View Posts By:




Pink and Gold Summer Greenhouse Wedding

While I love the “I do’s” and first dances, what I really obsess over are the little details – the personal touches that speak to the couple’s love story. This wedding does just that and more, from the bilingual ceremony to the Trolley Refreshment Hour (best. idea. ever). Nicole Wasko snapped the pretty and I’ll be happily poring over every last moment. Join me, won’t you?


From The Bride… Our wedding day was also our 11th anniversary so it was quite a meaningful day for Donald and I, along with our families, many of whom came all the way from Mexico! We wanted the day to be a celebration of our togetherness and represent what we love, so it could only be in Santa Barbara, our beloved getaway destination from life in L.A. We had our ceremony on the Historic Courthouse Lawn because it’s a place we often visit for its beauty, and chose the Greenhouse at Stella Mare’s for our reception, for its romantic location across from the Andree Clark Bird Refuge.

As a graphic designer, printed materials and customization is hugely important to me, so I spent much of my time designing wedding details that would incorporate our love story and excitement for the day. I designed the invitations using photographs that I took on our weekend trips to the city, as well as hand-painting the map for our city-guide. Since the wedding was a bilingual affair, that meant that I designed everything in both English and Spanish, which ended up being a beautiful way to blend our two families together. The ceremony programs told our story, of how Donald moved from Wisconsin when he was 18 to live with me in California over 9 years ago. It was another way for us to honor our partnership, which is what made the day so special!

One of my favorite aspects of the day was the Trolley Refreshment Hour. We decided to forego a traditional cocktail hour and instead take a trip through the city, so that our loved ones could sightsee and unwind. We had the trolley stop at the Santa Barbara Mission for it’s romantic views and garden and then made our way towards the beach. For the refreshments, I printed custom designs onto muslin bags and packed them with our favorite lemonade blends, snacks, and our own homemade nut mix (yes, I even designed the label with obligatory California palm trees!). It was a blissful time, as we drove by the beach as newlyweds and listened to Phoenix, Al Green and vintage Julio Iglesias with our families in tow.

The reception mixed many of my favorite things together; watercolor motifs, vintage style, paper decorations, organic flower arrangements and even a cat figurine for the dessert table. We never made specific favors, but we had wildflower seeds that went along with the escort cards and cookies and milk to take home at the end of the night. We wanted things to feel casual and relaxed, just as we normally are. We also set up a polaroid photo area for guests and I made typographic photo props with English & Spanish phrases. Seeing these photos at the end of the night was definitely a highlight! My absolute favorite moment of the day was during our first dance, which was to Roy Orbison’s, “In Dreams” and it was the only time that I thought that the “ugly cry” might come out! Luckily Donald said all the right things to make me laugh and enjoy the moment.

All in all, it was a decidedly DIY affair since it was important for us to personalize the day: from writing our own ceremony, to designing the style of the his & her cakes (Mexican chocolate for mine, banana coconut for his), to arranging the flowers with family and even creating the trolley route – our love and effort was everywhere.

Photography: Nicole Wasko | Cake: Enjoy Cupcakes | Ceremony: Santa Barbara Courthouse Gardens | Reception: Greenhouse At Stella Mare’s | Groom's Attire: J. Crew | Groom's Attire: Zara | Bride's Attire: Oleg Cassini | Bride's Attire: Maggie Sottero | Ceremony Guitarist: David Gibson | Day Of Coordination: Katherine Rizos | Invitations & Custom Graphic Design: Valerie Enriquez | Trolley Transportation: Santa Barbara Trolley

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

You'll love these vendors in Santa Barbara

The Lynden Lane Company
View Portfolio
Pure Joy Catering
View Portfolio
Riviera Mansion
View Portfolio
Diana McGregor Photography
View Portfolio
Bacara Resort & Spa
View Portfolio
Alegria by Design
View Portfolio
Doie Lounge Robes + A Giveaway!

I’ve long been obsessed with the stunning robes from California-based Doie Lounge, which make sure you and your ladies look amazing from start to finish on wedding day! Not only do I love that they’re eco-friendly, locally produced and seriously gorgeous, but they make the most perfect — and practical — gifts for your bridesmaids.

