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 Jessica Kuipers 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.
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: Jessica Kuipers