Jennifer Cain & Eric Brown
The choice of vibrant purple for her wedding was no surprise to those who know Jennifer Cain, daughter of vintners, loyal fan of her purple-and-white alma mater, and lifelong lover of the multifaceted color.
“I have a very joyful, happy life. I wanted the theme to be joy; I wanted everything to be purple,” she recalls. Her wedding planner initially had other ideas. “He wanted pastels, and I wanted to do a bright flower wall. He wanted a moss wall, but I’m from Dallas,” Jennifer says. “I like things that are beautiful and big.” Jennifer’s wishes prevailed and her gorgeous Napa Valley wedding to Eric Brown was indeed a celebration of her favorite color.
Backyard wedding, yes. Simple, no, especially when the backyard in question is the estate and winery of Craig and Kathryn Hall in Rutherford, California. A platform was constructed over the pool, and a flower wall—in fuchsia—created a festive focal point for the stunning Napa Valley view. The 330 guests sat in a semicircle around the couple, while the wedding party stood gathered together on one side.
“It was just the wedding of my dreams,” says Jennifer. “It was so perfect, and everyone had so much fun.”
The bride grew up in Dallas, attended The Hockaday School, and moved to Vienna when her mom was ambassador. After graduation from Northwestern University, she returned to Dallas for two years before settling in San Francisco. Jennifer, who now works in sales and marketing for Hall Wines, met Eric, who works for an energy real estate company, on Tinder. “We’re very similar. We have an easygoing approach to life. He just felt familiar. I told my mom the next day that I had met the most amazing guy.”
Eric proposed on a weekend getaway to Lake Tahoe. They kept the news to themselves for two days, savoring the moment. Choosing the Hall estate was a no-brainer, a source of many happy memories for the couple. They weaved various winery venues into wedding events, including the rehearsal dinner in the tasting room and the after-party in the wine caves. “We danced until 4 a.m.—including my parents,” she says.
The bride and her mom wore custom gowns made by Monique Lhuillier. “It was an unbelievable, magical experience,” Jennifer says of working with the designer. She wore a sheer lace appliqued jacket over her gown for the ceremony, complete with a cathedral train. “I took off the jacket and changed my hair before our first dance for a totally different look.”
On a day filled with memorable moments, two in particular stand out.
She walked down the aisle with her father, former Texas legislator David Cain, and they were then joined halfway by her stepfather, Craig. “I wanted to honor my dad and also my stepdad,” she says. “I think a lot of people there came from divorced families, and it was very special for them to see both my dad and stepdad walk me down the aisle.”
And at the end of the reception, Eric led the wedding party in a choreographed dance as a surprise to Jennifer. With a mashup including Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling” and Beyoncé’s “Crazy in Love,” it was a fitting tribute to a bride who radiated joy inside and out. -Connie Dufner
Ceremony/Reception Site: Hall Winery, Rutherford
Photographer: Joe Buissink
Bridal Gown Designer/Retailer: Monique Lhuillier
Hair & Makeup: Calista Sanderson (hair); The Glamourist (makeup)
Groom’s Attire: Tom Ford
Bridesmaids’ Dresses Designer: Monique Lhuillier
Bridesmaids’ Dresses Retailer: Bella Bridesmaids
Flowers: Mille Fiori
Stationery: Nancy Silver, The Paper Place
Cake & Desserts: Perfect Endings
Caterer: Paula Le Duc
Music: Impulse from West Coast Music
Videographer: Vidcam Productions
Wedding Designer/Planner: Michael Gapinski, Iconic Event Studios