SUBMIT WEDDING
Outdoorsy Point Lobos Engagement Session

Best advice I can give you for your engagement sesh? Be real, be you. 100% you. Laugh, kiss, snuggle, play. Bring your vintage Jeep and favorite blanket, like these two did for their Point Lobos sesh planned by Laurie Arons Special Events. With TEAM Hair And Makeup‘s touch of beauty, the results shine through Jose Villa‘s film captures so brightly. See more in THE VAULT.

From Laurie Arons Special EventsAli & Andrew were engaged in Carmel, California and knew it’d be the perfect setting for their engagement shoot with Jose Villa. They wanted it to feel fun and casual, so they decided to incorporate their vintage Jeep Cherokee that had taken them on many road trips together.

Jose shot the couple in beautiful Point Lobos, sharing many of their favorite things – walking on the beach, hiking along the cliffs and snuggling on Ali’s favorite Pendleton blanket. Mar from TEAM Hair & Makeup gave the bride different three looks to fit all aspects of the couple’s young, fresh and outdoorsy spirit.

Because they wanted to use the images on their save the date, it was important to Ali and Andrew that the shoot provide a glimpse into the vibe of their wedding. Since Ali and Andrew met at the cooking school where Tyler Florence studied, they selected his restaurant El Paseo in charming Mill Valley for the reception venue. A very “Northern California” style wedding was planned, with great food, relaxed atmosphere and rustic elegance. Just their closest friends and family attended the ceremony amongst the redwood trees at The Outdoor Art Club right across the street from the restaurant. Ali and Andrew really wanted to get married on a Saturday on the anniversary of their first date September 12th, so 6 years to that date they were married.

Photography: Jose Villa Photography | Event Planning: Laurie Arons Special Events | Hair And Makeup: TEAM Hair And Makeup | Venue: Point Lobos

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Romantic + Rustic Santa Lucia Preserve Wedding

From a must-read Charleston yacht proposal story below to their Carmel soiree at Santa Lucia Preserve, Emily and Sanjay sure knew how to celebrate their love in serious style, with a touch of tradition. Think neutral shades blended with blush, beauty touches by The Hair + Makeup Company, wildly sweet blooms by Seascape Flowers, ceremony doors from the Bride’s childhood home and so much more. Their story is told so beautifully by Brittrene Photo right here in THE VAULT.

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
Rustic Venue
Styles
Rustic

From Brittrene PhotoIn high school, Sanjay knew Emily but Emily didn’t know Sanjay (a typical beginning to any blossoming romance). He watched her from afar – just kidding – he tried to approach her (unsuccessfully) at a couple high school parties, but the two never formally met. Until… they both ended up at Loyola Marymount University and connected through mutual friends, when Emily was a freshman and Sanjay was a junior. Sanjay’s not afraid to admit that he organized a party bus to take a group of friends to a college bar, and specifically made sure that Emily was on that bus. When she dropped her phone on a crowded dance floor later that night, Prince Charming found each piece and put it back together, in a Darwinian demonstration of his ability to provide for her. Since then, Sanjay and Emily (and their families) would be virtually inseparable for 8 years, traveling to Austin together, raising a “test baby” (their Wheaten Terrier, Kyla), and returning to their native, Bay Area.

In early 2014, Sanjay took Emily on a trip to Charleston. They spent the weekend at a romantic bed-and-breakfast, eating at remarkable restaurants, traveling through the back-country, and relaxing. While shopping downtown one day, Sanjay kept checking his watch, and Emily didn’t know why. After an ambitious Stetson straw hat purchase, Sanjay told Emily it was time to go back to the B & B to get ready for the evening. He surprised her with a trip to the harbor, where he had rented a private yacht to take them out on the water to watch the sun set.

Following an hour of sailing and dolphin-watching, the captain recommended that the couple spend some time on the bow of the boat, where Sanjay eventually asked the question he always knew he would, on bended knee. After making the best decision of their lives, Sanjay and Emily enjoyed a bottle of 1993 Dom Pérignon, and watched the sun set over Charleston.

At the time, Emily had no idea that Sanjay had hired a captain who moonlit as a photographer, and that photos of the entire event would later surface. Emily’s response: “Good thing you didn’t wear that straw hat…”

The wedding took place at the private and exquisite Santa Lucia Preserve in Carmel, California. From the moment the couple began wedding planning, they knew they wanted a venue that was secluded and naturally stunning. The exclusive Preserve was the perfect fit to reflect their rustic elegant taste. The couple decided that redwood trees would be the perfect backdrop for their ceremony, and chose the onsite barn for their reception. The pair also incorporated personal touches during every step of the planning process. Champagne bottles with personalized labels were sent to guests as save-the-dates. The couple also hosted a “Wish Upon A Balloon” event on the beach during their wedding weekend, in which guests wrote wishes for the newlyweds on glowing LED balloons before releasing them into the air.

The wedding day was also packed with meaningful moments. The wedding party walked down the aisle to a string quartet playing, and featured the newlywed’s fur baby as the flower dog. The ceremony was made even more personal when the couple read the vows they had written for one another. The groom, having a flair for romance, also surprised his bride multiple times throughout their wedding day. Not only did he have their wedding bands engraved with a phrase from their first dance song (“living in” + “a dream”), but he shocked her with a second band in the middle of the ceremony, in front of their guests. Later she discovered that the second band was also engraved: with the coordinates of the redwood grove in which they got married. Later that night, he performed a song that he had written for her.

