The Bride's Pink Floral Wedding Dress Brought a Touch of Color to This Organic Celebration in California
When Daniel McKnight tapped Danielle Marcello, a stranger, on the shoulder at a concert to tell her that he liked her shirt, that was all the encouragement she needed to sit down and drink his beer, she says—a move that started them on a decade-long love story. Ten years later, the couple tied the knot on August 18, 2018, at Campovida in Hopland—a town just outside of Napa Valley—California, in front of 107 guests (most of their attendees traveled from out of state to join the couple for the big day). It was even a mini-destination wedding for Daniel and Danielle, who call San Francisco home. But the travel was worth it: The couple could count on "warm, predictably good weather" for their outdoor event, Danielle says. Plus, "we often take day trips up to wine country, so it was a natural [location] choice," she says.
What's more, Campovida—filled with rolling, organic vineyards and overgrown gardens—naturally lent itself to the couple's wedding theme: A Midsummer Night's Dream-inspired garden party, as Danielle describes it. "Campovida dictated our theme—it was so inspiring!"
With the help of planner Courtney Cargile, the couple "threw out a lot of tradition in favor of details that we really cared about," says Danielle, such as asking a friend to act as their officiant, including Bob Dylan lyrics as a ceremony reading, and playing a Phish song for the recessional. In their opinion, these details "helped create a vibe that was very 'us,'" Danielle says, "so the day inherently felt very personal and intimate, without being too serious."
Coloring a little outside of the traditional wedding lines, so to speak, is now advice Danielle would like to give other couples currently planning their weddings: "Invest in details that matter to you as a couple then build the budget and wedding experience around those key elements," she says.
Danielle and Daniel were determined to set the tone for their wedding starting with their save-the-dates and again with their invitation suite, all created by Shipwright & Co. While the save-the-dates featured California poppies, the invitation suite included a sketch of the vineyard with a harvest moon rising above—and the regions many creatures, like bunnies.
For their RSVPs? "We asked guests to 'holla back by May 18,'" says Danielle. "It was a hit!"
Thoughtful Welcome Bags
Upon their arrival, guests received welcome bags filled with goodies, including Dry Creek General Store chips.
Two Winning Dresses
The Dream (Reception) Dress
Following a stressful dress search—that did result in a ceremony ensemble—Danielle found the second look of her dreams. "A few weeks before the wedding I found exactly what I was looking for all along—a blush-colored, 3D floral appliquéd dress that had an ethereal vibe, but enough structure to be flattering on my figure," she says. "I changed into it towards the end of cocktail hour and wore it for the remainder of the night. What I love most about the Marchesa dress is how well it photographed and showed movement—something I hadn't even considered when shopping!"
A "Something Blue" Groom
Daniel wore a custom three-piece Trumaker suit in blue, and a long, cream-colored tie.
Flower Crowned Flower Girls
The couple's dog, Rudy, participated in the ceremony, walking down the aisle with one of the bridesmaids. He wore a floral collar to mark his VIP status.
A Ceremony Under the Trees
Danielle and Daniel held their 5 p.m. ceremony beneath a wide archway on the grounds of Campovida. It wasn't a religious ceremony, Danielle says, "but it was deeply personal." A friend who had been at the concert where the couple first met officiated, while another read from Bob Dylan's "Wedding Song." "There wasn't a dry eye in the house," she adds.
Who Said It Better?
Both Danielle and Daniel wrote their own vows—they still argue over whose were better. "Dan's were peppered with music lyrics," says Danielle. "Mine offered compromises like, 'I promise to tolerate the Giants, Yankees, and Duke basketball as you tolerate my Real Housewives of New York, New Jersey, Beverly Hills, O.C., Atlanta—and yes—even Potomac.'"
Oysters and Acoustic Music
The couple's cocktail hour took place in the heart of Campovida's garden. It was a fun hour: "We had an acoustic Grateful Dead cover band playing while Hog Island Oysters were hand-shucked to order," Danielle says. Appetizers, such as croquettas de jamon, were served.
Danielle says that "the cocktail hour was by far my favorite part of the day! I absolutely love cocktail hours in general, so it was always in the plan for ours to be over the traditional one hour. With the ceremony behind us, we had 90 minutes to mingle with our guests, dance to the Grateful Dead acoustic band, eat oysters, and sip on Campovida wine. It was heaven!"
Scroll Seating Chart
Seat assignments were written on a long scroll that was nailed to a cork tree on the path to the couple's reception. Each table was named for places the couple had lived, Danielle says.
Tuscan Garden Reception
The reception took place in Campovida's "Tuscan Garden." Because the couple wanted "the venue to speak for itself and didn't want to distract from it," they chose décor in natural hues already organic to the space, like lavender, gray, blush, cream, and eucalyptus green. Wood tables played into the earthy theme, too.
On the Menu
Sprigs of lavender were tied to menu cards, which revealed mouth-watering "farm-to-table, seasonal fare." Long garlands and candles topped the tables.
To denote their seats, Danielle and Daniel draped sheer fabric over their chairs, then tied small bouquets of lavender to the backs.
In addition to pies, Noble Folk also brought an ice cream cart; the couple handpicked the flavors, choosing seasonal specialties such as lemon lavender. "My favorite was the Cuban coffee-flavored ice cream that they custom-made for us," says Danielle.
Lounges were placed near the dessert table, meaning guests could indulge in comfort.
A Not-Too-Serious First Dance
Danielle and Daniel took their first twirl as husband and wife to "Mellow Mood" by Bob Marley. "It's one of our favorites and not too serious," explains Danielle of their choice.
Photography, Marissa Maharaj Photography
Event planning, Courtney Cargile
Catering, Elaine Bell
Flowers, Venn Floral
Videography, Social Art Cinema
Officiant, Mike Schwartz
Stationery, Shipwright & Co
Pie and ice cream, Noble Folk
Music, Dart Collective
Rentals, Encore Rentals
Bride's gown, Romona Keveza; Marchesa Notte
Bride's shoes, Prada
Hair and makeup, Bella Bridal
Bridesmaids' dresses, ASOS
Flower Girl dresses, J. Crew; BHLDN
Groom's suit, Trumaker
Groom's accessories, BHLDN tie; Cole Haan shoes