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Ojai Winter Wedding Inspiration + Pear Brandy Champagne Cocktail

Currently: I’m super jellin on Ojai‘s version of winter. Where beach days are do-able (and actually enjoyable) and the sun still breathes life into al fresco weddings. Where scenes like this still make their way onto our pretty pages, thanks to Smith + James Events and Sally Pinera. Fair warning before you take a virtual step into THE VAULT, you’ll be there a while. Dive into all the beauty and grab the tasty winter cocktail recipe below!

From Smith + James Events… I grew up in California, so my idea of the winter season is a bit different than our friends on the east coast. Any native Californian will understand what it means to occasionally enjoy the beach in December or January- especially this year!

With this shoot, I wanted to share the feeling of the winter season in California and knew that the rolling hills of Ojai with its magical light would be the perfect setting. I put together a team of my favorites, because my favorite part of doing styled shoots is collaborating with a talented group of my friends. Plus, we get to spend the day laughing and creating together.

We aimed to use seasonal textures, colors, blooms, and even fruit to tell the story. Kate from The Ark let us go shopping in her inventory and her collection is such a dream. The wooden table top from Elan’s collection allowed us to do a fresh take on the farm table look by combining a draped linen with a more rustic wooden top.

I always try to create details that are meaningful without being too theme driven and Sally Pinera is so talented at capturing everything we bring to the shoot in the most beautiful, delicate way.

Crystal Sanford of Heirloom Design House brings such beauty to everything her hands touch. Everything she does looks a still life painting; fine art that should be hung up in a home to be treasured.

It makes such a difference when you have models that are actually a real-life couple. Jaclyn and Alexander made everything feel so relaxed and uncontrived. Jess Wilcox made the hair and makeup fit right into the vein of the shoot’s unfussy, yet elegant vibe. Jess is amazing to work with- she just gets it.

I want to say an extra thanks to Kelly Oshiro for coming onboard to help style the shot by shot details and fluff all the little extras at the end! Love that girl!

We love hearing the inspiration behind these gorgeous shoots straight from the vendor team, and speaking of, did you catch Tory of Smith + James‘ wedding we featured earlier this week captured by Jose Villa? Isn’t she a stunner?!

Pear Brandy Champagne Cocktail
prep time
5 Minute/s
cook time
7 Minute/s
total time
12 Minute/s
Serves 0Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 4 teaspoons French pear brandy Recommended: Poire William
  • 2 2/3 cups chilled champagne
  • 1 Small Bosc pear
  1. In a small saucepan, heat sugar and 1/4 cup pear brandy over moderate heat until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes.
  2. Remove pan from heat and cool syrup.
  3. Spoon 1 1/2 tablespoons syrup into each of 4 champagne glasses and add 1 teaspoon pear brandy to each glass.
  4. Add 2/3 cup champagne to each glass and stir well.
  5. Cut pear lengthwise into thin slices and add 1 slice to each cocktail.

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See more Ojai weddings here!

Photography: Sally Pinera | Event Planning + Design: Smith + James Events | Event Styling: Kelly Oshiro | Floral Design: Heirloom Design House | Wedding Dress: Emily Rose Riggs | Cake: Danielle Keene | Hair + Makeup: Jess Wilcox | Calligraphy: Plume Calligraphy | Candles: Creative Candles | Hat Box: Trousseau & Co. | Linen Rentals: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Models: Jacyln Cartier Ghilarducci And Alexander Ghilarducci | Rentals: Elan Event Rentals | Rentals: The Tent Merchant | Ribbon: Silk and Willow | Ring Box: The Mrs Box | Tabletop: The Ark

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
Boho Chic Ojai, CA Wedding

Anthropolgie lovers take note, because this wedding has all the bohemian-style elegance you could ever want. The feather-infused floral design, the whimsical wedding emblem, the cheeky little details woven throughout. No surprise the ladies of Bash Please brought this celebration to life, and the photos? All thanks to mister, Tec Petaja. Excuse us while we go live in this gallery forever and ever.


