About 2017-03-16T01:22:23+00:00

STEPHANIE COLE | THE KNOW-IT-ALL

stephanie-coleMany in the industry would say that Stephanie has a certain “je ne sais quoi” about her. One could say it genetically came from her mother – an industry icon who plans large, elaborate events for non-profits and California cities. Others could say it developed when she began to work and learn the business at a young age (or as she describes it, “was volunteered to volunteer”). Either way, her passion and love for her profession is one that is as effervescent as a bottle of Champagne.

While studying in the South of France for a year, Stephanie, determined as she is to this day, completed a French Oenology program. Initially, she believed it would be her “easy” class – she could casually practice the language on new French friends and be “forced” to drink French wines for homework. She had no idea what she was in for. By the end of the semester, she had gained a new found respect for sommeliers, understood the importance of food and wine pairings and had acquired a much expanded vocabulary of French adjectives. She returned to wine country, still drunk on French wine and culture, to graduate with a BA from CSUS and began working for an ultra-premium winery in the, you guessed it, Events Department. In an event planning setting, and being much older (“and wiser” she would joke), she quickly found how deeply gratifying planning and event execution can be. It was there a wedding and event planner was born (again). She became a student of her industry seeking to gain knowledge and experience – first with a boutique catering company, next with Auberge Resorts and finally with a premium wedding and event planning firm. Few people have such a broad base of experience in the industry and, with this, her clients benefit exponentially. When Stephanie isn’t planning weddings and events, she is an avid organic gardener, a brilliant baker (try her pastry!), a coupon clipper and a (rescue) Basset Hound enthusiast/supporter/activist. She lives next to an expansive vineyard with her charming English husband (a Director of Food and Beverage – no surprise there) and their adorable son and daughter.

SARAH DRAKE | THE WORKAHOLIC

Sarah DrakeEnthusiastic, electric, determined and passionate are words commonly used to describe Sarah. At the young age of 14 years old, Sarah entered into the workforce with an “eye of the storm” approach. Every available hour, when not attending school, was spent working three jobs in her home state of Alaska. With aspirations of working with people, organizing/executing events and warm summer nights, she was determined to make her way to California. After graduating high school, she promptly moved to the “booming” metropolis (or lack thereof) of Kenwood, California to gain hospitality experience and attend college. Working for a series of ultra-premium wineries, and later for Starwood Properties, Sarah couldn’t have chosen a more perfect place for her aspirations. Prior to her tenure at a premium wedding and event planning company, Sarah was the Director of Events for a private Catholic high school where she became versed in fundraising and advancement mechanisms. This wide diversity of experience that Sarah draws upon promises spectacular results on all ends of the event spectrum – from celebrity golf tournaments to trade shows and from social events to weddings. It is no surprise that many of Sarah’s clients are high profile due to her level of respect in the industry.

Sarah is a hard-working professional that assures each of her clients’ events turns into a memorable party – one that their guests will walk away from and talk about months and years later. Ultimately, Sarah’s core event planning essence, from start to finish, is comparable to a mullet: business in the front, party in the back. When not filling events with mullets (and sarcasm), Sarah lives with her husband and two beautiful daughters in the Sonoma Wine Country. She is an avid runner and cyclist, a confessed workout “junkie”, a farm-to-table gardener and an urban chicken farmer.

ALEXIS ALEXANDER | THE MAVEN OF MINUTIAE

Alexis AlexanderAlexis is a cultivator of eccentric hobbies. She played club rugby, was on a synchronized swimming team and fulfilled PE credits by riding her horse in high school. In college, she was a passionate ballroom dancer, and on the step team. While she was dedicated to her International Relations/French major, she was also driven to become a lead event planner on campus, creating new traditions (pre-dance socials hosted by the girls and enjoyed by the guys) and resurrecting old ones (golf-style drinking parties in the oldest dorm on campus). When her mother suggested coming home after graduation to complete the Event Planning certificate at the local state college, Alexis thought she should ‘use’ her degree instead. After working for two years for a cross-cultural training firm in New Jersey, she set out to live in South Korea, teaching English and traveling Asia. While outside the States, she began to see her long term goals more clearly; live a simple life, in wine country, and enjoy the amazing wine, food and culture available in her home area.

Returning to Sonoma County, she was fortunate to begin working for a preeminent winery, gratefully receiving a fantastic education in wine, terroir, local geography and food. Alexis realized that this would be the time to let go of the degree and embrace wine country living fully; she boldly applied to become an Event Manager at the most exclusive private winery and club in the Napa Valley. After accepting the position, Alexis began learning the events industry in triple time; the biggest celebrities, most notorious personalities and wealthiest guests from all over the world were patrons. Devoted to the cause, Alexis managed over 450 events each year, with perfection being not a goal, but a requirement – for every single one. While executing a flawless event is exhilarating, Alexis was most excited to get to know the Members and help to create beautiful memories of their milestone birthdays, anniversaries, family gatherings and holidays. When she later transitioned to working at Bardessono Hotel and Spa, Alexis was able to develop their weddings program with perfection and also relationships at the forefront. Limiting the number of weddings permitted annually enabled her to be completely invested in each couple’s celebration, and she is pleased to remain friends with all of her past brides and grooms.

Cutting her teeth on the highest service standards has developed Alexis’ eye for detail and addiction to organization. However, she is first and foremost a warm and welcoming ally; she can be depended on to skillfully navigate the Valley’s many talented vendors, beautiful venues and endless activities – and to always start (and end) with a glass of wine.

Alexis’ ‘simple wine country life’ includes two wild, wonderful, sassy daughters who make life the opposite of simple, but oh-so-fantastic, and a husband who is the Hospitality Manager for several Napa wineries. She has an unquenchable thirst for bubbles and Pinot, practices yoga and clean eating (apart from the wine, because hello!), loves cultural festivals of all kinds and drives a Subaru. Is also aware of how cliche she is.

EMILY TONTI | THE DETAIL NINJA

Emily Tonti

A born and raised Californian, Emily started working at her father’s retail store at the age of ten (being “forced” to earn her keep) learning the mechanisms of business. The early exposure developed Emily’s passion for events as she began working with the Sonoma Children’s Cancer Foundation. It was there where she would organize fundraisers – large and small—this Detail Ninja never allowed for anything less than excellence with each event. She immersed herself in a whirlwind of work and school, learning as much as she could about production and efficiency, in addition to design and effective use of space.

It was when she spent a semester studying abroad in Rome, a quote by an unknown author consumed her: “Find something you love to do and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” Emily came back from Italy savvy in farm-to-table dining and with an expanded repertoire of couture textiles (and of Italian varietals, gelato, design…and trying to not get hit on the sidewalks by rogue Fiats). She graduated Saint Mary’s College with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration while concurrently working for a wedding and events planning company as the, hands down, MOST ruthless detailer before and on the day of event! Emily is as gracious as she is focused on making sure every detail is organized, presents well and flows impeccably.

When Emily is not crafting detailed timelines and meticulously fine-tuning the spectrum of clients’ events, you will find her at the local Farmers’ Markets sourcing fresh produce for her baking and culinary addiction. She can also be found exploring a new hiking trail with her sidekick, golden retriever Charlie and her other half Kevin.

PLAN YOUR LUXURY NAPA WEDDING

Contact us for more information. Let us make your luxury Napa Valley wedding a reality. 

Contact Us