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Elegant Ojai Wedding

Let’s talk about fabulous weddings for a moment, shall we?  Those sweet affairs that merge a gorgeous duo with a breathtaking setting (Ojai Valley Inn & Spa) and a team of vendors that can only be described as uber-talented.  Think XOXO Bride, Laura HooperTEAM Hair & MakeupGus And Ruby Letterpress and Lane Dittoe (just to name a few).  The results?  Sooo amazing.  See it all here 

And a beautiful film from McDuff Productions… 

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Summer
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Elegant

From the Bride… Our wedding was well worth the wait. Greg and I met in prep school in New Hampshire and started dating when he was a senior and I was a junior. We went to college together in Philadelphia and lived moved the east coast for many years before deciding it was time to move to my home state, California. Greg proposed in January 2013 while he was getting ready to move from Chicago to Santa Monica. We celebrated our engagement that night at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, and I immediately started to plan the wedding I always wanted.

We explored venues up and down the state from Sonoma to San Diego, but nowhere seemed quite right until we went back to the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa with the thought of having a wedding there. The town was perfect – a quaint Western town, dramatic landscape, and not too hard to get to from LAX for our many friends and family traveling long distances for the event. And the property was even better – golf for the guys, spa for the girls, and pool time for everyone! All of our events were within walking distance for our guests that stayed with us at OVIS – a rehearsal dinner at Suzanne’s Cuisine nearby, a welcome gathering at the Fragrance Courtyard, our wedding ceremony in the Hacienda Courtyard overlooking the hills, cocktails and the reception at the Herb Garden, and last but not least, the afterparty at Jimmy’s Upstairs. Our goal was to make sure our guests were relaxed from the time they arrived to the time they left, and OVIS helped us to deliver.

We had a great team of vendors led by Saralee Franchi at XOXO Bride who helped us tie the entire event together. Of course we were thrilled with Lane Dittoe’s photography, videography from McDuff Productions, and our band – Stew and the Crew – had the party rocking all night long. Greg and I had the time of our lives, and I’ll never forget the joy and love on the faces of all of our friends and family gathered around us.

Photography: Lane Dittoe | Cinematography: McDuff Productions | Wedding Planner: Saralee Franchi Of XOXO Bride | Floral Design: Kelly Kaufman | Wedding Stationery: Gus And Ruby Letterpress | Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids Dresses: Joanna August | Hair And Makeup: TEAM Hair & Makeup | Lighting: LBPS | Band: Stew And The Crew | Groom's Shoes: Prada | Officiant: Father Jerry Bellamy | Ceremony Music: Anthony Ybarra | Groom's Tux: Ralph Lauren | Groomsmen Tuxes: The Black Tux | Linens: La Tavola | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals | Venue: Ojai Valley Inn & Spa | Wedding Calligraphy: Laura Hooper | Wedding Dress And Veil: Carolina Herrera

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Romantic Ivory + Grey Ojai Valley Inn Wedding

Any wedding lined with Diana McGregorToast Santa BarbaraLove This Day EventsTEAM Hair And Makeup and Ojai Valley Inn on the vendor list is destined for perfection right from the start. And when said wedding includes the dreamiest grey and ivory color palette, ridiculously gorgeous calligraphy details and a couple who couldn’t be more in love, the result is a gallery we might never leave. See the day unfold below!

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Fall
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Rustic

From The Bride…Chase and I met on a flight from Toronto to New York City. Unbeknownst to us at the time, we were both doing consulting work in Toronto and living in New York City, making the commute back and forth on a weekly basis. One fateful Thursday evening, on a return flight, we were assigned seats next to each other (a rare, but fortunate occasion since we both normally book window seats). We spent the entire flight talking from the moment we sat down until we de-planed in New York. It sounds cliché, but from that very first encounter we both knew that there was something special between us. When we landed in New York, he took my number and shortly thereafter we had our first date.

Pretty soon we were inseparable, seeing each other every day, whether we were co-located in Toronto (Chase driving almost an hour each way to pick me up for dinners after work) or back in NYC. Our short courtship was filled with fun, adventure, excitement, and a great deal of travel. On a trip to Cabo San Lucas, soon after our one year anniversary, Chase took me on a boat to Lover’s Beach and got down on one knee. I think I said “yes” before he even asked me to marry him.

