This charming California celebration fits right in with the rest of the gorgeousness you’ve seen today. But what you wouldn’t know by looking at it is there was major venue change the day before the wedding. We love the adorable couple and the sophisticated beachy vibe, but above all else, this wedding is a sweet little reminder to cherish your day and when it comes down to it, sit back, relax, and enjoy every single moment. {Click here to see even more of this delightful affair.}

We had planned for having our wedding at the Canary Hotel in Santa Barbara, CA on May 9th 2009 and started planning about a year in advance, trying our hand at diying absolutely everything. My husband and I had actually been legally married at the courthouse a few months back and now were planning the big party for our friends and family. We made several trips to SB (from LA) during the year, going to tastings, meeting with vendors, organizing floor plans, finding accommodations for guests, etc. We designed and goccoe’d all of our paper goods, handmade our chuppa and centerpieces, made gift bags, baked a family recipe as our favor….all the items Style Me Pretty provided inspiration for. But on the Tuesday before the wedding- the Jesusita fires hit Santa Barbara. We were told by our venue that everything would be fine, and that we should keep on planning to come that Saturday. But as the week progressed, the fires were not contained.

Before I go on, I would like to preface this by saying that the disaster that hit Santa Barbara does not compare at all to our trivial wedding day troubles. Our issues could not compare to the fires that were terrorizing the SB community. With that being said, here is our memorable wedding day story:

On Friday morning, the day before the wedding, our guests started calling us in a panic. Highways were being closed and guests were worried about their health and safety. Our venue finally told us that indeed, the outlook was not good, however, they could not cancel our contract, thereby not entitling us to have our deposit returned. We had to be the ones to decide, and after much consideration – we canceled the venue. I was in tears. We didn’t know what we would do just yet, but we had to have the wedding that weekend- even if it meant a public park in the middle of the highway. We had 50 of our guests from the UK that had already flown in, some guests that were already on the way to Santa Barbara, if not already there. And some of them without cell phones, or a ways for us to contact them.

Our tiny apartment became the hub for wedding relocation. We frantically started trying to come up with ideas. Amidst all the boxes of wedding décor, my husband and his groomsmen crammed into our apartment trying to reach our 100 guests and telling them to stand by. Within about an hour of canceling, we got some amazing news – Shutters Hotel in Santa Monica was miraculously available, a sister hotel to the Canary, they were willing to take us on a day’s notice. My husband and his groomsmen called our vendors to plead for them to travel to LA and called all our guests hotels to cancel rooms. They made new reservations in Los Angeles, reorganized our itinerary, and contacted all our guests to tell them our new plans.

As all the chaos ensued at home, a close friend and I headed to Shutters hotel to plan a wedding in one day. I cannot say enough about the service at the Shutters hotel, they were waiting for me in the lobby with open arms. They thought of everything. When they showed me the new venue I was speechless. They were throwing a wedding together for us in one day. They recreated everything I had planned for the Canary- to happen at their hotel instead. At this point, I was willing to let go of all the details we had so carefully planned over the past year, but they did their absolute best to make us feel as if nothing was changing.

The amount of love we felt from our family, friends, and vendors was overwhelming. Nobody was obligated to do anything to help us, but we were astounded by people’s empathy, generosity, and thoughtfulness. In the end, it truly was the most amazing day for the both of us. And perhaps everything we went through to get there, made it that much more special. I remember a waiter handing us both a glass of champagne at the reception and saying, enjoy it- it goes by really fast. And he was right. I blinked and it was over. But what I remember more than all the details we painstakingly spent evenings making, (that now had the wrong venue name on it), or that our chairs were not the chivaris I had spent months debating whether or not to splurge on, or that all the decorations we had handmade were now scattered in new places – - was the love and warmth we felt from our guests, venue and vendors. I just remember being so happy. Aside from 3 people, every single guest was able to still make it to our big day despite the change. Looking back now, we laugh at the predicament we had been in and how well it all turned out. As one of our wise guests said, our marriage had been tested by fire, and we had passed the test.


Vendor Credits: Photographer: Ricky Mia / Venue: Shutters on the Beach / DJ- Josh @ Goodbeat Productions / Flowers – Camille at Modern Day Design, Santa Barbara / Cupcakes- Joann’s on Third, Los Angeles (originally Crushcakes in SB, they graciously canceled our order due to the circumstances, one day before) / Bride dress – Jenny Yoo, Los Angeles / Groom and Groomsmen – Friar Tux, Los Angeles

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