I think we’re all a little jealous of this bride. Not only is she beautiful as can be, but her mom just so happens to be a wedding planner – AKA, Kim Talbot Events. With mom by her side, they designed the most stunning celebration and Michael + Anna Costa + Elysium Productions documented each and every bit. Mazel Tov, Rachel and Jon!
From the Mother of the Bride…Rachel and Jon met briefly through mutual friends in Toronto, Canada where they live. Months later, Rachel moved to Southeast Asia for a few months to teach English – but Jon persisted by emailing her every morning on his way to work, which paid off, because they’ve been together ever since the day she came home.
In June 2014, Rachel & Jon went to Paris and on their last day, Rachel found the perfect ring to fit her personality – a vintage Cartier from an estate store. Jon secretly went back to buy it later but decided to take pictures instead and have a jeweler recreate the ring with his own tweaks to it. On October 1, 2014, Jon proposed to Rachel by recreating Paris in the park across the street from where they lived.
Rachel and Jonathan’s vision for their wedding was very specific and as the mother of the bride and the Event Planner, I knew my task was to implement their wishes. Rachel originally wanted to be married at a vineyard, but also wanted to feel close to the ocean. After visiting many venues we all knew that the Four Seasons Santa Barbara was the perfect choice for this destination wedding.
The traditional Jewish wedding ceremony was on the Monte Vista Lawn and afterwards guests were escorted across the street to The Coral Casino Beach Club which features the La Pacifica ballroom and Terrace. The couple had their hearts set on dining outside next to the ocean to feel as if they were having a more intimate dinner with friends and family. This picturesque setting provided exactly that. I up lit the ocean and had dimmers put on the overhead string lighting so the lights wouldn’t over power all the candles. I was concerned about dining outside due to the weather yet luckily one of the most spectacular sunsets any of us had ever seen, combined with unseasonably warm weather was delivered to us.
After dinner we transitioned to the ballroom to party, complete with a photo booth and DJ Zen Freeman mixing up the couples favorite tunes. Since dinner and dancing was split into two different locations, Zen had to transition the guests from an outdoor dinner party to an indoor dance party, and he did that with ease. The goal was to have all the speeches complete so when the doors opened to the ballroom the only mission was to dance and enjoy.
I made sure to consult Jonathan along the way as he had certain wishes he wanted implemented as well. (Never forget the groom!) Jon had his signature cocktail he wanted and Rachel had hers – together we created our own custom drink menu both for pre ceremony tequila lemonades and fun cocktails for the reception. With other events/weddings I generally create an event website and theme/decor concept and make sure it is followed throughout all celebrations. Being that Rachel attended various art schools in England & Canada, she insisted on being the creative director to her own wedding. It was my job to keep her on track and to oversee, but she co-designed the event website, the logo, the menu, place cards, napkins and photo booth with Noel Soloman from Fanciful designs & a friend from London arts school. The wedding website proved invaluable as this was a destination wedding for the majority of guests who came in from all across Canada, New Zealand, Israel and the east coast. It included excursions, a map of Montecito, some pointers and info for all guests to access and reference during their 3 day trip. Upon arrival, I sought out the perfect small gift to leave in the guests rooms and decided upon boxes of the most delicious chocolates from Calibressan, a French chocolatier that is now based in Santa Barbara. I custom chose each chocolate to symbolize the bride & groom and destination: their signature buddha truffle, an earl grey infused lotus flower, a salted caramel turtle among others. The guests received a welcome note & itinerary and I kept the continuity and synergy with the same logo from the custom website we created and the chocolates added a perfect little hint of Paris due to the meaning it had for the bride and groom.
My advice for future all brides & grooms is to listen to one another about what your vision is and make the wedding about what you both feel is important. Assemble a team of vendors that are as passionate as you are about your special day! There is always a way to have everything you want yet stay within your budget. If you plan your own wedding make sure to hire a day of planner so the timeline is implemented. It is crucial to remember that the goal is to have fun which is why I took Rachel and a few others wine tasting a few days before the wedding. Never let the chaos ruin the fun!
After spending two more days in their amazing wedding suite at the Biltmore, Rachel and Jon jetted to Maui for over a week. They stayed at the Ritz- Carlton, Kapalua and the Andaz hotel Wailea. They did everything from adventurous hikes, snorkeling and helicopter rides to spending hours relaxing at the hotel pool and sampling the best food on the island. Some of their favorite spots included Mamma’s Fish House for fresh tuna sashimi, Merriman’s for tuna poke and cocktails, and Morimoto for hamachi tacos. Their advice for newly married couples – go on your honeymoon right away! It is a once in a lifetime opportunity and so important to take a breather and soak it all in.
Photography: Michael + Anna Costa Photography | Cinematography: Elysium Productions | Coordination: Kim Talbot Events | Floral Design: Santa Barbara Style | Wedding Dress: Reem Acra | Cake: Four Seasons Restaurant | Ceremony Venue: Four Seasons Santa Barbara | Reception Venue: Coral Casino Club | Bride's Shoes: Nike | Hair + Makeup: LunaBella Make-up and Hair | Calligraphy: Perfect Fête Designs | Lighting: PSAV | DJ: Zen Freeman | Groom's Attire: Hugo Boss Red Label | Officiant: Cantor Mark Childs | Day of Wedding Coordination Assistance: Katie Schuette | Decor + Artwork: Fanciful Designs | Decor Rentals: Louis Barker | Invitations + Menus: Kathleen Cooper | Photo Booth: Witty Booth