it is a truth universally acknowledged…

Weddings are almost always beautiful events, and my sister’s this past weekend was no exception. The bride wore a one-of-a-kind gown made from a vintage top and — wait for it — an 100-year-old tablecloth which was stunning in its execution.  The rest of the celebration, from the grape arbor, to the rustic-chic barn, to the pastries, to the flowers were magazine-worthy.

Here’s a little peek at what I think may have been the prettiest wedding of the year!

bride and groom

photo by miles kerr

beautiful party

In the barn

pastry table

photo by johanna bjork of

seating chart

seating chart (photo by hallie bulleit)


boutonnieres made from succulents


mendocino county during harvest


garden at campovida (photo by marissa guggiana)

groom's shoes

groom’s shoes

grapes at campovida

grapes ready for harvest at dooley creek ranch

flower girls' headband
flower girls’ hair wreath

Special thanks to the friends and family who shared their brilliance to make it even more perfect:

franz and maria

franz and maria

Franz Nicolay and Maria Sonevystsky made beautiful music together and they were roundly loved by all in attendance.

elena zhukova

photographer elena zhukova

 Elena Zhukova, along with her husband Aleksey Bochkovsky continue to be chic and talented photographers — thank you both for spending the weekend with us!


flowers by church st. flowers in san francisco

As it happens, the numero uno florist in San Francisco is also the groom’s cousin. Lucky us, because the flowers were divine!

Finally, a shot by Elena of my sister and I, channeling Downton Abbey.

vanessa and karen

karen and me



the wedding present

Jane Sacchi antique linens

I love buying gifts almost as much as I love receiving them. The perfect present is one that is exactly fitted to the recipient, so thinking through generalities is almost entirely useless. There are a million bowls in the world…which one, if any, is perfect for your purposes as a gift-giver? And it need not be in the stratosphere price-wise. I’ve recently received a present from an old friend that was inexpensive but profoundly meaningful. Knowing your audience and being sensitive to the occasion is everything in successful gift-giving.

Weddings are peculiar in the gift-buying pantheon since most couples have a registry, making the process straight-forward. Taste neutral presents for those weddings where one is perhaps not as close to the couple are, if not easy, then certainly easier than those where something more spectacular or memorable is required. In regard to the former, I typically look at the registry and follow their recommendations, and in some cases, upgrade their request (for example, replacing a Calphalon saucepan with a copper-core All-Clad version of the same.)

But what of those weddings where you are intimates with the one or both of the couple? Or, as is the case for me, it’s your sister?

For those closer to me, I’ve begun to look for things like antique champagne buckets, gorgeous over-sized bath towels or luxurious new/fabulous antique linens. I’ve noticed Restoration Hardware has upped its game recently in the linen department, after having what appeared to be a very public identity crises. Frette, of course, makes smooth sheets that, while expensive, are blissfully heavenly. My brother has mastered the art of giving fine wine as a gift. Usually it’s a case from a vintage that is significant to the person on the receiving end. My daughter, for example, is going to have some amazing 2007 reds to drink at various points in her life. Recently, too, I’ve gotten over my auction house anxiety and have started flagging some beautiful and not-so-expensive one-of-a-kind beauties online to pick up for these occasions.

Make no mistake, I don’t typically spend my time crawling antiques houses or sipping 1982 Bordeaux. I have my fair share of Ikea and $10 pinot grigio in my house. But when it comes to these once-in-a-lifetime moments for those closest to us, finding a bespoke gift, the object that carries more than a trace of the shared history between the giver and receiver, is not just important, but helps us truly build a home.

the perfect wedding

Wedding fever has overtaken my family. My sister is getting married, and while some may say that it’s a disadvantage to be the last of 3 to get married, I’d argue that it is a great, great advantage. Having seen the foibles, the misplaced energy, the general low-grade anxiety of earlier weddings, my sister has not only selected the most stratospherically beautiful location, but she’s retained the services of a wedding planner.  Brill.

3 generations of Kanan-Corrêa ladies (plus fiancé) went up to Campovida yesterday to meet the wedding planners and begin organizing in earnest. It’s a jaw-droppingly beautiful place. Hills all around. Sustainably grown vineyards and surrounding gardens. 52 varietals of apples in the orchards. Figs, lavender, kale, swiss chard, towering cyprus. Everything well-taken care of, but not sterile. In short, as close as a girl can get to Provence without heading to St. Rémy.

But it gets better…the chef will be vegetarian wünderkind Leif Hedendal and the creative bombast of Elena Zhukova will ensure unforgettable photography. Throw in some of NYC’s most fab musicians, a few glittering food folks from the Bay Area, a sprinkling of Ph.D.s and about 30 kids…well, you’ve got the makings of either a great time, or an epic food fight.