View Posts By:




Coastal California Wedding in Shades of Blue

When your wedding is 100% al fresco, killer shades are a must. Well this couple took that sunglass necessity one step further and gifted each one of their guests a pair of blue sunnies. Those sunnies fit right in with this seaside celebration laced with the prettiest blue details and a whole lot of happy imagery captured by b. schwartz photography. Have a look right here for even more.

Rustic Venue

From the Bride… We met through a mutual friend on a Friday night out at a bar in Chicago. I had just come back from a work trip and was looking forward to a night out on the town with some friends. While we were out, a few of my coworkers met up with us and one of them brought Teddy. After a couple of group outings and exchanges of facebook messages, we went out on our first official date to watch our lovable losers, the Chicago Cubs. During our first date, we quickly realized how much we had in common (we found out that we are from the same town and went to rival high schools!) and five years later, here we are….happily married.

We dated for approximately five years before tying the knot!

Great Proposal Story. Both of us are big sports fanatics and what bigger stage for sports than the Olympics! Teddy and I went to the London Olympics last summer and took a quick three day trip during our London visit to Porto, Portugal. The city of Porto is an amazing place to explore and there is a tower, the Clerigos Tower to be exact, in the middle of the city that we climbed up to get a better look of the views. I led the way up the climb and once we reached the top of the tower, I turned around to find Teddy down on one knee smiling with a ring box in his hand. Obviously, I said yes.

We got engaged in August of 2012 and spent approximately a year planning our wedding. Just after we got engaged, we began to think of places to get married. We knew we wanted an outdoor destination wedding and so immediately we thought of California. My family moved to the Southern California area a few years ago and so, Teddy and I visited California frequently. During our visits, we traveled the central coast area and fell in love with the vibe and scene. When it came down to deciding on where to get married, it was a no brainer. Also, the fact that the weather in California is consistently amazing pretty much ALL OF THE TIME helped make the decision that much more clearer. While planning a wedding from afar may seem like a nighmare, it was actually went pretty smooth for me because all of the vendors we worked with were incredibly knowledgeable and helpful. I couldn’t have asked for a better planning experience and truly enjoyed the process.

Several of our family and friends are teachers and I was also headed back to graduate school so we knew we had to choose a date wisely. We decided to pick a weekend toward the end of the summer to accommodate everyone and phrased it as an end of summer party…not that we had to twist too many arms to convince them to come to California.

We asked our friend to DJ our wedding and my cousin to officiate our wedding. When initially looking for DJs and officiants, we wanted someone who we could connect with and cater to our style. While we spoke with several great individuals, none of them felt right and so naturally we looked toward our family and friends. Both of them said yes. We felt incredibly honored and lucky to have them be a part of our big day. They did an amazing job and both of them added an element of personalization throughout the day/evening as our DJ played our favorite songs and my cousin added personal stories within the ceremony. I wouldn’t of had it any other way.

The venue itself is absolutely beautiful with the ocean backdrop in the front area and a mountain landscape in the backyard. Because the venue was so beautiful, we didn’t want to take any of that away and so we tried to keep things natural with touches of rustic yet refined elegance. We had tremendous amount of help from our caterers to help carry out our vision. For cocktail hour, they brought in some beautiful wine barrels and set-up a delicious fruit and cheese hors d’oeuvres station on them. For the dinner, we rented hardwood dining tables and designed/produced the centerpieces ourselves (see below). The food also lent to our picnic theme California casual style as we chose to serve BBQ ribs, tri-tip steaks, macaroni and cheese and grilled vegetables. For dessert, we utilized the venue’s wooden wagon and our caterer set up a variety of pies and a coffee station on it.

As our wedding was 100% outdoors, we felt sunglasses were a must! We ordered two shades of blue for all of our guests and utilized them as both seating chart guides and favors.

We made all of the centerpieces and bouquets ourselves. The day after we landed in California, Teddy went out to a local lumber yard and purchased pine and fir boards. He built the flower boxes in my father’s garage (my parents live in the LA area) the week before the wedding. A few days before the wedding, I received in the flowers I ordered from Fifty Flowers and, with the help from some amazing friends, prepared the flowers (i.e. trimmed and placed in buckets). When choosing my flowers, I knew I wanted hydrangeas as they have always been my favorite and they always look so vibrant in an outdoor setting. My order consisted of a ton of blue and white hydranges along with some green hypericum berries and white roses as accent flowers. The day before the wedding was a bit hectic, and surprisingly fun, as we arranged all of the flowers into the flower boxes. We also trimmed the roll of burlap (that we brought in our luggage all the way from Chicago!) to the dimensions of the tables. In addition, we made mine and all of the bridesmaids bouquets. I hemmed and hawed over the decision to make the bouquets ourselves because I had ZERO experience in arranging flowers but with the help from some YouTube tutorials, they all turned out beautiful and just the way I wanted. Soliciting help from friends is KEY to any DIY project, not only for the actual help but for the mental support and encouragement!

