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“I like to call our wedding “the vintage California-French astrology-inspired marriage party of my dreams,” which gives you an idea of the number of influences I had going into the planning process. I wanted it to feel like an extended dinner party you might have at someone’s country house in Provence, complete with great wine and dancing under the stars.

Our recurring themes were sprinkles of tiny stars (inspired by my love of antique astrology maps), all different shades of blue, and a mixture of rustic French style with California accents. My husband and I had a shared vision of a party that was elegant but not at all fussy, and we really wanted our guests to feel taken care of. I threw all of these disparate elements at my extremely talented wedding planners from Toast Santa Barbara and they didn’t even flinch. They were so patient with me, and so reassuring. Their excitement about tiny things like cocktail napkins and calligraphy styles was contagious.

Once we toured Casa Elar at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, we knew that if everything else went wrong, the beautiful location would make up for it. Ojai is this golden, magical place, and the estate is so luxurious. We really enjoyed pretending we lived there for a couple days!

We’re not very traditional, so our entire wedding party got ready together. Our friends brought their kids over and everyone played in the pool. I think that set the tone—relaxed, friendly, and spontaneous. There were wedding conventions that we didn’t care about, so we skipped them. We wanted as much time with our friends and families as possible.

Some of my favorite party details were the Mediterranean china from The Ark; the French ticking stripe linens and chair cushions from La Tavola; the gorgeous cream and blue flowers that Toast put together (they even included some thistle, as a nod to my Scottish grandfather); and our amazing reception band, The Class (who were seriously so good that a couple of guests tried to pay them extra to play past the 10PM noise curfew).

The night ended with a bourbon and dessert bar in tribute to my dad’s love of both, and a confetti surprise. I had this vision of gold confetti raining down on people as they were dancing, and Toast made it happen. After the reception, a bunch of our guests grabbed the extra champagne and jumped in the pool to keep the party going. It was a blast.” – Bride

Photographer: Pat Moyer Photography 

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  • Pink Coaster

    I would think choosing right theme color for a wedding can be a wonderful way to express personality, to make your wedding more unique, and to set a tone.

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