Napa Valley elopement



Allison, 33 & Arthur, 28

Napa, California


Wedding Date: June 15, 2011


Number of Guests: One – the bride’s son Zylen.


Wedding Cost: $5,000


Wedding Ceremony Location: The Carneros Inn


Wedding Reception Location: FARM, The Carneros Inn

groom embracing bride from behind


Why did you have an intimate wedding?

Arthur and I wanted our wedding to be a very intimate event in which we could celebrate one another on our own terms. Given that it was my second wedding, I didn’t feel the need to organize an elaborate soiree.

pale rose and peony wedding bouquet

orchid corsage

ring pillow with fabric flower

wedding unity candle

rose petal confetti

groom with white rose boutonniere

bride in bhldn dress and pearls

smiling bride


wedding pearls

What are some of the challenges that you faced planning an intimate wedding?


Planning this event was fairly painless.

wedding couple and apple tree

apple tree

bride and groom portrait in Napa Valley


Was it difficult to pare down the guest list?

We initially wanted to run away to the Caribbean together for a small ceremony on the beach. But my son really wanted to be included, so we decided to hold the ceremony in the backyard of a cottage at The Carneros Inn, a little closer to home.

Carneros inn sign

bride and groom in apple orchard

bride and groom kissing in apple orchard

bride's son

bride pinning boutonniere on her son

white rosebud boutonniere

white rosebud boutonniere and polka dot tie

Did you have any ‘issues’ with the small guest list from friends and family? If so, how did you address them?


It was difficult to tell friends and family that we were eloping, but they were all very understanding. We have talked about hosting a party for friends and family on the occasion of an anniversary in the coming years.

white and pink wedding bouquet

backyard wedding


white paper flower wedding decor

sewn paper garland

tying rings onto ring pillow

wedding chalice

bride and groom walking hand in hand

bride wearing bhldn dress

groom kissing bride on porch

What were the highlights of the ceremony?

Some of the highlights include sharing champagne from a chalice, lighting a family unity candle and Arthur’s heartfelt vows to Zylen and myself.

groom reading vows to bride's son

groom reading vows to bride's son

lavender plant at wedding ceremony

bride reading her vows

bride, groom, and groom's son lighting unity candle


bride and groom first kiss

bride and groom at wedding ceremony

What were the highlights of the reception?

Playing bocce ball and sharing our gold-flecked buttercream wedding cake at FARM.

groom and bride's son at wedding ceremony

groom reading vows

groom, bride and bride's son hugging

groom, bride and bride's son hugging

bride and groom sharing wedding chalice

bride and groom exchanging vows

groom crying during ceremony

bride and groom exchanging rings

groom placing ring on bride's finger

What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding?

It really allowed us to connect with each other not only as a couple, but also as a family going forward.

up close bride and groom portrait

laughing bride and groom

groom and stepson goofing off

groom and son goofing off

bride and her son

What advice do you have for couples who are considering an intimate wedding?

I requested that our venue waive the site fee, since it was such a small ceremony and they obliged. I would recommend inquiring about such a waiver.

son tossing rose petals at the groom

bride and groom on cottage porch

bride and groom on porch

bride and groom silhouette

bride and groom silhouette


Grooms Attire: J.Crew

Brides Attire: BHLDN

Florist: Valley Flora

Photography: Larissa Cleveland Photography

Venue: The Carneros Inn and Spa

Catering: FARM Restaurant