Glamorous doesn’t even begin to describe this New Year’s Eve wedding captured by Michelle Beller. It goes far beyond that notion of sparkle and beauty. Just imagine a romantic early evening affair that transforms into the most spectacular NYE celebration ever and you’re on the right track. Decked out in a sea of blush and gold with florals masterminded by Mindy Rice, planning by Alexandra Kolendrianos, and beauty at the hands of TEAM Hair & Makeup, this ringing in of the new year is one for the books.
From the Bride…From the beginning, Bennett and I had planned on Santa Barbara. It is my hometown and Bennett’s college town. Santa Barbara is a visual masterpiece – our topography (mountains and Pacific Ocean) and our unique architectural style combine to make every nook and cranny a potential wedding venue!
Then we thought about day versus night. Bennett, for many years, has hosted epic New Year’s Eve parties in San Francisco. An early evening wedding with a reception that transformed into a New Year’s celebration became the theme. After considering my family home and then our country club, it became obvious that we needed a large venue equipped to handle an outdoor ceremony and an indoor ballroom reception. Our local Four Seasons The Biltmore is one of the most beautiful hotels in the world. The first site visit sealed our plans for an outside ceremony on the mountain facing lawn and a reception in the legendary ocean front Coral Casino, a short stroll across the street.
As is the case with the best laid plans, our wedding weekend turned out to be one of the wettest on record. On the wedding day, our amazing wedding team had to relocate our ceremony to the gorgeous Biltmore ballroom I can honestly say not one detail of the emergency relocation felt “less than” or contrived. Our team created a magnificent environment unique and custom.
As you look at the photos, I would also recommend checking out our rehearsal dinner. It holds a very special place in our hearts. If we didn’t have a large family, nor pick a wedding date that encourages plus ones we would have made Bennett’s family home our wedding venue. The atmosphere was romantic with rich colors and a quartet. We had massive banquet tables, food served family style, outstanding wines, and toast throughout the evening.
Our hope was to have a classic, elegant, romantic affair to ring in NYE. From the ceremony aisle that was lined with hurricane candles to the wedding structure of flowers and softly hung linens, the work of Alexandra Kolendrianos and Mindy Rice was magic. They pulled from warm white and honey/gold tones and added pops of midnight blue, green, and some metallics.
Mindy Rice created the most beautiful photobooth backdrop. I asked her to create something that would be special to the occasion. I felt a good NYE celebration needed a fun photobooth. I also loved the idea of it being a central design element for the evening. What she came up with was perfect. She hand crafted “2017” out of sparkles that glimmered in the outdoor lighting. She then mounted these to a soft pink backdrop and finished it off with a gold frame. It was a show stopper.
Bennett ordered every man in the wedding a pair of black velvet smoking slippers. He adding gold stickers to each shoe’s sole which said “C+B” on the right and “NYE 2017” on the left. It was his favorite DIY moment of the wedding. A great memento!
We would have to say our favorite moment was the ceremony that our officiant, a close family friend, wrote for us. It was so personal and touching. He somehow intertwined Bennett’s and my own words to describe our first date, falling in love, adventuring to DC, and so much more. He said everything we would have said in our vows but much more eloquently and without sobs.
We would say a close second would be right before we entered the ballroom for our first dance, we danced around outside, checked out all the amazing decorations and flowers. Having that moment to ourselves, enjoying the setting, the ocean, a moment with my new husband was heaven.
And for me, a favorite moment would have to be when the mother-son dance started. Bennett and his mother, Bettina, had choreographed a dance to U2 “Beautiful Day” and during each chorus they did this one over the top, fantastic move. It brought so much laughter and set the stage that we, the attendees, were ready to get the party started.
Photography: Michelle Beller | Event Planning: Alexandra Kolendrianos | Floral Design: Mindy Rice | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Cake: Four Seasons | Shoes: Christian Louboutin | Hair and Make Up: TEAM Hair and Makeup | lighting: Images By Lighting | Band: Society Music and Sound | Confetti Canons: Artistry in Motion | Hair Piece: Jenny Packham | Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Photo Booth: Wuddabooth | Rentals: Bella Vista Productions | Rentals: Town And Country | Rentals: Rrivre Works