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Big Sur Weddings

Looking for an oceanfront property with all the rustic charm of the redwoods?  Big Sur, CA is a wonderfully rustic and romantic place to say “I do” with an ocean view.  If you’re planning a rustic wedding, a big day in barn or forest even, then this destination wedding inspiration is for you.

big sur weddings

{Photos: Big Sur: Mike Levin, Bride & Groom: Nancy Neil via OnceWed, Ceremony: Pinterest, Signs: Brandon Kidd via GWS, Bouquet: Shayla via Amour Amour, Invitation: Martha Stewart Weddings, Left Table: Pinterest, Right Tables: Design Sponge, Cake: Laurie Cinotto via OnceWed, Cake Table: 100LayerCake}


Wedding at Ventana Inn, Big Sur, CA

ventana inn big sur

Today we’re taking a trip up the coast of California to one of the state’s most beautiful and untouched spots – Big Sur.  A rustic region where the forest meets the ocean along rocky and oh-so lovely cliffs, Big Sur is home to some of the best hiking in CA and sea life spotting.  But it’s also home to some of the most secluded and romantic resorts around.  Ventana Inn and Spa is one of those such special places.  A haven for celebrities to be left alone for days on end and honeymooners to enjoy the peaceful quiet of the great outdoors, this hotel is a perfect place for an intimate destination wedding or post-nuptial getaway.

weddings at ventanaventana honeymoons big surcelebrity wedding hotel ventana

Ventana means window, so take a peek into this special place to say “I do.”  Set on 243 acres of rolling hills and land, you’ll love lounging in your private hammock and simply taking it all in.  If spa is your speed – two pools, two Japanese bathhouses and all the  relaxing experiences you could desire will certainly make you feel pampered and rejuvenated after that exhausting wedding week.  Then, once rested and relaxed, head off to dinner at The Restaurant at Ventana, a cabin-like space that feels as warm and inviting as your own living room.

big sur resorts

But don’t spend all your time resting, wining and dining – Ventana provides the start to some pretty epic nature walks and hikes too, should you bring your sense of adventure with you.

big sur ventana inn and spa wedding

If you want to live like royalty and take your guests along with you, then host your own laid-back but oh-so celebrity style wedding at Ventana.  They’ve got two terraces designed just for you and your ceremony.  The first “wedding site” hosts up to 80 people and has views that go on for miles and  miles (literally, 50 miles) and yet, it is secluded enough to feel like you are the only 80 people in the world.

celebrity wedding, big sur ventana

The “upper terrace” welcomes a slightly larger wedding party and is just off the famed restaurant on property.  With equally wonderful views, this spot is fit for a group with a little more party in their party.

Should you find you want to wed with just the two of you present, then the vista space is for you.  Say “I do” in the restaurant’s herb garden to the sound of a flowing fountain and sweet smells of the great outdoors.

ventana big sur

With countless awards and accolades, they are clearly doing something right with their service.  But that’s not the best part.  Ventana Inn is where one goes to truly unplug, unwind, and begin anew in one of the most beautiful places on the west coast.  What better way to start your life together?

 ventana big sur weddings

Travel Tip: Take a day trip along the coast whether by car or by foot and picnic while you watch the sea otters play in the surf or visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the local town for a less private tour of the landscape.  Hearst Castle isn’t too far by car either if you like to get out and hit the tourist hot spots – it’s quite fun and also provides some spectacular views and insights into California and its history.

When to Go: California has great weather most of the year, though along the coast it can tend to get chilly, especially in the evenings.  We find fall to be the best time of all to visit but you can’t go wrong year round.


Big Sur, CA Destination Wedding

destination wedding in big surRandy and Kaitlin wed along the Northern California coast in beautiful Big Sur.  The couple wanted guests to not only attend a wedding at a spectacular place, but it was important that everyone get the opportunity to take in the natural surroundings.  The selected the Mill Creek Ranch as the perfect spot (the couple were lucky enough to have a family member who owns the ranch and could not think of a better use for it than an intimate wedding).  Kenna Krivacsy, the bride’s sister and wedding planner explained, “Randy and Kaitlin’s wedding guests were shuttled up to Mill Creek Ranch in Big Sur for New Year’s Day to enjoy the 110 acre ranch. From the redwood canyons, waterfalls to meadows and wildflowers, to the succulent gardens guests were able to relax and enjoy the beauty. As guests arrived they were greeted with champagne and appetizers to take with them as they explored the property.”destination wedding big surThe ceremony took place high above the Pacific Ocean on a deck overlooking the coast and included the couple’s favorite four pups that were an important part of the big day.  We love the mismatched ceremony chairs to infuse a bit of character and depth into the deck without taking away from the incredible view!big sur wedding

