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Tsuba and Michelle planned an intimate 60 person wedding in the Montecito backyard of the bride’s brother. It was a truly a family affair, with everyone pitching in their time and talent to make the day amazing! Wait until you read all about it, along with photos from The Great Romance!

Wedding Blog Backyard Montecito Wedding: A Family Affair

Wedding Blog Backyard Montecito Wedding: A Family Affair

Wedding Blog Backyard Montecito Wedding: A Family Affair

Wedding Blog Backyard Montecito Wedding: A Family Affair

From the bride:

What made the wedding special and unique?

What made our wedding special was the involvement of all of our family and friends to make our special day happen. It was a complete team effort! We also had a small 60 person wedding, so it was very intimate. My mom was our florist and it truly looked like it was done by a professional. She has always had a special touch with decorating and so I knew she would be the right person for the job. She did such a beautiful job and my bouquet was gorgeous. Also, our best man’s dad is a grower in Santa Barbara and he put us in contact with a local florist, Padara floral. Our friend Melissa was our wedding planner (and wedding designer), our friend Mark was our DJ, my cousin created our personalized invitations, and our friends helped set everything up. Last but not least, my brother, Jacques and sister-in-law, Allison offered their beautiful home in Montecito. Not only did they open their home to us, they were instrumental in all aspects of our wedding. Lastly, I loved the band we hired for the cocktail hour. We hired them after walking through Little Italy in San Diego.

Wedding Blog Backyard Montecito Wedding: A Family Affair

Wedding Blog Backyard Montecito Wedding: A Family Affair

Wedding Blog Backyard Montecito Wedding: A Family Affair

Wedding Blog Backyard Montecito Wedding: A Family Affair

What were some touches added to make our wedding personal?

We decided to do a very close family style dinner rather than having separate round tables. It gave it a completely different feel. My brother’s house has about six French doors that open up along the whole length of the house which gives an indoor/outdoor feel. The tables were aligned along the house so people could watch our chef prepare the food. Our chef Elaina is used by a lot of people in Montecito but she doesn’t advertise and is known only by word of mouth. She took her time to really listen to our tastes and came up with the perfect menu. What made it special though was the passing of the food. As the food was put on the table, it was passed person to person. This gave our wedding an intimate family feel. Overall everything flowed well through the night and nothing was planned like a typical wedding. It wasn’t that we were not organized, but we didn’t fret about the small details. We didn’t have a set time to cut the cake, do our first dance, etc. Everything happened organically. A funny moment was when my mom opened our wedding cake and at the top it said “Happy Birthday John”. They had sent us the wrong cake. My mom covered up the writing with beautiful roses and it ended up being the most beautiful dessert table I have ever seen.

Wedding Blog Backyard Montecito Wedding: A Family Affair

Wedding Blog Backyard Montecito Wedding: A Family Affair

Wedding Blog Backyard Montecito Wedding: A Family Affair

Wedding Blog Backyard Montecito Wedding: A Family Affair

What was the most memorable part of the day?

Since I have been with Tsuba I have never seen him cry (not a tear). I never expected him to cry during our vows and this touched my heart.  Also, Tsuba is Japanese and all of his family lives there currently. It was so amazing to have his mom and brothers share in our day. During dinner Tsuba gave a speech and again cried (lol he might kill me). He shared a letter that his mom had written him before leaving to Japan. I think everyone was crying after that. Lastly, my sister’s speech was the best! I couldn’t believe she pulled off her speech the way she did (we are both pretty shy and not public speakers). Dave, the best man, was nervous to follow up. Oh and someone being thrown in the pool made it pretty memorable.

Wedding Blog Backyard Montecito Wedding: A Family Affair

Wedding Blog Backyard Montecito Wedding: A Family Affair

Wedding Blog Backyard Montecito Wedding: A Family Affair

Wedding Blog Backyard Montecito Wedding: A Family Affair

Tell us how you met and proposed?

How we met isn’t the most exciting story…we met through mutual friends. Tsuba said he met me in college but I have no recollection of our first encounter. However, his proposal was special to me. After talking to my dad and getting his blessing, Tsuba surprised me with a trip to New York City. I had no idea that he was planning on proposing because we always go on fun trips together. We arrived in New York late evening on February 1st and didn’t go to bed until after midnight. We only had a few hours of sleep because Tsuba got me out of bed the next morning at 5 am! I still didn’t think much about it because he tends to be pretty spontaneous. He wanted to take a stroll around Central Park which was just across the street. We walked around the park for about an hour and on the way back we recognized the famous walkway you always see in movies. We decided to sit down to take it in. It was a crisp cold morning with only morning walkers and joggers around, he got on one knee and proposed (I don’t remember anything he said because I was blinded by my sparkly Hearts On Fire diamond ring). I eventually said yes after Tsuba said, “Well, was that a yes??” I had already taken the ring and put it on my finger!! The rest is history.

Vendors: Photography: The Great Romance // Officiator: Cathy Valentine // Caterer: Elaina Wegner Catering // Ceremony DJ: Mark Lotman // Band at Reception: Todo Mundo // Florist: Mother of the Bride // Transportation: Rockstar Taxi Vans // Wedding Gown: Modern Trousseu // Bride’s Shoes: Ivanka Trump // Headpiece/Veil Designer: Anna’s Elegant Boutique // Groom’s Shoes: To Boot in New York // Groom’s Attire: Theory and Ted Baker // Bridesmaids and Groomsmen Attire: Individual