Now that you’ve had a chance to get to know this stunning duo through their Ojai engagement, it’s time to snag a peek inside their rehearsal. It’s what happens when the Bride-to-be doubles a creative genius behind Bob Gail Special Events and sets out to plan one of the most elegant evenings we’ve ever seen. Of course, Elizabeth Messina was there to document every moment and be sure to sit tight for the wedding up NEXT!
From the Bride… We chose the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa to host our entire wedding weekend because it offers so much to its guests as a destination property. The Herb Garden on the OVIS grounds is truly idyllic: the natural setting of an existing canopy with overgrown wisteria, and the existing inlets with gauzy fabric and hanging lanterns offered the perfect effortless garden environment that we were looking for in a rehearsal dinner location.
We really wanted our rehearsal dinner to feel warm, intimate and inclusive. We were together for almost eight years when we got married, and our families have known each other for the better part of our lives, so our circles are completely intertwined.
At our rehearsal dinner, we wanted to thank everyone individually for all of the life-long love and support they have given us, so we gave personalized gifts to everyone in attendance. For our bridesmaids, we carried one of the wedding themes over into their gift, and presented them with delicate gold heart rings, designed by Bea Millen (the founder/designer was one of our bridesmaids). Our groomsmen were given the gift that keeps on giving: Julibox cocktail-of-the-month subscriptions. We presented our parents with copies of the Giving Tree (our shared childhood favorite) with hand-written notes inside, as well as a watercolor piece created by the artist (and our invitation designer) Leslie Lewis Sigler. Leslie also helped us create custom pieces for our grandparents.
Each person that surrounded us at the table has shared so many memories throughout our lives, individually and as a couple, and each guest spoke throughout the dinner, offering words of love, advice and wisdom to us as we embarked on our journey as a married couple. Those words were so incredibly special to us, and will carry us through a lifetime of marriage.
We customized our entire menu with the help of Jen Kenton at the Ojai Valley Inn. We both absolutely love Italian-style cuisine, and the California-Fresh cuisine the region near Ojai is so well-known for, so we customized a family-style menu to converge those two concepts.
We wanted the dinner to feel like an elegant garden party that we would host in our backyard, so for the cocktail hour, we set up a casual lounge area with cozy couches and a natural wood bar that offered local wine from our favorite Ojai vineyard and a selection of our favorite artisanal beer, while a Latin Guitar Ensemble playing acoustically. For the dinner itself, we set a long table with mismatched natural printed linens and a landscape of potted plants, herbs and fresh flowers under a canopy of overgrown wisteria and hanging potted plants, which we accented with Italian stringer lights and brass star lanterns. Each place setting had a hand-water colored floral place card and a small bundle of fresh herbs. As the night grew chilly, we offered our guests cozy throw blankets tied with burlap ribbon.
It was important to us that all of the aspects of our wedding reflected how thankful we were to be joining all of our friends and family together. From the long, inclusive, table-set-up to the family-style Italian meal with all of our closest friends and family, we wanted each moment of the weekend to be reflective of our favorite things.
Photography: Elizabeth Messina | Videography: Elysium Productions | Floral Design: Bob Gail Special Events | Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Jewelry: Bea Millen | Catering: Ojai Valley Inn And Spa | Bride's Dress: Robert Rodriguez | Bridesmaids Gifts: Bea Millen | Event Planning, Design & Production: Bob Gail Special Events | Groom's Formalwear: Prada | Groomsmen Gifts: Julibox | Hair & Make-Up: The Studio Agency | Latin Guitar Ensemble: Bob Gail Special Events | Linens: La Tavola | Parents & Grandparents Gifts: Lilly And Louise | Printed Goods: Lilly And Louise | Rentals: Bob Gail Special Events | Venue: Ojai Valley Inn & Spa