Santa Barbara Wedding from Joy de Vivre
July 19, 2013
RomanticWeddings in Historical VenuesMuseum
Set your sights on a color palette full of romance mixed with fun details like white papel picado strung above the reception and a bourbon and cigar lounge that totally personalized this event. It just goes to show you that the very best celebrations are thoughtfully detailed, incorporating a couple's shared loves and personality. And when executed by a group of talented vendors like Joy de Vivre on design, onelove photography behind the camera and Lola Film & Video capturing the day, the result is a complete home run. See so much more right here!
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From the Bride... I was born and raised in beautiful Santa Barbara, so of course, I wanted to get married there too. We checked out many outdoor venues, from barns to vineyards, but once we laid eyes on the rustic adobe walls and charm of the Santa Barbara Historical Museum, we knew it was the just place. We loved the bubbling fountains and the beautiful foliage of the grounds. Although it’s located in the middle of downtown Santa Barbara, it felt worlds away when we were inside the courtyard walls. We held out ceremony in the lower, smaller courtyard, under a vine-covered pergola that we draped in muslin and hung glass votives filled with small flowers. We decided to write our own vows—something that I started to regret in the weeks leading up to the wedding, as anxiety and stage fright began to set in, but in the end was so glad we made that decision. We loved sharing our story and our promises to each other with our friends and family. Ben’s cousin—someone Ben has looked up to and admired all his life—was our officiant. He helped us structure a ceremony that felt very personal, yet light hearted and fun.

Our reception was held in the upper courtyard. We hung string lights and papel picados across the courtyard, from wall to wall. The papel picados were one of my favorite elements of decoration. We had them personalized with our names and wedding date. Our biggest goal for our reception was for everyone to have a blast. Our DJ did an amazing job of creating a giant dance party—people I had never seen dance before were shaking it out on the dance floor. We also had a bourbon and cigar lounge, which was a huge hit for those taking a break from dancing or just wanting to relax and chat. There were so many elements we considered when planning our wedding. We had the realization that so many of the people we love and care about were going to be in one place at one time, and that this was a very rare occasion when family and friends from both sides would be able to come together to celebrate. We really wanted to have a wedding where everyone felt included, comfortable, and above all, have a great time. We enlisted the help of several friends and family members. My mom and uncle designed our invitations, menu cards, and escort tags, which we hung on ladders one of Ben’s groomsmen made. Several family members helped collect vintage glass bottles and jars from estate and yard sales for our centerpieces. My mom and I hand painted our table numbers and signs. In the end it was a wonderful feeling to know that this event came together with the help of people we love, and it was a truly collaborative effort.

I think if I were to offer advice to other brides, derived from my experience, it would be to enjoy the planning process and not to sweat the small stuff. I became so overwhelmed with small details and stressed myself out thinking about worse-case-scenarios that I forgot to pay attention to the amazing moments that lead up to the wedding, like writing our vows over a bottle of wine, laughing as we remembered stories of when we were first getting to know each other, or slow dancing in our living room late at night, practicing our first dance, or just the plain excitement of planning to spend the rest of our lives together. In the end, the wedding itself was more wonderful than I could have ever hoped for, and I wish I hadn’t taken the smaller moments for granted. It’s such an exciting time—enjoy it!

We felt so lucky to work with such amazing people on our wedding. From out photographer, videographer, DJ, caterer—everyone absolutely exceeded our expectations, and helped create our dream wedding. Our wedding coordinator, Joy, was so immensely helpful every step of the way. When I first met with her, I had no idea what kind of look or feel I was really going for. She helped me take the components I was drawn to, to create an event that felt cohesive in its design. She has such great taste, I knew I couldn’t go wrong. Michael from Louloudi designed our beautiful ceremony space as well as gorgeous floral arrangements. He understood exactly what look and feel we wanted, and made it happen. They truly made our vision a reality, and helped create one of the best days of our lives.

Photography: onelove photography | Coordination and Design: Joy de Vivre | Floral Design: Michael Mantalos of Louloudi Design | Video: Lola Film & Video | Music: Goodbeat Productions | Linens: La Tavola Linen | Rentals: Ventura Rental | Lighting: Bella Vista Designs | Catering: Santa Barbara Gourmet Catering | Location: Santa Barbara Historical Museum | Wedding Dress: Sarah Seven | Sash: Untamed Petals | Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids: Donna Morgan from Nordstrom | Groom's Suit: J. Crew