Courtney and Patrick’s wedding at The Estate Yountville checked all the beauty boxes—stunning scenery, relaxed elegance, lush florals and greenery—but it’s the stunning bride and beaming groom that truly shine. Kristine Herman Photography perfectly captured the radiance and joy of the “50/50 couple” (read on about their sand ceremony) in these images of their big day coordinated by Brannan Events with florals by Julie Stevens Design.
What made the wedding special and unique?
Patrick and I wanted all of our family and friends to get to know each other before the big day, so in the days leading up to our wedding we organized wine tasting adventures and a get together in Yountville’s Veteran’s Park where all of our guests gathered, and strangers turned into familiar faces. Everyone on the dance floor knew each other, that was so special to us!
We had a sand ceremony symbolizing our 50/50 commitment to each other. Courtney’s dad once told her at the beginning of our 8 year relationship that, “A relationship only works if each person is putting in their share, it has to be 50/50!”
Patrick and I went around the entire wedding party table at our wedding dinner and said a special something about all of our bridesmaids and groomsmen. we wanted everyone to know why those people are so special to us that we asked them to witness and stand by our side on our wedding day.
Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!
I wanted a modern, form fitting long sleeve lace dress and searched far and near to find it! We went to Chicago where my mom, sister, grandma, aunt and now mother-in-law first shopped for my dress. We didn’t walk away with anything, so when I got home to San Francisco, we went to several more shops and finally found my gown at Sarah Seven which is literally a 5 min walk from my house. My gown is called the Venice, but like all Sarah Seven dresses it was made custom. I added the Del Mar Skirt, a scalloped V back and buttons along the zipper on the back. The one request from my husband was an open back! He was happy!
What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?
My cousin, Andrew Raponi, who is one of my best friends (we’re only 6 months apart) played an acoustic version of “perfect” as we walked down the aisle.
Both of my parents said “We Do” when our officiant (my uncle Tom Raponi) asked “who presents this woman”.
For our first look, we were in the middle of a vineyard, and it felt like we were the only two people on the planet! Our immediate families were able to peek through the vines and we all celebrated with a champagne post after, in flute glasses my parents gifted us right then with our C/P logo on them.
What was the most memorable part of the day?
Walking down the aisle with my dad! I’ve been dreaming of that day my entire life; well at least from the first time I saw Father of the Bride. In fact, the movie had quite a significant role in our wedding. It was mentioned in my Dad’s rehearsal dinner speech where he reenacted the first scene when Steve Martin does his monologue and it was also mentioned in my vows to Patrick.
Our grand entrance into the Barrel Room for our first dance! Our coordinator had our wedding party create a tunnel for us to go through on our way in, where we found a live saxophone player playing along to our favorite song. We did not rehearse it, but it went perfect! We nailed it!
Tell us how you met and became engaged.
8 years ago, Patrick and I meet in entrepreneurship class in our last year, last semester in college at the University of Colorado in Boulder, CO. On the first day of class, we had to go around the room and say something interesting about ourselves and I said that I circumnavigated the world on Semester at Sea. After class Patrick called me out and said that I didn’t go on SAS because he just went and I wasn’t on his boat! Turns out, he went on the Fall semester and I went on the prior Spring semester boat. The following Friday night, we crossed paths at a bar, danced the night away and have been by each other’s side ever since! After college, we both moved to Denver and had a blast living with our best friends, going out and exploring the city together. About four years ago, we moved to San Francisco to further our careers and fell in love with the city and wine country!
About a month ago, Patrick proposed on the beautiful island of Kauai. We did an intense, 15 mile in/out backpacking trip along the Na Pali Coast, one of the hardest things we’ve ever done. We hiked along the coast and ended at Kalalau Beach where we camped for two nights. The second day, we were basically the only ones on a mile-long beach exploring, soaking up the sun and having the most unforgettable day. That night, we ate dinner early to watch the sunset, and Patrick brought a drone with him to “capture the moment” little did I know. He was playing around with the drone and I was getting annoyed that he wouldn’t sit down and watch the sunset with me. When he got the drone in the perfect spot, he asked me to come try and fly it, handed me the remote and then asked me to turn around. I threw the remote when I saw him on his knee! It was magical, pure magic. We barely slept that night we were so excited, but had to get up early the next morning to hike back and were planning to relax at our resort for the rest of the week. When we arrived to the resort, we pulled our Jeep into the valet circle and when I got out of the car my mom’s head poked out from behind a pole, then my dad’s then Patrick’s mom and dad. They came all the way to Hawaii to surprise me and spend the week celebrating with us!
Photography: Kristine Herman Photography // Coordination: Brannan Events // Florals: Julie Stevens Design // Signage and Invitations: Bloom and Buzz // Venue and Catering: The Estate Yountville // HMU: Style Bee // Dress: Sarah Seven // Shoes: Badgley Mischka