Ojai Rehearsal Dinner + Wedding from Megan Sorel Photography
June 26, 2013
Classic WeddingsRusticHotels + Resorts Weddings
We have an extra special twofer coming your way captured by Megan Sorel Photography that all started with a western-themed rehearsal dinner. Think a happy celebration out in the open air serenaded by a Johnny Cash cover band and some grilled cheese noshing. And what followed is a wedding on the opposite site of the design spectrum yet totally keeping in tune with the idea of a happy, happy celebration. Crafted by Red25 Events + R. Jack Balthazar, it's taking classic and totally melding it with beautiful. Have a look right here for even more.
Cute right? And seriously as great as my own wedding celebration. Although I didn't think of the awesome Johnny Cash + grilled cheese combo. That's down right amazing and it's just getting started. Have a look at the beautiful wedding that followed suit...
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From Megan Sorel Photography...Set in a valley against the Topa Topa Mountains, Ojai Valley Inn & Spa resembles a quintessential traditional Spanish villa amidst the natural and untouched beauty of the area. Alex and Kevin chose this location to host their elegant yet rustic wedding weekend as, months before the August wedding, Kevin surprised Alex with a proposal in the Herb Garden cabanas.  Ojai was a place that they enjoyed vacationing and they knew instantly that Ojai was a special place that they wanted to share with their family and friends. What they loved was the beauty of the resort, and that it was a place that everyone could gather in one location for a weekend of fun and celebration.   The very next day after the proposal, they toured the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa property for ideas on where they could celebrate their wedding weekend.    The weekend started on Thursday, August 16 with welcome cocktails at Jimmy’s Pub, a casual restaurant at Ojai Valley Inn. Friday kicked off a golf tournament for the Groom, followed by a pool day at the Herb Garden Pool as guests enjoyed the private cabanas and sipped cocktails in the sun.    

A western themed rehearsal dinner for family and bridal party was held in Ojai Valley Inn’s Red Barn on Friday, August 17, which was adorned with picnic tables, burlap runners, wildflowers in “found” bottles and tins, rustic lanterns, horseshoes, bandana napkins, hay bales, stringer lights, and WANTED signs to direct guests to their seat.  Guests were greeted with truffle parmesan potato chips, heart-shaped grilled cheese sandwiches served in skillets, and jars of "Moonshine.”  After a casual BBQ dinner signaled by the ringing of a triangle, the barn doors opened up to welcome all wedding guests for made-to-order ice cream sandwiches and more “moonshine.”  A Johnny Cash cover band got guests dancing while those that wished to lounge could do so on hay bale “sofas” draped with denim, lassos, and horse saddles.   A self-serve candy bar, with all the Bride’s favorites, provided a sweet ending to the night.  Saturday, August 18, the ceremony took place at St. Thomas Aquinas Church.  The Bride carried a textural and slightly organic hand-tied bouquet in a palate of creamy white with accents of sage green.  The flower girl carried a petit wand with linen ribbons, bells, wood beads, and floral blooms….while the ring bearer carried the rings in a custom, succulent-filled wood box.  The Bride and Groom were whisked away after the ceremony in a vintage car with champagne in hand.  Immediately following, cocktails and hors d'oeuvres were served in the Ojai Valley Inn Herb Garden, where Kevin had proposed, adorned with gorgeous florals and petit lounge vignettes strategically placed under the garden’s trees.  A Spanish guitarist played traditional and modern tunes as guests mingled, nibbled on tray passed hors d’oeuvres, sipped cocktails and explored the garden.  Dinner and dancing commenced beneath a magnificent, softly lit, sail-cloth tent which grew only more warm, inviting, and chic as the sun dipped behind the mountains. 

A mix of hand-picked rectangular wood tables and charcoal linen covered round tables surrounded the 24-person long wood head table which was accented with a custom lavender runner.  Tables were accented by a mass of candlelight, chic lanterns, lush florals, chrome-rimmed glass chargers, and, at each place setting, an individual baguette tied with craft paper, twine, and a hand-calligraphed place card.  The stage was flanked on either side by dramatically long wooden destination bars.  These bars became focal points in the space from which guests could order a glass of champagne at “her” candlelit and floral adorned bar…and a tumbler of scotch at “his” decidedly gentlemen’s bar.  From the moment the tent opened, the band had everyone dancing but guests could take a break periodically at the stylish lounges flanking the dance floor or at the bars’ inviting double-seated upholstered barstools.  As the evening in the tent wound down, the Bride and Groom gave a heartfelt toast before cutting their lavender-laced four-tier lemon chiffon wedding cake.   A late night after party followed in Ojai Valley Inn’s Anacapa Ballroom.  Guests took it up a notch, continuing to dance late into the evening in a nightclub atmosphere while enjoying a traditional photo booth, ice luge, and late night snacks. When they finally retired to their suite, the Bride and Groom found a special surprise from Red25 Events…their room filled with rose petals, candles, and the olive branch wreaths that graced their ceremony.   

From the Bride: Getting married at the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa was an easy choice as we loved the property so much,  and choosing the right team to help us execute our dream weekend was made easy with the help of Heidi Mayne and her team at Red 25 events.  All of the details leading up to the day were perfectly planned with her expertise and help. R.Jack Balthazar helped take care of all of the decor details, bringing out the inherant beauty and spirit of Ojai.  And after all the details of your wedding day are planned, one of the most important decisions is to choose the right photographer to help capture the day so that you can remember all of the special memories. We were able to first meet Megan for our engagement pictures, and then work with her again for our rehersal dinner and wedding. I cherish all of the beautiful pictures she took and love looking at them to remember such a magical weekend. I loved working with all of our vendors and hope to work with them again for our next fun event!   

Photography: Megan Sorel Photography | Event Planning: Red25 Events | Floral Design: R. Jack Balthazar | Ceremony Location: St. Thomas Aquinas | Reception Location: Ojai Valley Inn & Spa | Tent: Zepher Tents | Cinematography: Thomas Huges Films | Stationary: Carrot and Stick Press | Ceremony Music: Aurora Ensemble | Reception Music: James Gang Band, West Coast Music | Rehearsal Dinner Band: The Mighty Cash Cats | Hair: Sheila Raye Stone | Makeup: The Studio Agency | Shoes: Manolo Blahnik | Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Bridesmaid Dresses: Amsale | Groomsman Suits: J.Crew