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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. It‚??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¬†we‚??re craving as we head into the final days of summer.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Ranch
Styles
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 Master‚??s Degree. Our initial introduction was brief and it wasn‚??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 day‚?¶ 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.

Wesley‚??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 didn‚??t tell her was that I had her Great Grandmother‚??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 parent‚??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.
Michael & Anna Costa Photograp...

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Vintage-Inspired Garden Wedding in San Juan Capistrano

Truth be told, San Juan Capistrano churns out some seriously pretty¬†soirees. And one lovely gem that we’ve come to adore whole-heartedly is¬†The Villa. It’s a quintessential locale for love stories and garden-loving duos, just ask¬†The Youngrens¬†who were behind every sweet moment of this pink-splashed day. Get your romance on in the gallery!

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Villa
Styles
Vintage

From the beautiful¬†Bride‚?¶¬†The moment we walked into the Villa San Juan Capistrano, we knew that we had to get married there. The venue was so serene, with its enclosed courtyard and sweet chapel. The perfect place for a peony-infused garden party.

As we thought about planning our wedding, we wanted the day to be a celebration of love. Not just our love, but the love and support of the family and friends who would celebrate with us. As such, we tried to incorporate personal touches. Jeff’s dad officiated the ceremony and his mom hand stitched the pillows that were laid around the venue. My family helped to make much of the decor, including the seating chart and chalkboard-like drink menus. A piece of my grandmother’s wedding dress was wrapped around my bouquet, and on the inside of the cottage we displayed our family members’ wedding photos.

One of our favorite memories occurred just as dinner was winding down. Jeff and I sat at a sweetheart table in the corner of the courtyard, and we looked out at our guests, then at each other, and took a moment to take it all in. We were married! We were so grateful for these wonderful people who chose to celebrate with us. It was such a feeling of joy!

Thank you to all the lovely vendors for your kindness and talent. You were a dream to work with. And a special thanks to the Youngrens for capturing the day so well!

Photography: The Youngrens | Videography: Paperback Weddings | Floral Design: Primary Petals | Wedding Dress: Pronovias | Invitations: August Press | Stationery: August Press | Ceremony Venue: The Villa San Juan Capistrano | Reception Venue: The Villa San Juan Capistrano | Bridesmaid Dresses: Priscilla Of Boston | Caterer: The Villa San Juan Capistrano | DJ: Fedora DJ

The Youngrens is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
The Youngrens

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Colorful Spring Palo Alto Wedding

I’d be willing to bet my bottom dollar that this wedding goes down as a SMP favorite. For starters, it’s the work of¬†Marcy Blum¬†and¬†Nancy Liu Chin¬†(aka, some of the best in the biz) with Stephanie Pool¬†behind the lens. From the bright pink petals down the aisle to the statement bridesmaids’ dresses, it’s a risk-taking¬†spin on traditional elegance that paid off¬†BIG¬†time. Get started in the gallery and¬†don’t miss the film from¬†AwesomeShot Studios.¬†

Colors
Seasons
Spring
Settings
Country Club
Styles
Elegant

From Marcy Blum AssociatesPlanning this wedding for one of my dearest friends‚?? children (we have been friends for over 45 years) of course held a very special meaning for me. I‚??ve known the bride and her siblings before they were born, and not having kids of my own, they are my surrogates.

Dana was raised in Palo Alto and now lives with her husband (Rob is from New York) in New York City where her mother, father, and I were raised. The bride and I have very similar taste and style and we lean towards the ‚??fabulous‚?Ě, much to her mother‚??s chagrin.

One of the challenges for me was to imbue the very elegant but rather masculine and definitely ‚??clubby‚?Ě Sharon Heights Golf and Country Club with some NYC glitz and glam without eradicating the wonderful California aura that Dana and her family are very attached to. The Club is also a venue that many of the guests are quite familiar with and I wanted to turn it into something that felt very different and very festive to them as well. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that the banquet manager Helen Engelherdt (from ny of course :) was 100% with me on this project and made it far easier than it would have been otherwise. We served cocktails and hors d’oeuvres before the ceremony so that we didn‚??t impinge on any members golfing time when we finally set up.

The ceremony on the golf course (an outdoor ceremony was the one non-negotiable from the bride) began with Beach Boy songs performed by an acapella group and continued with a classical ensemble. After the ceremony performed by a friend of the couple, guests entered the ballroom from a different direction than usual. Guests were literally stopped in their tracks by the transformation of the club‚??s dining room. Using long tables, custom gossamer and gold linens, clever lighting and hanging crystals and blooms from the existing chandeliers,our team had rendered the club ballroom even to those who are there often, irrecognizeable.

A fabulous band after dinner was followed by a DJ in the sexy club we had built in the bar.

The entire weekend, starting with a Mexican tasting dinner in Palo Alto hosted by the grooms‚?? parents and ending with an around the pool farewell brunch at the bride‚??s parent‚??s home, was really the perfect melding of wonderful ideas and guests from east and west coasts, exactly as I had wished for.

Photography: Stephanie Pool | Videography: AwesomeShot Studios | Wedding Planner: Marcy Blum Associates | Floral Design: Nancy Liu Chin Designs | Bridesmaids Dresses: Amsale | Lighting: Enhanced Lighting | Afterparty DJ: Casey Connor | Beignets: Harvey's Gourmet Mini Donuts | Bride's Dress: Naeem Khan Via Mark Ingram Atelier | Ceremony, Reception, & Afterparty Venue: Sharon Heights Golf & Country Club | Cocktail Band: Samurai Gypsies | Groomsmen Suits: Men's Wearhouse | Hair : The Make Up Dolls | Linens: Nuage Designs | Photobooth: Tomfoolery | Reception Band: West Coast Music / The James Gang | Rentals: Hartmann Studios | Sound & AV: Design Sound

Amsale is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. AwesomeShot Studios, Nancy Liu Chin, The Makeup Dolls - Airbrush Makeup and Hair Artistry and Marcy Blum Associates are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
AwesomeShot Studios

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Marcy Blum Associates

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