Stress levers were a little high on the morning-of for winemaker bride Niki who was throwing her wedding at her childhood home, and the family’s stunning property on their Wente Vineyards estate. “There is nothing quite like throwing a wedding in your own home,” says the bride, but during the first look when she saw her “husband’s face and all the stress melted away.” The relaxed elegance of the details and florals can be credited to the mastermind, planner Blue Daphne Events and the day was introduced by lovely invitations by Blanche Paperie. The stunning property played a major role in the day and photographer Blue Note Weddings captured Niki and Nick in super special locations like the olive lane that was there before Niki’s family bought the land in the late 1800’s. The day was breathtaking and the images are stunning and you can check it all out below!
What made the wedding special and unique?
I am a huge fan of dessert, specifically cake! One of the most unique things to our wedding was that we had cake as the first and last course during the reception! A strawberry and champagne petite four paired with the Wente Vineyards Sparkling Brut was the first course and our wedding cake was the final course. Four layers and every one of them was delicious! Cookie crumble cake on the base and top, port and figs cake in the 3rd layer and devils food with raspberry on the 2nd layer. YUM! We also did the cake cutting at the very beginning of the reception, right after we were introduced.
Our wedding was incredibly special to me because it took place at my childhood home. My great grandfather built the house in 1928 and my father moved into the house in the 1980’s per his grandfather’s wishes. I was born and raised in this house and it has been a huge part of my family for many years which makes this a very special location for me!
Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!
I found my gown at Kinsley James Bridal Boutique in Walnut Creek, CA. I actually had thought that I already found my dream dress in San Francisco at a different bridal shop and just wanted to check out a couple other stores because you only get to do the whole bridal fitting thing once in your life! I went in to the day totally thinking I was just doing this for fun with my sister, my mom and a friend. It was a trunk show for Rita Vinieris that day which ended up really working in my favor! As soon as we got to Kinsley James my mom spotted my dress and suggested I try it on. It was definitely the style I was going for, I loved the lace detailing so I agreed with her it was a good choice! We chose a few others and I began my fitting. As soon as I put this dress on and walked out of the fitting room my sister started to tear up and was just saying “that’s the one! that’s the one!” It helped that the dress fit me perfectly without having any clipping so we could actually get the feel for how it would look on the big day. It was a little out of our budget, but thanks to the trunk show if we bought that day we would get a discount so that pretty much sealed the deal!
What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?
I am a vineyard manger and wine maker by trade, so we included a couple of the wines I have made throughout the day. We offered a welcome wine called “Niki’s Pinot Noir Rose” for our quests upon arrival to the ceremony, and during cocktail hour and dinner we have the 4 + 5 Sauvignon Blanc that my father and I made together. As part of my job I also grow and maintain olives as well. We send the olives off yearly to be milled and processed into olive oil. Our attendee gift was a small bottle of this handcrafted estate olive oil, set at every attendee’s seat. Nick and I both chose a signature cocktail that you can find us drinking whenever we are not drinking wine, old fashioned for him and tequila highball for me. And did I mention all the cake?!
We also were able to get a lot of photos around super special areas; Nick and the guys at my cousin’s house, me and the gals at my aunt and uncle’s house, our first look at an olive lane that was there before my family bought the land in the late 1800’s, and finally sunset photos in the hills above my father’s house. It sounds like this is a lot of personal touches that are special to me – but this is where Nick and I really got to know one another, where he got to know my family, and where he became a part of my family and I became a part of his. He loves this land as much as I do, which makes it all the more special to me.
What was the most memorable part of the day?
The most memorable part of my day was the first look hands down! I am not going to lie, I was a little stressed in the morning. There is nothing quite like throwing a wedding in your own home and I was projecting my mom and dad’s stress right up until I saw my husband’s face and all the stress melted away. Seeing him was the breath of fresh air I needed to remember why we were doing this, what makes it such a big deal and why we wanted all our friends and family there to witness us promising forever. After I saw him I was so calm, happy and excited for the rest of the day and frankly for the rest of my life! The entire wedding was a dream, from the spectacular speeches, to the incredible band and dance party and even our sunset picture escape with the most amazing photo and video duo – every part was so special and such a good time. But I always just go back to the feeling I felt when I saw Nick, and nothing will ever compare to that!
Tell us how you met and became engaged.
Nick and I met in 2014 when I was in college at Cal Poly finishing up my last year and he was living in San Francisco. We were both headed to Stagecoach Country Music Festival in Indio, CA with a group of friends. I was staying with my sister, and Nick was staying with my sister’s boyfriend and unbeknownst to us, they were plotting to set us up the entire time. We certainly hit it off right away, pretty much spent the entire weekend together and the rest is history! Flash forward to 4 years later, my sister and her boyfriend had just gotten engaged themselves and asked us if we would be interested in an engagement celebration trip with them to San Luis Obispo, where we all went to college. I thought it was a little fishy because we had already thrown them 2 engagement parties since the engagement took place, but I was quickly shut down by my sister when inquiring if this might be when Nick proposed to me. She told me that it was selfish of me to think that this was about me right after she got engaged and I felt so guilty for even bringing it up! Turns out they were all in on the big surprise. When we got down to San Luis Obispo they planned to do a hike up Bishops Peak, which was my favorite hike in college. When we got to the top Nick asked if they would take our picture and that’s when he did it! I can honestly say I have never been more surprised in my life! After the proposal they had planned a day of wine tasting and we had the absolute best time. I wish I could relive it all!
Photographer & Videographer: Blue Note Weddings // Wedding Planner / Florals: Blue Daphne Events // Invitations: Blanche Paperie // Venue: Wente Private Estate // Dress Designer: Rita Vinieris Rivini // Dress Store: Kinsley James // Makeup Artist: Nicoles Vanity // Hair Artist: The Blushing Bombshell // Catering: Wente // Band: Busta Groove // Rings: Derco Diamonds // Officiant: Evelyn Fletcher // Rentals & Decor: Pleasanton Rentals // Grooms Suit: Combatant Gentleman // Bridesmaids dresses: Show Me Your Mumu