When Briana and Andy approached my company, A Day Like No Other, for their wedding planning, they had already settled on a venue and a date: Villa Montalvo in Saratoga in May. I was immediately on board – it doesn’t get any better than that!
Villa Montalvo, built as a stately private residence and now converted to an arts center and event venue, is an architectural gem in the Italianate style, and it is surrounded by breathtaking formal gardens, the most impressive among them the “Italianate Garden.” And that is where our couple was envisioning their ceremony to take place: on the steps of the “Love Temple” that is the focal point of the garden.
So far – the plan. Well, to make a long story short, the weather gods planned otherwise. While May was a sunny and warm month overall and especially in the Saratoga area, Briana’s and Andy’s wedding day was rained out. The good news? Across many cultures, rain on Wedding Day is considered a positive omen, portending fertility, renewal, cleansing and unity. If so, the two got a lot of all these good things!
with hair and makeup services by Teri Lacro of The Charismatic Bride…
… and for the groom and his groomsmen – at the Tollhouse Hotel in Los Gatos.
Everyone then transferred to Villa Montalvo where the ladies got dressed.
The bride had chosen an elegant lace dress for her Big Day.
The rings were waiting…
… and the bride received her elegant bouquet from Karen Chang Burling of Huckleberry Karen (who provided floral design throughout.)
The bride stole a quick father-daughter moment to adjust her Dad’s boutonniere:
Meanwhile, the “guys” got ready as well:
… and here is the bride:
… with her entourage:
Ready for “First Look!” By that time it had already started raining. Actually – pouring, by the bucketfuls! An outdoor ceremony in the Italianate Garden was now out of the question. But nothing could dampen the spirits of bride, groom and bridal party. They had their First Look and photo session indoors while “behind the scenes” my assistant Amanda and I, together with onsite managers Kathleen Kirkpatrick and Tiffany Ferrante, florist Karen and our DJ Turner Hayes of Elite Entertainment were scrambling to implement “Plan B.” What that meant? Rescue all the sound equipment and ceremony decor from the Italianate Garden and move the whole ceremony setup to the tented side verandah of Villa Montalvo, move the Cocktail Hour setup from the side verandah to the library, move the dining setup from the verandah to the Great Room, morning room and adjacent alcoves.
Phew! It was a Herculean task, but against all odds we managed it all just in time before the ceremony was to begin. All guests were comfortably seated in the tent-protected side verandah, with the ceremony area looking out into the lush gardens. The elaborate altar decor for the Italianate Garden had been taken apart “on the fly” and reimagined to fit the new space. It was beautiful!
When Briana and Andy said their vows, the rain abated, and the Sun began to come out.
“You may now kiss your bride!”
… and of course, one photo in the Italianate Garden – which was still dripping wet from the recent rainstorm!
Dinnertime! Guests were treated to a delicious 3-course menu by Cafe Primavera, followed by…
Wedding Cake, of course! The newlyweds’ traditional “first shared task” is cutting the cake, then…feeding one another and sharing the rest with their guests. After that, there was nothing left to hold them back from their First Dance:
Way too soon the party had to come to an end – but with a huge flourish!
… where George Rose of Elegant Journey was waiting for them in their gorgeous getaway car, a 1933 Packard limousine:
And off they go to their lifelong journey together! Best wishes, Briana and Andy!