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Elegant Ojai Wedding

Let’s talk about fabulous weddings for a moment, shall we?  Those sweet affairs that merge a gorgeous duo with a breathtaking setting (Ojai Valley Inn & Spa) and a team of vendors that can only be described as uber-talented.  Think XOXO Bride, Laura HooperTEAM Hair & MakeupGus And Ruby Letterpress and Lane Dittoe (just to name a few).  The results?  Sooo amazing.  See it all here 

And a beautiful film from McDuff Productions… 

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Summer
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Inn
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Elegant

From the Bride… Our wedding was well worth the wait. Greg and I met in prep school in New Hampshire and started dating when he was a senior and I was a junior. We went to college together in Philadelphia and lived moved the east coast for many years before deciding it was time to move to my home state, California. Greg proposed in January 2013 while he was getting ready to move from Chicago to Santa Monica. We celebrated our engagement that night at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, and I immediately started to plan the wedding I always wanted.

We explored venues up and down the state from Sonoma to San Diego, but nowhere seemed quite right until we went back to the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa with the thought of having a wedding there. The town was perfect – a quaint Western town, dramatic landscape, and not too hard to get to from LAX for our many friends and family traveling long distances for the event. And the property was even better – golf for the guys, spa for the girls, and pool time for everyone! All of our events were within walking distance for our guests that stayed with us at OVIS – a rehearsal dinner at Suzanne’s Cuisine nearby, a welcome gathering at the Fragrance Courtyard, our wedding ceremony in the Hacienda Courtyard overlooking the hills, cocktails and the reception at the Herb Garden, and last but not least, the afterparty at Jimmy’s Upstairs. Our goal was to make sure our guests were relaxed from the time they arrived to the time they left, and OVIS helped us to deliver.

We had a great team of vendors led by Saralee Franchi at XOXO Bride who helped us tie the entire event together. Of course we were thrilled with Lane Dittoe’s photography, videography from McDuff Productions, and our band – Stew and the Crew – had the party rocking all night long. Greg and I had the time of our lives, and I’ll never forget the joy and love on the faces of all of our friends and family gathered around us.

Photography: Lane Dittoe | Cinematography: McDuff Productions | Wedding Planner: Saralee Franchi Of XOXO Bride | Floral Design: Kelly Kaufman | Wedding Stationery: Gus And Ruby Letterpress | Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids Dresses: Joanna August | Hair And Makeup: TEAM Hair & Makeup | Lighting: LBPS | Band: Stew And The Crew | Groom's Shoes: Prada | Officiant: Father Jerry Bellamy | Ceremony Music: Anthony Ybarra | Venue: Ojai Valley Inn & Spa | Groom's Tux: Ralph Lauren | Groomsmen Tuxes: The Black Tux | Linens: La Tavola | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals | Wedding Calligraphy: Laura Hooper | Wedding Dress And Veil: Carolina Herrera

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These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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Romantic Ivory + Grey Ojai Valley Inn Wedding

Any wedding lined with Diana McGregorToast Santa BarbaraLove This Day EventsTEAM Hair And Makeup and Ojai Valley Inn on the vendor list is destined for perfection right from the start. And when said wedding includes the dreamiest grey and ivory color palette, ridiculously gorgeous calligraphy details and a couple who couldn’t be more in love, the result is a gallery we might never leave. See the day unfold below!

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Fall
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Inn
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Rustic

From The Bride…Chase and I met on a flight from Toronto to New York City. Unbeknownst to us at the time, we were both doing consulting work in Toronto and living in New York City, making the commute back and forth on a weekly basis. One fateful Thursday evening, on a return flight, we were assigned seats next to each other (a rare, but fortunate occasion since we both normally book window seats). We spent the entire flight talking from the moment we sat down until we de-planed in New York. It sounds cliché, but from that very first encounter we both knew that there was something special between us. When we landed in New York, he took my number and shortly thereafter we had our first date.

