Elyse and Steve’s wedding at Heartstone Ranch in Carpinteria was entirely focused on family. One of our favorite ideas they had was the welcome bags for guests, which contained a contribution from family members so each were represented. We also got a little teary when Elyse told us that her family found a old recording of her grandfather, who was an opera singer, and decided to play it for the father daughter dance. Often times, all the moments in between the gorgeous images help tell the entire story! Very special thanks to Matt Haines Photography for sharing his beautiful images! Read along for the rest of Elyse and Steve’s day!
Tell us about your gorgeous day!
I’m sure every bride and groom would tell you that their wedding day was the best day of their lives- and we would be no exception. What really made the day special to us wasn’t a small detail but really an overarching theme- Family, in every sense of the word. Our families both supported us and worked together to help us plan the big day, down to every detail. And our families are really so much of who we both are. And it was so special to have both everyone from our extended families there and ready to bear witness to our big day, and then of course to celebrate. Even Opa got down on the dance floor. What stands out the most to me is just the amount of love and two families coming together. The beautiful HeartStone ranch venue in the foothills of Carpinteria overlooking ocean vistas in the background made it a unique combination of rustic elegance as well.
What made your wedding unique and special?
We had a lot of fun making the wedding our own. Starting with our website- Steve (the groom) wanted to use it as a chance to learn a little bit of coding- so he built it from scratch! (elyseandsteve.com). We also went to one of our favorite wineries and corked our own bottles of red and stored them for about 8 months for the wedding (and of course, created our own labels). Our wedding programs were another really fun project, we designed both the agenda and put a custom built crossword on the back that Steve built himself (crosswords are a passion of ours). Each of the clues were facts about us, our relationship and our families. The welcome bags for out of town guests were also pretty amazing- They had a little bit of each family represented. Inside burlap bags which steve’s mom sewed by hand, were assorted nuts from Steve’s home town, Honey from Avocado trees (avocado’s have helped put Carpinteria on the map), home baked goods by Steve’s mom. A guide to places to dine and things to do in the area put together by Elyse’s parents. Lastly, as a part of the ceremony we did a unique portion where we involved our brothers, grandparents, parents and closest friends- to really reinforce how important our family is to us!
What memory of the day stands out most to you?
Standing up in front of everyone we love, in one place at one time, can’t really be topped- and still feels like a blur. For Elyse, another memorable moment was in her father daughter dance. Her grandfather, whom she never met as he died before she was born, was an opera singer. We found an old recording of him singing the aria “Nessum Dorma” and Steve used his audio engineering skills to clean it up, and that was her father daughter dance. It was really special to have him be a part of the day in a way. For Steve, a memorable moment was the first dance. Even though they took some lessons, he was very nervous. Luckily, when it came to the dance his nerves we’re overcome by her beauty and he was able to enjoy the moment with his new bride.
Tell us your love story and how you became engaged!
We met when we both worked for the same tech company in Long Beach, California. We realized very quickly that we had a lot in common- both played music, water polo, loved jazz and the lakers. The small things that feel big when you first meet someone and feel that spark. After building a friendship, things grew into more. In addition to everything we already had in common, we found new things to be passionate about together. Steve loved to ride his bike so I bought one and we started riding to work and doing longer rides on the weekends. Elyse loved to scuba so steve got certified and started going on Elyse’s family trips. The rest is history! We moved up to the bay area together when Steve got a great offer for a tech company in that area. That September (2012) when on a scuba trip in the carribbean with my family and my best friend (and later maid of honor), steve found a secluded spot on the beach at sunset and popped the question!
Vendors: Photography: Matt Haines Photography // Caterer: Pure Joy Catering // Music: DJ Patrick’s Mobile Disc Jockey // Florist: Avec Shell’s Petals // Lighting: Brite Star Lighting // Venue: Heart Stone Ranch // Invitations: By Invitation Only // All other paper goods designed by Bride & Groom // Dress Designer: St Patrick // Shoes: Christian Louboutin // Jewelry: Nadri // Suit: My Tailor // Transportation: SB Trolley // Valet: BlueStar Parking // Photobooth: Thoughtbox