We wanted to have a wedding that was personal, intimate and centered on the union of our families. With Chase’s family being from Arizona and mine from Colorado, we decided on neutral ground – California. Nestled against the backdrop of the Topa Topa Mountains, Ojai serves as the perfect retreat. What led us to choose Ojai Valley Inn & Spa as our venue was the natural beauty of the resort grounds and the serenity that it elicits, as well as the amazing staff. Ojai truly was the perfect location for our dream wedding as well as a hidden jewel that we knew our family and friends would enjoy.

I stumbled upon Kara Delay of Love This Day Events very early on, and in viewing her portfolio I connected with her work immediately. I decided to hire her before I even had the venue, much less the state, confirmed. With an abundance of inspiration, Kara served as my cornerstone and siphon, pulling together all my ideas (and filtering out the bad ones) into a cohesive vision and plan. In addition, she directed me to excellent vendors such as our florist, Toast.

Our vision for the wedding was simple and understated elegance, infused with organic and natural elements. We let the terrain and natural flora guide the design. Complementing the natural beauty of the Herb Garden, we decided to use a lot of green foliage (seeded eucalyptus, olive, rosemary, and other foraged greenery) along with a variety of white garden roses and peonies, sprinkling in light grey as an accent color.

My favorite moment of the day was standing at the ceremony before our officiant with the love of my life. We worked with our officiant – a pastor Chase has known since middle school – to create a ceremony that was very personal and special to us. We chose literary and biblical readings to be incorporated, as well as the Apache wedding prayer, a nod to my husband’s Native American heritage. We finished the ceremony by reciting our handwritten vows to one another. We were anxious about writing our own vows, but it was important to both of us that these words and promises were our own.

My favorite wedding detail was my jewelry, all custom designed and expertly crafted by my new sister-in-law, Lindsey Almquist of EmmaQuist Jewelry. Not only did she create my gorgeous Asscher-cut engagement ring, but both of our wedding bands as well. The bands feature the “Forget Me Not” floral design, prevalent in the 18th and early 19th centuries and originating in medieval times as a symbol of faithfulness and enduring love. I wanted something simple, yet meaningful, that wouldn’t distract from the beauty my engagement ring and something that I could wear on our frequent traveling excursions. Aside from my jewelry, I loved my ‘something old, new, borrowed, and blue’. My ‘something old’ was an heirloom, vintage brooch that belonged to my great grandmother which I fastened to the base of my bouquet. My ‘something new’ was my wedding dress; a simple, yet stunning, Romona Kaveza gown made of raw silk, which exemplified the theme of the wedding and my style. My ‘something borrowed’ was a pair of baroque pearl earrings from my gracious mother-in-law. Finally, my something blue was a blue ribbon from a card I made for my dad when I was a little girl that my mom sewed into my dress.

When the day finally arrived, it all felt like a dream: from walking down the winding pathway through the Herb Garden with my father to the sea of sparklers bidding us farewell…

After exchanging vows in the intimate and magical Herb Garden, our guests sipped a lavender infused cocktail, our signature drink, and ate an assortment of hors d’oeuvres under the garden pergola as the golden sun faded and the Topa Topa Mountains were lit ablaze with a vibrant, pink hue. Grey pashminas’ were provided to our guests to stay warm as the sun went down and the brisk evening chill set in. At dusk, guests were escorted to the terracotta-tiled Anacapa Terrace to dine under a canopy of strung café lighting. Tables were covered with light grey linen table clothes and adorned with candles. The long head table was lined with a garland of olive branches and other green foliage. Set amongst the foliage were hurricane vases of varying height, illuminating the entire terrace with a spectacular glow. Two Spanish guitarists along with a percussionist serenaded us with Latin music as we dined on Wild Salmon and Oven Roasted Chicken. At the end of our meal, guests leisurely enjoyed cigars on the terrace, while dancing commenced in the ballroom.

The night concluded with a sparkler sendoff. We are extremely blessed to have had such a special night, sharing our love with our friends and family, and we are grateful to have had Diana McGregor so exquisitely capture the evening and the memories that we will cherish forever.

