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Elegant Outdoor Summer Wedding in Ojai

Michael & Anna Costa have a way with the camera and it shows in their latest Ojai installment. Itâ??s everything we imagine a warm-weathered affair to be. From the prettiest shady ceremony spot to a peach infused tablescape floraled by Susan Evans + coordinated by Bijoux Events and a reception draped in twinkling cafe lights, this is just the kind of imagery weâ??re craving as we head into the final days of summer.

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Summer
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Rustic

From The Groom…Wesley and I met for the first time in September of 2009 at a BBQ in Ventura hosted by friends. I had just returned home from Florida a few days prior, and Wesley was living in Ojai finishing up her Masterâ??s Degree. Our initial introduction was brief and it wasnâ??t until a couple weeks later that we would cross paths again and ultimately hit it off. We went on our first date the following dayâ?¦ September 27, 2009 to be exact.

The following January, I had to pack my bags and return to Florida to continue my baseball career. At the time we had only been together a matter of months, but we knew our relationship was something worth keeping. After frequent bi-coastal visits I returned home in May 2011 when I retired from baseball and came back home for good. At this point, Wesley and I were finally able to embrace an uninterrupted relationship that would continue to grow stronger as time went on.

Wesleyâ??s Maid of Honor, Amber, and I had planned to throw her a surprise 30th birthday party. In the spirit of surprises, I decided to add another one. Wesley and I had planned on meeting her family for dinner at the Ojai Valley Inn. I convinced her that we should get there a little early to walk through one of gardens just outside of the restaurant. About 30 seconds into the garden walk my excitement/nervousness got the best of me and I stopped to read a poem for her that I claimed I had written for her birthday. What I didnâ??t tell her was that I had her Great Grandmotherâ??s engagement ring in my pocket and that this poem would end in a marriage proposal! As I got to the end of the poem, my trembling knee dropped to the ground and I asked her to marry me. After a confused pause, she said yes! As scheduled, we had dinner and went back to her parentâ??s house for drinks. What she didn’t know was dozens of our close friends were waiting there to surprise her. And a party it was. It was a day that we will not soon forget!

From The Bride…We had over a year to plan our wedding. I grew up in Georgia but claim Ojai as my second home. I also met Ryan there so deciding to get married in Ojai was a no brainer. When we walked through Twin Peaks Ranch, I couldn’t imagine a more beautiful location to celebrate our marriage and start our life together as husband and wife. The day of our wedding was hot, but the hot Ojai days lead to amazing, warm Ojai nights. We opted to not do a first look, so we both spent most of our time before the wedding in our separate dressing rooms. I caught quick glimpses of the beautiful decor and flowers but couldn’t fully appreciate it until after the ceremony. It was like a dream! We hired a local musician to play acoustic guitar for the ceremony and our first dance. I knew that for cocktail hour I wanted to bring a bit of the south to Cali. Our appetizer were boiled peanuts and fried chicken nuggets (from chic-fil-a). Ryan and I spent all of cocktail hour taking these amazing photos and sitting back and enjoying the beauty of our wedding. The rest of the night was exactly what we wanted it to be, a big party!

Photography: Michael & Anna Costa Photography ~ Anna Costa | Videography: Seven Pines Productions | Floral Design: Susan Evans | Cake: Heavenly Cakes | Ceremony Venue: Twin Peaks Ranch | Catering: Lorraine Lim | Lighting: Bella Vista Designs | Brides Hair & Makeup: Dana Khoury | Coordination: Bijoux Events

Michael + Anna Costa Photography is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
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Ojai Resort Outdoor Wedding

I once wrote in an interview that my dream wedding would feel like a dinner party. Twinkle lights in the trees, dancing to the classic. Good food, great wine and a sense of family built into every detail. And this wedding, is that dream…personified. With photography by Erich McVey, design & planning by XOXO Bride and florals by Kelly Kaufman, this wedding is everything. More right here.

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Spring
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Resort

From the bride…When we took our first day trip to the Ojai Valley Inn, we didn’t realize how lucky that choice was at the time. We decided to get married there for nostalgia’s sake, along with wanting to be slightly out of town, and from that moment on the wedding we didn’t know we had dreamt of started falling into place. Enough can’t be said about the staff there, incredibly attentive and not only two steps ahead of us during the planning and on the day, but more importantly, two steps in the direction we wanted to go.

We found our wedding coordinator, Sonia Hopkins, through the Inn, and from the minute I said, “I dunno, like Downton Abby at an outdoor picnic,” she turned a mirage of an idea into an amazing reality. We wanted elegant but not stuffy, refined but relaxed. So we set a gorgeous table then served the meal in French service fashion, with the sides on the table family style.

