Recently I rounded up the boys — big one and small ones — for the wedding of my good friend and PrettyCity staffer Johanna Engel Grange at The Carneros Inn Napa. After one very long flight (true any time you travel with a two year old) we arrived in San Francisco and traveled by car to Wine Country.
The Farm at Carneros Inn
And that’s where the trip became magical… and oh-so-glamorous. We checked in to an expansive “home” at The Carneros Inn with 2,400 square feet of indoor space and 1,400 square feet of outdoor space including an upper deck. That evening, little ones in bed, my husband and I enjoyed al fresco dining and massages on the upper deck in a blissfully humidity-free climate. Ahh-mazing!
Perched atop acre after acre of apple orchards and grape vines, The Carneros Inn, in the Carneros appellation, draws modern inspiration from the rustic barns that likely once graced this farmland. Pastoral meets luxe with hilltop pools, a top-notch spa (my esthetician divulged that Rachel McAdams had stayed — and stunned — at the Inn recently) and staff that seem to descend from nowhere the moment your heart even begins to desire anything.
The Downstairs Deck at our Carneros Inn "Home"
And since my friend is clearly fabulous (you can check out her chic ramblings daily here), the fabulous wedding of the century was sure to follow. Boy, did it. Inspired by her non-traditional yet oh-so-chic shindig (Wedding cake? Too traditional. Bouquet Toss? As if.), I asked the new Mrs. Grange to share the secrets of her glamorous wine country wedding for those of you getting married soon… or just someday.
The French Laundry
“We are both huge fans of great food and great wine. Napa has both! It’s one of the only areas with several Michelin star restaurants including the ever famous French Laundry. We also wanted to find a domestic destination that provided a gorgeous backdrop but was still accessible for our closest friends and families.”
Cake Toppers waiting to be customized from Goosegrease on Etsy.com
Loved the cupcake bobble heads; where did you get them?
“I loved them, too! Etsy.com was my go-to resource. Not only can you get loads of creative inspiration but you are supporting local artists. I knew I wanted some sort of topper so I searched “wedding decoration” and stumbled upon them. They are made of wood and all custom. I sent in a picture of the two of us and she asked me questions about our wedding day outfits and replicated the bobble heads to look exactly like us. Eye color, hair and all.”
Daisy + Lime Green Fall in Love
The lime green and daisy yellow colors were striking. Where’d you find the decor and what inspired you?
“You always hear interior decorators say that when designing a room, pick a focal point and build around it! For me, it was my wedding shoes. I found these satin, lime green stilettos and literally, died. I wanted to break away from tradition and vibrant wedding shoes are all over the blogs I researched such as 100 Layer Cake, Green Wedding Shoes and Style Me Pretty. Then it was back to Etsy for DIY tissue poms, candy tables, place cards and more. I really had a blast planning it and he was very involved, too which made it fun. I wanted Vintage meets Anthropologie. It also helps when you have the perfect canvas to begin with and the Carneros Inn is dynamite.”
Nina Electra 4" D'Orsay Stilettos in Apple Green
The lime green heels you wore were fantastic and unexpected. What other details made your day unique?
“I have to find another occasion to wear these gems. They were so fun to wear. And since we were going with a green and yellow theme, I enjoyed the little accents from designing a candy bar for our guests as take home favors to our place cards which were granny smith apples with guest names pinned on the apple to picking our florals. I even found vintage Napa map cufflinks for Jack to wear on the wedding day; courtesy of Etsy again. One particular part I enjoyed was shopping for the hotel guest’s welcome bags. We wanted to say thank you for supporting us but do it in a way that represented the valley so we scoured stores for mini cheeses, crackers, splits and more. Shopping for mini anything is always fun.”
The Life of the Party
The champagne cupcakes were amazing! How did you discover them?
“Truth be told I could eat cupcakes everyday and am a huge fan of Sprinkles but we couldn’t get them to Napa so our cupcake vendor had a lot to live up to. Enter Sift Cupcakes. A local favorite and a preferred vendor of our destination, the Carneros Inn. It was taxing but we did two taste tests and the champagne cupcakes were my favorite. After all, it is wine country and who doesn’t like a little bubbly?”
The Blushing Bride
You looked so gorgeous! What are your top pre-wedding beauty tips?
“My wedding day was the prettiest I have ever felt in my life, so thank you. I think the key to feeling your best is to know when to leave the party the day before. I was in bed at 10 and had only two glasses of wine so no hangover and no bags under the eyes! I still had the jitters so I made sure to eat and drink as much water as possible before the ceremony since it was outside. And it truly helps when you work with people who know what they are doing. My makeup artist was Julie Olson of Makeup Deluxe (check out her blog here) and Gray Gilligan of Salon 12 (I sent her images of Kate Hudson and she nailed it). Doing your homework helps and so does including visuals. Other than that – a facial and a microderm and I was good to go!”