After dating for four years, Caroline Harris and Paul Funkhouser moved from New York City to San Francisco in the summer of 2018. For Caroline’s January 1 birthday, Paul surprised her with a trip to Yountville. Before venturing to the vineyards, they took a stroll in the morning for coffee and stopped to admire a nearby park. Caroline took a picture of the vista and started to say that they should hit the road if they wanted to reach Yountville in time. When she turned around, Paul was perched on one knee and replied, “Okay, but before we go, will you marry me?”
Caroline promptly screamed, threw her coffee in the air, and snatched the ring from his hand—in that order. “Truly graceful on my part,” she laughs. She asked him if they could try the proposal again because she was pretty sure she didn’t do her part correctly the first time. After take two of the proposal, they rang up their immediate family, spread the news, and continued their voyage to Yountville.
The details of their August wedding in Roaring Gap, North Carolina were ever-changing. Hurricane Dorian and the pandemic were just a few of the obstacles that fumbled their best-laid plans. But they made it work. “Paul grew up going to Roaring Gap with his family, and it has been a special place for the two of us since we started dating,” Caroline explains. “It’s impossible not to have a good time there, so we felt it was the perfect place to bring close friends and family together for our special day.”
When they were ready to start planning their wedding for the fourth time, Caroline and Paul tapped their dear friend Augusta Cole for design direction and to help them assemble their dream team. Dina Berg Blazek Events was enlisted as their planner, and Dear Elouise and Laura Lines Calligraphy set the tone for the day with a beautiful invitation suite.
For Caroline’s bridal look, she wanted something timeless but not overtly traditional or even bridal. She ultimately selected a Carolina Herrera gown. Caroline paired the dress with a Carolina Herrera embroidered lace veil. She adds, “It was unplanned, but the flowers on the veil actually reminded me of some of the florals we used throughout the weekend.” Her accessories were her “something borrowed.” She slid on her mother’s diamond bracelet and pearl and diamond drop earrings from her aunt. Claire Balest accompanied Caroline’s classic look with equally elegant makeup.
The groom sported a black tuxedo and Of Rare Origin cufflinks, which were wedding gifts from Caroline and were purchased from Over The Moon. Caroline’s sister and sister-in-law wore different dresses by Mikael Aghal, and Paul’s groomsmen donned black tuxedos.
On August 7, 2021, the couple’s closest family and friends gathered in a small church with beautiful mountain flower arrangements by Jay Lugibihl, while a rainstorm rolled by. The string quartet was able to play over the distant thunder. The couple’s nephew and twin nieces perfectly fulfilled their roles as ring bearer and flower girls.
When Caroline reflects on that ceremony, she vividly recalls the joy, peace, and gratitude she felt. She notes, “There are so many lessons we can all take from the last 18 months, one of them being how important friends and family are.”
The rain was still pouring by the time of the reception at the club’s Graystone Inn, but the couple’s backup plan worked out even better. “The cocktail hour was under a large porch in the front of the inn clubhouse, and the band played jazz, while everyone sipped on cocktails and hors d’oeuvres were passed,” Caroline describes. “Midway through cocktail hour, the fog rolled in, and it looked like something out of a movie!”
Guests moved into a candlelit room for the seated dinner at three long tables, rented from Party Tables with linens supplied by La Tavola. The meal was delectable. “We started with an heirloom tomato salad, followed by chicken au jus with asparagus and potato maxim, with macaroons and wedding cake from Artsy Cakesy to top it off,” Caroline lists. Her brother, uncle, and Paul regaled guests with toasts that brought laughter through dinner. After cutting the cake, “which ended up more of a food fight between Paul and me,” Caroline clarifies, four horn players entered through the draped doorway to the tune of “We Want the Funk.” This musical cue ushered the seated guests into the next room for dancing.
The Emerald Empire Band brought buoyant energy to the dance floor. After the first dance to Van Morrison’s “Bright Side of the Road,” the couple’s friends brought out dozens of red wigs. This was an homage to the “Ginger Party” Caroline threw for a red-headed Paul one year. Limbo followed right after because, in Caroline’s words, “Nothing beats a good limbo while wearing a red wig!” The reception continued with an ’80s–themed DJ and props until the early morning hours.