Tag Archives: northern california wedding

Early Fall Wedding at Beaulieu Gardens Featured on BRIDES

05 | 14 | 2015



BRIDES is featuring one of our favorite fall weddings! Follow this little cutie over there to see more!

photo: Gia Canali


Molly Sims & Scott Stuber’s Wedding: Wedding Day, Part 2

05 | 09 | 2013

Molly Sims wedding photo by Gia Canali - Scott wore a suit by To

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Molly Sims wedding photo by Gia Canali - dessert buffet included Molly Sims wedding photo by Gia Canali - the red velvet wedding

Molly Sims wedding photo by Gia Canali - cake cutting

~ ♥ ~

Did you just love that rose-petal road?! Congrats, Molly and Scott! Thank you for sharing your photos!

photos: Gia Canali Photography

event design & production: Stefanie Cove & Yifat Oren; florals, Kimm, The Velvet Garden; venue: private winery estate in Calistoga; vintage tabletop items: Vintage Table Co; ceremony & cocktail music: Elew; DJ, Michelle Pesce; video, Bliss Productions; lighting: Got Light; bridesmaid dresses: custom-designed Elizabeth Kennedy; Molly Sims’s wedding gown: Marchesa; Scott Stuber’s attire, Tom Ford LA; bride’s hair, Davy Newkirk; bride’s makeup: Monika Prensena; invites, Mr. Boddington; day-of paper: Tiny Pine Press; bride’s jewelry: Lorraine Schwartz


Taking Joy in Your Traditions

06 | 06 | 2012

There is something to be said for being true in honoring the traditions of your family … and having a little fun while you’re at it! (This may be the only difference between obligation and an unbridled delight).

The last photo is my favorite.

photos: Gia Canali


G&C : Elegance & Whimsy – An Enchanted Wine Country Wedding with Amy Kaneko Events

04 | 24 | 2012

We loved so many things about this wedding, not the least of which was the couple’s dog, Lola, who was a total show-stopper with her sweet and spunky personality.  Rare is a wedding as thoughtfully and soulfully planned out as this one.  The couple considered every single detail, and Amy Kaneko designed their extraordinary lush, natural ceremony “altar,” the olive tree “guest book” (aka wishing tree) and the escort card tree, which was hung with mica “fairies,” crystals, and quotes from the bride’s brother’s poetry, as a memorial to him.  The escort cards were hand-wrapped with wire and attached to gemstones that matched the gemstone table names.

The bride planned a ton of extra time for getting ready and for pre-ceremony photographs, so that no matter what, they wouldn’t be rushed or stressed out as they prepared themselves for their ceremony.  This kind of foresight had great pay-off, not just for the couple, but also for their photographs.  They look well-composed, relaxed, happy, and excited because they are well-composed, relaxed, happy, and excited.  (What a good trick, huh?!).

photos: Gia Canali

design & planning: Amy Kaneko Events; venue: Meadowood; videography: LoveSpun Films; florals: Cherries Flowers; officiant: Dr. Judith Caldwell; Linens: La Tavola Linens; Rentals: Hartmann Studios; Hair & makeup: Sarah Hyde; On-Site Dressing/Pressing: SewHeidi Wedding De-Tailor (707.479.0790); Paper goods, Gemstone escort cards, Table numbers: Amy Kaneko Events


Things I Like: An Heirloom Lace Veil (& a Good Story)

05 | 17 | 2011

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I consider myself a collector of stories (sometimes a creator of them, but not in this case).  In this case, the story is even better than I’d imagined when I first came across this veil of exquisite beauty in the tiny bridal room at Stanford Chapel the morning of Louise’s wedding.  As she and I conversed (both there and since), and I learned more about the veil, I thought you folks might love this story as much as I do.

Connecting with the things our forebears have done for centuries is a powerful reason people get married and have weddings (and why it is an institution in all our human culture).  But getting to so tangibly, so physically connect to that past is one the rarest and most extraordinary privileges.

Plus: don’t you kind of love to imagine ladies with excruciatingly delicate fingers embroidering this lace by hand … over 150 years ago?!