Made of natural + sustainable fabrics, Doie Lounge robes look adorable in “getting ready” photos  and are super flattering on both tall and short frames! Available in sizes xxs to x-large, these comfortable robes seriously stay put with a permanently attached outer silk tie and an interior tie! Available in a beautiful assortment of colors and combinations — including the newest blush robe called Betty as well as to new pastel robes, the Paige and Shirley, which will ship in 2015 — Doie Lounge also offers discounts for buying in bulk (see more here).

These robes hit the pretty jackpot every time. If you’re not seeing the exact color combo you’re looking for, be sure to email sara{at} and she’ll help you come up with the perfect robe for you and your ladies! Also, ask if there are any robes available that aren’t pictured on the site as sometimes there are a few styles hiding behind the scenes. For more inspiration, check out these real Doie Lounge bridal parties, right here!


The Prize: A lucky reader will win a Lilian Rob from Doie Lounge in any size!

To Enter: Visit the Doie site and pick out your favorite style! Then head back over here and comment below with which one you like best.

To Win: One winner will be selected at random and announced in the WIUP on Friday, November 7, 2014

Terms & Conditions: Can all be found right here.  Good luck my dears! xoxo

Photo Credits: Valorie Darling Photography  Hair: Trace Hennigsen  Makeup: Artistry by Danika | Calloway Gable Photography | BLF Studios | ES Creations Photography | Katie Hall


Modern Ballroom Wedding by the Sea

Whenever I come across a ballroom wedding, more specifically one filled with sleek modern details, I do a little happy dance. It’s not every day we get to dive into one of these beauties after all. The all white tablescapes designed by Alexandra Kolendrianos mixed with centerpieces a ripe with tulips and succulents by Camellia Floral Design are the perfect amount of glamour. And seen through the lens of  Michael Costa? There’s nothing like it!


From Michael & Anna Costa PhotographyNico and Anne met in 10/2007 at Urth Cafe in Santa Monica for “coffee”. Hardly an auspicious start–since Anne hates Urth, and Nico hates coffee! Nevertheless, they spent the next few hours chatting on the at the beach until it was too cold to stay any longer. Luckily, Nico invited Anne to dinner to continue their chat, and later, Anne invited him to drinks. Their first date lasted about 13 hours…ending in a parking ticket for Nico, which he claims he wasn’t even mad about!

A few weeks later, Nico left for 6 weeks to shoot a movie in Alabama. Though Anne usually hated talking on the phone, she found herself making frequent exceptions. By the time Nico came home, they knew they were both very i interested in spending more time together, and that they had a ton in common. They both love the outdoors, Edward Abbey writings, skiing, the beach, and that Anne was going to have to get over her cell-phone phobia if this was going to work! Many years and many adventures later, Nico and Anne got engaged in April, 2012 on a camping trip in Grand Gulch National Park in Southern Utah in the pouring rain.

They started planning their wedding, and knew that they wanted a beach wedding. They had spent many “LA getaway” weekends wine tasting in the Santa Ynez valley and immediately thought of Santa Barbara. After stopping in at The Four Seasons in Montecito on a whim, they fell in love with the location, and knew that was where they would be married. It was magical! The couple have made their first home in Venice, CA, where Anne works as a physician, and Nico as a Sound Supervisor.

Photography: Michael & Anna Costa Photography ~ Michael Costa | Event Planning: Alexandra Kolendrianos | Floral Design: Camellia Floral Design | Wedding Dress: St. Pucchi | Ceremony Venue: Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara | Rings: Steve Hanna, Beverly Hills | DJ: Mark Reitman | Grooms Suit: Requisite Tailoring, Beverly Hills | Ceremony & Cocktail Music: Anthony Ybarra | Furniture: Fusion Event Rentals | Hair & Make-Up: Luna Bella Hair & Make-Up | Lighting Design: Bella Vista Designs | Linens: La Tavola | Rentals: Town And Country

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