At the Southern tip of Napa County, California close to San Pablo Bay lies a rambling dual purpose property – both luxury resort and working ranch. Stanly Ranch, an Auberge Resort, is one of the newest additions to the Napa Valley, and a fabulous place for a wedding. The resort pays homage to the agricultural sensibilities of Wine Country, while maintaining a modern and luxurious demeanor.
On a radiant and windy day in late July Marie & Charlie were married by a close friend at an exquisite altar of native California greenery rising from the ground at once natural and uncannily sculptural in a nod to Ikebana.
The day began with the bride and groom preparing in suites at the Ranch, surrounded by their closest friends and family. Marie’s choice of a modern chic gown by Carolina Herrera from Jin Wang Bridal was a stroke of brilliance – the gown’s architectural beauty played harmoniously with the geometric quality of Stanly Ranch, whether the rows of lavender or the playful shadows from slatted pergolas.
Earlier, as I approached Stanly Ranch I noticed a eucalyptus tunnel at the edge of the property and knew it would be the perfect spot for the first look. We jumped in golf carts and headed into the trees for portraits, a few of which have become anchors of my portfolio. Photos in the Bell Suite and the adjacent shade followed.
The ceremony was framed by the Cutting Garden’s idyllic backdrop of wildflowers and greenery. During the ceremony the wind decided to have it’s way with Marie’s veil, so the two switched positions. Following the touching vows, guests savored signature cocktails on the patio outside the glass-walled banquet hall, while enjoying mesmerizing views of the olive trees and lavender gardens.
Marie and Charlie were an absolute joy to photograph – their calm and positive demeanor made for captivating photographs, alternating between carefree laughter and elegant portraits. I knew this going in, as I had the honor of photographing their engagement session at Sutro Baths earlier that year. As the sun set, I took the couple aside to capture the magic of golden hour up and down stone staircases, through olive orchards, and against outdoor fireplaces. We were gifted a dramatic sunset, and we certainly took advantage of that. The warm hues perfectly complemented the venue’s California native plants and sun-soaked stone palette.
Dinner was served in Glass House Barn, a lofted glass-walled banquet hall. Its California-style glass doors opened to the patio balcony overlooking the property. I was able to capture candid moments as the guests laughed, danced, and celebrated in the radiant ambiance, doors open to the breeze.
The lush grounds, framed by vineyards and mountain views, created a very easeful feeling which married well with a wedding reception. Located just a 50-minute drive from San Francisco, Stanly Ranch offered guests a tranquil escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.
I must also extend a special shout-out to Kelsey with Downey Street Events who understood the demands of the venue, and executed flawlessly.
Wedding planner: Downey Street Events
Venue : Stanly Ranch an Auberge Resort
Photographer : Hazel Photo
Hair and Makeup : Artists by Sherrie Long
Catering : Stanly Ranch
Ice Cream Truck: Noble Folk Creamery
DJ/Band : Dart Collective
Bride’s attire : Jinwang Bride ; Carolina Herrera
Groom’s attire : Suit Supply
Invitation : Bliss and Bone
Florist: Studio Mondine