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Monterey Wedding Inspired by Josh Ritter Song

This couple was inspired by Josh Ritter’s song Lantern, and incorporated this into every aspect of their day. By combining California coastlines with Southern barbecue, and childhood memories with grown-up glamour, they brought a little piece of each of them to the celebration. It’s a perfectly intimate affair with every moment captured by Brian Tropiano waiting for you here.


From the Bride… We wanted a very simple wedding, one in which every part of the day was something meaningful to us. So we skipped a lot of the traditional wedding formalities and opted for things that represented our families, backgrounds, and the things we care about most. Tim’s dad was the pastor for our wedding, and my dad read a passage from the Velveteen Rabbit in the ceremony, a book that he often read to me and my sister when we were growing up. Because we wanted the wedding to represent both of us, we combined identities and came up with a Kentucky-Bourbon-County-meets-California-Coastal theme for the day. The ceremony was over the rocks and water in beautiful Pacific Grove, California, and we had a big Southern BBQ garden reception, complete with mac n cheese, corn hole, and even a few songs from Tim’s old bluegrass band.

We also wanted our wedding to capture a promise of love, not as something that is always easy, but as something that is hard but beautiful and enough to get you through difficult times. We drew inspiration from a song by Josh Ritter called Lantern. In the first note Tim ever wrote to me, he quoted the song, “so throw away those lamentations, we both know them all too well. If there’s a book of jubilations, we’ll have to write it for ourselves, so come and lie beside me darling, and let’s write it while we’ve still got time.” We wanted our wedding to capture this idea of choosing joy and carrying lanterns for each other as we get to write the rest of our story together.

Our wedding was small and intimate, with our closest friends and family there to celebrate. It was such a wonderful experience that we’ll never forget! And…. the dance party was awesome.

Photography: Brian Tropiano | Event Planning: Dawn Gary | Floral Design: Fifty Flowers | Wedding Dress: Ivy And Aster | Invitations: Land & Sea Co. | Caterer: Kona Jerry's | Hair: InBloom Spa & Salon | Grooms Attire: J Crew | Park: Berwick Park | Programs: Ellington Marketing Solutions

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Whimsical DIY Wedding With Pizzaz at the Memory Garden

This wedding has it all. A touch of glitter, the perfect amount of gold, stripes galore, a gorgeous Bride and a handsome Groom – it’s honestly overflowing with gorgeous. And thanks to the stunning images from Sorella Muse Photography, we can get lost in all the lovely here.


From Sorella Muse PhotographyOn July 20, 2013 Carly and Ethan said I do in front of 90 friends and family at the beautiful Memory Garden in historic downtown Monterey.

The Memory Garden is a gorgeous outdoor venue with a secluded feel, lovely flower gardens, and Southern Magnolias that act as natural arbors providing shade. Theirs was a glamorous garden wedding filled with love that took its design cues from the elegant Art Deco color palette of black, white, and gold while working in vibrant florals. It was such a fun interplay between elegant, sparkly, and organic!

What’s truly amazing is just how much Carly, Ethan, and their family were able to DIY. They put so much love and care into every detail! Carly crafted the “Here Comes the Bride” sign that was held by the ring bearer, the gold jars for all the floral centerpieces, and the custom tuxedo bibs, which doubled as seating assignments when rolled up with DIY gold name tags. With help from her mom and sister, Carly also sewed the table runners, and she and her groom made the peanut brittle which served as favors, wrapped up in little striped bags at each table setting. They also hand glittered all of the table letters!

Carly and Ethan got ready at Hotel Pacific, which was just a short walk from the Memory Garden. Before arriving for their ceremony, they met in the lush Stevenson Garden, a smaller enclosed garden that was in between their hotel and the venue, for a sweetly emotional first look. Carly looked every inch the glamorous bride. Her bridal look started with a Tara Keely gown that she paired with appropriately sparkly gold shoes, and her classic updo and flawless makeup came courtesy of the girls at M.U.A.H.

After their ceremony beneath the trees, there was a festive cocktail hour complete with a taco stand and a delicious signature cocktail, followed by a barbecue style dinner prepared by Grapes of Wrath, including cornbread, salad, and much to the bride and groom’s delight… an entire pig!

