What is Your Style?

There have been a handful of weddings that I have seen on the internet that have totally inspired me. They have proved to be immensely helpful, if even just for me to refer back to. But I’ve sent them to my vendors when trying to describe what I want. Showed them to friends and family members when asking them their opinion on something similar. I loved collecting images that captured a style that I liked. Even if I didn’t know why I liked the wedding, it was totally worthwhile to keep it and often times later on it came in handy.

The wedding between Jill Stonerock & Jason Schwartz was one of my most influential (check out my blog post What Wedding Has Inspired You the Most for more of my favorite nuptials). Rustic but not country. Relaxed but not casual. Beachy but not near the ocean. (?) I don’t know exactly how to describe it. It as if Malibu met Napa and had a baby that they named Austin. Perhaps I just should call it simply what it is…naturally beautiful.

Their wedding is set in one of my favorite wedding venues–The Figueroa Mountain Farmhouse. This location made it into our top five when we were narrowing down where to hold our own wedding. The Farmhouse is actually an old Appalachian home transported to the hills of Los Olivos, which is the most spectacular small town in Central California. Just two hours from Los Angeles and thirty minutes from Santa Barbara. The Farmhouse also could double as accommodations which is pretty nifty. But ultimately we would need to bring in a lot of rentals so it got crossed off our list. But ooh its location adds to this wedding’s rustic beauty!  The view, the rolling hills, it is just majestic.

Besides setting it is also the styling really struck me. Everything looks like it was plucked from mother Earth moments before the wedding! That is the main thing that I ultimately love. Rustic and raw–it so pretty! The greens from the herbs and the purples from the lavender, it is so scrumptious and sensuous. Early on I loved the ideas so using herbs for our wedding and seeing this sealed the deal.

Also, I love having a range of colors for the bridesmaid and MOH dresses. Its a great way to have your most honored girls stand out by having them wear the same dress in a different hue. Everything flows in the wind and with their loose curls all the ladies look so fresh, bohemian and free. Very relaxed and chic! And their organically arranged bouquets and the mini bouquets on the table are so underworked it really seems so new to me.

Was there a wedding that encapsulated your style? Did you collect images for visual reference like me?

Hairstyles: The Half-Up

Image from the Knotty Bride
Image from the Knotty Bride

Lily & Frank’s wedding is one of my personal favorites. A backyard wedding with sweet, beautiful and heartfelt details. Lily’s hair is half-up with loose curls and two flowers pinning it in place. This is one of the hairstyles currently in the running. What do you think is elegant enough to walk down the aisle? Romantic enough to suit my girly personality?

Image from the Knotty Bride
Image from the Knotty Bride

What Wedding Has Inspired You the Most?

My answer: probably Alissa & Ryan’s. To some people they may not see it. It is a bit mismatched. I mean, the bride wears a peacock blue velvet sash for heaven’s sake! But, yeah, one of my favorite weddings is Alissa and Ryan at San Ysidro Ranch.

Image from Style Me Pretty. Photography by Jose Villa.

Perhaps I am a bit biased because it was held in my hometown, but it is just gorgeous!! The natural landscape is amazing. Have you seen a bride trek through the lavender fields thigh high? The result is pretty jaw dropping. Vintage colored ribbons, rugs lining the aisle, pillows on wooden benches, flowers…it is all so sensual, romantic in the most honest ways. I just love it. Even though it hasn’t really dictated a specific color palette or given me inspiration that I want to mimic my own wedding on exactly, it truly does inspire me. It is like when I enter the store Anthropology. It is refreshing! Romantic but not for the cliched reasons! It tells me not to over think things. Just relax a little and put together things that you love. The result will be ‘you’ and it doesn’t have to be so matchy matching. Don’t worry because it will look beautiful!

Now that is inspiration!

Santa Barbara Vineyard Wedding

Image from Style Me Pretty
Image from Style Me Pretty

I love this wedding–not only because it is in my hometown, and not only because having a vineyard wedding was on my list.

Gainey Vineyard was an early contender for a wedding site, Joy de Vivre was who I was going to choose for a planner, and my SBBQ’s menu was already planned (really, there food looks amazing)!

I love the vibe of this wedding. It captures California beautifully. Oak trees in the distance and all!

Beautiful flowers! And what about those lanterns from Z Gallerie?! They are just too great. I am on the look out for lanterns so this adds an option to my growing list. Great job to all those who made the celebration a success!

Casablanca Lanterns from Z Gallerie, $8, $15
Image from Style Me Pretty

A Traditional Hometown Wedding

The Old Mission Rose Garden. Personal photo.

Did I mention that my hometown is a resort town? Where all the stars from Los Angeles come to have a retreat? Whenever I mention that I come from Santa Barbara, California the person’s response is always, “Oh, it is beautiful there!”

…And it really is. I love it there, I miss it!

I was so excited to share my beautiful hometown with my fiance’s family (many of whom never have been to California).

There are so many sites that would make a beautiful ceremony site. Top on my list were a.) Chase Palm Park (it is on the waterfront and even has a vintage carousel!), b.) Manning Park, a woodland enclave in the midst of Montecito, c.) The Old Mission A.C. Postel Rose Garden–just across the street from the historic California Mission.

Chase Palm Park. Image from lotsafunmaps.com.

And did I mention the reception venues? The Bacara Resort & Spa and The Four Season’s Biltmore. These were the top two on my list.

So being the planner that I am, I researched all my top sites. Talked to the wedding coordinators at each facility. Then I figured out the best pricing, the best ambiance, the best food. Then proposed our pick to our parents.

A mid-morning ceremony at The Old Mission Rose Garden and a late lunch reception at The Bacara. It was all decided! It was going to be beautiful!!

The contract for the Rose Garden was signed. It was a public park so the fee was (somewhat) minimal at $650 with a security deposit of $150. The checkbook came out, everything was mailed, and I received confirmation for the venue. Then after negotiating the price with The Bacara and the final contract was drafted something just didn’t seem right. Why did the venue need 90% of the total food and beverage fee over 12 months in advance. Every other site only required 5-10-25-50%. I had never seen something more than that. Was The Bacara going through hard times? Were they going to go bankrupt before our wedding? Was I being swindled? So I gave the wedding coordinator a call. And that is when I found out that our site was secured for July 31st, 2009 not 2010!

After figuring out the SNAFU, the wedding coordinator was going to call me back and let me know the price increase for the 2010 date. I guess they were going to give us a good deal for the close 2009 date. But then after I left messages, and emailed he didn’t call me back. A week or two went by. Then second thoughts went through my head.

What about Catalina Island–the place we vacationed last year and had a blast at. The place where I attended my first wedding as a child. Should I switch our traditional hometown wedding for a (semi)destination wedding on Catalina Island?