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This Groom Sang to His Bride as She Walked Down the Aisle

How insanely romantic is that to have your Groom sing to you as you walk down the aisle?! As if I wasn’t a hot mess already, I would have absolutely LOST it if my Groom sang to me as I made my way to him for our I do’s. This Bride is one seriously lucky lady, and likewise for her Groom—how gorg is she? There’s so much more sweetness in The Vault thanks to Steve Steinhardt... right this way!

From the couple… As California natives we wanted a wedding that reflected who we are with a Cali State of mind! The whole wedding was made to feel like a festival and celebration where guests could eat and drink and enjoy live entertainment all night long!

The 350- person wedding was complete with food trucks, live bands, fire dancers, a first karaoke( in lieu of a first dance), a mobile guest book (guests got to spray paint a car) and a “Drunk History” video.

The bride wore Monique Lhuillier. The Groom played the bride’s favorite song, “Neil Young’s, Heart of Gold” on his guitar while she walked down the aisle. The Groom, Casey, a trauma surgeon who loves Burning Man, requested fire dancers and a unique California bohemian wedding that captured his adventurous spirit. The bride lived in San Francisco for 10 years for her career in technology and wanted a wedding that highlighted the spirit of San Francisco and her favorite San Francisco band, The Bayonics.

When guests arrived they were offered a Moscow Mule or mini champagne bottle and passed appetizers from Omni Catering. The ceremony officiant was Casey’s father. After the “I does” the bride and groom and guests enjoyed a shot of tequila.

The string blue grass band “The Get Down Boys” started off the celebration. After cocktail hour the food trucks opened and “The Bayonics” played until 10pm.

The bride opted for 2 King Proteas—they are her favorite flower and ironically the National Flower of South Africa, where the groom lives for almost 2 years).

The couple drove the” mobile guest book” to their favorite place for a mini honeymoon–camping in Bug Sur.

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Photography: Steve Steinhardt Photography | Event Design + Planning: Kelly Clark Leonard, Event of the Season | Floral Design: The Open Blossom | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Ceremony Venue: Santa Barbara Historical Museum | Reception Venue: Santa Barbara Historical Museum | Catering: fire and wine catering | Catering: Conscious bean | Catering: Big Tom's | Catering: Shrimp vs Chef | Catering: California Donuts | Catering: McConnell's Ice Cream | Catering: Omni Fresco Catering | Catering: The Burger Bus | Makeup: Romina Murillo | Bride's Hair: Dee Harkess Cleo Salon | Drunk History Video : Shade-Grown Productions | Firedancers: Gavin Roy | Rentals: Town And Country | Rentals: Found Vintage Rentals | Rentals: Dish Wish | Video: Bicyle Ice Cream Films | wedding party pictures/first look: Santa Barbara Mission

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
The Ultimate Spring Wedding in Santa Barbara

In my years of wedding blogging, I’ve come to believe Santa Barbara is the perfect spot to marry. You’ve got endless sunshine, scenery for days, and of course, many of the best wedding vendors (like Michael + Anna Costa, Lilla Bello and Pure Joy Catering) happen to call that region home. Along with an entire team of talent, they brought the couple’s vision of an intimate, elegant, al fresco affair to life. Watch the day unfold this way in the gallery.

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Seasons
Spring
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Villa

From the Bride… This by far was one of the best days of my life and it wouldn’t have been such a flawless day without the work of an incredible wedding team to help make it happen. A little back story, Phil and I got engaged in August of 2015 and set our date for April 1, 2016. We both wanted a very small intimate wedding in Santa Barbara with only the people who had been a huge part of our relationship. We wanted a small wedding over a large wedding because we wanted it to feel personal so we could spend time with all to thank them for their love and support over the years. In working with Donna Romani Events (DRE) over the course of the short 8 months she helped bring our vision to life. Donna helped prioritize what was most important to us- venue, photography, flowers and everything else fell smoothly into place.

The venue we chose, Villa Verano located in the foothills of Santa Barbara was not only the perfect location for an intimate affair but it had a very special meaning to me as my brother had gotten married there four years earlier. I had fallen in love with the view, the home, the grounds and the meaning it would now have to our family. We both knew we wanted a venue where we would be able to have the ceremony, cocktail and reception and the property offered just that with three different levels throughout the grounds. Once Phil saw the villa and we added the meaning on top of it we knew this was it!

