Santa Barbara weddings make me happy in ways I can’t really describe in words.  It’s the beautiful landscape matched with the sunny blue skies that kind of send me over the moon… it’s the perfect spot for marrying, mind you.  Throw in a bride and groom who are the epitome of adorable, a love story that will melt your heart and a whole lot of magical moments captured by Linda Arredondo Photography and, well.  Happy, happy Monday.  See it all in the full gallery.

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From the Bride… A friend commented in her toast, “Your relationship has been everything but convenient.” She was right – we had to travel across the world to find each other. And as if that wasn’t enough, we spent the next year on planes between Seattle and Montreal until we graduated from our respective colleges. But it has all been worth the effort.

We met while studying abroad in Jerusalem, and when we finished college, we moved back there for a couple more years. Although our wedding was located in Santa Barbara, we wanted it to reflect the smells, colors, sounds and flavors of the city where we met and fell in love. From the Yemenite/Israeli band down to the wedding favors – spice jars filled with Baharat spice mix directly from the Jerusalem market – everything came together to bring to life all the feelings of anticipation, comfort and beauty that have marked our lives since we first met.

With guests coming from more than 10 states and six countries, we wanted our wedding to incorporate our friends and family. During the ceremony, friends and family stood underneath the Chuppah with us and shared blessings in Hebrew and English. Afterward, we exchanged a taste of honey, a Persian custom, to bring sweetness to our new marriage. Our friend Anna, who introduced us years earlier, sang our first dance song – a quaint and unknown song called “Far Away” – accompanied on guitar by Adam’s college roommate. The personal touches really made all the difference.

We had extravagant visions for our wedding but didn’t want to overspend. My mom and our wedding planner scoured Santa Barbara’s thrift shop scene, collecting over 100 colorful vases – many of which I now have sprinkled around our apartment to remind us of our wedding. Instead of a traditional guest book, we bought vintage postcards of the world and places we had lived in and asked our guests to write us advice about love. Every month since the wedding and for the first year of our marriage, my mom mails us a few of them to read to carry the wedding excitement on throughout the year. We also bought an old dictionary and asked people to circle words they believed were important in a good marriage. We are going to open it on our first anniversary.

Our wedding was the most magnificent day of my life. I look through the breathtaking photos about once a week just to relive it. Our family and vendors worked tirelessly to make our wedding day the best day of our lives, and we could not possibly think of more talented, inspiring people to have around us on that big day and in our lives.

Photography: Linda Arredondo Photography | Wedding Planner: Percy Sales Events | Floral Design: Wendy Smith of Your Image Floral | Desserts: Enjoy Cupcakes | Venue: Fairhills Estate Santa Barbara | Catering: Rene Ehmcke of The Gambling Cowboy | Rentals: Tent Merchant | Lighting: LBPS Events | Linens: La Tavola | Music: The Pini Cohen Band | Makeup + Hair: Luna Bella | Bride’s Blog: www.MyJerusalemKitchen.com | Wedding Dress: Marisa

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