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Coastal Santa Barbara Engagement Session

There’s nothing better than an engagement session that spotlights a beautiful couple and a breathtaking setting. This engagement session, captured by O’Malley Photographers, highlights this sweet couple’s love for each other with California’s mountains and coastline as a dreamy backdrop. And that ring? We couldn’t resist. See more of this amazing engagement session in the full gallery here!

From O’Malley PhotographersWe love when our job takes us out traveling and where better than to the beautiful California coast for two wonderful people? We set out with Kevin & Lauren on a warm summer day, but wanted to incorporate a different side of California than what most people think of. We headed out from Santa Barbara for an adventure in the mountains with gorgeous views overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Everything from the warm summer wind and pretty light, to Kevin and Lauren’s sweet adoration of each other was perfection. We ended the shoot in Santa Barbara, playing on the beach as the sun was setting. We can’t wait for this sweet couple’s wedding this summer being styled by Stacy Anderson Design and Floral!

Photography: O'Malley Photographers | Location: Butterfly Beach

O'Malley Photographers is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
O'Malley Photographers


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Charming Santa Barbara Estate Wedding full of Color

The eclectic beauty of this Santa Barbara soiree stuns, with pin-worthy details sprinkled throughout the day’s events. Set at Villa Verano, a Mission style estate, the ceremony and reception were both ridiculously ravishing. The only thing brighter than the vibrant decor was the bride’s smile – one look at the gallery shot by Mirelle Carmichael Photography, and it’s not too hard to see why.


From The Bride…Ammar and I met quite suddenly and randomly on a hot, New York City summer night. I was in New York City to cater a wedding and Ammar was passing through after being stationed overseas. We met at a mutual friend’s party and were instantly drawn to one another; since Ammar had to leave in few days we decided to meet the following day for brunch. Like all great romances, our courtship started with violent food poisoning: while on our first official date, strolling through Chelsea Market, I started uncontrollably vomiting. Ammar is a humanitarian aid worker, so he immediately knew I needed urgent care. Our first date turned into a 12 hour stint in the ER where he read me recipes from cooking magazines, spoke to the doctors on my behalf, and even changed my bedpan. I spent 5 days in the hospital and Ammar was there, the entire time, by my side.

After that, I knew he was the one. However our respective geographies poised a problem: I lived in California and Ammar lived literally wherever his job took him. After a month of long distance, Ammar joined me in California where we took a blissful 6 month vacation from life: we traveled up and down Highway 101, starting in Carmel and working our way down to San Diego and all the way back up to my hometown of Portland, Oregon. When it came time to choose a place for our wedding, we knew it had to be somewhere along the California coastline as an homage to our epic road trip.

After our sabbatical, I traveled to Pakistan to meet Ammar’s family where we got engaged. It was bittersweet: while we knew we were going to get married at some point, we didn’t exactly know when that would be. A few months after we were engaged, Ammar was finally assigned his next posting in…Abuja, Nigeria.

Let’s just say, we became very skilled at Skype. With my life on hold and my fiancé living in Africa, I had some free time on my hands to start planning our wedding. To keep myself awake long enough to talk to Ammar every night, I wound up spending countless hours reading wedding blogs and perusing Pinterest. I eventually moved to be with Ammar in Nigeria where my master planning continued. We live on a compound run by Ammar’s humanitarian organization; while the internet and power were a bit spotty and the idea of a Santa Barbara wedding seemed worlds away, planning our wedding became a daydream-esque hobby. Needless to say, I had every detail planned and ready by April 12th, 2014!

Because Ammar and I live so far away from our loved ones, we wanted an experience where everyone could be together at one place for an extended weekend celebration. I shied away from the traditional wedding venues as I wanted to dance the night away without having to worry about time limits. Enter Villa Verano. It’s a stunning private property located in the hills of Santa Barbara with built-in décor and old mission style ambiance. The space has multiple guest rooms, so our entire bridal party was able to stay on the premises.

It was important to me that every detail of our wedding was homemade and touched by a loved one. From the throw pillows my mother sewed, to the chalkboard my father built in our garage, to the wedding menus my sister designed, to the jam and pickle favors I made with my grandmother, everything had a story behind it. I wanted my wedding to have an organic, small, homemade, intimate feel—similar in essence to the dinner parties I love to throw for friends and family. I choose my vendors with this sentiment in mind as well.

All the hard work and attention to detail paid off. It was a truly magical night. I remember walk around stunned thinking to myself, it’s exactly how I thought it would look.