We built the colors off of the natural beauty of the Herb Garden, greens and whites, sprinkled with lavender and peach. As we are both from English heritage, we stayed with that theme as we jumped out of the box with our band, The Brit Pack, who played all British music ranging from the Beatles to Led Zeppelin. As fun to work with as they were to listen to, we are still getting asked where we found them.

Lastly, our photographer, Erich McVey, gave us the perfect pictures to remember our perfect day. But the best thing about Erich and his wife is that, even though they were there, they still made that special “just married” time between the ceremony and reception feel like it was only the two of us. Our wedding was more than we could have ever thought possible, all from one very lucky choice to take a drive one day to Ojai.

Photography: Erich McVey Photography | Floral Design: Kelly Kaufman | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Bakery: Ojai Valley Inn And Spa | Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Monique Lhuillier | Hair & Makeup: 1011 Makeup | Lighting: Town And Country | Cocktail Music: Anthony Ybarra | Event Design & Planning: XOXO Bride | Music: Elan Artists | Rentals 1: La Tavola | Rentals 2: Tent Merchant | Rentals 3: Town And Country | Rentals 4: Casa De Perrin | Rentals 5: Archive Rentals | Venue: Ojai Valley Inn And Spa | Wedding Venue: Ojai Valley Inn & Spa

Monique Lhuillier is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. La Tavola Fine Linen Rental, XOXO BRIDE, Ojai Valley Inn & Spa and Casa de Perrin are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
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Sunny Al Fresco Wedding in Ojai

There are wedding tents and then there are stunning masterpieces of drapery under which the prettiest al fresco weddings occur. This Ojai affair photographed by Michael Costa most certainly falls under the latter. And it comes baring floral gifts by Flowerwild and the most elegant details crafted by Jill La Fleur. Have a look at the full gallery and tell me you haven’t seen a more gorgeous tent. Am I right?

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Summer
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From The Bride…My only requirement when looking for venues for our wedding was that I wanted to be able to dance under the stars. After visiting the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa I realized this was the place I pictured in my dreams. After our first site visit, our search for a wedding venue was over. We never anticipated that we would only visit one wedding site and call it a day, but that is what happened. What really captured our hearts was the beauty and tranquility of the grounds. It truly was the perfect place for our dream wedding. The wedding was on a beautiful, sunny day in October 2012. After exchanging vows under the magical canopy of a 100-year-old Oak Tree, our guests were whisked off to the herb garden where they sipped on the Inn’s signature drink, the Pink Moment, and nibbled on an assortment of appetizers. After a short hour had passed, our guests were escorted through the garden down to lawn where we met them for an unforgettable night of dinner, dancing, and cake accompanied by a sundae bar. I couldn’t have asked for anything more. Everything had fallen into place perfectly. My dream had become a reality. The stars were out and our hearts were full…. what a night it was. Miller and I had known each other for quite some time before we had actually started dating. We both attended Newport Harbor High School and ran in the same group, but we never thought we would end up together. After high school, Miller left for college at the University of Colorado Boulder, and I went off to San Francisco State. Six years later, we unexpectedly reconnected at a mutual friend’s wedding in Mexico. After meeting at the beach bar on the first day, we were inseparable. That was it for us! Five years later we tied the knot and had our dreamy wedding at the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa. I got to dance under the stars and marry the man of my dreams, what a lucky girl I am. Today we still live in Newport Beach. Miller is Vice President at Farmers and Merchants Bank and I am a stay at home mom with our beautiful 3-month-old daughter, Hannah. Life is good for the Akins Family!

Photography: Michael & Anna Costa Photography ~ Michael Costa | Event Planning: Jill La Fleur Wedding Planner | Floral Design: Kate Flowerwild | Wedding Dress: Lazaro | Invitations: Dauphine Press | Ceremony Venue: Ojai Valley Inn & Spa | Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Rings: AA Jewelry Box | Bridesmaids Dresses: Swoon | Lighting: Lewis Barker Decor Services | Groom's Shoes: Kenneth Cole | Officiant: Pastor Low Norris | Assistant Coordinator: Jenn Curti | Bride's Hair: Kristine Norris | Bride's Reception Dress: Erin Fetherston | Bridesmaids Jewelry: Dara Ettinger | Decor: Casa De Perrin | Dog's Bowtie: Silly Buddy | Groomsmen Attire: Tommy Hilfiger | Hair & Make-Up: Mar Team Hair & Make-Up | Linens: La Tavola | Music: Anthony Ybarra | Music: Bobby Joyner Band | Reception Dress Belt: The White Dress | Rentals: Nicole Classic Party Rentals

Hayley Paige, Jim Hjelm Occasions and Swoon are members of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. La Tavola Fine Linen Rental, TEAM Hair and Makeup, Michael + Anna Costa Photography, Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, JLM Couture, Inc and Casa de Perrin are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
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