As any Dallas bride knows, if you throw a wedding in your hometown, it can morph into a 500-guest, larger-than-life affair faster than you can say “we're engaged, y'all.” So with an eye on keeping things on a more human scale, as well as avoiding the Texas heat, Adriane Shuford, 25, and Andy Crosland, 30, chose California's Napa Valley for their May nuptials. You can't drive a quarter-mile in these parts without seeing a sun-dappled winery, but Beaulieu Vineyard, in the town of Rutherford, distinguishes itself with stately courtyards and graceful stone buildings.
To wow their 170 guests with wedding-worthy whimsy, the couple pulled in Bay Area planner Kathryn Kenna and florist Leslie Grady, who dreamed up details like oversize topiary trees to flank the altar and a patio dotted with three-foot-high glass cylinders, lit underneath so they glowed after dark. In an emotional tribute during the ceremony, John Tolson, the couple's minister, read Bible verses that had been chosen for the occasion by the bride's recently deceased grandfather. “To know that he was praying for my future really put our wedding day in perspective,” says Adriane. But tears were soon replaced by smiles as the jubilant couple welcomed their guests to dinner—one of the highlights of the day for Adriane, a former chef, who chose a menu that included crab, tobiko caviar and bass topped with a brown-butter sauce, paired with some of the state's finest vintages. The elegant setting didn't stop friends and family from whooping it up on the dance floor, Texas-style, with blow-up guitars and blinking eyeglasses provided by the bride. “It was hilarious,” recalls Adriane of the exuberant scene. “One of the many, many great moments of the day.” —Hillary Quinn
Our Favorite Things
Party On: Besides the rehearsal dinner at the Barrel Room of the neighboring Rubicon Estate, the couple hosted a Tuscan welcome buffet, a croquet luncheon and an after-party at a Mexican restaurant. They also rented a nearby estate for a week so family members could hang out together before the wedding.
A Toast to Tequila: Though the wedding took place in wine central, Adriane made sure to have frosty pitchers of margaritas on hand for her Texan pals.
Team Spirit: Immediately following the bride's bouquet toss, Andy and his pals burst into their high school and college fight songs. “It was so great and goofy!” recalls Adriane.
Have it his Way: Guests were served a late-night snack of mini cheeseburgers (Andy's favorite) and shoestring fries in paper cones—a welcome energy boost during dancing.
Wedding and Reception Site
Beaulieu Vineyards, bvwines.com
Elizabeth Fillmore, elizabethfillmorebridal.com
Rehearsal Dinner Dress
Isaac Mizrahi, isaacmizrahiny.com
Kathryn Kenna, kathrynkenna.com
Leslie Grady, 510-418-9118
Flower Girl Dress
Malley & Co., malleyandco.com
Rehearsal Dinner Site
Rubicon Estate, rubiconestate.com
Suzy Clement, suzyclement.com