Prioritizing the photography honestly was one or our best decisions. If I have any advice for a bride planning- get an incredible photographer and it’s worth every penny for two reasons. One, you spend most of the day with your photographer. Two, they are a part of some of the most intimate, raw moments and you have to feel comfortable to share this with someone other than your spouse. Michael + Anna Costa Photography and specifically Michael Costa are fantastic. I couldn’t have been happier spending the day with someone not only incredibly talented as him but also his energy, calming demeanor and presence was exactly what we had hoped for. My husband and I both agree, he was a huge part of making our day so special not only because he captured every moment perfectly but he truly became a part of our family that day.

The flowers were also very important to me as my mother is a florist and flowers have been a huge part of my life. In working with Toby Kassoy from Lilla Bello in Santa Monica she took our color scheme, favorite flowers and made some of the most beautiful arrangements that brought every piece of the evening to life from my bouquet, to the ceremony, the cocktail hour to our reception. One of my other favorite parts of the planning outside of the flowers was our dessert table. Being that my husband is British and I am part French we wanted to create a “Battle of the Desserts” table and Lele Patisserie created us desserts from each country and with the design eye of DRE and flowers the theme was captured through a gorgeous, fun and delicious table.

Outside of the key planning pieces our wedding was flawless. The intimate and elegant design and flow of each part of the day was beyond my expectations. It’s funny as you plan you have this idea of what everything will look like and how it will go but once you are actually in the midst, trust your team and let go of all control it is truly amazing. The day holds a special meaning, goes so fast that all the details become secondary. Once I fell into what the day means I found myself lost in emotion. I made sure to take a few moments to step back and take it all in and I’d give that advice to any bride to be. One of my favorite memories was sitting with my husband at our sweetheart table with the sun setting behind us and looking at all our friends and family toasting our love and life. I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed that every person here got to be a part of my favorite love story including the bundle of joy who was 12 weeks old in my belly.

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Photography: Michael + Anna Costa Photography | Coordination: Donna Romani Events | Floral Design: Lilla Bello | Catering: Pure Joy Catering | Venue: Villa Verano | Babysitting: Mummy's Day Off | Brides Hair + Makeup: Luna Bella Beauty | Cake/ Desserts: Lele's Patisserie | Ceremony/ Cocktail Music: Jesse Macleod | Reception Music: Gavin Roy | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
Enchanting Alfresco Wedding Positively Glowing with Candlelight

Give us twinkling candlelight, a canopy of chandeliers and open air dining under the stars and we’ll call that the epitome of romance. From the tablescape sprinkled with gold a little touch of blush crafted by Casa de Perrin to the cascade of flowers at every turn by Cody Floral Design, and the scenic beauty of San Ysidro Ranch, get cozy with Michelle Beller‘s photos and prepare to be totally enchanted.

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Seasons
Summer
Settings
Al Fresco
Styles
Romantic

From the Bride… We envisioned our wedding to be modern, traditional and elegant. We chose the San Ysidro Ranch for it’s storied history, privacy, romantic, intimate and scenic location. Because only our immediate families were in attendance, we opted for a formal and elegant affair serenaded by an acoustic duo under the stars. We enjoyed a caviar and champagne cocktail hour, followed by a fine wine pairing and a five course dinner with accompaniment of amuse bouche and an intermezzo.

It was truly an affair to remember from the exchanging of our vows on the lower lawn, to the decadent sit-down dinner, chandeliers hanging from the branches above us creating a whimsical setting. The enchanting glow of the candles, lavish table settings, aromatic fragrance from the lush floral arraignments complimenting the aroma of the fine cuisine. Laughter coupled with the cheers and speeches and background music creating a magical evening to remember. We are exceedingly happy and pleased that our dreams were executed so flawlessly.

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Photography: Michelle Beller | Event Design: La Fete | Floral Design: Cody Floral Design | Invitations: East Six | Catering: San Ysidro Ranch | Hair and Makeup: TEAM Hair and Makeup | Lighting: Ambient Event Design | Ceremony Music: Dwight Kennedy | Venue: San Ysidro Ranch | Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Rentals: Town And Country | Tabletop: Casa de Perrin

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