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Bohemian Redwood Wedding in Big Sur

Embracing the beauty of California Redwoods, this romantic wedding offers unique wooden detailing, organic blooms from Kate Healey and gorgeous photos from Briana Purser Photography. The romance & love of this intimate affair is undeniable which makes looking at every detail even easier here!

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Styles
Rustic

From The Bride…Ben and I met in 2001 in Austin, Texas. We spent the next 12 years first as a couple and then as best friends before getting back together and getting married in Big Sur. We were on a summer picnic in Marfa, Texas when Ben proposed. We didn’t realize until later that Ben had happened to propose on my parent’s 33rd wedding anniversary. We saw it as a sign and decided to marry on the same day the following year. The month after our engagement I accompanied Ben, a musician, on his California tour. When we hit Big Sur, the first time for both of us, we were struck by its intense natural beauty and spent hours on the savage cliffs where the mountains met the sea. Big Sur is a gorgeous uncontrollable wilderness, a wild place ruled by powerful forces with their own plans. That feeling resonated with us in light of our history and we decided to have our wedding in Big Sur.

We had an intimate summer ceremony in a small redwood grove. We were lucky to have a clear sunny sky, a rare day for foggy Big Sur. Ben wore Hugo Boss and I wore a Spanish gown of silk tulle. Kate Healey of Big Sur flowers, using organic flowers grown in her Big Sur garden, adorned the altar in peaches, pinks, and dusty yellows. The bouquets were made of rosemary, sage, lavender, roses, succulents, peonies, craspedia, and fragrant herbs. Boutonnieres were crafted of craspedia and rosemary. Kate wove succulents into the white roses of my flower crown and covered the aisle in a mix of flower petals and herbs. Harpists played Nick Cave’s “Into my Arms” as I walked down the aisle. I carried a vintage white embroidered handkerchief to which I pinned one blue Lebanese bead, traditionally used to ward off the evil eye, borrowed from my mother (my something old, borrowed, and blue). Our friend Matt Muir, a descendant of California preservationist John Muir, officiated the ceremony. Vows were passages on love and marriage by Lebanese artist and writer Kahlil Gibran. Our flower girls, my lovely cousins Angelina and Alexia, wore flower crowns and dropped petals from moss covered baskets. Bridesmaids wore long golden dresses and groomsmen and bridesmen sported black suits and blue ties.

A seasonal, organic, wood fired dinner was served at the reception at Big Sur Bakery, a small, beautiful restaurant nestled in the Santa Lucia mountains. Dinner was followed by a three tier white cake covered with dahlias and filled with fresh berries. Tables were named after indigenous trees and tabletops were covered in vintage vases and wood boxes filled with succulents and flowers. We had our first dance to George Harrison’s “If not for you.” Groomsman Austin Leonard Jones performed love songs by Roky Erickson under a starry sky on the Bakery’s patio. We all ended the night with a last dance to The Kinks “Strangers,” one of my favorite moments of the night. After a sparkler sendoff, we headed to Ventana for our wedding night followed by several romantic nights in an isolated cabin in the redwoods.

Photography: Briana Purser Photography | Flowers: Kate Healey | Invitations: Donaji Mejia | Ceremony Venue: Big Sur Grange Hall | Reception Venue: Big Sur Bakery | Hair & Makeup: Sophia Coyne of Painted Ladies | Bride & Groom Sparkler Signs : The Lovebird Press | Catering & Cake: Big Sur Bakery | Day Of Coordination: Alyssa Griffith Of Rose Gold Events For Lowe House Events | Harpists: Diana Stork and Shawna Spiteri | Seating Assignment Board: Moulage Collection | Tree Table Number Cards: Kirsten Sparenborg, Turn of the Centuries

Abby Capalbo

Design, Styling, Parties

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Big Sur Wedding with Organic Elegance

We all know that the coastline of California produces some of the most spectacular weddings we’ve ever seen. Given. But for SMP, it’s in those little details – that embrace the beauty, that are inspired by their surroundings, that are organic and effortless – that give way to some of the most memorable. And this one, with florals by Christine Cater and photographs by Cooper Carras – is perhaps one of the loveliest. Click here to see even more and scroll down for the film by Michael Bromberg.

