Rustic Pastel Affair at Ojai Valley Inn & Spa
May 29, 2014
Classic WeddingsAl FrescoRustic
Per usual, Sonia Hopkins of XOXO BRIDE has delivered an affair worthy of a gush fest. This rustic wedding held at Ojai Valley Inn & Spa is heavy on the elegance but with an ease and coziness built into its core. And with dreamy florals by Flower Wild blanketing the entire affair and Braedon Photography crafting the prettiest of imagery, you can rest assured this is a gallery you'll want to devour.
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From the Bride... Dave and I knew we wanted to have a rustic yet elegant feel to our wedding. One night we started searching online for venues in Southern California with barns and came across the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa. We visited one afternoon and I immediately fell in love with the Big Red Barn, not to mention the gorgeous oak tree at the Hacienda Courtyard, which would become the perfect backdrop to our ceremony. Music was always the most important factor to us and was therefore the most stressful decision! I’m a huge country music fan and loved the idea of incorporating a bluegrass band into the festivities. My mom came across the Silver Mountain String Band and their sound was a perfect complement to the barn setting during our cocktail hour and dinner. West Coast Music’s Play was our dance band for the reception and they tore the house down! Everyone was dancing, which is exactly what we wanted! Spending the morning and afternoon before the wedding with my mom, sister and best friends was so special. I am blessed with mellow and supportive family and friends, so they definitely put me at ease in the hours leading up to the ceremony! I am not very comfortable being up in front of a big group of people, so I wanted to take as much pressure off the ceremony as possible. For this reason, Dave and I decided to see each other prior to the wedding. The First Look photos are among my favorites and I really enjoyed having that special moment with just him.

The best piece of advice we received before our wedding was to take a few moments throughout the day, just the 2 of us, to soak in the experience. In addition to the First Look, Dave and I snuck away for a couple minutes a few times before and throughout the reception to reflect on the events of the day and to appreciate all of those celebrating with us. I don’t think any of our wedding guests had ever been to a wedding at a barn before! I love that our wedding felt unique and totally reflective of our personality and tastes. Watching my 2 year old nephew Colton head down the aisle ahead of me (sprinting to catch up with his mom!) is a special memory that I’ll never forget. I don’t think any bride can express how special it is to walk down the aisle with her father, especially as you look out at your family and closest friends. And lastly I will say the moment when Dave and I were announced as husband and wife. Braedon grabbed some great shots of the celebration and excitement of that moment – some of the best from the day!

Our theme is best summed up as “rustic elegance.” The best example of this would be the beautiful use of chandeliers and draped fabrics to decorate the interior of the barn. It looked gorgeous! Our vendors captured our theme perfectly in their various areas of expertise. I feel that our wedding had a definite point-of-view, which was reflected in everything down to the tiniest details, which our vendors executed with excellence. Also, many of our vendors had experience working on events at The Ojai Valley Inn, which allowed us to really lean on them for advice and guidance. I owe my parents a daily “thank you” for their help and support during the wedding planning process! Weddings are a lot of work and their patience, generosity and input made the day even more beautiful than I could have ever imagined.​

From Sonia Hopkins of XOXO Bride... I love a couple that is down to earth and desires a romantic organic feel to their wedding. Courtney and Dave have such great style and spirit. Courtney's parents played a huge roll in their planning process and it was a pleasure to know them all. We started with ceremony design in the Hacienda Courtyard of the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa. There is something to be said about using your surroundings and playing into the tone of the venue rather than over-designing a space just because you can. We used the existing large urns and added lush greens and florals to enhance an already beautiful look and feel framing the alter space. We wanted to keep this clean and spacious for the vows. Simple glass globes with single blooms hung from the massive oak tree overhead their vows. Paper parasols and partial aisle petals were added. Minimalism was our goal. We kicked it up a notch for cocktail hour with bails of hay accompanied with chic throws. Their Blue Grass Band played toe tappin' music while signature cocktails were tray passed. We harnessed the wood elements with long feasting tables and cross back chairs on-set the mulch flooring exposing the juxtaposition of rustic to elegant. Simple and almost vintage-esq floral elements accented the tables allowing enough room for their grand family style dinner. We had custom linen runners with frayed edges specially made for the tables to enhance an organic yet refined look and feel. Book marker escort cards were tied on to an old chicken coop door with delicate lace ribbon and a few punctuation blooms among the cards. Beautiful oatmeal drapes drawn back for drama graced both barn door entrances, large crystal chandeliers hung inside the barn where dancing and desserts were enjoyed by all into the wee hours of the morning.
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