Pretty soon we were inseparable, seeing each other every day, whether we were co-located in Toronto (Chase driving almost an hour each way to pick me up for dinners after work) or back in NYC. Our short courtship was filled with fun, adventure, excitement, and a great deal of travel. On a trip to Cabo San Lucas, soon after our one year anniversary, Chase took me on a boat to Lover’s Beach and got down on one knee. I think I said “yes” before he even asked me to marry him.

We wanted to have a wedding that was personal, intimate and centered on the union of our families. With Chase’s family being from Arizona and mine from Colorado, we decided on neutral ground – California. Nestled against the backdrop of the Topa Topa Mountains, Ojai serves as the perfect retreat. What led us to choose Ojai Valley Inn & Spa as our venue was the natural beauty of the resort grounds and the serenity that it elicits, as well as the amazing staff. Ojai truly was the perfect location for our dream wedding as well as a hidden jewel that we knew our family and friends would enjoy.

I stumbled upon Kara Delay of Love This Day Events very early on, and in viewing her portfolio I connected with her work immediately. I decided to hire her before I even had the venue, much less the state, confirmed. With an abundance of inspiration, Kara served as my cornerstone and siphon, pulling together all my ideas (and filtering out the bad ones) into a cohesive vision and plan. In addition, she directed me to excellent vendors such as our florist, Toast.

Our vision for the wedding was simple and understated elegance, infused with organic and natural elements. We let the terrain and natural flora guide the design. Complementing the natural beauty of the Herb Garden, we decided to use a lot of green foliage (seeded eucalyptus, olive, rosemary, and other foraged greenery) along with a variety of white garden roses and peonies, sprinkling in light grey as an accent color.

My favorite moment of the day was standing at the ceremony before our officiant with the love of my life. We worked with our officiant – a pastor Chase has known since middle school – to create a ceremony that was very personal and special to us. We chose literary and biblical readings to be incorporated, as well as the Apache wedding prayer, a nod to my husband’s Native American heritage. We finished the ceremony by reciting our handwritten vows to one another. We were anxious about writing our own vows, but it was important to both of us that these words and promises were our own.

My favorite wedding detail was my jewelry, all custom designed and expertly crafted by my new sister-in-law, Lindsey Almquist of EmmaQuist Jewelry. Not only did she create my gorgeous Asscher-cut engagement ring, but both of our wedding bands as well. The bands feature the “Forget Me Not” floral design, prevalent in the 18th and early 19th centuries and originating in medieval times as a symbol of faithfulness and enduring love. I wanted something simple, yet meaningful, that wouldn’t distract from the beauty my engagement ring and something that I could wear on our frequent traveling excursions. Aside from my jewelry, I loved my ‘something old, new, borrowed, and blue’. My ‘something old’ was an heirloom, vintage brooch that belonged to my great grandmother which I fastened to the base of my bouquet. My ‘something new’ was my wedding dress; a simple, yet stunning, Romona Kaveza gown made of raw silk, which exemplified the theme of the wedding and my style. My ‘something borrowed’ was a pair of baroque pearl earrings from my gracious mother-in-law. Finally, my something blue was a blue ribbon from a card I made for my dad when I was a little girl that my mom sewed into my dress.

When the day finally arrived, it all felt like a dream: from walking down the winding pathway through the Herb Garden with my father to the sea of sparklers bidding us farewell…

After exchanging vows in the intimate and magical Herb Garden, our guests sipped a lavender infused cocktail, our signature drink, and ate an assortment of hors d’oeuvres under the garden pergola as the golden sun faded and the Topa Topa Mountains were lit ablaze with a vibrant, pink hue. Grey pashminas’ were provided to our guests to stay warm as the sun went down and the brisk evening chill set in. At dusk, guests were escorted to the terracotta-tiled Anacapa Terrace to dine under a canopy of strung café lighting. Tables were covered with light grey linen table clothes and adorned with candles. The long head table was lined with a garland of olive branches and other green foliage. Set amongst the foliage were hurricane vases of varying height, illuminating the entire terrace with a spectacular glow. Two Spanish guitarists along with a percussionist serenaded us with Latin music as we dined on Wild Salmon and Oven Roasted Chicken. At the end of our meal, guests leisurely enjoyed cigars on the terrace, while dancing commenced in the ballroom.

