A Romantic, Fall Vineyard Wedding at Chalk Hill Estate Winery in Healdsburg, California

Nicki Wells (28 and an assistant buyer for Pottery Barn Kids) and Jordan Wells (30 and director of business development at Rosetta) planned a romantic

Nicki Wells (28 and an assistant buyer for Pottery Barn Kids) and Jordan Wells (30 and director of business development at Rosetta) planned a romantic vineyard soiree for their October wedding in Healdsburg, Calif. Wanting their wedding to incorporate elements that highlighted their shared love of food, wine and travel, a venue in the heart of Wine Country was a given. “When we saw Chalk Hill Estate Winery for the first time, we fell in love with the property,” says Nicki. “The quaint chapel and equestrian center with sweeping views of the vineyards made us feel like we were in the hills of Tuscany.”

Playing tribute to the setting and the season, the pair selected a color palette of soft neutral hues like blush, gold and ivory with pops of rich red, burgundy and dark purple. Michael Daigian Designs brought the elegant venue to life with inspired arrangements of scabiosas, roses and vibrant red fruits like raspberries and pomegranates displayed along vintage accents that lent an air of old world charm and elegance to the decor. DIY details like travel themed table names, wooden welcome signs in the shape of pumpkins and more allowed the couple to truly incorporate a piece of themselves into the day.

Dinner took guests on a culinary journey, with a classic Italian meal served with wine pairings. The cake table honored the couple’s parents and grandparents with photos from their wedding day displayed alongside Nicki and Jordan’s sweet one-tiered wedding cake.

A tip for the taking from Nicki: “My advice to other couples is to enjoy this time, it goes by fast! The list of to-do items can get overwhelming, but try to remember what really makes your wedding special, which is the love that you share and all of the people that are there to celebrate with you. Try to pick one or two things that are most important to you, whether that be the food or music or flowers, and focus on that. If you are planning on doing any DIY projects, try to do them at least a month before the wedding date, so that you aren’t rushing to do them at the last minute! We originally did not budget for a videographer, but decided to hire Tom Rivas to film the wedding last minute. This was the best decision ever! We had so much fun watching the video clips on our honeymoon, and re-living the day.”

To set the tone for the romantic vineyard celebration to come, Nicki and Jordan incorporated winery-inspired elements into the design of their invitations, including illustrations of wine bottles, grapes and vines.
Michael Daigian Designs created an element of cohesion between the bridesmaids and groomsmen's looks through florals. The rich purple scabiosas and bright white roses in the guys' boutonnieres played off the bridesmaids' bouquets.
Nicki’s bridesmaids were the picture of romance in blush floor-length chiffon gowns by Jenny Yoo. The convertible style allowed the girls to customize their look, while varying shades of blush created an ombre effect.
When it came to choosing her wedding dress, Nicki looked to the Chalk Hill Estate Winery for inspiration. “We wanted the style to be classic, yet laid-back,” says Nicki. “I immediately fell in love with my wedding gown, which I found on my first dress shopping outing. I always knew I wanted an A-line dress and the soft tulle rosettes on the skirt fit perfectly with the romantic vineyard setting.” The bride-to-be kept the extras simple, accessorizing with a pearl bracelet and drop earrings.
Wanting to share their love of wine and travel with their friends and family through their decor, details that spoke to each were incorporated throughout the day. Instead of traditional table numbers, Nicki and Jordan named each table after a place they had traveled to together and accompanied each with a photo from the corresponding trip.
With a setting as striking as Chalk Hill Estate’s, it was a given that the decor should draw inspiration from Wine Country’s natural beauty. “Jordan and I wanted the decor to complement the wine country location and to incorporate elements of fall with a classic, romantic and elegant feel,” says Nicki. “To do this, we kept the color palette neutral with shades of blush, cream and gold with a burgundy-wine accent.”
Michael Daigian Designs took the couple’s romantic vineyard inspiration and ran with it for the florals, creating inspired arrangements of rich burgundy, wine and deep purple blooms with playful additions like raspberries, pomegranates and more.
After dinner, guests hit the dance floor or wandered outdoors to the terrace where Nicki and Jordan had set up a photo booth. Guests struck a pose with playful props like sunglasses, boas and speech bubbles with wedding-related phrases and tagged the photos on Instagram for the newlyweds to look at later.
“It was important to us to have a Catholic ceremony that was traditional, yet intimate and personal,” says Nicki. “We were lucky to have the priest that we met through our marriage preparation in San Francisco travel to Healdsburg to perform the ceremony, which was at a quaint chapel on the property at Chalk Hill.” The pair customized their ceremony by choosing their own readings.
To bring a familial element to the decor, Nicki and Jordan decorated their cake table with photos of their parents and grandparents on their wedding day, as well as a cake topper that had belonged to Nicki's grandparents.
Playing off their subtle travel-inspired theme, Nicki and Jordan ditched the traditional guest book and had their guests share their well wishes and advice on postcards, which they placed in a vintage suitcase.
Unexpected elements like antique books and fruits injected an element of playfulness and personality into the reception decor.
For dessert, Nicki and Jordan passed on a colossal confection and had Moustache Bakery whip up a small one-tier wedding cake for the traditional cake cutting. The pint-sized sweet was decorated with textured buttercream and dahlias and roses in peach and burgundy hues.
After cocktail hour on the terrace, where guests enjoyed a live accordionist and a selection of bite-sized eats and local wines, everyone moved into the Pavilion for dinner and dancing. The pair worked with Park Avenue Catering to create a family-style Italian meal with suggested wine pairings to give guests a taste of the locale and play up their wine and travel theme.
With the wedding taking place at a vineyard and Jordan having his own wine label, Lyon-Wells, it was only fitting that the couple send guests off with a bottle of wine at the end of the night. Each guest received a bottle of 2012 Lyon-Wells Cabernet Sauvignon.