Colors
Seasons
Spring
Settings
Estate
Styles
Rustic

From The Bride…I had a vision for my wedding day before I had a ring on my finger. Certainly I wasn’t picking out flowers and bridesmaid dresses as a little girl (otherwise you’d see Lisa Frank invitations and my guests eating Double Stuff Oreos). But once I fell and stayed in love with Henry, I couldn’t help but dream about how we’d eventually celebrate with family and friends. More than anything else, I knew I wanted nature to play a starring role. So, when I stumbled upon the Paion Estate in Big Sur, it was love at first sight. Drooling over photos of the location and a few weddings it held, I contacted Diane Allen of Elegant Events about getting married there. As she did for the rest of our relationship, Diane responded immediately, helpfully, and lovingly. After looking at a few other places that paled in comparison, Diane and I got to work on bringing my vision alive. She seamlessly changed directions to parallel my shifting preferences. Initially, I saw something bohemian and rustic; something with homemade touches and a pastel pallet. Over time, I moved toward a more minimalist, elegant take on an organic outdoor wedding. Along with the fabulous florist Diane recommended, Christine Cater, we got rid of the color, polished the edges, and focused on fusing the unique vibes of Big Sur with the elements of a timeless, sophisticated wedding. For instance, the music moved from Pink Floyd before the ceremony, to Frank Sinatra at dinner, to Rihanna remixes on the dance floor.

In short, the day surpassed my wildest expectations. And I’ve heard from more than one guest that opening the bar before the ceremony surpassed their expectations, too. In all seriousness though, I relive this weekend – the beauty, the warmth, the love, the conversations, the midnight wood-fired pizza – in my head all the time. The photographs and video keep the memories vivid. I wish I could thank everyone who worked with us to make this happen and everyone who attended a thousand times. I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t specifically mention the most brilliant dress designer in all the world, Sam Walls Beasley, my ridiculously cool stylists, Laura Dorpat and Courtney Heart, our friend and videographer Michael Bromberg, and of course our photographer Cooper Carras. Our day was perfect for us, and I hope every future bride reading this has a wedding perfect for her.

Photography: Cooper Carras | Videographer: Michael Bromberg Films | Coordinator: Elegant Events | Floral Design: Christine Cater | Wedding Dress: Sam Walls Beasley | Caterer: Feel Good Foods | Makeup: Courtney Hart | Hair: Laura Dorpat | DJ: DJ Andi | Wedding Venue: Private Estate, Big Sur | Bride's Accommodations: Ventana Inn and Spa | Dessert: Edith Meyer | Pizza: Soleil Wood Fired Pizza | Private car: My Black Car | Rentals: Unlimited Events | Restrooms: Royal Restrooms | Shuttle: AITS | Vintage Rentals: Archive Rentals

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
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Custom Gowns with JINZA Couture Bridal

There are bridal salons, and there are personalized bridal salons like JINZA Couture Bridal.  A place where beautiful collections and breathtaking custom creations join forces with the most amazing customer service you’ll ever experience to create an individually crafted design made just for you.  Think private appointments with top-notch consultants or your very own personal designer, aka, a team of wedding geniuses that know a thing or two about making you look awesome for your special occasion.

Serving Bay Area brides since 2002, JINZA Couture Bridal’s new and exclusive Los Angeles boutique is now open in the heart of West Hollywood (933 N La Cienega Blvd), which means that even more brides get to experience the gorgeous gowns and attention to detail that JINZA Couture Bridal is so well-known for. Imagine a timeless piece created from scratch using only the finest of fabrics with custom tailoring to fit your figure perfectly, alterations included.  Brides can try on a range of gowns or mold a custom creation.

