Nothing gets our giddies going like a wedding planned by Joy de Vivre. And while we heart just about any event she touches, this Solvang soiree sets the bar even higher for vineyard weddings done right. The stunning photos come as no surprise with Michael & Anna Costa snapping up the pretty, and you must, must, must take time to linger in the full gallery for even more of this California lovely.
From Karin…My wife Alexa and I met in 2006 through a friend of a friend . . . of a friend. We took things slowly at first, but after five years, Alexa proposed to me in the spring of 2011 at a little bed and breakfast in Key West, Florida after asking my parents for their love and support (the proposal was perfect: complete with champagne, chocolate-covered strawberries, charcuterie & cheese and beautiful flowers).
We were both very involved in the entire wedding planning process, and agreed upon almost everything! We knew we wanted our wedding to be somewhere that had meaning to us, so we zeroed in on the Santa Ynez Valley since we often go up to there for wine tasting weekends. We loved the idea of an outdoor, rustic, yet chic, vineyard wedding. From the moment we saw it, we loved Coquelicot’s venue. From the idea of saying our vows in the middle of a vineyard to the actual barn on the property (although the “Red Barn” isn’t really red), it was the perfect atmosphere for our DIY wedding.
We wanted the wedding décor to be simple, personal, unique, and yet still feel classy. After just one meeting, Joy, from Joy de Vivre, translated our vision perfectly, everything from the table settings to the herb centerpieces atop the wine barrels as tables for cocktail hour, to the curtains framing the barn doors. And our family friend, Mary Alice, breathed life into our vision even more, acting as our florist. After months of planning the tablescapes, our parents, Maryellen and her husband worked tirelessly to put it all together the week of the wedding. Aside from each of the unique tablescapes, which consisted of mini potted green & purple plants, Alexa’s favorite piece of décor was a moss covered chair that Mary Alice made by hand. The tables were named after items that go together (like ‘PB & J’, ‘Bacon & Eggs’, etc.). We also had a few other DIY items, including the silhouette cornhole boards and K & A corkboards, both of which I spent quite a few hours constructing.
Two other important elements to making our day special were the food and music. We are huge foodies and did not want typical wedding food. Duo Catering gave us exactly what we wanted – family-style dining with multiple courses featuring local ingredients (heirloom potatoes and tomatoes for appetizers, and for the main courses, beef tenderloin on grilled peaches, various flatbread pizzas, and seafood and chorizo paella). For dessert, Duo made strawberry rhubarb mini hand pies (Alexa’s favorite!), and we had Chocolate Blackberry Syrah cupcakes from Enjoy! Cupcakes, a must have on every trip to Los Olivos. For music, we both knew we wanted a 80s cover band. The Young Guns were so awesome, playing music for both our ceremony (in suits) and reception (in 80s attire!) and had the dance floor crowded the entire night.
The day of was absolutely amazing. Alexa sent me presents through her bridesmaids on the hour, for 7 hours, leading up to the ceremony. For the final present, she handed me a giant cutout heart at our first look. I couldn’t have been more in love with her at that moment. Other highlights from the day, included saying our vows, which Alexa wrote as a Dr. Seuss-ian rhyme (an excerpt: “Yes, I’ll love her if we’re rich, And I will love her in a ditch, I’ll love her through good times and bad, Whether we’re happy or we’re sad,”), and the surprise flashmob(!) I organized for Alexa (she still gets teary-eyed to this day when it’s mentioned!).
From Alexa: I think Karin captured pretty much every major detail except the shoes! Oh and the dresses! But first, the shoes: we were both so in love with our shoes, but were very worried we wouldn’t be able to walk in them. And so we practiced around the house for the 3 months leading up to the wedding! In the end, everything went perfectly and I never took my shoes off once the entire night. The dresses were also a dream come true. By sheer luck, we both found our dresses at the same salon (M Bride, in La Jolla) and they are both Modern Trousseau designs, and therefore complemented each other perfectly. My dress is actually a composite of two dresses—I took the top from one design of Modern Trousseau’s and the bottom from another. I couldn’t have been happier with how it turned out and thank Michelle at M Bride for encouraging me to go in that direction. Karin’s dress was also so beautiful and I had the flowers from her purple sash made into a hair piece to match and bring our colors into the ceremony.
Looking back, it really was a perfect day. As we said our vows under a beautiful chuppah and in front of all our family and friends, I remember thinking how incredibly lucky I am not only because I get to spend the rest of my life with Karin, but also because of all the countless hours of help we got from our parents, Mary Alice, and many others to make our day so incredibly special.
Photography: Michael & Anna Costa | Design + Planning: Joy de Vivre | Floral Design: Mary Alice Ottinger | Catering: Duo Events | Rentals: Town & Country | Officiant: Rabbi Laurie Coskey | Music: The Young Guns | Cupcakes: Enjoy Cupcakes | Venue: Coquelicot Estate Vineyard | Hair & Makeup: About Face Makeup, Page Berse | Linens: La Tavola Wedding Dresses: Modern Trousseau via M Bride