Bright, natural, elegant and effortless—these are the words Carolina and Ethan gravitated to in early discussions of what they wanted their wedding to feel like. The couple enlisted Michel B. Events to create a day at Ojai Valley Inn filled with mixed wood textures, greens, linens and warm metals like copper and rose gold. The vibrant reception florals by Rockrose were inspired by the bride’s childhood home in Santiago, Chile and a fun, illustrated invitation suite by Nooney Art and La Happy Design set the joyful tone. Michelle Beller was behind the lens, all over the grounds of the venue, capturing the lovely couple and their fresh, romantic wedding day.
What made the wedding special and unique?
When we talked about what we wanted our wedding to feel like, we gravitated toward words like bright, natural, elegant and effortless. We wanted the wedding to feel like it represented us. And having been to many weddings as guests, we both knew what we didn’t like – anything opulent or stuffy was definitely out. That’s how we arrived at the mix of wood, greens, linens and warm metals like copper and rose gold. Lighting was also key. We wanted to achieve a warm and cozy glow for Friday’s event, and a brighter, though still soft and romantic feeling for Saturday.
The colors were inspired by the bride’s childhood home in Santiago, Chile. Nine months before the wedding, we walked through her father’s beautiful garden and picked flowers, trying different combinations. What became clear was that we preferred the vibrancy of a Spanish garden to the pastels that are widely used.
To have so many friends and family coming together, many from long distances, we wanted our guests to feel that each space was inviting and comfortable. We wanted people to be able to sit and talk and feel at home, hence the sofas on both Friday and Saturday nights.
Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!
My dress Saturday was Inbal Dror. I wore Saint Laurent shoes and a pair of vintage rose gold and diamond drop earrings.
Deciding on the flower girl dresses was actually one of the hardest decisions we had to make! We knew we wanted something classic and simple. After searching for months, we finally settled on these cute seersucker dresses.
What was the most memorable part of the day?
We wanted our ceremony to be as intimate, authentic and personal as possible. To that end, we wrote our own vows, chose meaningful readings, and invited our mothers to light a candle symbolizing the union of our families. The officiant was Ethan’s best friend, who also lives in Los Angeles.
Our favorite part of the day was the ceremony. Standing under the majestic oak tree, surrounded by friends and family, promising to love each other for the rest of our lives – that was truly magical. A close second would be our first dance. The band played a gorgeous version of Colin Hay’s “Waiting for My Real Life to Begin,” and all the practice we’d put in paid off. We nailed it!
Also, Marilyn Stillman, aka “Nanny,” the groom’s 93-year-old grandmother, flew across the country from Boston, and Ethan walked with her down the aisle. This was one of the most special moments of the whole weekend.
Tell us how you met and became engaged?
Both of us had been waiting for the right person to come into our lives, and when we met, we instantly knew that this was unlike anything we had experienced before. It was also the perfect moment; Carolina was consulting at a non-profit in downtown Los Angeles and Ethan was writing a pilot for ABC, which means we had the time and energy to prioritize and really get to know each other. Within a few weeks, we knew that this relationship could last the rest of our lives. And two happy years later, having fallen in love with each other and each other’s families, Ethan proposed under a gorgeous, red sunset in magical Sedona, Arizona.
Planning & Design: Michel B. Events // Photo: Michelle Beller // Floral: Rockrose // Stationery & Calligraphy: La Happy Design // Invitations: Nooney Art // Venue: Ojai Valley Inn // Video: Lovespun // Band: West Coast Music BH // Cocktail Musician: Anthony Ybarra // Ceremony Music: Angelica Strings // Linens: La Tavola Linens // Silks: Stella & Wolfe // Rentals: Elan Event Rentals / Casa de Perrin / The Ark / Found Rentals / Lounge Appeal // Hair: Sheila Raye Stone // Lighting & Drape: Spark Creative // Ice Bar: Ice Bulb // Favors: Staffords Chocolates // DJ: RedShoe LA // Rentals & Drape: Rrivre Works // Lighting: Images by Lightinghttp://imagesbylighting.com/ // Ring Box: The Mrs. Box