When Ariana and Clayton met in the USA Track and Field athlete lounge at the 2016 Rio Olympics, they quickly forged a friendship that turned into an undeniable attraction.
After the Olympics ended, it didn’t take long for them to realize that they were in love. When Clayton was ready to make a lifetime commitment to Ariana, he pulled off a beautiful surprise proposal at during a trip to a vineyard in Napa Valley.
For their winter nuptials, they headed back to Napa Valley for a wedding that was full of rustic glamour. The black and white affair started with a ceremony in the Estate Cave, a massive wine cave built into the hillside beneath a nine-acre vineyard lit by ornate chandeliers and wall sconces.
Guests then moved into a ballroom for the reception. Chic black and white linens, gold chairs and tall floral arrangements adorned each table. After their first dance, Ariana and Clayton switched up their reception look. Clayton opted for a pair of Nikes and Ariana changed into her bejeweled custom Converse sneakers, and they danced the night away with their guests.
Read more about Clayton’s romantic proposal and see all of the glamorous details from their winter wedding below.
- Couple: Ariana Washington and Clayton Murphy
- Occupations: Olympic Track Athletes
- Wedding date: 12.7.19
- Wedding location: Meritage Resort & Spa, Napa Valley
How did you meet?
USA Track and Field athlete lounge at the 2016 Rio Olympics. He came in to join an already intense game of Uno. He claims he beat me, but he didn’t actually win because he didn’t know all the rules to the game. From that moment on we were a little inseparable for the rest of the trip. He even ran through 3 terminals and almost missed his flight just to say bye to me at the airport! We remained friends for a little under 6 months, we didn’t talk often because he had been in another relationship at the time, but he knew he always had a friend in me and tried to talk to me when he could. After these months of being just friends, the stars aligned for us and I realized he was the love of my life, and I was the love of his…and the rest is history. – From Ariana
Tell us about the proposal.
The proposal was set in Napa Valley, where we plan to get married, yet she thought we were there just to enjoy time away and look at wedding venues. I worked closely with ROQUE Events and the vendors they recommended to make the day perfect, romantic, and keep it a complete surprise.
We started our day with a wine tasting tour in the morning followed by lunch in downtown St. Helena. After, Ari and I visited Schramsberg Vineyards where we were able to take an ATV tour around the winery and taste their wine with the winemaker, thanks to ROQUE Events and Napa Private Tours. Ari was getting tired during this tour and I began to worry if she was going to make to dinner without being too tired.
As we went back to our suite at Las Alcobas to get ready, the nerves began to set in, I knew she had no idea it was coming but my plan was so close to being perfect; I didn’t want to mess it up. I began thinking and rethinking about what to say how I was going to do it, what hand to put her ring on, to what knee I was going to put on the ground.
Our driver picked us up from our hotel and took us to Auberge du Soleil for what Ari thought was a 7:00 pm dinner reservation, yet everyone but she knew it was really an 8:00 pm. After the hostess told Ari and me that our table wasn’t going to be ready just yet, we went on a walk through the resort. Ari was actually pretty upset that our table wasn’t ready and again I was worried she wouldn’t want to walk all the way to the pagoda that was completely decorated for the moment. But without tipping her off I got her to walk down all the stairs and to the “spot.”
As we walk up to the spot I kept her distracted by drawing attention to a sculpture that we argued whether it was an elk or a moose or a something else. Until she finally saw the balloons that spelled our Will You Marry Me” and even then she thought we were walking into someone else’s proposal. EV Floral filled the room with rose petals and beautiful arrangements under the balloon sign. Once I finally got her inside, I got so nervous I got on one knee and tried to recite my lines I had practiced, rethought, and rewrote a thousand times. The moment was perfect, she had no idea, looked stunning and the setting couldn’t have been better. Christina from c.m. elle studios was hiding behind the trees to capture the special moment! – From Clayton
- Event Production + Design: ROQUE Events
- Venue, Culinary + Beverage: Meritage Resort & Spa
- Photographer: c.m. elle studios
- Floral Design: Soulflower Design Studio
- Signage: Blushtype Designs
- Linen: La Tavola Linen
- Rentals: Bright Event Rentals
- Reception Guest Seating: Chameleon Chair Collection
- Cake: Batter Up Cakery
- Entertainment: DJ Sir Edgar
- Lighting + Production: The Lux Productions
- Videographer: Elevation Om
- Hair + Makeup: Blush Beauty Styling
- Bridal Gown: BERTA