Chelsea and Tom were married at Arista Winery among the natural beauty and landscape of California’s famous wine country. Working in the event industry at Grace Street Catering, Chelsea has a lot of experience with weddings and when it came to her own, she worked with her groom Tom to plan all the details and hire the right wedding professionals to bring her vision to life. And luckily, Chelsea gave us the inside scoop on how she and Tom chose their venue, wedding design, flowers and all the little details that went into making the wedding the perfect celebration. As her groom said when they sat down for dinner, “Wow, our wedding is beautiful! I can’t believe we did this. It’s the most amazing wedding I’ve ever been to!” To read all about the wedding, check out Chelsea’s narrative after the images posted below.
From the bride, Chelsea:
“The most important thing to Tom and I is our love for our families. Most of Tom’s family lives nearby and we see them as often as possible. There are a lot of birthdays, Sunday dinners, and kids basketball games to attend. My family is quite close but we live all over the place. At one point I was living in Japan, my brother in Texas, my mom and step-dad in California, all my aunts, uncles, cousins, and step-family in the mid-west or on the east-coast. The main reason family is so important to Tom and I is because we’ve both lost a parent. Tom lost his mother to lung cancer and I lost my father to glioblastoma.
Our Love Story: Tom and I met at a Halloween party hosted by my then manager and her husband, a friend of Tom’s from high school. He was wearing a red t-shirt, and wicker basket around his waist, held up with suspenders and a dozen red balloons. I saw him from across the room and instantly fell for him. A hot air balloon, most unique and fun costume I’d ever seen. Ever the gentleman, Tom and I flirted throughout the night and then parted ways without exchanging numbers but eventually got in touch. After that we went on a couple dates and have been inseparable ever since. After 3 years of dating Tom and I had planned a backpacking trip to Tahoe for the Fourth of July. We chose to head out to the Desolation Wilderness where Tom grew up backpacking and hiking with his father, uncle and cousin. After hiking 4 miles, and 5 hours, into the wilderness we set up camp and started gathering water for filtering and making dinner. As I was filtering the water Tom started filming me with his phone and acting strange. Finally he asked me to look up at him and addressed me by my full name. I froze and at the point he pulled the ring from his pocket and asked me to be his wife. I cried, I laughed, I couldn’t believe it. He’s been surprising me since the day we met. We make each other laugh, we support each other and we are each others best friend. I couldn’t have asked for a better man to call my husband.
Choice of Venue: We chose Arista not only because it is absolutely gorgeous, and the wine is delicious, but the winery is only 20 minutes from Tom’s father’s house. Arista has privacy, beautiful grounds and wonderful staff. The grounds really hit all the marks for Tom and I when it came to the environment we wanted our 120 friends and family to experience. The large oak trees, the Japanese garden and bamboo, the views of the vineyards and Mt. St. Helena are breathtaking. The venue included Italian Cafe lighting for the dinner area, wine barrels for your use, live and finished edge oak tops to use with the wine barrels, Hummer style golf carts and wedding coordination. Although I had a hard time letting go of the planning, since I do it for a living, Meredith and Taylor at Arista were extremely helpful and made me feel relaxed the whole day.
Wedding Design: We wanted a vintage chic, wine country, summer wedding. After we found Arista we knew we’d be able to make our design ideas work. The color palette was plum, grey and powder blue, based on our favorite colors. Using the color palette we chose the flowers, linens and decor items that fit the theme. The flowers had a slight bohemian feel to them and were elegant and whimsical as well. Incorporating the brass vases and mercury glass votives really helped the flowers match the vintage theme. We really wanted a family feel to the whole day so we used long king’s tables to create communal dining tables. Tom chose the table linens because he felt the pattern had a mid-century, modern yet vintage look to them. We also had a vintage lounge full of gorgeous vintage furniture pieces, including two lamps that Tom and I found at St. Vincent de Paul. To include the family a little more we incorporated a lot of family heirlooms. My fathers blue ascot from his Army dress uniform, Tom’s mother’s cicada brooch, handmade shawl from aunt, vintage Norwegian solje jewelry, Tom’s grandfather’s WWII pilot wings, and a vintage custom embroidered handkerchief. We played up the wine theme mildly by using wine barrels for cocktail tables, wine boxes for cards/gifts and wine corks to hold name cards. Since it was summer and an outdoor venue we provided s’mores as favors and had a fire pit for everyone to hang out and enjoy the weather.
Tom and I actively planned our wedding together and the amazing vendors brought it all to life. After the ceremony, once we were seated for dinner, Tom leaned over and said, “Wow, our wedding is beautiful! I can’t believe we did this. It’s the most amazing wedding I’ve ever been to!” This of course instantly made my heart melt and filled me up with joy after all that hard work and planning.”
Ceremony: Lower Oak Grove | Reception: Terrace Lawn & Pavilion | Florals: The Bloomery | Catering: Grace Street Catering
Tables & Chairs: Classic Party Rentals | Vintage Furniture: One True Love Vintage Rentals