Photographer: b. schwartz photography | Gown: Eden Bridals | Shoes: Tom’s – Blue Wedges | bracelet: The Left Bank | Bridesmaids Dresses: Little Borrowed Dress | Lighting: Wendee’s Occasions | Transportation: SB Airbus | Bouquets and Centerpieces: Fifty Flowers | Catering and Rentals: DJ’s California Catering | Gown Purchased: Wedding Belles | Hair/Makeup: Mishay Salon | Hairpin: So Good | Location: Bates Ranch House

You'll love these vendors in California

Meadowood Napa Valley
View Portfolio
Grass Roots
View Portfolio
Lilla Bello Studio
View Portfolio
The Langham Huntington, Pasade...
View Portfolio
Bob Gail Special Events
View Portfolio
The Perry House
View Portfolio
Vintage French Country Wedding from La Fete Weddings + Stephanie Hogue Photography

Every so often I come across a wedding on SMP that I sooo wish I pulled the invite for. This is one of them.With the absolutely lovely french country design by La Fete Weddings and the picture perfect al fresco setting, it’s basically my dream come true. I can imagine myself sitting at those gorgeous tables forever, and will be doing so all day right here in this oh-so-gorgeous gallery.

From La Fete WeddingsWe absolutely love it when our clients have a vision of what they picture their wedding to look like. Especially when we can far exceed their expectations for their perfect wedding day. Meghan fell in love with Villa Sevillano and from the moment she first toured, she knew that was the place for her picturesque nuptials. She also knew she loved burlap! Meghan was very involved in designing the details and DIY items, but also completely trusted us with our design concepts which makes our job so fun.

The night before the big day, we hosted a rehearsal dinner at Villa Sevillano on the terrace overlooking the polo field. Surrounded by about 90 of their closest friends and family members the guests dined on traditional Spanish/Mexican fare to welcome the guests to Santa Barbara.

The morning of the wedding the bride and bridesmaids were pampered with full hair and make up in the grand master bathroom while the groomsmen relaxed by the pool and played poker. Since we held the wedding in the middle of July, it was a warm afternoon and so we put the most adorable ring bearer in charge of passing out small fans to keep the guests cool. The ceremony was absolutely ethereal. The sunlight created a perfect cast of light right on the bride and groom as if they were glowing as they read their vows. One of the brides family member played a baby grand piano during the processional adding a personal and unique touch.

During cocktail hour the guests enjoying passed refreshments, champagne, and hors d’oeuvres around the patio of the Villa near the pool. When it was time to invite the guests into the reception they found their escort cards displayed in vintage suitcases overflowing with babies breath. The band began to play as the guests found their seats and we welcomed in the lovely bride and groom as they entered the party and made their way to the dance floor to begin their first dance. Duo served an incredible California inspired caprese salad to begin, followed by a choice of new york strip or roasted sea bass for the main entree. We created individual lounge cabana’s on either side of the dance floor for guests to watch from the lounges. We also had a cigar lounge and fire pit placed on the opposite end of the garden for the gentlemen. Meghan provided lovely theme colored pashminas which were passed around to the ladies. They danced under the stars and the day ended with an casual after party in the bar area of the Villa.

Photography: Stephanie Hogue Photography | Cinematography: Cloudless Weddings | Event Design: La Fete Weddings | Event Planning: La Fete Weddings | Flowers: Tricia Fountaine Design | Wedding Cake: Christine Dahl Pastries | Stationery: Blue Magpie | Catering: Duo Catering and Events | Band: Stellar Groove | Officiant: Reverend Jerry Bellamy | Ceremony & Reception Venue: Villa Sevillano | Lighting & Draping: LBPS Lighting | Rentals: Town and Country Event Rentals

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
Carpinteria Ranch Wedding from Marianne Wilson Photography

No matter what way you look at it, this California ranch wedding was just destined to be darling. When you take a couple who isn’t afraid to make a wedding day their own, throw in some tailgating games, a milk and cookies bar, and a few paper pinwheels for good measure, the result is what I like to call “unpretentious pretty.” Marianne Wilson Photography captured all the sweet and silly moments that made this wedding so special. And you, my dears, can see it all with a trip to the full gallery right here.

From Marianne Wilson Photography… This wedding was truly a wedding that was fun and about a celebration. Christine and Brandon wanted to make their wedding as relaxed and ‘them’ as possible. They had a close friend officiate, Instead of any unity candle or wine ceremony they did a unity “cupcake” ceremony. Where they shared a cupcake. They enjoyed tailgating games and shared their love for cupcakes, cookies and milk with a milk and cookies bar. Their whimsical wedding was set at the beautiful Wiggy ranch which was a perfect natural setting that they adorned with pin wheels and paper decoration.

Wedding Photography: Marianne Wilson Photography / Wedding Venue: Wiggy Ranch in Carpinteria, California / Wedding Planning: Simply Natural Event Planning / Floral Design: Kathleen Buckley / Wedding Catering: Command Performance / Wedding Cake: Enjoy Cupcakes / Invitations: DIY by the Bride + Groom / Wedding Dress: Melissa Sweet (Fiesole in Cream) / Bride’s Veil + Headpiece: Tessa Kim (Pearl Bandeau Birdcage Veil w/ Organza Flower Fascinator) / Bride’s Shoes: Boden (T-Bar Flower Heels in Heather) / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Priscilla of Boston / Groom’s Attire: Express