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

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Elegant Private Estate Wedding in Ojai

At the surface, this wedding is stunning. The kind you could get lost in for hours because every moment planned by Bash Please and captured by Paige Jones is just as pretty as it gets. But when you start peeling back all the layers and get to the core of this beautiful day, you realize it’s so much more than just pretty. It’s meaningful. It’s handwritten notes given to each guest, it’s a description from the Bride worth reading over and over, and it’s a wonderful celebration of love. It’s everything.

Colors
Seasons
Spring
Settings
Luxury Venue
Styles
Elegant

From Paige JonesBrooke and Max had a classic, elegant affair this April in Ojai California. Lots of lovely navy hues as well as leather elements were paired perfectly with spring florals scattered throughout the beautiful day. Brooke has a beautiful story to tell if you decide to go ahead and feature this event. Also SHARK PIG will have a stunning video to share as well!

From The Bride…As far as design, Max and I went into planning with no idea what we wanted. Our only goal was to create an environment where everyone could have fun. That and dancing. Lots of dancing. Feeling both excited and daunted by the possibilities, we began with finding a location. I’m from New England and Max is from the Midwest, but we’ve both lived in Southern California for over ten years. We met here and fell in love here. As such, it has special meaning for us. Our hope was to escape for the weekend with our nearest and dearest to a quiet oasis in nature. Ojai was the perfect spot. It’s beautiful, rustic, historic and smells of orange groves and lavender. The place is pure magic. We had seen several venues, but when we stepped foot onto the estate where we ultimately got married, we just knew. It’s tempting, I think, to get caught up in the endless options and to intellectualize every decision. In weddings, as in life, there’s a lot to be said for trusting your gut. Once we had chosen our venue, all the other details unfurled organically.

What I loved about working with Bash, Please was their receptiveness to our very abstract descriptions. We knew how we wanted our wedding to feel, so I just drew up lists of sensory triggers and adjectives that evoked those feelings. For example: spring, California, nature, rustic, Tuscan feast, botanical herbs, whiskey, 1920s, cut crystal vessels, Billie Holiday, Django Reinhardt, Chesterfield chairs, gardenia, musk, leather, linen, casual glamour, blended masculine and feminine sensibilities, romantic, classic. Our wonderful planners were able to translate these ridiculously abstract lists into beautiful, tangible design elements.

A correspondence with our stationery designer, Megan Gonzalez of Mae Mae Paperie…We’re aiming to create a sophisticated style with a nod to heirloom that will be made tactile through textured design & application. The design will reference well-loved library book covers, worn-in leather study chairs, handwritten letters with wax seals, and personalized emblem & patterns. The palette includes: faded textured blue, regal navy, rich tan & coffee, ivory, gold and copper. Think navy & gold antique library books, gold foil calligraphy, Italian natural paper enclosures, flat printed cards with dusty blue book-cloth texture, and navy letterpress on ivory paper as a nod to vintage title pages.

My mother created gorgeous kraft welcome boxes adorned with custom M+B stamps and tied with twine and sprigs of fresh lavender. The boxes included local wines, lavender lemonade, Ojai pixie tangerines and other treats.

I’m a big fan of written correspondence, so each guest also received a personal, handwritten note in his or her welcome box. Writing these notes was a wonderful practice in gratitude – a sort of meditative experience during which Max and I gave thanks for each guest’s presence in our lives and at our wedding.

I loved so many of the crafted details, from the hand-calligraphed escort cards to the locally sourced rosemary in our cocktails, to the thoughtfully composed paper goods. I take no credit for any of this. Our vendors, family and friends really pulled together to create this magical experience, and so many of the crafted details at our wedding were a complete surprise to me. Having been involved in pretty much every aspect of the planning, Max and I delighted in being pleasantly surprised on our wedding day. In a sense, the surprises were the best part!

I would give any bride a piece of advice I received from my veil designer, the Los Angeles-based artist Sonia Boyajian. At the final fitting for my custom 1920s-inspired silk tulle cathedral veil, I asked Sonia where we should pin it to make sure it stayed put on the day. In her infinite wisdom, Sonia gently reminded me that everything is in a constant state of motion. Life is not fixed. Art is not fixed. This veil is not fixed. It will move when I move and shift when the breeze blows, and therein lies its beauty.

When it comes to weddings, there is much talk of perfection. In life’s most heightened situations, it seems, we’re tempted to curate experiences, to immortalize transient moments. As an alternative, what if we bask in impermanence? Enjoy the free fall, knowing all the while that this constant state of motion is the whole point. There’s no such thing as a perfect veil. A perfect wedding. A perfect bride. There is only that which is true to you and that which you’ve organically co-created in the moment. Perfect imperfection — a thing that is truly alive. And what could be sweeter than that?

Additionally, I would give brides-to-be my husband’s favorite piece of advice (which we, in turn, received from a college girlfriend of mine): do not let go of each other As in: once you’re married, hold hands and stick together. That way, you can have a shared experience of the day. Your wedding day flies by at the speed of light. Be present in every moment, and make memories that you can share forever.

 

SEE MORE OJAI WEDDINGS HERE

Photography: Paige Jones | Cinematography: Sharkpig | Event Planning: Bash Please | Floral Design: Sweet Marie Designs | Wedding Dress: Christos | Stationery: Mae Mae Paperie | Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Catering: Bread + Water | Hair + Makeup: TEAM Hair And Makeup | DJ: DJ JP | Groom's Attire: Alan Bennett Of Davies & Son | Venue: Outdoor | Bartending: Pharmacie LA | Desserts: Scootabaker | Rentals: Found Vintage Rentals | Table Ware: Casa De Perrin | Veil: Sonia Boyajian

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Romantic Ojai Valley Inn Wedding

The Ojai Valley Inn & Spa plays host to some of the most amazing weddings you’ll ever lay your eyes upon; that goes without saying.  So take a stunning twosome and add in a world of beautiful details and you’ll be gasping your way to The Vault in a real hurry.  It’s breathtaking florals from Rockrose Floral Design meets the beauty stylings of Kacee Geoffroy meets an entire gallery of awesome from Jillian Rose. Head there for a looksie.