Explore high fashion styles, updated classics, unconventional sheaths, opulent ball gowns, the popular soft mermaid style and JINZA’s own signature couture designs at the new Los Angeles boutique. Each gown is light weight and comfortable (no shape wear or bra needed!), so that you can dance the night away with the one you love.  And you can complete your bridal ensemble with a veil, jewelry and shoes all available at JINZA Couture Bridal.  Amazing.

Classic, elegant and totally sophisticated – contact JINZA Couture Bridal TODAY to begin creating that dress of your dreams.  Take it from someone who knows – it will be the best decision you’ll ever make.

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Marmalade Sky Films + A Discount + A Giveaway!

There is something so special about having your wedding day captured on film for you and your honey to relive over and over again. And when the film is done by the insanely creative Northern California boutique cinematography company Marmalade Sky Films, you’ll find any excuse to press play.

Behind the lens is a team of best friends, Eugene + Matt, who worked in the film industry prior to discovering their passion for wedding cinematography. Thanks to this experience, every film they create is based in a deep love for visual storytelling. Their films capture all the special moments of the couple’s big day, from the kisses to the laughter and tears, in a way that is authentic and genuine, to tell each couple’s individual and unique love story.

Are you head-over-heels yet? Well now’s the time to book your big day with Marmalade Sky Films because they’re giving SMP readers who book before September 2015 $200 off a Wedding Cinematography Package of their choice! Simply mention this post when booking to redeem the offer. Check out their packages here.
the-giveaway
Oh and there’s more! Marmalade Sky Films is giving one lucky reader a Save the Date film shot on Full HD ($499 value).

To enter:Comment on this post with why you’d love to have Marmalade Sky Films tell the story of you and your honey!

To win: A winner will be randomly chosen and announced in WIUP on Friday, April 24, 2015.

The details: Session must take place in San Francisco or mutually agreed upon location on mutually agreed upon date. The giveaway includes session time and one Engagement Video or Save the Date Invitation video (30 seconds to 1 minute in length).

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Chic California Coast Wedding

This Midwestern duo headed west for their Big Sur nuptials and redefined “California chic” along the way. From the Bride’s gorgeous flower crown designed by Seascape Flowers to her jaw-dropping Rosa Clara gown, every detail is infused with effortless style, and Coastside Couture orchestrated from beginning to end. Watch the day unfold in the gallery from Carlie Statsky right here.

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Settings
Tented
Styles
Rustic

From Carlie Statsky… Liz and Brian are both veterinarians who live in the midwest and they travelled out to the West Coast for a magical 2 day wedding weekend in the heart of Big Sur. They are the sweetest, most down-to-earth couple and their weekend was a true reflection of who they are as a couple. They held an intimate ceremony and cliff-side dinner under the stars with only their closest friends and family on the first day and then hosted a larger reception the following day. We experienced all kinds of weather over the weekend and a last minute tent had to be set up for the reception, but it only heightened the warm and cozy atmosphere of the event. Everything from the vows, to the food, to the epic views all over the property were simply amazing. It was a weekend we will all never forget!

Photography: Carlie Statsky | Event Design: Coastside Couture | Event Planning: Coastside Couture | Floral Design: Seascape Flowers | Wedding Dress: Rosa Clara | Cake: Edith Meyer | Invitations: Crescent Moon Paper Company | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Bill Levkoff | Catering: A Taste Of Elegance | Band: Steve Ezzo | Groom's Attire: Hugo Boss | Transportation: Main Event Transportation | Espresso Station: Travelin’ Joe Espresso | Hair Stylist Day 1:: Karen Nalvarian | Hair Stylist Day 2: Melissa Marie | Location: Anderson Canyon | Makeup Day 1: Shawn Cavlan Beauty Co | Makeup Day 2:: Sarah Nicole | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals | Tent: Chic Event Rentals

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here