The night concluded with a sparkler sendoff. We are extremely blessed to have had such a special night, sharing our love with our friends and family, and we are grateful to have had Diana McGregor so exquisitely capture the evening and the memories that we will cherish forever.

The planning, design and execution were superb and I cannot praise enough the people who understood and shared my vision and who went above and beyond to produce a beautiful event. Many thanks to all of the great people who worked so hard to make the weekend in Ojai so memorable!

Photography: Diana McGregor | Coordination: Love This Day Events | Floral Design: Toast | Wedding Gown: Romona Keveza | Cake: Ojai Valley Inn And Spa | Ceremony Venue: Ojai Valley Inn & Spa | Bridesmaid Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Catering: Ojai Valley Inn And Spa | Lighting: Bella Vista Designs | DJ: Vox DJs | Bridal Jewelry: Emma Quist Jewelry Design | Chairs: Town And Country | Inviations And Calligraphy: Wondrous Whimsy | Linens: La Tavola | Makup: TEAM Hair And Makeup | Photography - Assistance: Michelle Boyd Photography | Reception Wedding Gown: Grace Loves Lace

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
Colorful Summer Wedding at Ojai Valley Inn

From her gorgeous champagne gown to the delicate hair sparkle, this California bride hit the style nail on the head. And the whimsical-meets-rustic aesthetic extends throughout the whole celebration, orchestrated by XOXO Bride Events. Marianne Wilson joined the fun and caught every happy tear, smile and shimmy, and as we prep to enter the new year, these are the sort of photos that I hope never end.

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Summer
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Inn
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Rustic

From The Bride… Planning our wedding was actually a really fun process! We were fortunate enough to work with a fabulous wedding planner (XOXOBride.com) who was invaluable in helping us to clarify our vision and hire the right vendors to help us fulfill our dream! We knew that great music, amazing photography and delicious food were our top priorities, so we focused on making those aspects of the wedding unforgettable! We also loved having the wedding at a resort where our guests could make a mini-vacation out of our wedding weekend, and we were able to see friends and family over multiple days instead of just the wedding reception. It might sound cliché, but my biggest advice would be “don’t sweat the small stuff!” There are a billion decisions that need to be made, so identify and prioritize the things that are non-negotiable for you. Once you know where you want to focus your time and energy, the little decisions become much more manageable!

From Sonia Hopkins… I was so honored to work with Jess, Drew and their parents on this beautiful wedding. We had a strong sense of design from very the beginning. It was important that both a West Coast and East Coast aesthetics were represented throughout the design. They wanted their event to feel elegant but in an understated and cool manner. They really liked the idea of infusing the relaxed with the formal and what better way to do that but to host an open air tent wedding at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa Herb Garden Lawn. We chose to give the tent a open and breezy feeling by providing a partially draped setting with large crystal chandeliers. The feeling of crystal chandeliers in a garden is kind of amazing! A mix of wood feasting tables and beautiful Dupionique linen rounds gave shape to the space. Jess’s dress was a soft champagne color breaking her out of the mold of the white bridal look. She choose to have her bridesmaids in all-white creating this breath of fresh air in attire. Drew’s sense of style shine bright with the groomsmen in funky colored socks adding their personality and sense of humor.

Camilla Floral Designs expertly transformed our thoughts of wood elements and soft blooms into a reality. The Hacienda Courtyard was the perfection location for their ceremony. We built a wood Huppah under the sprawling oak tree to create a warm space for the vows. With a large wedding party it’s important to have a creative way for them to stand by their bride and groom without it looking like a long line of people, so we used wood benches to serve as the front row with attendants standing in the back. We choose wrought iron gates and wooden slated doors to display our tags and tented escort cards for guests seating.

