Home » A Jewish Wedding with Chilean Flair in Napa

A Jewish Wedding with Chilean Flair in Napa

by Staff

Jessica Erickson and Adam Pauls met on Bumble in 2016, and had their first date at a French restaurant in San Francisco. It was love at first bite. A proposal came three years later, in June 2019. “We got engaged in Croatia,” Jessica remembers. “Adam planned an amazing proposal overlooking Dubrovnik at sunset. It was incredible.”

They planned a wedding for September 2020, then had to postpone a year due to COVID. Besides the date, though, it all came together as planned. And, it wasn’t just a wedding. It was a multi-day celebration in Napa Valley. “Jessica had grown up spending lots of time in Napa, and [the area] is stunning,” the couple shares. “We chose The Grove at Silverado Resort as our venue because it was important to us that all of our guests be able to spend the weekend together, and for us to hold all the wedding events—rehearsal dinner, wedding, and brunch—at the same venue.”

Their vision was classic: “Simple elegance with lots of creams, peaches, light pink, and greenery,” the couple says. “We really wanted our guests to feel celebrated and ensure they had a blast—so we had a big focus on fun, live music that really amped up the energy.” It was all about the guests, really. “Guests were pampered throughout the day, with pashminas passed around on trays as the night started to get chilly, parasols and fans offered for the ceremony, bathroom baskets stocked with all sorts of goodies, masks and peach hand sanitizer, and, of course, the amazing welcome bags with favorite local goodies, fresh bread from Bouchon, and peach California Gummy Bears, Jessica’s favorite.” 

When it came to planning, they divided and conquered. “Our planner, Emily Coyne, was great about giving us small tasks with just a few options at a time to choose from—music, color scheme, and so on—which made planning a lot easier and less daunting,” the couple recalls. “We were able to tackle items in smaller, bite-size to-dos.” The extra year of planning didn’t hurt either, they add. 

So, they got the wedding of their dreams after all on September 5, 2021. Read on to see all the carefully orchestrated details, planned by Emily Coyne Events and photographed by Rebecca Yale Photography.

We wanted a strong, colorful Latin vibe to pay tribute to Jessica’s Chilean side.

While their wedding vision was classic and cream, the couple wove major color into their rehearsal dinner. “We wanted a strong, colorful Latin vibe to pay tribute to Jessica’s Chilean side with bright oranges, succulents, and a Spanish guitarist,” the couple shares. Guests dined on tacos and empanadas and sipped margaritas while they listened to epic toasts from a the couple’s siblings and best friends.

Jessica got a facial and eyebrow tint about a week before the wedding to prep for the classic and elegant makeup look she envisioned. “I have dark brown eyes so I asked my makeup artist for help to make them pop,” the bride says. “She did a lovely subtle smokey eye, and added a couple fake eyelashes at the ends which made me feel very glamorous.”

For hair, “I wanted an updo so I could dance for hours without getting too sweaty. I looked through a few wedding hairstyle photos on Pinterest and ended up choosing an elegant low bun.” Stylist Carrie Aldous used R+Co Waterfall Moisture + Shine Lotion for shine and de-frizzing. “I now use it every day.” 

Jessica felt like a princess in her A-line Peter Langner ball gown with a deep V neckline, which she found at San Francisco bridal salon Jin Wang. “Jin has stunning views of the city from her shop and two adorable puppies that keep you company while you try on dresses,” recalls Jessica. “It was a very fun and stress-free experience.” She accessorized with a veil and headpiece, strappy heeled sandals, and a pair of diamond earrings borrowed from her mother. 

Adam wore a navy blue tuxedo with peaked lapels and a black bow tie. “The father of the bride graciously offered his grandfather’s gold studs, and Jessica gifted Adam monogrammed J&A gold cufflinks as part of the Bedecken ceremony,” the duo shares. 

They had 200 guests coming for the ceremony and reception, and had been with nearly all of them the nights prior at the rehearsal and welcome party, so a moment alone was definitely in order for the couple. It made their first look extra special. “We were both just so happy and excited, and had been looking forward to this day for over two years at that point,” they recall. “It was special to have a moment alone together to say a few private sentiments and to pump each other up before the big celebration.”

