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Napa Valley Wedding

May 1, 2012

My youngest brother got married earlier this month in Napa, and of course it was a beautiful and festive weekend.

In short, we deftly avoided catching pink eye from the poor bridesmaid who had it in both eyes, and ate the most white bread and cheese we’ve had since our trip to France nearly a year ago. That’s Napa for you!

The ceremony and reception were both held at Napa Valley Country Club, which was a gorgeous and classy setting.

It was difficult to take a bad picture of the scenery or ourselves in front of it, honestly.

The NVCC staff struck me as professional, experienced, and knowledgeable.

I was particularly impressed with details, such as a lemonade and water stand at the ceremony site, mint juleps handed to guests as they moved between ceremony and cocktail hour, and staff to drive the bride and groom (and sisters of the groom ;)) up the ascending path to the reception site on golf carts.

The ceremony was at the bottom of a hill below the clubhouse, so the wedding party and bride walked down a long slope of stone stairs. Tricky in heels, but a lovely, un-rushed beginning to the event, and perfect in that guests had plenty of time to take pictures of the big entrance.

My brother and the bride have an affinity for bourbon, so they used it to personalize the reception. The flowers for each centerpiece were arranged in a bourbon bottle. Alongside them were mint plants in silver julep cups and frames displaying the recipe for mint juleps as well as the history of the particular brand of bourbon.

Each table had a different bottle, so the seating chart and placecards directed guests to tables identified by bourbon brands, such as Old Forester or Woodford.

The newlyweds also love grilling and throwing BBQ gatherings at their place, so the wedding favors were little 4 ounce mason jars of homemade spice rub. We will try ours out on tofu, tempeh, or portabella mushroom caps!

We stayed at the Napa Valley Marriott Hotel and Spa, which was a 10-12 minute drive from the country club. It was perfect for a large group, because there was a lively restaurant/bar and indoor/outdoor gathering area around the lobby. It was easy for guests to wander downstairs to find friends, family members, or random Arkansas Razorback fans ready to talk SEC football at any time of day or night.

Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Peet’s Coffee, Starbucks, Sift Cupcake and Dessert Bar, Target, and more were all within easy walking distance of the hotel. The Whole Foods had a breakfast oatmeal bar (where my husband got a “Roll Tide” from a fellow Alabama alum!) and an entire half-aisle dedicated to raw foods, like these raw chocolate truffles with adorable leopard-print tape around the jar.

When we ventured outside of the hotel early Saturday morning, 10 or 15 hot air balloons were floating in the sky right near us. I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen those in person before. A fun experience.

All in all, it was a lovely, enjoyable weekend in a gorgeous part of California. Congratulations, G & L!

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