Molly & Ross | Napa Valley, CA
Coming soon to Grey Likes Weddings.
Molly and Ross' wedding took place amongst the beautiful vineyards of Napa Valley, California, but at heart, this wedding was as Southern as can be. Molly is originally from Bunkie, Louisiana, so it was important to her that southern traditions make into their wedding day. Between the Second Line, the church choir, the large bridal party (28 including the bride and groom!), and Molly's bridals, this wedding was full of Southern touches.
Molly started the day by getting ready at Silverado Resort with her 12 bridesmaids (plus 2 junior bridesmaids)! While they were all having their hair and makeup done, they gave her the sweetest gift - a photo album with special memories from each of them. The photos of Molly opening this gift are some of my favorites from the day. The bridesmaids' dresses were a mix of different styles all created in the same fabric and color by Monique Lhuillier. The soft mauve was a perfect compliment to the whites and greens in their bouquets. Even Stella, the flower girl, wore a dress in the same color. Molly’s bouquet featured an assortment of greenery and white florals. It was full to the brim of beautiful white peonies.
One southern tradition that we don't see much in California (but now I wish we did!) is Bridals, where the bride does portraits before the wedding day. I took portraits of Molly in her wedding gown, with her bouquet full of white peonies, and hair and makeup done, weeks before the wedding. Since we did them in advance, Butter, their golden retriever, even got to be in a few.
The ceremony took place at Mont La Salle Chapel, which was originally designed to fuse Spanish Romanesque and Mission-style architecture. You can see this in the red tile roof and classic adobe designs. The interior of the chapel had high ceilings throughout and a balcony at the back, which was the perfect spot for the choir that surprised them at the end of the ceremony by serenading them as they exited.
After the ceremony, guests were ushered to the cocktail hour where they could choose between two signature cocktails, one of which was the "Salty Butter Dog" (vodka, grapefruit, and sea salt), the cutest way to include Butter in the festivities. The name cards were perfectly set in a bed of dried lavender.
Planned by Cole Drake Events, the reception design was absolutely flawless. It took place in what felt like a classic Spanish plaza, surrounded by arched corridors and elongated breezeways. It began with a Second Line, where a brass band led the choir from the church into the reception space to kick off the celebration. The reception decor was classic and elegant, with cafe lights, white florals and lots of greenery. It featured one long farm table for the wedding party and their plus ones (a 50 person table!) and several round tables for all the guests. The long farm table featured runners made of greenery and candles where the round tables had centerpieces made of peonies. Instead of table numbers, the tables were named after cities that were meaningful to Molly and Ross, including Bunkie (where she's from), San Francisco, and Rome, to name a few. The wooden cross-back chairs added a minimalistic touch and helped emphasize the lush tree in the middle of the courtyard. The gold buttons on their cake mimicked the buttons on the back of Molly's dress.
Their sunset portraits were taken in two locations. The first was in a Redwood Grove on the property (per Ross' request), and the second was at the vineyard right next to it (per Molly's request). In these photos, you can see the chapel where they had their ceremony far off in the distance.
Their live band featured three lead singers and various brass instruments, which truly set the mood for an incredible dance party. I'd never seen a dance floor as lively this one. Because of fire hazards, sparklers typically aren't allowed in Napa, so at the end of the night, Molly and Ross exited their wedding in the best way possible: with a silver streamer exit so dense that they got tied up and couldn't exit at all.