Merlyn and Matt’s wedding day began at the Blackbird Inn in Napa, a cozy eight-room B&B that they and ten family members and friends converged upon from all parts of the U.S. We arrived just as the Bloody Marys and champagne were being poured and everyone was in great spirits. Once Matt and Merlyn gazed upon each other for the first time in their wedding finery, everyone boarded the charter bus to their Own Private Vineyard.
Recently touched by spring, the vineyard was full of new growth, from tiny clusters of grapes on the vines to multicolor blooms. Merlyn was radiant in a vintage-inspired, long-sleeved lace-and-silk dress, which complemented Matt’s modern navy suit and snappy yellow tie and pocket square wonderfully. Her bouquet featured purple, lilac, and lavender roses, succulent roses, and kale. Several members of the wedding party also wore bright colors that reflected everyone’s buoyant mood.
We loved the details that they brought all the way from Florida to include on their special day, such as the wooden wine box that contained a bottle of Flora Springs Trilogy 2010 as well as their love letters to each other (all to be opened on their fifth anniversary). Their rings were held in a moss-lined glass box that Merlyn’s cousin etched with the words “Always & Forever.” Merlyn designed the “Love” cake topper. On her right hand, she wore the only heirloom her family has—her great-great-grandmother’s ring, which her great-great-grandmother smuggled out of Cuba in her hair when she fled Castro’s regime.
The ceremony was touching and tearful, but also filled with laughter. Reverend Blane provided some comic relief when he couldn’t open the wine box nor the glass ring case (thankfully, Merlyn came to his rescue). More laughter ensued when everyone presented toasts to the newlyweds. During the formal dances, there were few dry eyes in the vineyard. In fact, Merlyn’s father teared up so much during their dance together that she paused to put sunglasses on him. After that, the cake was cut without incident (using the same knife Merlyn’s parents used on their wedding day!) and everyone managed a few twirls on the makeshift dancefloor before boarding the bus to ride off into the sunset. Here are some of our favorite moments from that gorgeous spring afternoon.
Bride’s dress: Blue Rose Wedding Dress Co.
Bride’s shoes: Alfani
Birdcage: David’s Bridal, with hair vine from livelovebead (Etsy)
Rings: Engagement ring by Excel Diamonds (Matt had it custom-made, secretly working with a jeweler so Merlyn’s wedding band complemented the baguettes on the side of the ring); wedding bands custom-made by Matthew’s Jewelers (Plantation, FL)
Groom’s suit & tie: Zegna suit, Donald Trump tie
Groom’s shoes: Allen Edmunds
Wooden wine box: BloominBridal (Etsy)
Glass ring box: West Elm; etched by Merlyn’s cousin
Bouquet: Sal the Flower Guy
Hair & make-up: Bella Bridal
Officiant: Reverend Blane W. Ellsworth (The Wedding Ministries)