California Cool + Southwestern Style = Colorful Al Fresco Success!
February 8, 2018
Outdoor Weddings
One read through this beautiful Bride's story below and it's crystal clear that she and her hubby-to-be loved their wedding vendors. They supplied the colorful ideas and their team transformed them into a wedding masterpiece, perfectly mixing California cool with their stylish Southwestern site. Rachel Solomon captured the creative combo and all its bright details, from the bridesmaids and the bouquets to the al fresco table settings, leaving us feeling inspired and excited. See it all right this way!
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From the Bride... When Neil and I talked about what we wanted for our wedding day, we both agreed that we wanted a traditional wedding where we could celebrate our marriage with friends and family. As simple as that sounds, it helped us prioritize where we wanted to focus - we wanted to make sure that we provided a fun and memorable experience for our guests.

Neil and I loved the mission-style of both Brophy Chapel and El Chorro. Because he grew up in Santa Barbara County and I grew up in Phoenix, we loved the way that El Chorro perfectly blended the coastal mission style white stucco with the beautiful desert mountains. Lindsey Rendon, the wedding coordinator at El Chorro, was a true delight to work with and earned our trust very early on. She made everything so wonderful for us and we are so grateful to her. We loved that we had the option of eating outside and dancing inside. The lawn at El Chorro was just the perfect setting for the al fresco, intimate dinner party that we had in our minds. Lindsey helped us pick out a delicious, family-style dinner including sea bass, pork tenderloin and Chateaubriand.

Teaming up with Rachel Troyan of Outstanding Occasions was absolutely one of the best decisions we made. I felt like I kept throwing random, disjointed ideas her way but she took them all in stride and when she presented us with our first design guide, I was in awe. She had taken all my disjointed ideas and made a cohesive and beautiful event design out of them. On top of that, Rachel was super organized, timely, knowledgeable, professional and honestly just fun. We spent so much time together, it was nice to genuinely enjoy her.

We were really inspired by El Chorro's traditional yet fresh feel and how warm and inviting the whole place felt. I wanted to incorporated the bright pop of bougainvillea into our color scheme and flowers from the very beginning and have always loved the way navy and grey work together. We knew we wanted to put the groomsmen in classic navy suits, so we sought out long, flowing grey chiffon dresses for the ladies (and a grey suit for my man of honor!).

We hired Rachel Solomon as our photographer early on because we knew how quickly her schedule would fill up - she was recommended by both our venue and Rachel, our planner. We both loved how natural, relaxed and light-filled her photos were. She has a talent for always catching the most beautiful lighting and color in her photographs. Her timing is also truly amazing and she has a way of catching each person's warmth. She was so organized and kept in touch with us the perfect amount throughout the whole planning process.

During our first meeting with Celebrations in Paper, our stationer, we discussed doing a floral envelope lining as a fun pop. Rachel, our planner, noticed a print, out of the corner of her eye that reminded her of bougainvillea and called our attention to it. We all loved it instantly and that design quickly became a theme throughout our wedding - from our invitations, to our table number, to one of our cakes and even some pillows on our furniture vignettes (which was an exciting surprise by Rachel for my mother and me!). The invitations themselves were simply stunning. Rene at Celebrations in Paper was so helpful in designing our grey and gold invitations and immediately picked up on the classic, romantic look we wanted.

Working with Růže Cake House was so much fun and we loved how much creativity and joy they brought to our desserts. Our macaron favors were a huge hit with all of our guests and the cakes were just so beautiful. Not to mention, they were simply delicious.

Our floral design with Carte Blanche Design was a lush, romantic dream come true for me. All the complementary colors combined with the candle light and greenery were exactly what I wanted. We love how it added to the relaxed, welcoming and celebratory feel of the whole day.

Mariée Bridal was so great to work with for my wedding dress. It was actually originally two pieces: a strapless dress and a separate lace top. Their innovative problem-solving helped me find my perfect dress! Not to mention the tireless alterations work by Sadie at Couturier! She removed the sleeves from the lace top and attached it to the silk dress so well. She truly made it my dream dress. One of my favorite details of the day was that I was able to wear my mother's veil! Wearing her veil in the same chapel that my parents were married in almost 42 years prior was so special to me.

Lastly, our band, Instant Classics, was beyond amazing and we have plenty of friends and family who are still talking about how great they were. They played an acoustic set during dinner that had everyone quietly singing and swaying along among the chatter. They then moved inside where they just had so much fun with the crowd and played all the favorites so well.

One of my other favorite details was my "something blue." My sister had a blue handkerchief embroidered "My American girl becomes my forever girl" and the date of our wedding in Neil's handwriting. "American Girl" by Tom Petty is our favorite song so having that on a handkerchief (that was used plenty of times throughout the day!) was so special.

Neil and I are so grateful to all the amazing people, vendors and friends and family, that helped make our day so gorgeous and memorable. There was a point at dinner when we looked at each other with huge smiles on our faces and said, "This is exactly everything that we wanted." We still feel that way every time we look back on our day.