From The Bride…Kyle and I met through mutual friends and were great friends for two years before we started dating. After three years together in San Francisco and Chicago, we got engaged at White Sands National Monument in New Mexico while road tripping across the country to start new jobs in LA. The first thing we did when we got to California was to set up a call with Bash Please. Collaborating with them was one of the best decisions we made – they made the whole process easy and stress-free, and their aesthetic was spot-on with ours. Would highly recommend them to anyone and everyone!

We knew we wanted to get married in Ojai, as my family is from there and it’s a special place for both of us. We also knew we wanted our wedding to reflect the natural beauty of Ojai infused with touches of rustic elegance. All of the details and design of our wedding captured that vision beyond our wildest dreams. With 120 guests, the event felt intimate and had a strong emphasis on family. The ceremony and reception were held on my parents’ property and my aunt officiated the ceremony. My cousin’s adorable six-year-old daughter was our flower girl and all of our siblings were included in the ceremony in some way. In a special moment right after the ceremony, we slipped off with our brothers and sisters and had a celebratory champagne toast under the shade of a live oak tree.

Our reception rocked. We could not have been happier with Dart DJs, who knocked it out of the park with an absolutely epic dance party, complete with 20 or so guests jumping into the pool at the end of the night. One of the highlights was when the whole dance floor formed a circle around Kyle and I while we all belted out the words to LCD Soundsystem’s “All My Friends.” It was such a joyful moment, and one that we’ll remember forever.

We loved that our wedding had a destination feel. Our closest friends and family came to Ojai from all over the country and stayed the whole weekend. On Friday night we had a welcome party at Deer Lodge, our favorite biker bar, and on Sunday we had a farewell brunch at Knead Bakery. It was a full weekend of celebration.

We were fortunate to work with some of the best vendors out there. Happy Menocal created an emblem for us that featured succulents, oranges, lavender, and even coyote and fox, and it became the foundation for many of the other design elements. Moon Canyon designed florals that showcased our color story of pinks, blushes, persimmon and sage with accents of pomegranate. Whoa Nelly whipped up the best wedding food we’ve our ever had, and Pharmacie created amazing signature drinks.

Finally, how many good things can we say about Tec Petaja? He was such a pleasure to work with, and the quality of his photos is just incredible. We are beyond thankful to have such a beautiful record of our most amazing day.

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Photography: Tec Petaja Workshops | Event Planning: Bash Please | Floral Design: Moon Canyon | Wedding Dress: Oscar De La Renta | Cake: Susie Cakes | Stationery: Happy Menocal | Catering: Whoa Nelly | Makeup: Symmetry Beauty by Nyrie | DJ: Dan and Ben from Dart DJ | String Quartet: Santa Barbara String Quartet | Bartending: Pharmacie LA | Event Rentals: Town And Country Rentals | Photo Booth: Brooke Courtney Photography | Rentals: Found Vintage Rentals | Rentals: Casa de Perrin

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
Romantic Olive Grove Ojai Engagement Session

Technically, Florida is the sunshine state, but this Southern California engagement session is proof that California is giving Florida a run for its money. Full of the most gorgeous natural light and sunshine and olive groves that hold special memories for the this darling couple, this e-sesh is truly a thing of beauty. See all the pretty from Carolly Photography in THE VAULT!

From Carolly Photography…. This super stylish and sweet couple chose to have their engagement photographed in a place that holds so much special meaning for them. While dating, they spent a lot of time together in the groom’s backyard full of rows upon rows of olive groves, so naturally it was the perfect setting for their romantic engagement session. We ended the day at sunset with the beautiful mountains of Ojai as our backdrop. The bride’s flower crown was created by the talented Jenny of Chloe+Mint, and her gorgeous hair and makeup by the Kelly Zhang team here in Los Angeles.

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Photography: Carolly Fine Art Photography | Floral Design: Chloe+Mint | Hair And Makeup: Kelly Zhang Makeup Team | Location: Ojai | Vintage Dresses: Goodwill

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