There’s more to California Wine Country than Napa, and Alex was well aware of it when he introduced Mei-Ling to the beauty of Sonoma Valley, the bucolic wine-growing region roughly 14 miles west of Napa Valley. It quickly became their go-to destination for relaxation, camping, and wine, and it was also where Alex popped that life-changing question. Having made so many wonderful memories there, why wouldn’t they want to share a snippet of it with some of their favorite people?
For their intimate wedding they settled upon Cline Cellars, a gorgeous winery with lush vineyards, welcoming willow trees, manicured gardens, reflective ponds, and a replica of an adobe mission that once stood upon its expansive grounds. That fateful summer afternoon, we joined the giddy couple as they got ready in the villa.
Laughter, tears, and vodka flowed freely in the hour or so before the ceremony. Our bride looked stunning in a lacy, full-length gown when she tiptoed down a flight of stone steps to surprise her groom, dashing in a blue pinstripe suit.
Before we knew it, it was time for them to tie the knot. During their touching, tear-filled ceremony, each of their guests (including their tiny niece!) blessed their rings. Mei-Ling and Alex also set aside secret love letters and a bottle of wine in a lovely wooden box to be opened on their first anniversary.
While their guests enjoyed well-crafted hors d’oeuvres and sparkling beverages, we took a quick stroll through the vineyards and to the roadside sign announcing their special day. Cars whizzed by, honking their congratulations. The newlyweds shared a toast among the grapevines.
The celebration was marked by heartfelt, at times hilarious, words, many more glasses of wine, and a dance party that puzzled their adorable niece. When Bon Jovi blasted over the PA, Alex and his groomsmen couldn’t hide their rock’n’roll roots and we soon learned that they were in a band together in college that won their university’s battle of the bands. So many fun surprises! Here’s a look at their unforgettable day.
Bride’s dress: Melissa Sweet collection at David’s Bridal
Bride’s shoes: Badgley Mischka
Headband: David’s Bridal
Bridesmaids’ dresses: David’s Bridal
Groom’s suit & tie: Brooks Brothers
Groom’s shoes: Gordon Rush
Groomsmen’s suits: Men’s Warehouse suit rental
Officiant: Rev. Peadar Dalton
Hair & make-up: Artistry by Danika
Coordinator: Dreamers & Heroes
Caterer: Park Avenue Catering
Flowers: Hawthorn Flower Studio
DJ: California Mobile DJ
Cake & edible favors: Crisp Bake Shop