A Rustic Ceremony and Modern Reception in California Wine Country

Planned by Ashley Smith Events

Updated 09/18/19

Photo by Jenn Emerling Weddings 

In January 2015, Harrison “Harry” Ford was living in Washington D.C. and working for the Obama administration. He found himself at a friend's “Mardis Gras” party, where a King Cake—a traditional dessert in which a toy “baby” is hidden that’s meant to bring good fortune to whoever finds it—was served. Harry received the lucky slice and, as luck would have it, met Megan Mills. 

The couple started dating almost immediately and eventually moved to San Francisco together. After more than two years together, Harry decided to make it official while out on a hike with their friends and surprised the crowd when he got down on one knee. After the hike was quickly abandoned (celebrations were in order!), everyone headed to the Destination Baking Company, where Harry had more surprises waiting: he and Megan’s parents! “Harry had even arranged for the bakery to make a King Cake, coming full circle from the day we met,” Megan recalls.

These thoughtful touches and attention to details played a big part on Megan and Harry's wedding day, which took place in Healdsburg, California. Keep reading to get all the details of their rustic-meets-modern ceremony and reception, as planned and designed by Ashley Smith Events and photographed by Jenn Emerling Weddings

Bride
Photo by Jenn Emerling Weddings
bride's veil
Photo by Jenn Emerling Weddings
bride's shoes
Photo by Jenn Emerling Weddings 

“I tried on probably 200 dresses,” Megan says of her search for the perfect wedding dress. But when she found the silk crepe “Selma” gown by Rita Vinieris, she knew it was the one. “I finally felt comfortable—like me," she says. "And I knew I’d be able to dance in it!” Megan completed her wedding-day look with a custom veil, “Abby” sandals by Alexander Wang, and her grandmother’s earrings. 

custom handkerchiefs
Photo by Jenn Emerling Weddings 

Megan gave her mom an embroidered handkerchief, and her best friends returned the favor by gifting her one that said, "Keep Your Shit Together. "

groom
Photo by Jenn Emerling Weddings 
Groom's jacket
 Photo by Jenn Emerling Weddings

Harry looked dapper in a bespoke tuxedo with a dark-green jacket. The inside was lined with a painterly floral pattern, which he designed in collaboration with custom suiting shop Tailors’ Keep in San Francisco. He completed his look by carrying his paternal grandfather’s pocket watch and a locket filled with mementos from his maternal grandparents in his suit pockets.

first look
Photo by Jenn Emerling Weddings 
couple laughing
Photo by Jenn Emerling Weddings 

The couple did a first look before the ceremony, which took place at a rolling private estate in Healdsburg, in the heart of California wine country. 

couple throwing disco ball
Photo by Jenn Emerling Weddings
custom sign
Photo by Jenn Emerling Weddings

Harry and Megan wanted their wedding to feel “fresh and elevated, but not stuffy,” says the bride. To that end, they incorporated fun, modern design elements like disco balls and graphic signage throughout the ceremony and reception. 

bar
Photo by Jenn Emerling Weddings
lemonade dispenser
Photo by Jenn Emerling Weddings 

“It was the hottest day of the year,” Megan says, so the couple provided parasols and lemonade at the ceremony site to help keep their 125 guests cool and comfortable. 

bride walking down aisle
Photo by Jenn Emerling Weddings 
ceremony
Photo by Jenn Emerling Weddings 
ceremony altar
Photo by Jenn Emerling Weddings

During the ceremony, both the bride and the groom were accompanied by their parents. Harry arrived to Yeasayer’s “Uma,” while Megan walked up the aisle to Frank Ocean’s version of “Moon River.” Guests looked on from natural wood benches decorated with greenery. 

couple holding hands
Photo by Jenn Emerling Weddings
first kiss
Photo by Jenn Emerling Weddings
ceremony exit
Photo by Jenn Emerling Weddings 

A close friend, who’d been at both the party where Harry and Megan met and their engagement, performed the ceremony. The bride and the groom wrote their vows—though when it came time to recite his, Harry found them missing. “The ceremony came to a pause and laughter filled the air as he checked each of his pockets,” Megan remembers. After realizing his notebook was still on the coffee table inside the estate’s house, a friend sprung into action and sprinted down the hill to retrieve them. “He returned and delivered the vows to cheers and applause!” The happy couple recessed down the aisle to “You and Me” by Penny & the Quarters. 

cocktail hour
Photo by Jenn Emerling Weddings
Mobile bar
Photo by Jenn Emerling Weddings
guests lounging
Photo by Jenn Emerling Weddings 

During cocktail hour, the couple served a selection of wine and beer, and two signature cocktails as guests lounged in the shade of the estate’s trees. 

couple waving to guests
Photo by Jenn Emerling Weddings 
reception
Photo by Jenn Emerling Weddings

For the reception, the party moved to Healdsburg SHED, a venue that's a cafe and market, food education center, and event space. “It’s simple yet sophisticated,” Megan describes. “At our reception, we wanted to serve a delicious meal and have the night feel intimate and curated. SHED’s food and architecture offered the perfect combination.” 

reception table decor
 Photo by Jenn Emerling Weddings
centerpiece
Photo by Jenn Emerling Weddings
table setting
Photo by Jenn Emerling Weddings 

Table settings included a runner of vibrant greenery, arrangements in simple white vases, candles, and pink napkins. Megan, a manager at a design studio, laser-cut each of the place cards herself, while the groom's mother made jelly that served as favors.

signature cocktails
Photo by Jenn Emerling Weddings 
dinner
Photo by Jenn Emerling Weddings 

Fantastic food was a priority for the couple. The meal began with Capital oysters, a spring green salad, and prosciutto and stone fruit burrata, followed by roasted duck breast, sirloin, and English pea risotto.Throughout the night, guests sipped on signature cocktails including a “Blueberry Smash,” made with crushed blueberries, citrus, herbs, and Bonal sparkling wine. 

wedding cake
Photo by Jenn Emerling Weddings 

The couple capped off the meal with one dish: an apricot and corn wedding cake decorated with blood oranges by A Spoonful of Sugar.

couple kissing
Photo by Jenn Emerling Weddings 

“We wanted a wedding that really felt like us and Ashley helped us do just that,” Megan says of their wedding planner, Ashley Smith Events. “The collaboration was a blast!” 

dancefloor
Photo by Jenn Emerling Weddings
first dance
Photo by Jenn Emerling Weddings 
neon sign
Photo by Jenn Emerling Weddings

“We were so eager to dance, after speeches we headed to the dance floor to get the party started," Megan recalls. "We managed to skip eating (not a great idea) and forgot to cut our cake!” The newlyweds performed their first dance to Sam Cooke’s “You Send Me,” and the DJ kept everyone dancing for the rest of the party. The DJ booth was decorated with a custom neon sign summed up the sentiment of the day perfectly: “Ford ever and ever.” 

Wedding Planner: Ashley Smith Events || Reception Venue: Healdsburg SHED || Bride’s Dress: Rita Vinieris || Bride’s Shoes: Alexander Wang || Groom’s Attire: Tailors’ Keep, BOSS || Stationery: Minted || Makeup Artist: Marisa Perel || Floral Designer: Venn Floral || Music: The Flashdance DJ || Cake: A Spoonful of Sugar || Rentals: Big 4 Party Rentals, Encore Events Rentals, Bright Event Rentals, Pieces by Violet || Mobile Cocktail Bar: A Lil Something Sweet || Transportation: First Student Charter Bus || Videography: Sharkpig Weddings || Photography: Jenn Emerling Weddings

Related Stories