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Destination I Do
Friday, July 25, 2014

A Winning Wine Country Wedding

Words by Courtney Kellar
Photos courtesy of Jen Philips Photography

Stefan and Pin not only hail from different countries, but they have each lived in many different places. When it came time to plan their wedding, the couple didn’t feel they had a true “home” base. So, since their guest list was spread worldwide, they decided on a destination which felt the most like home: Napa, California. In fact, the destination so represented the couple that no one was surprised when they got an invitation to visit California Wine Country to see Stafan and Pin say “I do.”

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Because the couple planned their Napa wedding all the way from Singapore, they relied heavily on their wedding planners and online research. After narrowing down their list of possible winery venues based on photos, they scheduled a scouting trip to Napa to finalize their decision. “Once we were down to the final three or four…we put all the details into a spreadsheet (from the hard financials, to the softer aspects like what was unique about each place)…,” says the bride. Ultimately, the couple designed on V. Sattui Winery and never looked back.

As mentioned before, the couple credits their wedding planners, Darlene Forbes and her husband, with handling a lot of the finer details. “They helped us narrow down vendors, usually to the final two, so that when we made our next planning trip, we were rather productive in those couple of days,” says Pin. “V. Sattui Winery is also very experienced with weddings, so the fact that they had an established process made it easier too.” Despite making multiple planning trips, the bride still found some aspects of planning difficult. “What was the hardest were the flowers – it was just hard to picture what they suggested as the names of the flowers were so foreign…and I couldn’t just drop by the store to get a look and feel.”

One thing the couple never questioned was their decision to hire a wedding planning team. “Having a wedding planner was definitely money well spent – not only did they help us vet vendors beforehand (after learning our preferences), but they were also our ‘eyes and ears’ when we were looking for suitable B&B accommodations for the wedding party…this was a huge help!”

Come W-day, Pin and Stefan got the gorgeous Wine Country wedding they envisioned from the start, but it didn’t come without cost and a lot of work! “The site fees in Wine Country are pretty hefty,” recalls the bride. “We also feel like we paid a premium for the food and accommodations. However, it was exactly what we wanted, and together with our wedding planners and vendors, we created a wedding that all our friends felt was totally us. So, we couldn’t have asked for more!”

For other couples planning their own destination wedding from afar, the bride has some wise advise: “Figuring out what’s most important to you both is the first thing (e.g. Would it be a place that represents you both or a place where the most loved ones can make it?) and [secondly] what would you not trade off (e.g. food for us as we’re foodies). Thereafter, figuring out a theme [is] very helpful; it helps guide other decisions and one can make a theme work no matter what [your] budget is!”

Vendors: Photographer: Jen Philips Photography, Ceremony/Reception Site: V. Sattui Winery in Napa, California, Wedding Planner: Darlene Forbes, Florist: Garaventa Florist, Stationery: Craft Inc. Wedding Design, Cake: Sweetie Pies Bakery, Hair & Makeup: Mercedes Massey & Holly Neil, Gown Designer: Pronovias

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