new hubby instead.
Funnily, their gluten-free wedding cake gave them a touch of trouble. Although it was only three layers and filled with seasonal berries (hardly the studliest of fruit), it was impossible to cut. Just when we thought one of them would have to stand on the table to plunge the knife through, one of the vineyard’s proprietors came to the rescue. Bethany and Brandon enthusiastically performed the ceremonial cake feed, which resulted in a slight mishap (see animated GIF below) that only added to the joyfulness of the day. (The cake, by the way, was delicious! It had a delightful grainy texture, maybe from cornmeal? We’re definitely stopping by Alexis Baking Company next time we’re in Napa!)
We cooled off in the garage-turned-wine-cellar for a bit before Bethany and Brandon departed for a wine-tasting appointment. We joined them afterward at Grgich Hills Estate, whose founder Mike Grgich put Napa Valley wines on the international map in 1976. There, they giddily stomped around in wooden vats filled with Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. It was hard not to laugh with them, which can basically be said about the few hours we spent together. We don’t know about them, but our cheeks hurt from laughing and smiling too much that day. Luckily, this didn’t negatively affect our trigger fingers, so on to the eye candy!
Dress: mermaidmisskristin (Etsy)
Bride’s shoes: “Rebels” via Modcloth.com
Hairpiece: Charming Charlie
Map bouquet/boutonnière: TreeTownPaper (Etsy)
Tie & pocket square: The Tie Bar
Rings: GNGJewel (Etsy)
Gluten-free cake: Alexis Baking Company