Can we please have an open forum about this pretty little wedding captured by Nirav Patel? Because honestly it’s fall meets fabulous (all thanks to those The Little Branch blooms and borrowed BLU tabletop rentals). See every bit of this stunner of a celebration in The Vault!
From the Bride…I am Hannah Campbell-Anderson, owner of Day of Gal- a partial coordination company and a proud member of the wedding industry! I got engaged to the best man in the world Kurt Anderson! He surprised me in our own home with 30 of our friends as well as family waiting on Skype The ring is an homage to a favorite ring of my grandmothers of white, yellow and rose gold. Hidden inside the band is a ruby, Kurt’s birthstone and the “heart” stone.
In choosing where to get married the location and overall weekend experience was really important to us. We searched for a place where once our guests arrived they could toss their car keys and not have a care in the world. We wanted a place where we could create a community of our favorite people for one whole weekend. We chose El Capitan Canyon and thus began the journey to #CampAnders #CanyonDigIt?
As part of their Save The Date, guests received a leather arrowhead luggage tag embossed with their names to get them excited about traveling to Santa Barbara. Along with the thickest, copper edged, copper foil printed, save the date invite from Amber Moon Design. To be followed by an equally incredible formal invitation.
It was a 2 day affair of friends and family holed up in El Capitan Canyon. Upon arrival guests (and vendors!) were gifted an El Capitan camp mug (that gets you free coffee for life!) and the ‘newspaper’ which Amber Moon Design put together and we called the ‘CampAnders Chronicle’. It contained the list of events for the weekend as well as other fun facts about the history of the kilt, my great grandmother’s wedding announcement, (more on both of those below) etc. Throughout the weekend guests were directed to each ‘event’ by a huge arrowhead made by Kurt that had interchangeable signs: “Gather” “Dance” and “Denim and Plaid”.
Friday night was a mandatory dress code of denim and plaid. It was a hoedown complete with lanterns, wool blankets, and a garland made of old jeans donated by our friends. We noshed on a classic Santa Barbara BBQ, with our very own ‘Kurt and Hannah’s Famous Bourbon BBQ Sauce’ slathered over an open spit dinner by El Cap. We kicked up the dust with bluegrass tunes from Moonsville Collective. S’mores and a campfire to round out the night, and guests left with a ‘nightcap’ of our favorite bourbon in ‘to-go’ bags by Amber Moon Design. I wore the Campbell Family Tartan sash with a vintage family kilt pin and gold jeans…. Obviously.
Saturday- guests were lead to the ceremony area, high above the ocean, with the Santa Ynez mountains as a back drop by a bagpiper as a nod to my Scottish heritage. Kurt surprised me with a handmade steel ‘HK’ logo under the incredible copper arch made by Sweet Emilia Jane and adorned by The Little Branch. Wound around the arch was smilax in honor of the New York Times wedding announcement I found for my great great grandmother’s wedding which read: “…They were married under an impromptu trellis of smilax…” It was her 105 yr old cathedral length veil that I wore down the aisle! As a gift that morning, Kurt sent to my cabin a compass engraved with our initials and the exact coordinates of our ceremony spot.
In lieu of bridesmaids I gave all my lifelong-soulmate-sister-friends a similar necklace: an arrowhead edged in gold. The arrowhead became one of the thematic elements of design that Amber wove into all the magic she created for the weekend. As a wedding coordinator, I understand the timeline benefits of doing a first look. As a traditionalist and a romantic, we wanted to see each other for the first time as I came over the hill. Turning the corner with my dad as we hit the top of the aisle, and with the most perfect timing in the world, our friends launched into the full voice chorus of “Feels Like Home”- Neil Diamond. I closed my eyes and thought my heart was going to explode with the joy of standing in the middle of the most important people in our lives, and when I opened them – there was Kurt waiting for me. Rather than traditional readings, we asked select friends and family to write on the subjects of “family”, “marriage” and “faith” for the heart of our ceremony. Two of our aunts joined us in a wine ceremony “Love one another, but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup, but drink not from one cup.”
From the Groom…The whole weekend was so amazing but I’d probably say it was walking up to the top of the hill with all of our guests following, my parents by my side and a bagpiper leading the way. Each step I took, I knew I was one step closer to being married to Hannah. It was a moment that was full of electricity for me. I was so excited to see her. To give her a ring. To say I do!
From the Bride…During cocktail hour guests were able to see on display, the wedding quilt our families made. It is tradition in my family that when a woman gets married, the other women of her family as well as her future husband’s all needle point one square of a quit. It was assembled by a quilt maker in my native Pennsylvania. Guest found their seats via a seating chart- a leather hide handwritten in copper, hung from a arch built by Kurt.
We danced our first dance to “Leather and Lace” sung by two friends of ours. SBB Gourmet put forth an amazing family style meal at tables adorned with rambling eucalyptus, various vegetables, wood stumps, gourds, lanterns, candles, antlers, pampas grass, ferns and taxidermy by Sweet Emilia Jane and The Little Branch. Kurt and I spray painted everything we could find in copper- including the table numbers which were Bulliet Bourbon bottles collected by friends. The tables were topped off with cutting board menus by Amber Moon Design. We drank ‘Bourbon Bucks’ and wine from our favorite ‘Chronic Cellar Wines’ of which we are members, in Borrowed Blu’s incredible glassware with her hand foraged teak and brass flatware. Other tables were accented by a few copper sequins and splashes of blue from La Tavola Linens (a girl can’t help herself!). Awards were given out for best cabin decoration and best denim and plaid attire. We danced until we sweat it all out thanks to Red Shoe LA under and antler chandelier dripping with more smilax.
As a coordinator I am asked all the time for tips on how to navigate what is sure to be an overwhelming journey. 1) Each of you separately write a list of 5 things you must have and 5 things you don’t want as part of your wedding. Come together to see how much of your list aligns. Then come up with your master list. Keep coming back to this as you venue hunt and interview vendors. Don’t get distracted by things that, at the core, are not important to either of you as it can be easy to lose sight. 2) You’ll never regret what you invested into your wedding. You will regret where you cut corners 3) Oh, and always hire a coordinator!!!!! We were deeply grateful to work with vendors who are so talented, responsible and some of my very favorite colleagues- and we were sure to thank them during toasts. Of course the Day of Gal team gets a special shout out from me!
Photography: Nirav Patel | Cinematography: Modern 8 Films | Coordination: Day Of Gal | Event Design: Sweet Emilia Jane | Floral Design: THE LITTLE BRANCH | Wedding Dress: Elizabeth Fillmore | Invitations: Amber Moon Design | Engagement Ring: Rock For Her | Catering: SBB Gourmet Catering | Makeup: Brides by Kelly Jo | Hair: Jessica Liparoto | Lighting: Bella Vista Designs, Inc | DJ: Red Shoe LA | Venue: El Capitan | Hair Accessories: Untamed Petals | Linen Rentals: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Photography - Assistance: Logan Cole | Rehearsal Dinner Band: Moonsville Collective | Rehearsal Dinner Catering: El Capitan | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals | Specialty Tabletop Rentals: borrowed BLU