A HOLLYWOOD COUPLE EXCHANGE VOWS FOR BETTER AND FOR BUSINESS
When L.A.-based Taylor Latham and Andrew Major decided to tie the knot, they couldn't imagine a more beautiful place to say "I do" than Santa Barbara's wine country. "We love it there," attests 31-year-old Taylor, vice president of production at Double Feature Films. "It's only two hours away but you feel as if you're transported to a different place, somewhere south of France or Tuscany," she says. "As soon as you pass Santa Barbara," she adds, "your heart rate slows down and you start to smile."
The couple's love affair with local wines began two years before they actually became an item. "We were best friends before we started dating and we'd always go to the wine country together," explains Andrew, a screenwriter, who originally met Taylor in 2001 when she hired him as an assistant. Every few months, the two would rent a van and invite a group of mutual friends to explore the wine country for a couple of days. "It was our favorite thing to do," says Andrew, also 31.
After he proposed to Taylor in October 2006, the couple scheduled a summer wedding at Foley Estates Vineyard & Winery in the Santa Rita Hills. The couple wanted to make their special occasion a weekend event and invited all 185 guests to Friday's rehearsal dinner at Mattei's Tavern in Los Olivos. The next morning, the group gathered at nearby Nojoqui Falls to play football and relax before the ceremony. "By the time the wedding started, everyone already knew each other," says Taylor, adding that neither she nor her groom were nervous before taking the plunge. "Everything worked like clockwork, so there was not a moment of stress."
The mother of the bride, 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl, agrees. "Taylor is the most organized person alive," she attests. "She and Andrew did everything, and I was happy to let them. It's the reason we didn't fight-I had no say!"
Following dreamy afternoon vows against a backdrop of rolling hills and oak-studded grasslands, the reception kicked off with a cheese and wine pairing in the barrel room, where guests kept cool until dinner, served in tents on the lawn. Collaborating with the caterer, the couple had designed a menu of steak, salmon, and fried green tomato salad-Taylor's favorite complemented by a selection of Foley's wines. But it was the wedding band that stole the show. The couple say that the absolute highlight was seeing Taylor's 89-year-old grandma having a great time on the dance floor.
Not surprisingly, their pals proclaimed this was the best wedding they'd ever been to. "We had spent so many weekends together in the wine country, this was a special place for all of us;' says Taylor. Including the longtime friends of her mother also added to the fun atmosphere. "The whole night, our single male friends danced with my mom's single female friends. They all loved it!"
For Leslie and her husband, Aaron, sharing the extraordinary day with their own close circle was icing on the cake. "Getting married is supposed to be something you do in the context of your 'community' it's how your extended family endorses, celebrates, accepts you as a couple," says Stahl. "Taylor's 'community' has included our friends, too, so it was important to have them there."
To thank family and friends for coming to their wedding, Taylor and Andrew wanted to share something that reminded everyone of the wine country event. When the couple couldn't find gifts they liked, they decided to create down vests for their guests. "We also designed our own stationery with a logo of a simple, stylish wine barrel, and then added the logo to the menu and our gifts for the wedding party." Andrew says. "Everyone loved them and asked where we had found the design."
Subsequently the newlyweds set out to create a whole line of vino-inspired apparel, including neckties, headbands, scarf belts, and tote bags. They aptly named their now thriving business Little Barrel. "We had so much fun planning our wedding every night after work that we knew we'd enjoy starting a business together," Taylor. Adds Andre "Little Barrel has become the best excuse to be together, travel the world visiting vineyards, and drink more wine." – Isabelle Gullo