March 30, 2016
Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park
St Helena, CA
Weddings by Scott & Dana
We had been together 7 years when he proposed last October and immediately started looking at venues and planning the big wedding, because that’s the thing to do, right? WRONG! We were only a few weeks in and it was already frustrating, stressful and expensive (not fun). We were looking at dates for the following Fall and I had this vision of the next year of our lives being nothing but spending money and stressing out over planning this big wedding that I know now wasn’t right for either of us. Luke was on the same page because he woke me up one morning at 6:00 a.m. telling me he couldn’t sleep and apologizing that he didn’t want this big “circus wedding”. He had stayed up all night researching eloping (came across your website along the way) and looking at places to do so. I was sold because really I felt the same way.
All of our planning instantly became easy and fun. It was more like planning a vacation! We knew we wanted to get married somewhere beautiful and look our best wherever we did it. We live in Colorado and love the mountains, but we definitely wanted to run away somewhere. We aren’t really beach people so Luke mentioned the Napa Valley and after researching the town and seeing all of the beautiful pictures of the vineyards..done! We booked a couple of nights at the Napa River Inn which was the best thing we could have done because our concierge recommended the PERFECT photographers (Scott and Dana Halvorson from Sacrament, CA) and an awesome Pastor named Pete.
Photography was so important to us and we couldn’t have had better photographers than Scott and Dana. They are this cool, talented couple that were genuinely so excited for us. They helped us pick an area for the ceremony, set up the most perfect little table for us when we arrived (after hearing our style), took us to amazing places in the Napa Valley and most of all delivered unbelievable photos that captured every moment of the day.
Here are the details of the wedding week. We decided to spend the whole week in California over Luke’s Spring break (he is a teacher) and get married in Napa along the way just the two of us. We flew into San Francisco on a Monday morning and spent the day doing touristy things along the wharf and in the city. I happen to be a florist so we stopped at the San Francisco flower market on Tuesday and loaded the car with fresh flowers before we took our rental car on the most beautiful drive to Napa. We checked in to the Napa River Inn (where they treated us like family) and hopped around the town to start our “rehearsal day”. Our hotel surprised us with a free wine tasting at this beautiful vineyard called Artesa. We had our rehearsal dinner that night in town at Napkins and the florist (me) finished the flowers that night.
The morning of we had breakfast in bed and I had a hair stylist/make-up artist, Nicole Sorenson, come to our room and doll me up. We did the first look in front of the hotel where the concierge snapped photos with her iPhone and drove out to our ceremony site together where we met the photographers (who we already felt like we knew after the planning) and the pastor. The rest of the day was such a dream come true and the pictures explain it all. We had a beautiful ceremony, cheese and champagne out in the wilderness, our first dance to “Tennessee Whiskey” by Chris Stapleton (we brought a little speaker with a play list), cake cutting, cake eating and went to a vineyard with a beautiful castle up the road. It was the perfect first day to spend together as husband and wife. We had dinner that night at a place in town called Angele and finished our vacation “honeymooning” in Napa, Carmel and San Francisco. Although we missed out on having our amazing family and friends there we were able to share our beautiful wedding with them through these photos and we wouldn’t have done it any other way.
A Special Thanks To:
Weddings by Scott & Dana // Photography
Zoey Ball (Bride) of Blush & Baccara Floral // Floral Design
Nicole Sorenson // Hair and Makeup
Pastor Pete // Officiant
Napa River Inn // Accommodations