Now It Begins
And now the rest of the story: Patrick Bei and Renato Elui's big day
Photography by Allyson Wiley
Patrick Bei and Renato Elui spent most of last year praying for good weather for their entirely outdoor wedding at Chateau St. Jean winery (read their backstory). For a while there, things didn’t look good: on October 15, the date they’d initially contemplated, it poured rain. But it was sunny and mild on the 22nd, the day they eventually settled upon, and the festivities went off without a hitch.
The ceremony, officiated by a friend of Patrick’s, began at 4 p.m. on the winery’s sweeping front lawn. “She spoke movingly about love, and it was very touching,” says Renato, who adds that he and his fiancé had both written their own vows. “During my vows I cried so much it was hard for me to say them. I was the first one to go, and then everyone started crying. We wanted everyone there to cry—that was our goal, and it was achieved!”
We wanted everyone there to cry—that was our goal, and it was achieved!
Following the ceremony, guests enjoyed a cocktail half-hour—half the usual time, as the couple wanted to get to the partying as quickly as possible. Key moments in the reception included both mothers’ speeches. Renato’s Brazilian mother gave hers mostly in Portuguese, which a friend translated.
The couple unveiled a surprise while guests danced after dinner. To the accompaniment of the DJ, who’d laid down a samba beat, a troupe of costumed samba dancers made their way down the winery steps to join the party, where they performed and danced with the guests.
The joyfulness lasted until 10 p.m., and a few hours after that, the rain did finally appear. But by then, the newlyweds were on their way to Bora Bora for a magical honeymoon.
Wedding Vendor List
CEREMONY & RECEPTION Chateau St. Jean, Kenwood
WEDDING PLANNER Echo Wright, A Dream Wedding
CATERER Elaine Bell Catering
FLORIST Wine Country Flowers
CAKE Krumbs Cakes
PHOTOGRAPHY Allyson Wiley Photography
VIDEO Casey Beck