Both are designers (he is an industrial designer and she is a graphic designer) and they met at a branding consultancy in Oakland. Joann describers her husband as "a down to earth layback kind of guy from Australia" and herself as "a more intense punctual city girl from Hong Kong."
Joann had lived in California for over 15 years and wanted to have either a beach or a vineyard wedding. "After [researching] and of course checking with our budget, we decided to have our wedding at a private vineyard in Napa."
"When we found this vineyard, we felt in love with it. It was rustic and private. It was kind of like an empty canvas to an artist...it only needed few more touches to make it come alive."
"I always wanted to plan my own wedding, so we did not hire a wedding planner, and we were eager to do as much as possible ourselves."
A few of the eco-friendly designs they incorporated were:
2. Place card holders made from recycled wine corks -"we cut a slit in the middle, and used a pin to stabilize the back."
3. The groomsmen's boutonnieres were made by Joann's mom. "We decided to used old checker clothes and cut leaf shape as the backing. They matched what the groomsmen were wearing (checker vans)."
4. To match the surrounding, Joann worked with Laura Auyeung, from Poppy's Petalworks to create amazing displays with seasonal autumn flowers & foliage, including dahlias, Safari West protea, Pin Cushion protea, hanging amaranthus, china berries, Coffee Bean hypericum berries, and Milva roses.
For the tables Laura used twig balls accented with orange and burgundy dahlia & china berries. As Joann described, "We used old grapevines (they are easy to find and eco-friendly as they are unwanted items from vineyards). We utilized them as our wreaths and centerpieces for our tables (and that saved me from over using flowers - and $ too, because the grapevine balls created quite an unique look [by themselves])."
The couple also had a sign-in wishing tree Laura made from fresh manzanita branches accented with orange Tiger dahlia. It was finished with a small nest with two feathered birds (signifying the new home the couple was building together). Guests wrote their blessings on custom designed cards and hung them on the branches.
5. To create a difference between the indoor and outdoor spaces, Joann and Chris used different colored rice paper lanterns. "I purposely changed the lantern colors from red/orange to silver where the dance area was, so that it would help shift the focus. For the lanterns inside the barn, I didnt have to hang too many, and the trick was to buy different sizes of the same color ( in this case 12" and 24"), and [stagger them to create a] greater space."
6. Instead of an American wedding cake they had a French Wedding cake. "The cake was a traditional French wedding cake - Croquembouche. I always wanted this type of cake for my wedding since many many years ago. Because I like the dramatic and delicious golden color, and that became a wow factor for our wedding. And the shape of each cream puff matched my lanterns! Creative International from San Francisco did a great job. It was truly delicious. [The pieces were] served on martini glasses with hot chocolate fudge and mint leaves on top." Because of its construction, it was easy for guests to take home the left overs - so nothing was wasted!
Joann and Chris have set a new bar for vineyard-chic - what a beautiful event!