Photography: Mirelle Carmichael Photography | Wedding Dress: San Patrick Collection | Stationery: Val Marie Paper | Ceremony: Villa Verano | Reception Venue: Villa Verano | Bridesmaids Dresses: J Crew | Caterer: Duo Events | Hair And Makeup: LunaBella Makeup & Hair | DJ: Bouquet Sound | Photography - Assistance: Cheryl Tivar | Transportation: Santa Barbara Airbus

J.Crew is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. LunaBella Make-up and Hair and Mirelle Carmichael are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
LunaBella Make-up and Hair

Mirelle Carmichael

Romantic Santa Barbara Wedding

At first glance, I guessed this stunning Mediterranean-style soiree from B. Schwartz Photography to be set in the Greek countryside rather than sweet Santa Barbara. With it’s pure white beauty of a church, olive branches galore and traditions of the locale in every corner, Carter & Cook Event Company nailed this one. And the Bride? She’s a glowing Greek goddess, with a few pretty touches from TEAM Hair And Makeup. See even more here in the gallery.


From the beautiful Bride… Both Teddy and I have played soccer all of our lives from the youth level to the professional level. After Teddy retired from playing professionally, life brought him to Pasadena, California which is where I grew up. One of my first coaching jobs was for a youth club in Pasadena and Teddy was the director of the club. We coached one of the Under 11 girls teams in the club together and the rest is history.

We wanted our wedding to have a Classic, romantic, Greek-infused Style. By far my favorite moment of our wedding day was when my cousin Kolin played the guitar and sang the song “Best Seat In The House” as a tribute to my late father.

From Carter & Cook Event CompanyMakenzie and Teddy met when they were paired to coach a local club soccer team together. They developed a strong friendship as they coached the team to win many big tournaments, becoming one of the best girls teams in all of California. As the team blossomed, so did their relationship. After a few years they started dating and the rest is history!

Makenzie and Teddy wanted to create the perfect modern Greek wedding with romantic and ethereal touches. They chose Santa Barbara because of it’s obvious beauty and style… it was the perfect backdrop for their Mediterranean wedding. They really wanted to honor both of their families throughout the wedding day. Teddy comes from a Greek family and they really know how to party on the dance floor! The DJ (Christina Baglin) is a cousin of the groom and had all of the guests on the dance floor practicing their traditional Greek moves. Makenzie’s cousin surprised her with a beautiful song tribute to her late father. He changed a few of the words to Best Seat in the House by LoCash Cowboys and sang/played guitar. There was not a dry eye in the hall! The bride wore a monogrammed patch from her father’s old dress shirt inside her wedding gown as a small way to have him there with her. Alise of Sweet Marie Designs designed the most beautiful arrangements with yellow, green, gold and taupe tones. She brought the couple’s inspiration to life and it truly felt like an indoor, shabby chic garden party. Another special Greek touch were the favors. The family had olive oil shipped in from the father of the groom’s village in Greece (Kalamata), which is where the couple honeymooned. Makenzie and Teddy bottled it for each guest to take home. We created a few chalkboard details throughout the wedding; the seating arrangement sign, vintage plate table numbers, menus and other signage were chalkboards or made to look like it. The menus and favor tags were designed by Alaina of A Kreative Kraning and the extra large seating assignment chalkboard was beautifully done by Margaret of Nightingale Handmade.

It was a beautiful night celebrating the couple and what is most important to them: love, family and life!

Photography: B. Schwartz Photography | Videography: Aqua Vivus Productions | Floral Design: Sweet Marie Designs | Wedding Dress: Enzoani | Cake: Crushcakes | Shoes: Coach | Necklace: Something Jeweled | Bridesmaids Dresses: Dessy | Caterer: Petros | Calligraphy: Nightingale Handmade | Groom's Attire: J Crew | Church: Santa Barbara Greek Orthodox Church | Coordination: Carter & Cook Event Company | Garters: The Wedding Garter | Invitation Suite: Wedding Paper Divas | Linens: La Tavola | Makeup Artis: TEAM Hair And Makeup | Menues: A Kreative Kraning | Rentals: Town And Country Rentals

Alfred Sung, Dessy Collection, Dessy Flower Girls and J.Crew are members of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. La Tavola Fine Linen Rental and TEAM Hair and Makeup are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
La Tavola Fine Linen Rental

TEAM Hair and Makeup