Stephanie “Steph” Taddei and Timothy “Tim” Goger met by chance in the winter of 2012 while both out on the town in New York City. “Truthfully, we didn’t think much of the encounter,” Steph confesses. It wasn’t until they developed a friendship and started spending more time together that they realized there was something special there.
Several months later, the two decided to explore that potential romantic connection. “Tim asked me to dinner at Tao, a restaurant I had been wanting to try that he visited frequently, but we ended up at a diner since Tim couldn’t miss the New York Giants Game,” Steph admits. Even though the date didn’t go according to plan, Steph and Tim really enjoyed each other’s company, so there were many more dates to follow. “Needless to say, I got my Tao dinner,” Steph shares.
Six years later, a proposal was underway. Tim intended on popping the question in Positano, Italy while the duo was exploring Italy and Greece on a two-week vacation. “During our drive from Naples to Positano, Tim suggested we catch the sunset and grab some drinks at the beach before dinner that evening,” Steph remembers. “There’s nothing I love more than a good sunset, so I was pleasantly surprised to hear he was thinking that.”
They had a sharp 6 p.m. departure time to catch the sunset, but Steph was running behind schedule. Oblivious to the proposal, she rolled out of the hotel 30 minutes late, and Tim tried to remain calm and stoic. “As the sun was setting, we made our way over to a good spot, snapped a couple of photos, and before I could blink my eyes, Tim was down on one knee saying, ‘This is the real reason we’re here,’” Steph recalls. She gave an exuberant “yes” and slipped on her dazzling diamond ring.
Before the pair even got engaged, they settled on a wedding date: June 6, 2020. “We’re big into numbers, and something about June 6, 2020 just felt so right,” Steph illuminates. “At the start of 2020, the year felt like our year, the year we had been waiting for.” Little did they know that a global pandemic would emerge, forcing them to change their plans. Since the lovebirds still wanted a warm summer wedding, they decided to postpone their big day to June 18, 2021.
Despite the uncertainty of the world, wedding planning was a breeze for Steph. She had spent years envisioning her dream wedding day, so she had a clear vision in mind. “Every piece of wedding planning was a new adventure, and with each month that passed, I could slowly start to see my vision come to life,” she explains. “That’s a feeling I’ll never forget.” In the midst of all her innovative ideas, Steph’s main goal was to host a wedding that reflected her special relationship with Tim. “I always knew I wanted the opposite of a traditional wedding,” Steph notes. “Tim and I always dare to be different, and we wanted our wedding to feel unique, to feel special, and to feel like us.”
Steph and Tim set the tone of their “fairytale boho summer wedding” with elegant stationery, featuring a floral illustration. To execute this theme, the bride embraced the vibrant hues of a summer sunset with shades of pink, peach, and coral with white and gold accents. “I’ve always wanted to get married in June to showcase the gorgeous summer colors,” she says. As for the boho aesthetic, Steph incorporated pampas grass, bunny tails, and dried florals throughout her décor to give her event an effortless feel.
While the bride was getting ready with her bridesmaids, an unexpected visitor appeared—and couldn’t stay away. “Tim kept peeking through the door from the balcony, staring at me,” Steph reveals. “My maid of honor kept pointing Tim out to me, and the look on his face was adorable.”
For her beauty look, Steph drew inspiration from the red carpet. “My hair and makeup Pinterest board is full of inspirational photos of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Emily Ratajkowski, and Hailey Bieber,” the bride discloses. After showing Dre and Mari from Salt Spell Beauty her Pinterest board, the glam team used neutral makeup to paint a glowy look and transformed her locks into loose waves. “Having long, soft curls for my ceremony was the perfect complement to my dress and created such a fairytale vibe,” Steph illustrates.
