A Classic Rustic Wedding in Napa Valley
Nicole and Brad
The coming together of Nicole Lewis and Brad Pace would have been a tale of epic missed connections—if it didn't have such a happy ending. While both were visiting Aspen, Colorado, for the holidays in 2012, they were introduced at a New Year's Eve party and realized that they'd met briefly while attending different high schools in their shared hometown of San Antonio, Texas. Then they put together that they both went to Southern Methodist University, in Dallas, without ever even crossing paths. But having rung in the New Year together, they made up for lost time, seeing each other every day that first week. When Brad returned to law school at Tulane University, in New Orleans, and Nicole returned to San Antonio, they continued to date long distance.
In August 2014, Brad proposed to Nicole, who is also an attorney, on a beach on Compass Cay in the Bahamas. The couple, who now live in Mill Valley, California, pondered returning to the island for their wedding. But when they found they had more happy news to share—they were expecting!—they decided to wed nearby in Napa Valley, which is just an hour's drive from their home. After a three-month engagement, Brad and Nicole kicked off the festivities with what Nicole calls a "low-key dinner" at Calistoga Ranch resort on Thursday, October 30, 2014, surprising their 85 guests with a "gender reveal," accompanied by platters of pink cupcakes. On Friday, everyone attended a black-tie welcome party at the wine cellar at the Kelly Fleming vineyards, and got into the Halloween spirit with gilded pumpkin décor. The next day, the nuptials took place by a reflecting pool on a stone terrace at Beaulieu Garden. Dinner included truffle risotto, black cod, and rosemary- and-garlic-infused lamb along with wines from award-winning local vineyards. But the most romantic toast of the evening came before the meal—and was shared by only two people. "Right after the ceremony, Brad and I stayed in the garden and sat alone for a few minutes, sharing sparkling drinks and reflecting on our vows," says Nicole. "It was incredibly special to soak in the moment and say, 'I love you, I'm so glad I found you.'"
Invitations were letterpressed in plum-colored ink on Italian paper and enclosed in keepsake leather envelopes by Amber Moon Design.
Nicole's sisters also wore Vera Wang. Her twin (right) was her matron of honor; her younger sister, a bridesmaid.
The Bride's White Bouquet
Nicole carried a bouquet of garden roses, hellebores, and trailing greenery made by Max Gill Design.
The groom and groomsmen sported boutonnieres made of scabiosa, lophomortus, and huechera wrapped in a satin ribbon.
The Outdoor Ceremony
Nicole and Brad exchanged nontraditional vows during their afternoon ceremony.
Each guest received a calligraphed leather-bound program.
Flat-printed lavender tags and hand-dyed silk ribbon adorned pouches filled with petals to toss as the newlyweds walked up the aisle.
Small bottles of Negronis pulled double duty, serving as a vehicle for the calligraphed leather escort cards and as a take-home favor.
Comfy lounge areas were set up at the cocktail hour and in the after party tent. Plum-colored blankets were not only decorative, but functional, as the temperatures dipped later in the evening.
The Reception Tables
Each gilded place setting was topped with a menu and a tiny bouquet of seasonal herbs, blooms, and foliage.
Deep plum and burgundy blooms, including dahlias, ranunculus, scabiosa, and chocolate cosmos, made up the centerpieces.
An Autumnal Cake
The gold-trimmed lemon-blackberry and coconut cake was decorated with grapes and handcrafted figs made of gum paste.
Location: Beaulieu Garden
Event design and production: Lisa Vorce Co
Catering, rentals, lighting, restrooms, valet, and audio/video equipment: Paula LeDuc Fine Catering
Cake: Sweet on Cake
Flowers and design: Max Gill Design
Photography: Aaron Delesie
Videography: Living Cinema
Officiant: JP Reynolds
Stationery: Amber Moon Design
Bride's gown: Vera Wang
Hair: Marilee Albin, 310-558-7656
Makeup: Lucy Crawford
Bridesmaids' dresses: Vera Wang Bridesmaids
Groom's suit: Hugo Boss
Sound and backline: Delicate Productions
Transportation: Pure Luxury Transportation
Travel Concierge: Life:Styled