When Rachael Simon set out to design her own wedding, she pulled her style sense straight from her daily work as an interior designer—and oh, did it pay off. The result is an autumn wedding for the books, layered with burnt orange and dusty peach, a floral-backed Pronovias dress and a reception so cozy you can’t help but want to stay a while. This Modern Romance joined in on all the fun and took care in delivering the most beautiful images.
From the Bride… As soon as we saw the venue, Nick and I knew that the Santa Barbara Historical Museum was the perfect place for our nuptials! We wanted to get married outdoors in our home state of California and to have an intimate wedding that felt personal and romantic. The Spanish-Colonial style museum has two outdoor courtyards, an upper and a lower, each with a fountain and beautiful Californian foliage. The perfect backdrop to our dream wedding.
I work as an Interior Designer and knew I’d want to create and oversee the wedding details, especially the furniture selection and table settings. Though it was a big commitment to plan much of the wedding ourselves, we had a lot of fun with it! We were lucky to find a great coordinator for the day of the ceremony, who helped keep us on schedule and made sure everyone knew where to go. She helped take the pressure off and really allowed us to enjoy the day.
The theme of our wedding was based on our beautiful outdoor venue, Spanish-inspired and romantic. The museum’s dusty pink walls and terra cotta roof dictated our warm but neutral color palette. Because the wedding was in October, I incorporated fall colors as well; mustard, rust, and some beautiful pops of dark plum as seen in the florals. I found our amazing florist, Wild Club, on Instagram. Her flowers were one of my favorite parts of our wedding. She captured our color palette perfectly, and I was especially in love with the dry grasses and pampas she placed on the ceremony arbor.
Keeping with the Spanish feel, I used different types of Spanish tile house numbers as our table numbers. I turned to one of my favorite design resources, Etsy, for romantic vintage elements like graduated brass candlesticks and vintage champagne coupes. A friend created a hand- drawn sketch of the venue that we used on our invitations and menus. I loved that personal touch!
We wanted the ceremony to feel authentic to us as a couple, non-traditional and very meaningful. We hired a Spanish guitarist to play during the ceremony and cocktail hour. My beautiful mom walked me down the aisle to our guitarist’s rendition of Going to California by Led Zeppelin. My step dad officiated the wedding, and we had friends and family recite some of our favorite poetry. The flowers around our arbor attracted hummingbirds and monarch butterflies, and we were surrounded throughout the ceremony with what seemed like magic.
I’m grateful to have found an amazing band with a lead singer who’s voice is powerful and angelic. She sang a gorgeous rendition of Your Song by Elton John for our first dance. Halfway through, we invited all the other couples at the wedding to join us under the string lights on the dance floor, and it was one of the most romantic moments of the whole day!
My simple advice to other brides is to keep your wedding as personal and authentic as you can. Know that all the time planning and any stress will be worth it the day of the wedding. Our wedding day was truly the best day of our lives!
photographer: This Modern Romance | Coordination: Simply Santa Barbara Events - Shelley Eschleman | florist: Wild Club Design | dress : Pronovias | bakery: Lilac Patisserie | Reception Venue: Santa Barbara Historical Museum | catering: Feast & Fest | lighting: Bella Vista Designs, Inc | ceremony music: Sam Adams | cocktails: pour sb | desserts: fernando's churros | napkins: borrowed BLU | reception band: ultra violet groove | rentals: Elan Event Rentals | table linens: BBJ La Tavola | wedding design: Interior Designer Rachael Simon