This Bride had quite the challenge set out for her when she had a vision to fuse her Korean heritage, Georgia and Missouri upbringing, the Groom’s lakehouse upbringing and Southern California all together for their wedding. But the result is complete perfection of them. Sprinkled with cotton bolls, desert plants, peaches and ocean blues, the imagery from Michael & Anna Costa Photography says it all. See every lovely bit here.
From the beautiful Bride… Ryan and I love to joke about the honest fact that had we met out at a bar or event, we wouldn’t have ever given each other second glances. But thanks to the magic of the internet and online dating websites, Ryan and I came together while he was living in Newport Beach and I was living in San Diego but transitioning for a move back to San Francisco. I never made it to San Francisco after I took a few more than a couple of glances at him and fell in love! We spent nine months planning our wedding and tried to find the perfect way to showcase the unique combination of each of our families and backgrounds – and do it in the most fun way possible!
Ryan is blond haired and blue eyed, grew up in in the same house in Lake Arrowhead (a small mountain town in Southern California), and is the middle child in a close-knit family. On the other side of the spectrum, I’m half Korean and half Caucasian, was raised by my father in the south (but lived in 10 different cities and two different countries growing up), and have just one younger brother. I had this crazy notion that I could somehow incorporate each unique quality of our upbringing into our wedding experience…and thanks to our amazing vendors and the beautiful venue at the Montecito Country Club in Santa Barbara, everything came together better than I could have ever had hoped for!
We chose Santa Barbara, as it had a special meaning for us as the first place we snuck away to for a get-away while dating. The Montecito Country Club, with its laid back vibe, elegant Spanish architecture, and sprawling ocean views, was an instant and obvious choice for us. With its classic but dramatic design and setting, there was very little that I felt was needed to make it look more beautiful than it already was.
After running into some obstacles with our event coordinator, things were unexpectedly left in my hands to pull together the wedding that we had envisioned, but thanks to some very talented vendors, my “down-home” ambitions were elevated to a level far beyond what I could have hoped for! My goal was to blend Ryan’s upbringing in Lake Arrowhead, my childhood in Georgia and Missouri, my Korean heritage, and our union in Southern California. I envisioned peaches, cotton bolls, desert plants, and oceanic blues – all tied together with a casual and untraditional, yet sophisticated feel. Anyone else would have called me crazy, but our floral designer, Tenley Erin Young, didn’t even flinch and pulled the whole look together flawlessly with her centerpieces and floral arrangements. Tenley brought together raw cotton, fresh peaches, dainty succulents, anemones, roses and peonies in a way that can only be described as “genius.” Most everything else was DIY; I made the invitation suite myself and incorporated its design into the programs, menus, favors and other DIY decor. The favors were hand-made potted succulents that aimed to pay homage to Ryan’s roots in Lake Arrowhead. I adorned them with little flags so that they could double as table cards.
TEAM Hair and Makeup did an incredible job with the hair and make-up of my ethnically diverse bridesmaids. I had fallen in love with all the TEAM features on Style Me Pretty, and I felt lucky to have them as my glamour squad that day. TEAM also made the great recommendation of Michael + Anna Costa Photography as our wedding photographers. We got a preview of working with Anna through our engagement photography shoot, and got the warm-in-the-gut feeling that we were going to be in good hands. Anna is just so into her couples and was really, truly interested in getting to know us. Thanks to that, there was nothing cookie-cutter about our photos, and she was able to capture the true elements of us, our love, and the happiness being shared between family and friends.
We wanted a quick and painless ceremony, so that our guests could get to the FUN part! Our guests were bussed in and were greeted by the live music of Trevor Zinn, a friend of ours in Orange County and a very talented acoustic guitarist. Keeping it non-traditional, the wedding party walked in to Carry Underwood’s “Mama’s Song,” and I walked in to Joshua Radin’s “Only You.” My father is deceased, so I had the honor of being escorted down the aisle by my baby brother, Eugene. Ryan’s brother, Kyle, served as the Best Man, and his sister, Lindsey, did a reading. After a wonderful ceremony officiated by Jon Ireland in front of a big bay window overlooking the Pacific, we exited to Weezer’s “Island in the Sun.” Guests were then able to head out to the formal lawn area and catch the setting sun while enjoying cocktail hour and playing lawn games.
After dinner, it was time for dancing! Ryan’s one specification was that we have an incredible band, and MGA Band did not disappoint. After the scheduled dances, the band kicked-off group dancing, as flip flops, tambourines, and prop instruments were brought out for the guests. The girls got down to a lip sync’d rendition of Whitney Houston’s “Count on Me,” which morphed into a dance off to Salt-n-Pepa’s “Push It.” Being that Ryan is half Jewish, we naturally did the the Horah – but being that I am half Korean, we put our own twist on it by doing it to the tune of “Gangnam Style.” For the cutting of the cake, my mother and I changed into traditional Korean dresses, called Hanbok. I was assisted by my mom and two of her sisters during the dressing, one of which had traveled all the way from Korea to attend the festivities. It meant a lot to me to pay homage to my mom and to that side of my heritage.
The night concluded with Ryan and his fraternity brothers “shooting the boot,” a long-standing Sigma Nu traditional where the groom is forced to drink a concoction of all his friends’ leftover drinks from one lucky groomsman’s shoe. Looking back on the whirlwind night, Ryan and I could not be more grateful for all the work that everyone did to make this an exceptional night that celebrated our love, our family, our friends, and allowed us to stay true to ourselves.
Photography: Michael + Anna Costa Photography | Videographer: Visual Masterpiece | Floral Design: Tenley Erin Young Floral | Wedding Dress: Augusta Jones | Cake: Wayne Kjar Cakes | Cake: Your Cake Baker | Shoes: BCBGMAXAZRIA | Rings: Tacori | Bridesmaids Dresses: Something Borrowed | Catering: Seasons Catering | Lighting: Bella Vista Designs, Inc | Officiant: Amanda Masson | Ceremony Music: Whistling Wolves | Transportation: Santa Barbara Airbus | Wedding Venue: Montecito Country Club | Bride's Belt & Bracelet: Rent The Runway | Day Of Coordination: Magnolia Event Design | Hair And Make-Up: TEAM Hair and Makeup | Reception Music: MGA Band | Rentals: Magnolia Event Design