“The bridesmaids all wore blush pink dresses from Kennedy Blue in different styles, and groomsmen wore navy blue suits—simple and classic,” Jessica says. Each bridesmaid carried a unique bouquet, each of which represented a smaller version of the bride’s, featuring honey dijon, distant drum roses, cherry phlox, and PeeGee hydrangeas. 

“Anna from Loop Flowers sourced as many local blooms as possible in peach tones, Jessica’s favorite color,” the couple says of the ceremony design. “Flowers—dahlias, tuberose, clematis, blackberries on the branch, and ranunculus—were arranged in a whimsical, lush garden style.” Towering oak trees created an overheard shelter above their chuppah, a rustic wood structure adorned with lush florals.

Both of Jessica’s parents escorted her down the aisle to the tune of Pachelbel’s “Canon in D.” Her childhood tallit and heirloom kiddush cups from her family were used in the traditional Jewish ceremony, performed by Rabbi Jessica Zimmerman-Graf. Their personal vows were an extra special moment. “Adam told the story of how he knew Jessica was different; Jessica shared how Adam is more than she could have ever expected in a partner. That he is one of the kindest and most moral humans she has ever met, and that his intellect and curiosity about the world are incredible.”

Guests near tears following the heartfelt vows, it was time to turn up to energy. “An upbeat recessional was provided by our klezmer band, Kugelplex, who danced our guests from the ceremony venue to the cocktail reception,” the couple shares, adding that choosing the entertainment was by far the easiest part of planning. “We had seen both Ground Control—our late-night band—and Kugelplex at other friends’ weddings and were obsessed with both of them. We knew we had to have them at ours.”

Cocktail hour featured a selection of butler-passed hors d’oeuvres, including rosemary lamb chops, scallop ceviche, and a recreation of the groom’s favorite French onion soup tartlets. Guests sipped Old Fashioneds and Moscow Mules in copper mugs, and signed a guest book featuring a custom painting of the oak trees the couple had just said “I do” beneath. 

Let loose, have fun, and be present.

“Let loose, have fun, and be present on your big day, as it truly does fly by,” the couple advises other to-be-weds. “Also, get a planner who gets you and who you trust. We’ve heard from so many guests that they really enjoyed the happiness and energy of our wedding. We were able to be happy and in love that day because our planner, Emily, focused just as much on making sure we had nothing to do or think about, as she did on the material aspects of the wedding.”

The couple turned to The Craft + Gather for a unique escort display. “It was a custom painted watercolor wall to match our invitations, with a copper border and hooks to hang wine stoppers with the guest escort cards attached.”

Every place setting at the outdoor reception featured a unique miniature floral bundle. The entire space was curated to a T, with lush florals, comfortable seating, and copper accents. “We used six different rental companies, plus a couple of personal pieces from our home, to create a welcoming space, with ample room for guests to spread out, play lawn games, and enjoy the music.”

Jessica and Adam danced their first dance to “Wonderful World” by Sam Cooke, then the bride and her dad swayed to The Blue Danube waltz. Leading up to the wedding, Jessica took dance lessons from Jasmine Worrell with both her groom and her dad, making both dances all the more meaningful. 

“Flour & Bloom did an amazing job with our wedding cake,” the couple says. “It was a huge, four-tiered Swiss buttercream cake on a copper cake stand with surrounding greenery and peach- and cream-colored flowers. Each tier was a delicious and different flavor.” There was banana with vanilla buttercream, red velvet made with cocoa, and almond cake with lemon curd. 

Over dinner of salmon, steak, and ratatouille—plus assorted breads from the couple’s favorite Napa bakery, Model Bakery—guests listened to speeches. “We both think the best part of any wedding is the speeches, so we had a lot,” the couple shares. “The speeches were sweet, funny, thoughtful, and a little embarrassing, as any good wedding speeches should be.”

Being up in the chairs during the hora was unforgettable!” the couple remembers. “It was particularly memorable to watch the mother of the groom—who loves a good thrill—up there with no hands on the chair, having the time of her life!” 

After the hora, Ground Control took the stage and the party got going. “During the last song of the night, as our amazing band played their finale, Adam and I formed a close-knit circle with our parents, holding hands, jumping and singing on the top of our lungs,” Jessica remembers. “Our family, friends, and loved ones created a larger outer circle surrounding us, and it was one of the happiest moments of our lives. You could feel the love and support encircling us, both metaphorically and physically.”

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