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Best Wishes

Different locations, different couples, different tastes with one shared goal: to create a personal, authentic, perfect day

(page 3 of 4)



Anne Hiaring & Richard Hocking
St. Helena | June 9, 2007

Anne Hiaring and Richard Hocking, who met through mutual friends while skiing in Sun Valley, Idaho, wound up having a much bigger wedding than they’d envisioned. “I thought there’d be 120 tops,” says Anne, an attorney in San Francisco. “But everyone we invited showed up. No one could believe he was finally getting married.”

At 59, Richard had been a lifelong bachelor. “He’s really handsome. He cooks. He skis. He has a boat. He’s in great shape. He has wonderful friends. It was like, ‘what’s wrong with the picture?’” says Anne, laughing. “It turns out, absolutely nothing. In fact he’s just a great guy.”

Because of their shared love of cooking and eating good food, they knew they wanted to have their wedding in the Napa Valley. When they found the First Presbyterian church of St. Helena and immediately clicked with Jonathan Eastman, the minister there, everything seemed to fall into place. “We wanted a ceremony that reflected the fact that we were both raised attending a church, but we didn’t want someone else’s ceremony foisted on us,” says Anne. To keep it from being generic, they wrote the whole thing themselves, incorporating plenty of music, and chose all the songs. “At one point the singer sang ‘When I’m 64,’ but we changed the lyrics to 84, because, you know, 64 is just around the corner.”

Along with the playfulness, there was a sense of real intention. “My favorite part was standing up in front of the church and holding on to Richard’s arm. We really supported each other. It’s pretty amazing to get married when you are older. You get to a point where you don’t really need anybody but you make that commitment to open up and be there for one another.”

For the reception the couple and their 200 guests drove over to a friend’s vineyard for dinner, dancing and good wine. “It was very elegant but very comfortable with lots of children. We wanted it to be family oriented,” Anne says.

Between the family-style Tuscany-inspired menu featuring all seasonal and locally sourced food and the great bands (there were two), they got exactly the celebration they were hoping for. “I would say it was just great,” Anne concludes. “Everyone was dancing. Dads and daughters, all the husbands and wives who hadn’t danced together in years were dancing. You just couldn’t stay off your feet.”

But the best part of all was seeing her two children, 16 and 20, enjoy themselves so much. “They were really happy for me. They love Richard; he’s been a great presence in their lives. The pie just got bigger, not smaller.”

Location: Ceremony, First Presbyterian Church of St. Helena; reception, Masked Man Vineyard, Calistoga; mintlocations.com

Photographer: Kay Field, Cotati, kayfieldphoto.com

Caterer: Brannan’s Grill, Calistoga (owners of Masked Man Vineyard), brannansgrill.com

Cake: Debbie Does Dessert, San Anselmo, debbiedoesdessert.com

Flowers: Sue Tipp, St. Helena

Music: Stephen Iverson, Lobacha (Cuban); Herb and his band (Brannan’s house blues band)

Invitations: Diane Murray and John Hersey, hersey.com

Dress: Le Spose di Giò, ceremony; Proenza Schouler, reception


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