The TV contestant and the pitcher tie the knot in Napa – complete with horse and carriage

By Ulrica Wihlborg
November 14, 2010 02:20 PM
Catherine Hall Studios

Three-time Survivor contestant Stephenie LaGrossa never took the winning title despite being one of the most popular players ever to appear on the CBS reality show.

But on Saturday, LaGrossa took home another title when she wed Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Kyle Kendrick: Beautiful Bride.

“I never thought there was ‘the one,’ but now I believe it,” LaGrossa tells PEOPLE. “He’s what I needed my whole life and I’m so glad I finally found him.”

The couple exchanged platinum bands by DeSimone Jewelers in an outdoor ceremony in front of 105 guests at the Silverado Resort in Napa, Calif. The bride wore a dress by Priscilla of Boston and the groom a tux by Hugo Boss. Their two dogs, Bebe and Champ, acted as flower girl and ringbearer and wore a white dress and a tuxedo, respectively.

“They’re absolutely wild about each other,” says their wedding planner, Joannie Liss of Joannie Liss Events. “They are so in love. They couldn’t wait to get married.”

After the ceremony, the newlyweds took a brief ride in a horse-drawn carriage before joining their guests for a cocktail hour that included mini Philly cheese steaks as appetizers.

Romantic Feel

LaGrossa took inspiration from her dress when planning her wedding. “My dress has two crystal brooches, so the whole theme is based around the brooches,” she says.

For the reception, event designer Eden Rodriguez created centerpieces of white hydrangeas, sterling silver roses and orchids in glass vases with floating candles. To complement the sparkly theme, every centerpiece was adorned with petite feathers and antique crystal brooches. Hundreds of crystal votives enhanced the romantic feel.

The newlyweds’ first dance was to Brad Paisley’s “Then” before the bride surprised her husband with a groom’s cake in chocolate in the shape of a baseball and mitt by Cake Coquette.

After a sit-down dinner that included filet mignon and sea bass, the 8-piece band Mixx Company lead by Dede Johnson kept guests on the dance floor until 10:30 pm.

“You know when it feels right, and this feels so right!” says LaGrossa. “I’m really, really happy.”

Apart from her speaking engagements, LaGrossa is one of the owners of GIGI Restaurant & Lounge in Old City Philadelphia.