Manhattan Gown – Claire & Christopher
Claire Li & Christopher Lee
19 May 2018
Holman Ranch, Carmel Valley, California after our engagement we visited Big Sur, the beautiful cliffs and beaches reminded us so much of Australia where we had lived together. When we discovered Holman Ranch, the private estate and vineyard with lovely Spanish styled cottages, courtyards and the Californian mountains as a backdrop we were immediately drawn in. The estate accommodated the Wedding party and our immediate family, we could imagine nothing better to share the Wedding experience with them there. Our rehearsal dinner, Wedding, and Reception was held at Holman Ranch. The afterparty was held at the local Saloon in Carmel Valley.
Brittany Mahood. Brittany’s photos were timeless. We loved how she captured the special moments perfectly like you’re right there with them. We also loved that she shot her photos on film as well as digital. Day of she was organized, calm, and genuinely excited to be apart of every moment.
Bo & Luca Manhattan.
We were attending a Wedding in London the previous year and in the evening before we were returning home we attended Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland. It was magical taking in all the beautiful Christmas traditions. He planned a private Ferris wheel ride and asked me the question at the very top. I was so surprised and literally on top of the world.
Engagement ring custom oval with a diamond band and diamond halo cushion. Wedding band David Yurman diamond band with cable interior detailing His: David Yurman Platinum with cable knit design interior detailing.
In light of our Wedding being a destination wedding, we decided to make a donation in lieu of favours to our local SPCA in Winnipeg, MB.
FLOWERS & BOUQUETS
Our florist had a strong sense of the theme and drew inspiration from my favourite flowers: Peonies, Ranunculus. A special surprise in my bridal bouquet was the Clare de Lune Peony. I was really inspired by pampas grass that is native to California and asked if she could create a large installation for the ceremony that would tie the vineyard and mountains that could be seen in the distance.
We chose a simple two-tiered cake each with a different flavour: Genoise + vanilla cream + Strawberry & genoise chocolate mousse. The cake was finished in a vanilla bean buttercream and decorated with fresh flowers.
“The Wonder of You” by the Villagers is our Wedding song. Our DJ played mostly 90s and 2000 hits upon request.
FOOD & DRINKS
We chose Paradise Catering because much of their produce is locally grown and sourced. The flavours represented California. Seated formal dinner with drinks served.
Napa Valley, California. After planning a destination Wedding and having family and friends travel from all over the world, all we envisioned was a relaxing honeymoon. Napa Valley has always been on our travel list and decided on a beautiful bed and breakfast for our stay. Best recommendations EAT: French Laundry and are sure to walk through their gardens in the day DO: Wine Train was a romantic way to spend the afternoon.
Honestly, it is really hard to narrow down a favourite moment. The whole weekend was so lovely and still the best yet. Having both our families right there with us at Holman Ranch made us so happy. Having so many of our friends and family join together at this magical place surrounded by flowers, we couldn’t help but feel so much love. That was the most amazing part of all. A close second, when I saw Amanda Vidmar’s pampas grass installation at our ceremony site, I cried. It was so beautiful and that moment the vision had become such a beautiful reality.
ADVICE FOR BRIDES-TO-BE
I couldn’t have done it without our amazing vendors, especially our day of coordinator. Although I wanted to plan the details, it was Rachael that made sure the day ran smoothly, not a single detail of our plans missed. I highly recommended one for every bride-to-be. Finding like-minded people that really shared our vision made everything come together wonderfully. They all went above and beyond because they were just as excited as me to see everything come together and create an event we’d all remember.