Sunny Elings Park Wedding
July 9, 2014
United States
Classic WeddingsParkSummer Weddings
In wedding-land, you just can't beat the natural sunlight that shines down on SoCal. It's crisp, yet soft and oh-so-romantic. And Michael & Anna Costa always capture it so beautifully. Case in point? This sweet al fresco love fest coordinated by Felici Events. Filled to the brim with succulents, gorgeous views and smiles galore, its easy to get lost in all the pretty.
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From the beautiful Bride… Hartley and I like to joke that we met through Craigslist. (Only semi-true.) One fortuitous 4th of July, I went over to my friend Scott's house to hang with him and a bunch of our friends. After a mimosa or two, out waltzes his newest Craigslist roommate, a cute guy named Hartley. I'd like to say that was the beginning of our beautiful relationship, but it took some gentle cajoling from Scott and polite persistence from Hartley to get me on a real date. But one real date later, I was head-over-heels for my guy.

Three short years later, Hartley and I were married on June 22nd at Elings Park in beautiful Santa Barbara. Being from North Dakota and he from North Carolina, but both of us long-time Angelenos, we wanted to show our faraway family and friends just why we loved California so much. We wanted an outdoor venue simply because we adore the beauty of SoCal. Elings Park (Godric Grove, to be specific) was our venue from the moment we stepped foot into the park. Gorgeous views, pristine grounds, nature everywhere... it was perfect.

For our day, we knew we wanted it to be simple, we wanted it to be "us" and we wanted it to be a big ol' love fest. Anything else would be icing on the cake. The wedding turned out to be more incredible than either of us ever imagined it could be. Our fabulous coordinator, Zohe Felici (Felici Events,) made that day so very stress-free. We showed up to the venue and were wowed by all the work she and her staff had done. She took all of our simple ideas and made them beautiful. All of our vendors added something spectacular to the event: our photographer, Anna Costa, was marvelous. She got spectacular photos and didn't keep us from our guests for any longer than necessary. Our caterers, (Island View Catering,) kept the crowd happy and kept us better fed than any bride and groom in the history of weddings. Our DJ, (Music by Bonnie,) had put up with all our odd requests and handled the mood of the party from pre-ceremony through reception.

And above all else, our friends and family helped make it what it was. My long-time best friend officiated for us; Hartley's dad, an incredible musician, played a very personal guitar solo during our ceremony; we asked our aunts/uncles and god parents to stand and share some marital wisdom before we said our vows. One of Hartley's work friends who had been married at Godric Grove rented us her succulent centerpieces that she had used at her wedding, the perfect California touch. My bouquet was wrapped with Chantilly lace that my Grandmother had worn on her veil when she married my Grandfather. Hartley's dance with his mother was the best twist-ing any of us had ever seen. Our decorations consisted of photos and our RSVP postcards where our guests had drawn pictures and written poems and sweet notes. It was so full of love and had been made so easy by everyone involved, it left us able to simply enjoy every moment.

It's been almost a year since that day and I can remember every second of it as if it happened yesterday.