Alyssa & Joel's private Napa vineyard elopement

Updated Oct 12 2015

This week we're celebrating intimate weddings with destination elopements, cozy city hall vows, and private romantic ceremonies. It's the warm fuzzies on a smaller scale.

August 30th, 2012
Photos by Wild About You Photography

The offbeat bride: Alyssa

Her offbeat partner: Joel

Date and location of wedding: Your Own Private Vineyard in Napa, CA — August 30, 2012

Our offbeat wedding at a glance: Our wedding was held at a private vineyard in Napa. We say private because it truly is. You can't buy the wine that is made there. The owners make just enough wine to share with their family and friends. When we arrived, it was really more beautiful than what we had imagined.

August 30th, 2012

The ceremony took place next to the vineyard under a tree. Besides us and the minister, the only people in attendance were our photographers. They were both really wonderful people and we feel we were lucky to have selected two people who not only did a great job capturing our day, but also added to it with their positive attitudes and enthusiasm.

August 30th, 2012

August 30th, 2012

Tell us about the ceremony: The ceremony started with the two of us sharing wine from the "cup of joy and prosperity" and the "cup of sorrow and want," and vowing to share both of these things with each other. The minister then challenged us to do all that we could to empower ourselves and others with compassion, kindness, truth, forgiveness, and acceptance.

August 30th, 2012

August 30th, 2012

Part of our ceremony included a promise for the future. We had written letters to each other that we placed into a vintage train case along with a bottle of wine to be opened at our five-year anniversary. We then said our vows, exchanged rings, and were pronounced husband and wife.

August 30th, 2012

My favorite moment: Our officiant made a point to mention each of our four (yes, four) dogs by name! It was touching to think of our little fur family during the ceremony.

August 30th, 2012

August 30th, 2012

My funniest moment: My husband reached for my ring too quickly and was promptly slapped on the hand by the reverend!

August 30th, 2012

Was there anything you were sure was going to be a total disaster that unexpectedly turned out great? Because we kept everything simple, the only real challenge was finding a venue at our price point from far away. Because we found it online and it was a private vineyard, we didn't know anything about it until we got there, and Joel kept thinking it would be some crazy debacle where we were sneaking into someone's vineyard and might get chased off in the middle of the wedding. The opposite was true. The owners were there and were so happy to have us getting married on their property. We were lucky to find the venue that we did.

August 30th, 2012

August 30th, 2012

My advice for Offbeat Brides: Be diligent in looking for what you want. It took a while to find our photographers and the venue, but both turned out to be everything we were looking for and more. If you internet search it, it will come!

August 30th, 2012

What was the most important lesson you learned from your wedding? Be true to yourself. We wanted to elope and we did. It ended up being the most romantic and special day. Our family and friends saw how happy we were and supported us even though we went against tradition.

August 30th, 2012

August 30th, 2012

I couldn't find a short white or ivory dress that suited my style, so I threw that out the window. Once I let go of that idea, I found a dress that I loved. In retrospect, I'm so glad that I didn't let tradition or expectations dictate my decisions. I couldn't be happier with how everything turned out.

August 30th, 2012

August 30th, 2012

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

They ♥ OBB; we ♥ themThis post features Offbeat Vendors! Check out their vendor listing to see how they cater to Offbeat Brides:

      • Hello,

        I am looking into an elopement package in wine country. Your wedding looks beautiful! I tried calling the 1-800 number but it does not work in Canada. Do you have contact information for "Your own private Vineyard".

        Any help would be appreciated!


  1. Very Nice wedding!! I too had a hard time finding a short white dress for my wedding years ago that looked good or was my taste so I went with a simple red dress and I don't even like red that much but it looked really nice on me at that time… Congrats to you and your husband!!

    • Thank you! I'm glad your colored wedding dress worked out for you as well. I think it makes a wedding really unique and I'm sure red looked fantastic in photos!

  2. Aw someone ogot married on my birthday! now my birthday is twice as special! it's not just the day i came into the world, it's the day two became one! CONGRATS!

  3. thank you,
    watching this has been a gift. What family wouldn't be proud of two young individuals who are tastefull, considerate and caring. Congrats to the both of you.

  4. I'm so glad I saw this post today. My partner and I are eloping because having a wedding just to two of us feels right. My parents and our friends are all really supportive. His parents have flipped out and are incredibly offended.

  5. Hi,
    We are considering using the same service you did- YourOwnPrivateVineyard, and would love to speak or email you some questions. I that would be OK, you can reach me at [email protected]
    P.S.- Congratulations! Beautiful wedding!

  6. I can't express how happy I am to come across your review. I've been desperately seeking an elopement package that fits our wants – and our budget in Napa/Sonoma, but have only found options that come with compromises. Seeing how beautifully genuine your day was and how relaxed both of you look, I think I found the best leads yet. I'm definitely looking into your venue and photographer. Thank you for sharing your day with us!

  7. I think this was posted two years ago or so, and I don't know if anyone's going to read this. But just in case: Alyssa & Joel: Thank you!!!! I adore your wedding! You both look beautiful beyond words. My sweetie and I are eloping just the two of us to Napa in 5 days, and seeing this just made me so happy. I'm nervous about telling our family (only my closest girlfriends know) afterwards, but I hope that, like you two, they will see that we are incredibly happy and did it the way that was best for us, and they won't be able to help but be happy for us. Anyway, thank you for sharing your wedding on OBB! Congrats!!! 🙂

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