Colors
Seasons
Spring
Settings
Inn
Styles
Rustic

From the Bride… The Ojai Valley Inn had always been a special place for my family, but it just so happened that I had planned a surprise golf weekend for Dane’s birthday the weekend after he surprised me with a proposal. We knew instantly that they wanted to get married there and bring the warmth and calm energy of Ojai to their wedding. We also figured out that we could use our wedding as a way to strong-arm all of our favorite people into going on vacation with us, which was what we really wanted: a weekend together with our closest family and friends, that just so happened to feature a wedding at the end.

Because Ojai is such a special place, we wanted everything we did to be a complement to the natural beauty of each of the sites and of Ojai in general. From our color scheme to the dresses that the bridesmaids wore to the eclectic mix of florals and succulents, we wanted our look to be beautiful but also true to the people and place involved; the bridesmaids chose their own dresses on the green color spectrum, each expressing their own style; I wore my favorite sneakers under my wedding dress; we decided to forgo a tent for a light structure so that it would truly feel like a party under the stars. At a site as wonderful as Ojai, and with such awesome friends and family supporting us in our bridal party, it wasn’t a heavy lift.

That said, Vikki and Shannon from All You Need is Love Events, our fabulous wedding planners, helped us translate our eclectic style into something both romantic and accessible, with a wide range of elements that we felt really honored our relationship, our guests, and our love of an awesome party. We loved the florals from Rockrose and the whole bridal party loved lounging around in shortie sets from Plum Pretty Sugar. Having been a bridesmaid myself, I knew that the getting ready process can include a lot of standing around with not much to do; this wasn’t the case on our wedding day. All of my incredibly creative friends handmade all of the signage, including for our dog-inspired signature cocktails, the Wrigarita (our Chihuahua-pug, Wrigley) and the Moscow Miles (our shepherd-hound, Miles). The whole weekend felt like such a team effort that drew on everyone’s unique talents and generosity, and we were incredibly blessed to have so many wonderful people around us.

My grandmother, Marjorie, wasn’t able to travel to California for the wedding, but I wanted to feel like she was there with us in spirit. I took a blue lace gown of her mother’s (my great-grandmother’s) that she gave me a few years ago to a dressmaker and had them cut a piece of the lace to wrap around my bouquet. We also made special video messages to her that we will watch together in Chicago and share the memories of the day. Dane’s grandfather, Hal, brought photos of Dane’s great grandparents that we displayed, together with other vintage photos of those that came before us.

Dane and I were honored to be married by my favorite professor from college, Dr. John K. Roth, from Claremont McKenna College, who flew down from his home in Winthrop, Washington with his wife Lyn to join in the weekend. Our ceremony felt like a beautiful reflection of us as a couple and our wonderful families and the teachers along the way, and we were able to make it this way with his help.

When Dane and I met, I had just moved back to the U.S. after two years overseas, where I had forgone fashion for a pair of comfortable Campers sneakers I bought in Spain and wore throughout my travels in Asia. I continued to sport on the streets of New York City, and though lots of people have told me it’s time to toss them over the years, I decided they were the most fitting pair of wedding shoes I could think of – something to remind me of where I’ve been and who I am.

Dane and I are both dedicated to the wedding dance party, and the openness and romance of the Herb Garden Lawn seemed to bring everyone onto the dance floor. People were also free to enjoy the space however they wanted, from lawn games to a vintage airstream from Classic Party Rentals where a group of cousins set up shop. We loved the light wall behind our head table that made the whole space seem even more romantic and magical, and were delighted to see couples snap their own photos in front of it.

It’s incredibly hard to pick a favorite memory; it felt like a mix of “best days ever” one after another. Spending the day with my mother, mother and stepmother-in-law, and best friends / and for Dane, bro-ing out with his best friends, brothers, brothers-in-law, dad and grandpa all felt like their own fun vacations. The most moving moment was walking down the aisle with both of my parents to Dane, and I’ll never forget the joy of looking at our family and friends as they affirmed their willingness to support and nurture our marriage. And then the dancing… a four-person slow dance with my parents, our nieces and nephews under three dancing with each other until way past their bedtimes, a dance-off between my brothers and my dad to Tower of Power, and dancing our pants off as a married couple. The sparkler send off to the afterparty made us feel like celebrities and we loved all the touches (pasta, pizza, sliders and hours more of sweaty dance party) of our afterparty – we didn’t want the expert spinning of DJ Swon to end!

While the memories of our wedding will last a lifetime for Dane and me, we were so incredibly grateful to Jillian Rose’s photography and Ryan McDuff’s videography that will help us share it with our families and remember how incredibly blessed and blissful we felt on that day. They felt like friends at the party, but what they captured was incredible.

Photography: Jillian Rose Photography | Event Planning: All You Need Is Love Events | Floral Design: Rockrose Floral Design | Wedding Dress: Watters | Catering: Ojai Valley Inn And Spa | Make Up: Kacee Geoffroy | DJ: Red Shoe | Ceremony Music: Jason Sulkin | Linens: La Tavola | Ojai Valley Inn: Ojai Valley Inn & Spa | Photo Booth: Lucky Photo Booth | Rentals: Classic Party Rentals | Video: McDuff Productions

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