From the bride:

“My grandmother grew up in San Francisco, and lived in an apartment building with her mother. They became close with Mrs. Kane, a woman down the hall who had no children of her own. When my grandmother was engaged, the neighbor loaned her a lace veil that had been handmade for *her* grandmother on her wedding day, but the neighbor never wore since she eloped.  The veil is well over a hundred years old! My grandma wore the veil when she married my grandfather in San Francisco in 1949. When they had three daughters of their own—Katie, Nyna and Mary Lou—Mrs. Kane decided the lace veil should be passed into our family permanently. Katie wore the veil when she was married in 1975; Nyna, who is my mother, wore the veil when she married my father in 1977; and Mary Lou wore the very same lace veil on her wedding day in 1980. From generation to generation, the antique lace will continue to be passed down to brides in the family, and I wore this same veil on my wedding day in March 2011.  My cousin Carrie will wear the lace next for her wedding on July 4, 2011.”
Lace worn:
Veil and collar:  Carolyn Tilton married to George Magee Cunningham, Jr.  July 30, 1949
veil and collar:  Nyna Lynn Cunningham married to William Dana Dolby, July 9, 1977
Veil and collar:  Mary Louise Cunningham married to Rex Douglas White, July 26, 1980
Collar and handkerchief lace on veil cap:  Kathleen Ann Cunningham married to Scott Norman Lamb, August 1975
Veil:  Louise Gabrielle Dolby married to Brian Everett Schultze, March 19, 2011
Collar:  Carolyn Elizabeth Judson to be married to Justin Urso, July 4, 2011
The veil was also borrowed and worn by the daughter of a good friend of my mom’s for her wedding in 2009.
photo: Gia Canali

Black & White Done Right: Sonya & Kevin’s Wedding

06 | 05 | 2009


I was just getting ready to post about why color is so important in wedding design.  For one thing, it gives the finished wedding album a certain otherwise-unattainable pizazz.  (I would like to suggest that it logically also gives the real live wedding that same bit of glamour.)  But I got side-tracked thinking about Sonya and Kevin’s wedding.   Their wedding was black-and-white (and therefore sort of non-colored) but had both important benchmarks of good “color” design: the scheme was unified (black-and-white with apple green accents) and was carried out across all design elements (florals, fashion, linens, furniture, stationery, etc.).

Rebecca Feeney of Custom Event Group set her careful eye to the details of this wedding.  The floral design was one of my favorite of those details.  The arrangements were formal, but still very dreamy. Below are Sonya’s bouquet, centerpieces from the reception, floating floral balls from the reception, and shade tents from near the ceremony area.  Florals by Michael Holmes Design, Napa.

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95giacanali-009 black and white florals

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The bride wore a dress by Rivini.  It was perfectly suited for her—and was so perfectly, sweetly sexy. Below, note the bridesmaid’s dresses with a black-and-white floral pattern.  Their bouquets reversed the color scheme.

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Love their happy recessional …


Sonya and Kevin really wanted a wedding that was fun and truly memorable for their guests, and so prioritized good food, dancing, and the making of an amazing party.

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Elaine Bell Catering created a food station buffet, complete with mini mac ‘n cheese, sliders, sushi, salads, and other yummy treats.

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The venue was a private estate in Calistoga, CA, and provided a beautiful backdrop for the party that followed dinner.  Their coaster-shaped save-the-dates by Milkfed Press displayed a favorite drink recipe!

wedding chair path

91giacanali-3978 reception overview nighttime flowers


Steal these ideas:

  1. Use a cohesive color scheme! Carry it out across all the design elements.
  2. Remember your guests!  Sonya says, “Stick to the basics and do them really, really well!  Think of your guests and what makes a wedding memorable to them.”  Another way of thinking about this is to not get hung up on your idea of what makes a wedding fancy or formal, but rather what makes a wedding a wonderful experience to share with your friends and family.  And if that means serving mac ‘n cheese, serve mac ‘n cheese.

photo credit: Gia Canali