Another special moment occurred before the wedding ceremony. The bride and groom did not want to do a first look, but the bride chose to do one with her father, before he walked her down the aisle. Moreover, the couple got married during a blue moon, on the bride’s parents’ 35th wedding anniversary. Talk about good luck!

The especially delightful aspect of the wedding was the union of two like families, who really love each other. Sanjay is half Indian, half Greek, Emily is mostly Irish, and the two families blend together beautifully. Two days before their wedding, friends and family alike celebrated the couple with a Hindu ceremony, in which the bride and groom wore traditional garb. They look forward to celebrating as “one big happy family” for years to come.

Memorable Details
– The ceremony doors were from the bride’s childhood home.
– The dinner tables were adorned with antlers and stories of the couples’ favorite eateries, reflecting their love of food.
– Most of the details were DIY projects, including the corn hole boards used during the Cocktail Hour.
– Favors included customized beer koozies and matchboxes.

Photography: Brittrene Photo | Cinematography: Spencer Sarson Visuals | Coordination: Allison Weddings | Floral Design: Seascape Flowers | Wedding Dress: Anna Maier | Invitations: Minted | Bride's Shoes: Manolo Blahnik | Bridesmaids' Dresses: BHLDN | Hair + Makeup: The Hair + Makeup Company, Sarah Nicole | DJ: Don Vaughn | Groom's Attire: Theory | Venue: Santa Lucia Preserve, Carmel | Dessert: Edith Meyer Wedding Cakes | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals

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Rustic Carmel Ranch Wedding

Some people think it’s easy to have a California wedding. After all, it’s a breezy 80 degrees there every day. Well, so much more goes into “effortless” than one might first think. It’s the carefully selected flowers, the perfect music, the feel like home but more special food. It’s the details. And Dream A Little Dream Events reigns queen when it comes to details. Add in Jihan Cerda Photography behind the lens and there you have a perfect California wedding.

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Settings
Rustic Venue
Styles
Rustic

From the Bride… Planning our wedding was one of the best experiences we went through as a couple. We took our time and wanted to make sure we thought everything through so we could really enjoy our special day. With me being from the Napa Valley and him from Iowa, we wanted to choose a location that would be a memorable getaway for both our families to enjoy and cherish. We started driving to Carmel from San Francisco to celebrate special occasions and feel in love with the beauty and charm of the landscape. Once we knew that Carmel would be our destination wedding, we got busy on picking a location. We had a place in mind but wanted to check out all the options and of course, we ended up picking our first choice – Mission Ranch! Not only because of the adorable sheep in the pasture, but because we wanted a relaxing atmosphere with unforgettable views and a rustic charm.

Living two hours away from where our venue was, we knew we needed help with planning and designing our rustic romantic destination wedding. So we went with the best in the business, Kathryn Kalabokes of Dream a Little Dream Events in San Francisco. Kathryn was a perfect match from the get go. She understood what our vision was and met every vendor with us so that we felt comfortable choosing the right one. The design for our wedding incorporated the richness and beauty that was already provided by the natural landscape with a pop of bright color and our own personal style. We didn’t want a stuffy or overly formal wedding so we went with gray suits for the groomsmen who each wore navy blue ties and an anemone boutonniere that coordinated with the blue of the bridesmaid dresses. I went with romantic lace for my wedding dress by Paloma Blanca and added a touch of bling with a sash that was handmade by a close friend. Against the lush greens pasture and gorgeous flowers provided by Fiona Floral, we had the perfect outdoor wedding. And we can’t forget the string quartet, Corelli Strings, playing our favorite songs as we walked down the aisle. Being a very sunny afternoon, we provided sun parasols for guests which provided not only shade but also charm. When it came to selecting an officiant, we agreed that we wanted someone that already knew us and who we felt comfortable sharing the moment with. We also incorporate a wine unity ceremony signifying our bond and the blending of two families into one.

Our wedding was intimate with about 60 guests who enjoyed our photo booth with hand-made props, a cigar bar, and delicious passed appetizers. One of the best parts of having a weeding in Carmel is access to amazing food and wine – we didn’t want our food selection to disappoint and that it didn’t! We were just as pleased with the food as we were with the music. Jason Mitchell from Gatsby Entertainment kept guests dancing all night long until the very last dance. One of the most memorable moments of the night was sneaking away for our sunset pictures. Jihan Cerda of Jihan Cerda Photography captured every moment of our big day. My husband is not keen on spending a lot of time taking photos and Jihan was very understanding and worked with us on our engagement photos to get a feel for how we interact in front of the camera. She was beyond amazing and made the whole experience so much fun.

The entire wedding weekend was unforgettable! Our family and friends enjoyed sightseeing, wine tasting, getting to know the families, and most importantly… the start of a new beginning.

Photography: Jihan Cerda Photography | Event Planning: Dream A Little Dream Events | Floral Design: Fionna Floral | Wedding Dress: Paloma Blanca | Cake: Layers Sensational Cakes | Invitations: Minted | Bride's Shoes: Kate Spade | Hair & Makeup: Faces By Emily | DJ: Gatsby Entertainment | Venue: Carmel Mission Ranch | Ceremony & Cocktail Musicians: Corelli Strings | Photo Booth: Photo-matica

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These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here