Steph rocked a tulle beaded ball gown with illusion sleeves and a scoop neckline by Hayley Paige for her wedding attire. The bride flew to Los Angeles to search for the perfect dress, and her aunt stood by her side throughout the entire process. “Being able to dress shop with someone who has been there for me every step of the way was beyond special,” Steph reminisces. To pull her outfit together, Steph donned Christian Louboutin red-bottom heels, a dream she’s had since she was a teenager.
To match the celestial embellishments on her dress, Steph sported sparkly star-shaped earrings from Maria Elena Headpieces. “Immediately after trying on the earrings with the dress, I knew I found the perfect match,” she concludes.
The bride picked summer-inspired flowers of peonies, roses, ranunculus, and bunny tails in coral and blush hues to comprise her bouquet. She paired the fresh flowers with dried grasses, which “gave the bouquet an elegant, wild feel that I adored.” Steph wrapped the bouquet in a pink silk ribbon and hung a charm with photos of her paternal grandparents, so they could walk her down the aisle.
Tim wore a custom white velvet tuxedo jacket with a silk shawl collar and silk printed lining from Klein Epstein & Parker. “We were able to thoughtfully select every piece of fabric, style, and detail (down to the buttons) of Tim’s look,” Steph remarks. For a special touch, Tim added stitching underneath his collar and on the inside of his jacket, which said something only the couple knew. The groom’s blush shirt and handkerchief coordinated perfectly with the wedding palette, and his Christian Louboutin shoes matched the bride’s.
I wanted my wedding day to feel like a fairytale, to feel like the most special day of my life, to feel magical.
“I wanted my wedding day to feel like a fairytale, to feel like the most special day of my life, to feel magical,” Steph divulges. “If I’m only going to get married once in my life, I wanted to be sure I made my wedding day everything I dreamed of and more.” An intimate first look with just the two of them was the perfect way to kick off their ideal nuptials.
Once guests arrived, a lucite welcome sign in a gold frame and a chic lounge area with pink plush furniture greeted them. “The lounge area created a space for guests to sit down, chat, and enjoy their cocktails,” Steph explains.
Since the duo moved from New York City to Napa Valley in 2014, they knew they were going to host their special day in California’s wine country. “We’ve known for years we wanted to showcase all of the beauty Napa Valley has to offer throughout our wedding weekend,” the bride says. The pair made sure to select a venue that highlighted the breathtaking vineyards, and Auberge du Soleil delivered. “Auberge du Soleil was the third and last venue we saw while conducting venue site tours in Napa Valley, and the property instantly stole our hearts,” Steph expresses. “We can’t imagine spending our wedding weekend anywhere else.”
Arrangements of pink flowers and pampas grass stood at each end of the aisle and framed the couple’s vows. A hanging installation of pink dried florals towered over the beginning of the aisle, which was something Steph visualized as soon as she laid eyes on the venue. “The shades of pink matched the pampas semi-circle and aisle entry arrangements perfectly,” the bride says of the installation.
The moment was unexpected for our guests and special for us, and it created a memory that we’ll never forget.
A live guitarist and violinist played “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Kina Grannis (inspired by Crazy Rich Asians) while the bride and groom walked down the aisle together. “After our first look, we made a last-minute decision to have Tim walk me down the aisle, something inside both of us that felt so right,” Steph reveals. “The moment was unexpected for our guests and special for us, and it created a memory that we’ll never forget.”
Instead of writing their own vows and sharing them with an audience, the twosome exchanged heartfelt letters in private before the ceremony. They did, however, personalize their ceremony by stating the top three qualities each of them admires about the other.
After Steph and Tim had their first kiss as newlyweds, they recessed to “All of Me” by John Legend.
Sticking with the color scheme, Steph’s bridal party wore blush dresses from Amsale. “Since I know everyone has a different style preference, and I’m not a fan of matching dresses, I allowed my bridesmaids to pick an Amsale style they loved,” Steph clarifies. For a cohesive look, the groomsmen all wore black tuxedos with the same shawl collar style as Tim’s. But to distinguish themselves from the groom, they wore satin ties.
