For high-school sweethearts Jessica Beck and Chris McCormick, choosing the location for their wedding was the easiest part of the planning process. "We wanted our wedding to have a feeling of subtle romance," says Jessica. And for romance mixed with elegance, the Granite Bay, CA, couple looked no further than St. Francis Winery in Santa Rosa, where the lush greenery provided the perfect backdrop. To complement the beauty of the vineyard's grapes and roses, Jessica incorporated shades of lavender and dusty rose, which suited her theme.
On her big day, June 18, 2005, Jessica wore a pale-pink strapless gown by Lazaro, which featured detailed embroidery and crystals on the bodice. Rather than wear a formal tuxedo, Chris opted for a black suit from Joseph Abboud. The ceremony, for which the bridesmaids wore lavender satin gowns and the groomsmen donned black suits with lavender ties, was performed by the couple's pastor. "We wrote our own vows," says Jessica, "so the ceremony was really emotional for us."
After the ceremony, the guests enjoyed an outdoor cocktail hour, where they were served miniature crab cakes and vegetable rolls. For dinner, everyone was seated at long, rectangular tables, where they dined on grilled mahimahi with fruit salsa and sautéed vegetables, or chicken breast stuffed with spinach and mozzarella. To underscore the romantic setting, Jessica worked with the floral design company, Wine Country Flowers, to create elaborate arrangements of peonies, hydrangeas and roses in the ever-present shades of lavender and dusty rose. The couple's three-tiered wedding cake was covered with white fondant, and the lavender ribbon and sweet pea that graced each layer perfectly mirrored the colors and flowers featured throughout the event. After dinner, guests danced as Italian classics played softly in the background.
When the reception was over, both Jessica and Chris were completely
exhausted—a sure sign that their fabulous fete was a hit—and they agreed that their absolute favorite moment of the wedding day was seeing each other for the first time as Jessica walked down the aisle. "I didn't know what his reaction would be when he saw me," recalls the bride. "Chris said I looked even more amazing than he could have ever imagined."
Learn From Jessica and Chris
Have your favors reflect your theme: Jessica and Chris carried the romantic lavender hues into every aspect of their wedding—including
the fun favors. Every guest was given a little silver tin filled with purple candies called amorini, which means "little love" in Italian.
Consider your 'maids: Jessica's only requirement of her best gals was that they had to wear the color lavender—so each bridesmaid was able to choose the dress that flattered her figure the most.
Have your menu reflect the location: With dinner, Jessica and Chris offered reserve wines straight from St. Francis' vineyard, which were perfectly paired with the grilled mahimahi and stuffed chicken. —Cristi L. Hansen