The planning, design and execution were superb and I cannot praise enough the people who understood and shared my vision and who went above and beyond to produce a beautiful event. Many thanks to all of the great people who worked so hard to make the weekend in Ojai so memorable!

Photography: Diana McGregor | Coordination: Love This Day Events | Floral Design: Toast | Wedding Gown: Romona Keveza | Cake: Ojai Valley Inn And Spa | Ceremony Venue: Ojai Valley Inn & Spa | Bridesmaid Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Catering: Ojai Valley Inn And Spa | Lighting: Bella Vista Designs | DJ: Vox DJs | Bridal Jewelry: Emma Quist Jewelry Design | Chairs: Town And Country | Inviations And Calligraphy: Wondrous Whimsy | Linens: La Tavola | Makup: TEAM Hair And Makeup | Photography - Assistance: Michelle Boyd Photography | Reception Wedding Gown: Grace Loves Lace

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
Colorful Summer Wedding at Ojai Valley Inn

From her gorgeous champagne gown to the delicate hair sparkle, this California bride hit the style nail on the head. And the whimsical-meets-rustic aesthetic extends throughout the whole celebration, orchestrated by XOXO Bride Events. Marianne Wilson joined the fun and caught every happy tear, smile and shimmy, and as we prep to enter the new year, these are the sort of photos that I hope never end.

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Summer
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Rustic

From The Bride… Planning our wedding was actually a really fun process! We were fortunate enough to work with a fabulous wedding planner (XOXOBride.com) who was invaluable in helping us to clarify our vision and hire the right vendors to help us fulfill our dream! We knew that great music, amazing photography and delicious food were our top priorities, so we focused on making those aspects of the wedding unforgettable! We also loved having the wedding at a resort where our guests could make a mini-vacation out of our wedding weekend, and we were able to see friends and family over multiple days instead of just the wedding reception. It might sound cliché, but my biggest advice would be “don’t sweat the small stuff!” There are a billion decisions that need to be made, so identify and prioritize the things that are non-negotiable for you. Once you know where you want to focus your time and energy, the little decisions become much more manageable!

From Sonia Hopkins… I was so honored to work with Jess, Drew and their parents on this beautiful wedding. We had a strong sense of design from very the beginning. It was important that both a West Coast and East Coast aesthetics were represented throughout the design. They wanted their event to feel elegant but in an understated and cool manner. They really liked the idea of infusing the relaxed with the formal and what better way to do that but to host an open air tent wedding at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa Herb Garden Lawn. We chose to give the tent a open and breezy feeling by providing a partially draped setting with large crystal chandeliers. The feeling of crystal chandeliers in a garden is kind of amazing! A mix of wood feasting tables and beautiful Dupionique linen rounds gave shape to the space. Jess’s dress was a soft champagne color breaking her out of the mold of the white bridal look. She choose to have her bridesmaids in all-white creating this breath of fresh air in attire. Drew’s sense of style shine bright with the groomsmen in funky colored socks adding their personality and sense of humor.

Camilla Floral Designs expertly transformed our thoughts of wood elements and soft blooms into a reality. The Hacienda Courtyard was the perfection location for their ceremony. We built a wood Huppah under the sprawling oak tree to create a warm space for the vows. With a large wedding party it’s important to have a creative way for them to stand by their bride and groom without it looking like a long line of people, so we used wood benches to serve as the front row with attendants standing in the back. We choose wrought iron gates and wooden slated doors to display our tags and tented escort cards for guests seating.

Guests enjoyed a family style dinner and danced into the wee hours of the morning with a nightclub style after party complete with chicken and waffle bites!

Photography: Marianne + Joe Of Marianne Wilson Photography | Videographer: Joel VanZ | Coordinator: XOXO Bride Events | Florist: Modern Day Designs | Bakery: Ojai Valley Inn & Spa | Hair: 10.11 Hair & Makeup | Lighting: Images By Lighting | Officiant: Rabbi Amy Bernstein | Ceremony/Reception: Ojai Valley Inn & Spa | Draping: BAM Draping | Grrom's Attire: Klein Epstein & Parker | Linens: La Tavola | Music: West Coast Music | Rental Co.: Town And Country

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