This was the moment that our marriage felt complete.
After the duo was pronounced husband and wife, the newlyweds spent a few minutes alone, celebrating with Champagne. “Tim and I look back on this particular moment of our wedding day and realize how special that time together was,” Steph conveys. “This was the moment that our marriage felt complete.”
When guests arrived at the reception, the first décor element they saw was an acrylic escort card chart in a gold frame, which Steph implemented with help from Sheryl of Blushtype. They marked each escort card with a gold wax seal and refined calligraphy. “Our seating chart is something our guests are still talking about,” Steph declares.
“The bar set-up exceeded all expectations,” the bride exclaims. Their ornate drink menu displayed two signature cocktails: “The Cuke’s Gimlet,” a spicy-yet-refreshing combination of vodka, mint, lime, cucumber, cayenne pepper, and Himalayan salt, and “The Auberge Sunset,” a fruity mixture of sparkling wine, pomegranate liquor, Chambord, and orange peel. The couple also passed out cocktail napkins, which each exhibited a fun fact about them.
The main attraction at the reception was a neon sign with the newlyweds’ last name, superimposed on a wall of pampas grass. “The pampas wall turned out so incredible that Tim asked if we could take the entire wall home,” Steph laughs.
Guests were constantly pointing out how every item felt perfectly curated.
Pink taper candles in white ceramic candle holders and mini floral arrangements of peonies and Lily of the Valley stood at the center of each table. The lovebirds set each place setting set with pink goblet glasses, gold-rimmed chargers, gold flatware, and pink menu cards fastened with ribbon. “Needless to say, my Pinterest board dreams came to life,” Steph reflects. “Not a detail was missed, and guests were constantly pointing out how every item felt perfectly curated.”
To spotlight their pampas grass wall, the bride and groom used it as the backdrop for their sweetheart table. They sat on a blush loveseat and dined at a wooden table, which was decorated with a sheer table runner, floral bud vases, and votive candles in white ceramic holders.
For dessert, the lovers served a three-tier semi-naked cake with a cascade of pink blooms. As for the flavor, “Why have one cake flavor when you can have two?” They selected a blueberry-buttermilk cake with blueberry-jam filling and maple buttercream for one, and a lemon cake with lemon-curd and lemon-vanilla buttercream for the other.
Another John Legend song, “Conversations in the Dark,” played while Steph and Tim enjoyed their first dance.
The pair wrapped up their wedding night by breaking it down on the dance floor to “their song,” “Show Me Love” by Robin S. For a day that Steph has been imagining for as long as she can remember, the actual wedding satisfied and exceeded her wildest dreams. The couple’s nuptials were so meaningful because they made sure to host a celebration that spoke to them.
“Everyone loves to have an opinion during wedding planning, especially when the wedding isn’t their own. But the only opinion that matters is your opinion,” Steph advises. “Don’t make any decision based on how others will feel. Make all decisions based on how you feel.”
Venue Auberge du Soleil
Planner Carly Saber Events
Officiant Rick Tan of Tan Weddings & Events
Bridal Gown Designer Hayley Paige
Bridal Salon JLM Couture
Veil Hayley Paige
Jewelry Maria Elena Headpieces
Custom Handbag Island to East Side
Hair Dre Ortega Costigan of Salt Spell Beauty
Makeup Mariana McGrath of Salt Spell Beauty
Second Bridal Gown Retrofête
Bridesmaids’ Dresses Amsale
Groom’s Attire Klein Epstein & Parker
Bow Tie Tom Ford
Groom’s Shoes Christian Louboutin
Groomsmen’s Attire EZ Tuxedo
Floral Design Tumbleweed Floral Design
Invitations Shine Wedding Invitations
Guest Book DesertCoastalStudios on Etsy
Catering Auberge du Soleil
Cake Monday Bakery & Cafe
Accommodations Auberge du Soleil
Photography Jodee Debes Photography