A Formal Fall Wedding in Napa, California

Real Weddings

By the time Garrick popped the question to Dare—more than seven years into their dating relationship—it was "way past time," Dare says her friends and family alleged. "But somehow, Garrick was still able to surprise me."

On a crisp spring evening in Napa Valley's St. Helena, the couple joined friends for a wine tasting at an intimate cabin at Long Meadow Ranch, where Garrick dropped to one knee on a scenic porch and proposed. "As we walked into the cabin, I discovered that the evening was meant just for the two of us, and he had prepared a dinner with my favorite flowers, food and champagne," Dare recalls.

Dare and Garrick returned to Napa Valley for their September wedding, selecting The Carneros Inn as their venue. After visiting the property on a previous anniversary, the couple fell in love. "Everything from the architecture, decor, landscape, and food seemed to fit our personality as a couple," Dare says.

The theme of Dare and Garrik's wedding? "California Casual meets Old South," Dare says. "We really wanted to complement the beautiful surroundings of The Carneros Inn."

Elegant gray and white invitations by Union Street Papery invited 172 guests to the fall fete using a soft, scrolling script.

Dare's silk and organza Carolina Herrera wedding gown was the perfect "combination of structure and whimsy," the bride says.

"I have always admired the designer [Carolina Herrera], and it was one of the first three dresses that I ever tried on," Dare says, naming the gown's asymmetrical bow as one of her favorite features.

Dare paired silver Manolo Blahnik pumps with her gown.

Ruffled Cattleya orchids adorned the bride's upswept hairstyle.

Dare wore an heirloom three-stone Sapphire ring—a gift from her maternal grandmother, who passed away when the bride was a child.

Dare's favorite hue, Kelly green, took center stage in the couple's otherwise neutral color palette, manifesting itself in everything from the bridesmaids' Anna Elyse dresses to the couple's cocktail napkins. "I knew I wanted to pair it with a clean palette of white and gray," the bride says of her color selections.

Each of Dare's nine bridesmaids chose her own style dress, the bride explains, "because I had a difficult time choosing because there were so many of them."

Dare's white bouquet was made from Cattleya orchids, with a touch of anthurium leaves adding a hint of green hue to the arrangement.

Florist Brown Paper Design made bridesmaids' bouquets from lady slipper orchids, garden roses, ranunculus and greens.

Lady slipper orchid boutonnieres were tied with soft coral ribbon.

The mother-of-the-bride's vibrant coral dress was purchased from a Wilkes Bashford boutique in San Francisco.

Both Dare and Garrik's mother wore white gardenia corsages on their wrists.

Garrik's twin nephews served as the couple's ring bearers, donning matching navy blue jackets and khaki pants for the occasion.

The ring bearers and flower girls were sent down the aisle in boy-girl pairs, "but of course they were out of formation when they got to the end," Dare recalls.

The girls carried wreaths of dried lavender, tied with soft coral ribbon, down the aisle.

Dare and Garrik's ceremony was held in the apple orchard, an expansive green lawn with a backdrop of vineyard and mountain views.

A friend officiated the simple ceremony, which included readings from the couple's six nieces and nephews. The selection was from the book Us Two by A. A. Milne.

The couple broke tradition by spending the night before their wedding together. "When we woke up, we had a moment to exchange our gifts in bed," Dare says. "It was such a special way to start the wedding day."

Cribbing from the New Orleans' traditional, Dare and Garrik led a musical second line from there ceremony to the cocktail hour.

Trays of crab cakes, prosciutto-wrapped prawns and goat cheese tarts awaited guests during the couple's cocktail hour, held in a courtyard just beyond one of The Carneros Inn's grand ballrooms.

The couple's signature cocktails included Old Fashioned and Gimlets served with striped Kelly green straws.

Coral was added to the green and gray color palette as an accent color, found in the couple's cocktail table arrangements.

Guests found their seat assignments tucked into grass-filled boxes.

The reception was held inside The Carneros Inn's neutral-hued ballroom. Cylindrical vases held lady slipper orchids, garden roses, sweet peas, dahlias, stock and tropical foliage. The centerpieces adorned square tables covered in gray Chevron-printed cloths.

A seated dinner included a delectable spread of stone fruits, buffalo mozzarella and Spanish chorizo, served before wild king salmon and prime filet mignon with bean ragout and potato puree.

"My girlfriends were the ones that really tackled the do-it-yourself projects," Dare confesses. "The week before the wedding, they were designing the labels for the welcome gift box and spice rub favors, and tying 170 bows." The gussied-up spice rub jars became the couple's favors.

The All Stars band kept guests on the dance floor in between bites of the couple's wedding cake. Dare and Garrik had so much fun at their cake tasting that "it was hard to choose just one flavor," the bride admits. The couple finally decided on layers of carrot, chocolate and raspberry cakes.

In the weeks since their wedding—and a mini-moon to Rutherford, California—Dare and Garrik have "had fun saying 'husband' and 'wife,' and settling back to normal life," Dare says. "We've enjoyed reminiscing about the wedding weekend with our friends and family, and planning our honeymoon."

—Jillian Kramer

Wedding Planner: The Green Ribbon Party Planning Co. || Ceremony Venue: The Carneros Inn || Reception Venue: The Carneros Inn || Bride's Wedding Dress: Carolina Herrera || Bride's Shoes: Manolo Blahnik || Bride's Wedding Ring: Cresalia Jewelers || Groom's Tux: Corneliani || Groom's Wedding Ring: Cresalia Jewelers || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Anna Elyse || Groomsmen Attire: Brooks Brothers || Mother of the Bride's Dress: Wilkes Bashford || Flower Girl Dress: Us Angels || Florist: Brown Paper Design || Caterer: The Carneros Inn || Stationery: Union Street Papery || Cake Baker: The Carneros Inn || Rentals: Classic Party Rentals and Town & Country Distinctive Event Rentals & Services || Entertainment: The All Stars || Photography: Kate Webber Photography

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