Peter and Jessica Stolpman's romance played out in the vineyards of California's wine country, but their first meeting, in 2008, took place in a decidedly less picturesque locale — a corporate conference room. Pete had been dreading the eight-hour corporate training session, until he walked in and spotted a "beautiful blonde stranger" across the room. "The day immediately became more interesting," he says.
A colleague noticed the chemistry brewing between Peter and Jessica and set the two up on a date. Since then, the wine connoisseurs have embarked on numerous adventures, eventually becoming partners in Stolpman Vineyards, Pete's family-owned business. "We've traveled through Central and South America and Europe together, and laid the foundation for a life-long friendship," Jessica says.
When the couple got engaged over Thanksgiving in 2011, they could think of no better place than the family vineyard to host their July 27, 2013 wedding. With such a meaningful and beautiful backdrop for their big day, they could focus on other important tasks — such as sourcing local food and flowers, all from within two miles of the vineyard.
Below, take a peek at the gorgeous details, photographed by Dennis Kwan!
After trying on dozens of dresses and finding none that she liked, Jessica felt discouraged. But when she spotted a Badgley Mischka online — and saw that there was only one left in her size — she took a chance and ordered it. Luckily, when she tried on the flocked jacquard gown, it was exactly what she had envisioned. "I wanted something soft, natural, and, most importantly, comfortable," she says.
She paired the petal-like sheath with pastel-pink, gold-studded Valentino pumps.
Jessica kept her accessories simple, adding Lulu Frost earrings and a bracelet to her ensemble. "I wanted a fresh, modern look," she says.
Pete sported a gray suit and brown leather shoes by John Varvatos for the big day. Although you can't see them, his tailored pant legs are hiding skull socks, "because he's a slightly outgoing person," Jessica says with a laugh.
Bridesmaids chose their own dresses in neutral shades of blush-pink and champagne. "I wanted them all to feel beautiful and comfortable in dresses that fit their bodies and personalities," Jessica says.
The bride carried a bouquet of red anemones, while her bridesmaids held clusters of white anemones and roses, scabiosa pods, and dusty miller.
An acoustic guitarist welcomed guests to the outdoor ceremony, held near an oak grove and rolling hills of vineyards. With a view like that, who needs ceremony decor?
Pete's college friend Michael served as the couple's officiant, comparing the couple to the blend of flavors that creates a perfect wine. Jessica's childhood friend Christin sang a rendition of an Italian opera song. "A hawk soared over her as she sang," Jessica recalls. "It was magical."
A seven-piece mariachi band played during the cocktail hour. Guests sipped Stolpman Estate Wines — of course! — and also had a choice of signature drinks, including Manhattans, fresh margaritas, and Negronis.
The rustic villa on the estate's property served as the backdrop for the couple's Italian-inspired reception. From their seats at long farmhouse tables, guests could see both the rolling rows of vines and nearby mountains.
Rustic tables were topped with ivory and whimsical arrangements of locally grown, seasonal flowers. "I wanted to highlight the already magnificent site by keeping all elements soft, organic, and natural," Jessica says.
Jessica and Pete gave guests estate-grown olives as favors that doubled as escort cards. The couple sprayed the tops of the jars with chalkboard paint and wrote each guest's table assignment on them.
A chalkboard sign displayed the farm-to-table dinner menu. Lamb, oysters, flatbread, salads, goat, pork belly, and more were dished up family-style to the couple's 250 guests. Everything was organic and local — even the meat came from a neighboring farm!
In addition to cutting into a miniature dulce de leche cake adorned with fresh flowers, Jessica and Pete offered guests an assortment of colorful cupcakes for dessert.
Jessica changed into a Z Spoke by Zac Posen sheath dress for the party, allowing her to show off her studded Valentino pumps.
The couple honeymooned in Thailand and Vietnam in January, then returned home to work together at the vineyard. Reflecting on the day, Jessica says, "Don't focus too much on all the little details—everyone is there for you, so make sure to spend time with them, enjoy, and remember the night."
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Stolpman Vineyards || Wedding Planner: Rani Hoover Inspired Weddings and Events || Bride's Wedding Dress: ceremony - Badgley Mischka, reception - Zac Posen || Shoes: Valentino || Jewelry: Lulu Frost || Hair & Makeup: Team Hair and Makeup || Groom's Attire: John Varvatos || Wedding Bands: Fibula Jewelry || Florist: Ballard Canyon Farms || Invitations & Paper Goods: Letter Perfect || Music: ceremony - Ray Fortune, reception - JSH Music || Catering: Full of Life Foods || Cake: Enjoy Cupcakes || Rentals: Classic Party Rentals || Favors: Olives from Stolpman Vineyards || Transportation: Wine Country Tour Central || Accommodation: Santa Ynez Inn || Photography: Dennis Kwan Weddings