Maureen + Brad
Maureen + Brad were married on a perfect Napa Valley day at their family’s private estate and their wedding was a great celebration of family, friends, love and life. Their wedding was filled with many special details from antique coca-cola bottles that Maureen’s family was a bottler for to the toy airplanes used for place cards because Brad is a Navy pilot. Enjoy the photos and be sure to scroll to the bottom to hear about all of the details of the wedding day from Maureen’s perspective. Thank you Brad + Maureen for having us photograph your wedding!
Venue(s) , Date and # of Guests
Ceremony: St. Joan of Arc in Yountville, CA
Reception: Rodgers Family Vineyards in Napa, CA (Private Estate)
Date: June 26, 2010
What inspired you in planning the wedding?
We wanted to create an elegant, fun event for our guests with great food and music! Our thoughts were of our guests, not ourselves. At the same time, we wanted the event to represent our uniqueness as a couple, and so we set out to make the event very personal, which is why we chose to hold the reception at my great-grand parents’ home. I also wanted to make it an event that my mom would have been proud of (she was quite the entertainer) and so I had that inspiring me as well.
What were your favorite moments, surprises, traditions from the day?
The whole thing! It was truly the greatest day of our lives. And it made us so happy to have all of our friends and family gathered together to share such an important day with us. Some of the highlights were: seeing each other for the first time on the wedding day (especially Brad in his Navy whites); the father of the groom’s funny and touching speech; our niece putting a napkin on her head during the best man’s toast; the flower girls turning around in the wrong direction while walking down the aisle during the ceremony; crying while saying our vows.
Dress designer, Jewelry, Etc. Groom’s suit, Bridesmaids, etc.
Dress designer: Christos. My dress was a donation from the Unique Bride in Burlingame. They generously gave me the dress as part of the Military Bride Giveway to thank our troops for their service in Iraq and Afghanistan. Brad did three tours in Afghanistan.
Jewelery: My mom’s pearl earrings; my pearl bracelet was also a gift from my mom
Groom’s suit: It was his Navy uniform.
Groom’s shoes: Navy issued
Bridesmaids: Bill Levkoff
Wedding Planner, Stationer, Floral Designer, Rentals, Music, etc.
I was my own wedding planner. I enjoyed planning the event and didn’t mind the stress! I actually preferred planning my own wedding because I felt it gave me more say in all the details, and when I saw the final product, I felt a true sense of accomplishment.
Florist: Valley Flora, Napa
Caterer: Alex’s Catering, Vallejo
Trio: Eloquence Strings, Napa
DJ: Josh Dukes, Napa
Cake: Michele’s Corner Cakes, Santa Rosa
Hair and Makeup: Mia Burke, St. Helena
Antique Car: Classic Convertible Wine Tours
The DIY elements were one of my favorite parts of the wedding prep! Since Brad is a Navy pilot (and soon to be commercial airline pilot), we took toy airplanes and made them into escort cards for our guests. We also made our own programs which doubled as fans to cool our guests during the Napa summer heat. I also made a guest sign-in book filled with pictures of Brad and me on Blurb.com (great website/program). My mother-in-law also made cute favor boxes filled with jelly beans in my colors. My father and I also stained and painted wood and made welcome, parking and Mr. and Mrs. signs for the reception.
Since we were having the reception at my family’s property, which has been in the family for generations, I wanted to incorporate some family momentos into the event. My family used to have a beverage and bottled water business, so we took the vintage soda crates and water jugs and used them to hold our favors and flowers. We also served Coca-Cola in bottles with old-fashioned straws in honor of my family’s past and Brad’s favorite drink. To create a “living room” feeling outside, we took our parents’ and grandparents’ wedding photos and hung them on the trees in the cocktail reception area. We also set up a special table to honor my mom who died not long before the wedding.
Advice that you’d give to other Brides?
The DIY touches to your wedding are extremely fun and rewarding and will help make your event very personal. Just make sure you plan ahead to get them done in time. And even if things go wrong, you won’t care on the day of because you will be so happy! And it does make sense to try to keep costs down – just decide which things you want to splurge on and which you can skimp on and you can still have your dream wedding without the huge price tag!
You and your wife were great Joel! Couldn’t have picked better photographers. Thank you for helping making our day so special.