(Kat Ma Photography)

Wedding Inspiration: A Glamorous Black Tie Party at Pleasanton's Ruby Hill Winery

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True love began on Tinder for Leighann Totanes and James Leong who, after discovering they had a mutual friend while messaging on the app, decided to meet for dinner with said pal. Soon, the rest was history.

The couple got engaged three years later on the Greek island of Santorini.


They embarked on a quest to plan the perfect day, visiting a multitude of venues. It wasn't until attending their friend's wedding that they found their place: Casa Real at Ruby Hill Winery.

"We have a mutual love for wine so having our wedding at a winery just made sense," says Totanes. "Casa Real is beautiful inside, and has a great outdoor area where you can see the sunset." The expansive venue was also large enough to accommodate their big family.

The day before the wedding, the pair shared a Chinese tea ceremony at Leong's parents house in San Jose. The traditional event, though, had some surprising elements. "My bridesmaids made the groomsmen finish a bottle of Hennessy, make a human pyramid, down spicy noodles, and wax their leg hair."

The wedding, however, took a more conventional turn. The two kicked off the day getting ready with their wedding party and showering each other with luxurious gifts from Chanel and Louis Vuitton. Totanes wore two dresses—a fitted Pallas Couture gown with a long train and beading, and an A-line Gali Karten gown with a beaded bodice and sheer skirt. Leong sported a custom black tuxedo with a secondary coat for the reception.

"We went back and forth about the theme and color scheme for the wedding because my taste is more rustic/outdoorsy and his is all white glam," explains Totanes. The settled on a whimsical secret garden with timeless glam. The florist chose mocha and mauve tones with pink flowers and a hint of dusty blue on the tables. Amid a sea of cascading florals around a grand fireplace, the lovebirds said, "I do."

The reception was all glam in a predominantly white palette including fixtures, large chandelier, and dance floor. Their sweetheart table took on a cherry blossom theme, immersed in floating florals and square seating with lush blooms in the center. For their family, the full length of the king's table held arrangements of varying heights and sizes down the entire table. Rather than paper, the couple created markers out of plexiglass including a "Meet the Bridal Party" sign, seating chart, and a light up sign with their names for the photo booth.

And then there was the food. Guests had the option of filet mignon or salmon, and they even added a side of pecking duck. For dessert, in addition to their five-layer cake, they brought in macaron ice cream sandwiches that they threw to the crowd—"like they throw t-shirts into the stands at basketball games." Finally, they ended with fortune cookie favors in coconut, sesame, and plain in mini Chinese takeout boxes; but not before Leong busted out some "Magic Mike moves with body rolls and dolphin kicks" with his groomsmen on the dance floor.


Ceremony: Casa Real at Ruby Hill Winery

Dresses: Pallas Couture and Gali Karten

Bridesmaids dresses: Azazie

Tuxedos: David August Men's Attire

Bride's shoes: Valentino

Groom's shoes: Louis Vuitton

Makeup: Shannon Le

Hair stylist: House of Colours

Floral designer: Nicole Ha Designs

Bakery: Ma Petite Maison Cakes

Linens: A Party Place

Photographer: Kat Ma Photography

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