Danielle and Stan’s Nautical Rehearsal Dinner in Napa Wine Country
Danielle and Stan
Danielle Gold and Stan Zienka, who met in San Francisco and have roots in New York, opted to kick off their wedding weekend with a rehearsal dinner that was “East Coast lobster meets California sunshine.” A golden sunset splashed across the sky at the early-evening soiree at Medlock Ames in Healdsburg, California, as guests dined on a coastal menu featuring a lobster boil. The couple put their own nautical spin on the event, making it a vibrant fete and a great beginning to their destination wedding weekend in Napa wine country.
The invite for the rehearsal dinner advertised “Finger Lickin’ Food, Cold Beer & Pie!” and hinted at the feast of tasty lobster to come.
Danielle collected the decor -- including matchboxes, buoys, plastic crabs, flags, and lanterns -- on various trips to Greenport and the Hamptons, in New York, and flea markets in California.
Hors d’ouevres included fried pickles with buttermilk dipping sauce and popcorn with white cheddar and jalapeno peppers.
The Place Settings
Each of the 75 guests found their seat thanks to a name tag. The tag was stapled to a wet napkin, which sat atop a blue linen napkin with a rope knot tied around it.
Danielle sourced some rope-patterned fabric and had custom linens made for the event.
The Place Mats
Tables were set with place mats from the duo’s favorite restaurant in the Hamptons -- the Lobster Roll in Amagansett, New York.
Plastic crabs had guests looking closely and added to the nautical decor.
A Collection of Treasures
“We loved being able to collect things during trips to the North Fork and the Hamptons and mix them in with our California finds,” Danielle said of things like this boat model and nautical book.
Tables were also dressed with solid red linens.
Code flags strung above the dinner tables added color and fit with the nautical inspiration of the soiree.
For Extra Flavor
All in Good Fun
The couple also incorporated a special tradition from the bride to be’s childhood -- naming the lobsters and having little races between them just before dinner. “Fred won, just by a claw,” Danielle recalled.
A Seafood Soiree
After enjoying a farmers’ market salad of baby lettuces with market vegetables, pepitas, and edible flowers with blood-orange vinaigrette, guests feasted on a seafood boil of shrimp, lobster, clams, sausage, corn, baby artichokes, and red potatoes.
The Table Settings
Lemon wedges and chunks of torn bread accompanied the lobster boil.
In the Night Air
The meal concluded with pecan pie topped with bourbon whipped cream and salted caramel sauce and a big, open sky for all to enjoy.