Guests enjoyed a family style dinner and danced into the wee hours of the morning with a nightclub style after party complete with chicken and waffle bites!

Photography: Marianne + Joe Of Marianne Wilson Photography | Videographer: Joel VanZ | Coordinator: XOXO Bride Events | Florist: Modern Day Designs | Bakery: Ojai Valley Inn & Spa | Hair: 10.11 Hair & Makeup | Lighting: Images By Lighting | Officiant: Rabbi Amy Bernstein | Ceremony/Reception: Ojai Valley Inn & Spa | Draping: BAM Draping | Grrom's Attire: Klein Epstein & Parker | Linens: La Tavola | Music: West Coast Music | Rental Co.: Town And Country

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
Chic Western-Style Rehearsal Dinner

We love real weddings with all our hearts, but a pre-nuptial shindig is always welcome inspiration. And when it just so happens to be designed in the hands of Mindy Rice and planned by Laurie Arons…well, there’s no telling how long we’ll spend drooling in the gallery. The crazy talented Aaron Delesie captured this modern take on the country affair that’s redefining barn parties for the better.

From Laurie Arons Special EventsThis rehearsal dinner was designed to be fun and relaxed. Brianna and Peter wanted to have a 4 day wedding weekend where everyone would stay together and have lots of different experiences together throughout the weekend. Ojai Valley Inn worked great for them because of the sprawling grounds with so many options. For this event we asked the guests to dress in jeans and boots on the invite. The western BBQ buffet was delicious and guests loved the strawberry shortcake station for dessert.

Photography: Aaron Delesie | Event Design: Mindy Rice | Event Planning: Laurie Arons Special Events | Floral Design: Mindy Rice | Invitations: Julie Song | Lighting: Images Lighting | Chairs: Classic Party Rentals | Linens: La Tavola | Music: Ray Fortune | Plates: Town And Country | Rehearsal Dinner Venue: Ojai Valley Inn Barn | Signage: BB Paper And Ink | Tabletop Calligraphy: BB Paper And Ink

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

You know what’s really cute? Incorporating your beloved pup into the Big Day. And even better – giving that adorable Frenchie a nod through the design (read: pup silhouette place cards) with a mix of style and quirk. It’s just one of the details coordinated with the help of  XOXO BRIDE, and the amazing Onelove Photography snapped up every last bit. Join me for more!

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Summer
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Garden
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Rustic

From The Bride…Our first look was hands-down my favorite moment of our day. Our photographers picked a beautiful and peaceful area on the wedding property that allowed us some privacy. It was truly a very special moment that we were able to share alone before all of the craziness began.

We wanted to somehow incorporate our dog into the design so we ordered gold french bulldog place cards from a vendor on Etsy. We also wanted our guests to know our love story so I had a custom timeline designed.

Photography: Onelove Photography | Coordination: Cate Parnin Of XOXO BRIDE | Florals: The Growing Company | Cake: Montecito Confections | Stationery: Smitten On Paper | Jewelry: Etsy | Catering: Command Performance Catering | Makeup: Romina Murillo- Unveiled Hair & Makeup | Hair: Drea Rohrbough- Unveiled Hair & Makeup | Calligraphy: Honey Honey Calligraphy | DJ: Better Music Services | Grooms Attire: J.Crew | Air Freshener Favors: Scented Promotions | Belt: Sarah Seven | Ceremony And Reception: Calliote Canyon | Custom Timeline: Etsy | Dress Designer: Sarah Seven | Placecards: Etsy | Rentals: Ventura Party Rentals | Shoe Designer: J.Crew

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
Elegant Outdoor Summer Wedding in Ojai

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 Bijoux Events 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.

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Summer
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Rustic Venue
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Rustic

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 | Coordination: Bijoux Events | Floral Design: Susan Evans | Cake: Heavenly Cakes | Ceremony Venue: Twin Peaks Ranch | Catering: Lorraine Lim | Lighting: Bella Vista Designs | Brides Hair & Makeup: Dana Khoury

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