REAL WEDDING | A RUSTIC, BOHEMIAN-INSPIRED WEDDING IN NAPA VALLEY, CALIFORNIA

It was a Friday evening in May of 2008 when Roberto Ruiz found Kevin Lee’s online dating profile. His initial message said something along the lines of thinking Kevin was cute, as well as an inquiry to have a first date. They met shortly after for brunch at Café de la Presse in San Francisco. Prior to that first encounter, Kevin was worried that Roberto wouldn’t speak English–which is quite priceless, coming from a Hong Kong citizen living in California. What was supposed to be a quick brunch, however, turned into a relationship and marked the beginning of their lives together.

The proposal took place during a family trip to Paris in 2011. On New Year’s Eve, the couple was walking to dinner at La Tour d’Argent when Kevin popped the question on the Pont de la Tournelle Bridge. Roberto gladly accepted, and the two had a beautiful Parisian engagement shoot the next day.

During the wedding planning process, there were three specific criteria for the wedding reception: peonies, wine country and great food. With peonies being Roberto’s favorite flower, the wedding dates were limited to May and November due to seasonal availability. Fortunately, they found the perfect wedding venue at The Ranch Above–a newly-built private home perched between Napa and Sonoma, with unlimited views of the valley.

It was an intimate wedding weekend in May of 2015, which was seven years after the couple met. With Napa Valley in the background, the ceremony was filled with laughter and joyful tears as the grooms read personal vows they wrote for each other in front of their family, close friends, and dogs (Paco and Bobo). A string trio played a variety of songs including “Reign of Love” by Coldplay, “Love On Top” by Beyonce, and the newlyweds had their first dance to a custom arrangement of Janelle Monae’s “What An Experience.”

Each attendee was given a coral peony boutonniere or corsage, keeping with the main décor theme of the wedding. Peonies also appeared on the invitations and menus. Under the beautiful California sky, guests were seated poolside and enjoyed a three-course dinner catered by Cindy Pawlcyn’s, along with wine pairings from Alpha Omega winery and Broc Cellars. After the sun set, everyone relaxed in the main house, indulging in a whiskey tasting and an assortment of desserts.

“Everything was perfect at our wedding, and it was a weekend and evening to remember for a lifetime,” the newlyweds say.

> Written By: Lauren Malamala 

ROBERTO RUIZ & KEVIN LEE

May 24, 2015 in St. Helena, California

 

Location: The Ranch Above St. Helena, CAFloral Design: EV Floral Designs St. Helena, CARentals: Classic Party Rentals St. Helena, CAInvitations: Three Little Words Sonoma, CAWedding Bands: Tiffany & Co.Grooms’ Watch: RolexGrooms’ Watch: Cartier;

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