Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Wine Country Wedding

Over the weekend we went to a terrific pre-Labor Day BBQ hosted by our friends Leigh Ann and Nate, which reminded me that I need to get my rear in gear and actually talk about their wedding that we went to a few months ago! Our trip to California at the end of June was centered around this fantastic event!

Nate and Leigh Ann's wedding was held at the beautiful vineyard home of Leigh Ann's uncle in an adorable little town in Sonoma county called Healdsburg. We arrived in Healdsburg late in the morning on the wedding day, and spent an hour or so walking around the lovely town square and shopping in the touristy little stores. By the time we checked into our hotel in nearby Geyserville early in the afternoon, it was SUPER hot out (I had no idea the climate was so different in wine country than in San Fran), so I took a dip in the hotel pool, which was really quite nice! My friend Emily and her husband Ashford arrived a couple of hours later, and in the early evening we all rode over to Leigh Ann's uncle's house together in the Hummer that Em and Ash had gotten as a rental car.

The wedding itself was absolutely perfect, which isn't surprising at all since Leigh Ann is a meticulous planner and an amazing host. The setting was gorgeous, with her uncle's vines directly behind the gazebo. The weather was wonderful, with perfect temperatures in the shade even though the sun was a little hot. The music was very unique and meaningful to the couple--completely non-traditional and very fun. Leigh Ann looked absolutely gorgeous (see my favorite photo to the right) and was flanked by her sister and her fabulously fun friends. The ceremony was one of a kind, especially because Nate's best friend from high school was the minister! Everything about the wedding was personalized and perfect!

The reception was also at the family vineyard, with incredible wine (obviously) and fabulous food. We ate at perfectly appointed tables out on the lawn, which were each named after a band instead of simply given a table number. Each band was a band that Nate and/or Leigh Ann had seen live, and since they came to the Old 97's show last year in Lawrence, we got to sit at the Old 97's table, of course! This fun and unique idea is just the kind of incredible detail that goes into every gathering Leigh Ann plans. I've often thought that she missed her calling as a party planner!

During dinner we enjoyed live music from a band, who went on to provide dancing music after dinner. We talked and laughed and socialized with our friends, mostly current and former friends from KU Endowment, late into the night. Everyone had such a great time, and thankfully, the celebration didn't end there! The next morning we all gathered together to jump onto a bus which took us on a wine tour that Leigh Ann had also planned! We stopped by four different wineries that day, all with beautiful views and terrific wines. After learning how incredibly complicated the wine making process is, I came to appreciate why good wine is so expensive!

Chad was such a good sport on the wine tour, because even though he isn't a wine fan at all he actually tasted almost all of them! There were only a couple that he might actually drink, one of which I remembered because the staff at Dry Creek Vineyard nicknamed it the "porch pounder" since it was such an easy-drinking white!

After a long day of wine-tasting, we all gathered together in a local park to eat massive amounts of food cooked up by Leigh Ann's dad. It was a fun and exhausting day, but after a few hours of down time by the pool we actually managed to go out and enjoy a little more food with Emily and Ashford late that night. Spending so much quality time with my friend Emily, who moved to Utah over a year ago, was such an added benefit of this California wedding. Emily and I had a great time hanging out, but it made me miss having her in Lawrence that much more!

We obviously had an amazing time at Leigh Ann and Nate's wedding celebration and were so very thankful to have been invited! They are such terrific friends. If you're interested, here are tons more pictures of the wedding and wine tour!

1 comment:

Erin said...

Wow, what a wonderful place to get married. I still have never been to california. I'm dying to go. One of these days...