Later in the evening, Carly’s sorority sisters sang “Oh Pat”, which is sung to Kappa brides on their wedding days, and the bride and groom didn’t leave the dance floor. Their party lived up to the promise of their Save the Dates which read: “Barbecue, Booze & Bad Dance Moves”

Photography: Sorella Muse Photography | Florist: Jaclyn Wiley | Bridesmaids Dresses: ASOS | Catering: Grapes Of Wrath Catering | Makeup And Hair: M.U.A.H | DJ: Antonio Diaz | Bride's Dress: Tara Keely | Ceremony + Reception: Memory Garden | Day Of Coordinator: Grapes Of Wrath Catering | Hotel: Getting Ready: Hotel Pacific | Photography - Assistance: Jacquilyn Anderson

SMP California Welcomes Our Advertisers + A Giveaway + A Discount

It’s that time again.  Time to get to know the fab new vendors joining our SMP family.  Think Jonathan YoungCarmel Highlands Inn and Hyatt Regency Monterey, here to rock your world (+ weekend) with a whole lot of pretty.  Up first?  Jonathan Young, the photographer that never fails to amaze with moment after moment of pure, unadulterated pretty and heartwarming, love-filled moments at every turn…

From Jonathan Young Weddings… Jonathan’s love for photography began when he was 17-years-old with a well-loved Canon SLR. A graduate of UCLA, his passion for storytelling quickly grew as assignments and documentary projects took him across the country. He photographed a vanishing way of life in the hills of Kentucky, wildfires in the mountains of California, and horse stables in New York.

Calm and collected, Jonathan lets the day unfold before him, unobtrusively documenting the day as it happens, along with time for great portraits. As an award winning photographer, Jonathan is committed to reportage-style coverage that reveals the thoughtfulness and detail that each couple puts into making their wedding a success.

A well traveled photographer, Jonathan is at home in many surroundings.

Jonathan Young Weddings is offering a $500 print credit to all couples that book in the month of January and reference this SMP welcome post.

The Carmel Highlands Inn is one of those crazy cool places where luxurious weddings reign supreme. Think picturesque ocean views, elegant settings, fab accommodations and yummy cuisine.  In other words, it’s a total wedding paradise with everything you could want and more right at your fingertips.

From Carmel Highlands InnCarmel Highlands Inn offers a complimentary honeymoon suite for the bride and groom, a professional wedding specialist to guide you through the event planning process and locally sourced, creative food to fit every taste with a personalized menu with the option for your guests to choose their entrée the night of your wedding.  The Incredible seaside location in gorgeous Carmel is close to Big Sur and Carmel Valley with views of the Pacific Ocean.  Ceremony options include an outdoor gazebo located on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, overlooking the coastline.  The reception room has floor to ceiling windows overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Carmel Highlands Inn is a luxury hotel that blends the amenities of a large property with the refined charm of a boutique hideaway with complimentary Valet Parking, a complimentary Bridal Ready Room and special rates in our guest rooms for family and friends from out-of-town.  You can also earn free honeymoon nights at Hyatt locations worldwide.

Free Giveaway!  One lucky SMP reader will win a Dinner for two at Pacific’s Edge Restaurant! (Excluding the tasting menu and alcohol – Value $220.)  Simply leave a comment below telling us why you can’t wait to get married in Carmel and we’ll announce the winner right here on SMP on February 14th.  Good luck, lovelies!  For terms and conditions, click here

Speaking of paradise, have you heard of the amazing Hyatt Regency Monterey?!?  Because this, loves, is a hotel worthy of your full attention with insanely beautiful backdrops, a dedicated wedding coordinator and an amazing spa, for an entire weekend of some serious pampering. Awesome.

From Hyatt Regency MontereyThe Hyatt Regency Monterey has the largest ballroom in Monterey and the surrounding area with a spacious, resort-like feel and an on-site Marilyn Monroe Spa.  There are 550 sleeping rooms available with special rates in our spacious guest rooms for family and friends from out-of-town.  The Hyatt Regency Monterey is home to a large garden terrace and spyglass promenade for outdoor ceremonies or cocktail receptions.  The beautiful backdrops (including our gazebo with fireplace and gardens) make for wonderful photos.  

The Hyatt Regency Monterey also offers complimentary parking and is located adjacent to Pebble Beach Company’s 18-hole Del Monte Golf Course, minutes from Cannery Row and Monterey Bay Aquarium.

A professional wedding specialist is on hand to guide you through the event planning process and locally sourced, creative food (including hot and cold hors d’ oeuvres, plated dinners, buffets and an extensive wine list) is available to fit every taste.

The Hyatt Regency Monterey offers a complimentary honeymoon suite for the bride and groom and you can earn free honeymoon nights at Hyatt locations worldwide.

Free Giveaway!  One lucky SMP reader will win a two-night weekend stay and breakfast for two at TusCA Restaurant! (Value $359)  Simply leave a comment below telling us why you can’t wait to get married in Monterey and we’ll announce the winner right here on SMP on February 14th.  Good luck, lovelies! For terms and conditions, click here

Welcome to the family, Jonathan YoungCarmel Highlands Inn and Hyatt Regency Monterey!  We are so happy to have you! xo


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