A Romantic Napa Valley Wedding at a Private Estate in Rutherford, California

Ashley Peterson (30 and works in sales and marketing) and Steve Jordan’s (31 and works in sales) fall wedding in Napa Valley, California, was the picture of modern romance. With a private estate to call their own for the day, the pair, with the help of the wedding pros at La Grande Fete, pulled off an intimate al fresco celebration with wine-country elegance. “We were going for simple, beautiful and elegant; a bit modern without being trendy,” Ashley says. “Our venue was outdoors and very garden-like, so we worked to retain that throughout.” While visiting venues in the Rutherford, Califorina, area, Ashley and Steve bumped into Ashley’s cousin, who offered to let them celebrate at his estate. “We had always loved the venue, but because it's not a public venue that does weddings, we never considered it,” Ashley says. “We were thrilled and so grateful; it really was the perfect place.” 

The ceremony took place in the estate’s courtyard, where Ashley and Steve recited traditional vows with a string quartet playing softly in the background. A wooden trellis stood overhead, draped in panels of airy white fabric and bunches of white florals that infused the outdoor space with a feel of warmth and romance. Cocktail hour and the reception continued outdoors, allowing the newlyweds and their guests to enjoy the estate’s pristine gardens and beautiful grounds. Long farm style tables dotted the lawn, topped with chic gray table runners and lush arrangements of ivory and blush flowers. French country chairs brought an air of rustic charm to the decor, while strands of bistro lights and dozens of votive candles cast a warm glow over the quaint outdoor space. After a family-style meal and a lemon blackberry cake, everyone hit the dance floor, where DJ Josh Dukes kept the newlyweds and their crew dancing until the last song. As a thank-you to their family and friends for their love and support, Ashley and Steve sent everyone home with orange-infused olive oil from Round Pond Estate, just a mile down the road. “We’re still getting compliments on the favors as people start to use the olive oil,” Ashley says. A tip from Ashley and Steve: “It might sound cliche, but don’t sweat the small stuff. Wedding planning can be overwhelming. Pick the few things you really care about, and go big there. Keep the rest simple.” —Libby MacCarthy