wedding in big surPost ceremony guests were ushered into a chapel on property that had been transformed into a swanky dinner setting.  Kenna explained, “When you came into the reception in the chapel you instantly were taken back by the structure which was constructed with redwood from the property. They wanted to mix elegance with comfort and that is exactly what they did. The table was adorned with diamonds, silver, milk glass, and a black pin tuck runner all which gave an elegant look but we made sure to keep the sofa in the chapel so guests could relax.”

And as dinner came to an end,  “The sun was about the set the guests were wisped up to the point surrounded by the Santa Lucia Mountains of the Los Padres National Forest on the edge of the ocean to watch sunset. This was a perfect way to end the evening.”Mill Creek Ranch wedding

Congratulations Randy and Kaitlin!

Destination Wedding Photographer: John Patrick Images

Wedding Vendors: Location: Mill Creek Ranch, Wedding Planner & Floral Designer: Kenna Krivacsy Floral and Event Design, Custom Wedding Dress: Lori K&co


Perfect Red Carpet Looks for Your Big Day

If you’re anything like me, you are probably still obsessing over the Oscars. From the fashion, the winners, and Ellen Degeneres’ oh-so-hilarious hosting- skills seriously what’s not to love about Hollywood’s biggest night? The Oscars, and really any big red carpet event, can bring some serious glamour inspiration for your big night. You may not be walking the red carpet anytime soon but here are 4 trends I found this past Sunday that are perfect to help you celebrate your wedding day!

1. Blast From the Past. Many celebrities chose to give a nod to the old Hollywood glamour with retro waves and curls. Viola Davis proves that this hairstyle is perfect for any length of hair! Go for a tighter curl like Margo Robbie for a crisp and glamorous look or if you’re looking for a more soft and romantic feel go for a looser curl like Cate Blanchett.

retro waves

2. Up, Up and Away! A huge trend that I noticed on Sunday was intricate updos. From chignons to buns, everyone had their own unique take. Maria Menunous sported a gorgeously braided double bun which I love for a beach wedding. Or if you’d like something a little more polished, how about trying out Amy Adam’s twisted updo, which is sure to make you look and feel modern and beautiful! Whichever updo you choose remember to pick out some stunning earrings to compliment your hair.


3. A Punch of Color. Another big trend on the red carpet were bold lips. A pop of color goes great with every skin tone and will give you an extra glow on your big day! Spring is just around the corner so consider colors like pinks, oranges, and bright reds.

punch lips

4. All Smoked Out. Winter may almost be over but that definitely doesn’t mean you can’t go dark and dramatic on your wedding day! Complete this look with false lashes, tons of mascara, and a soft pink or nude lipstick. You can also had a pop of color to your smokey eye like Penelope Cruz for a fun yet elegant look. This look is sure to make you feel red carpet ready!

smokey eyes

{ Maria Menounos & Angelina Jolie: E! Online, Kate Hudson, Penelope Cruz & Kristin Bell: Glamour Magazine, Rest of Images: Pop Sugar}


Destination Wedding in Carmel, CA

Carmel weddingsDenelle and Aaron wed in a sea of purple fantasy in one of California’s most beautiful places, Carmel.  Highlands Inn was the venue the duo selected for their “I do.”  The couple wanted a destination wedding with an ocean view and the property provided them just that – including an outdoor terrace for a jaw-dropping wedding ceremony site.  Carmel also proved to be the perfect spot for the groom’s love of hiking, the beach, and the great outdoors.  Located in the Big Sur area, the great outdoors of California doesn’t get much better than this!purple wedding detailsIt’s good luck for rain to fall on your wedding day, and Denelle and Aaron had lots of luck on their big day!  With rain in the morning, the clouds parted in time for them to wed on the terrace they had been dreaming of for months.  carmel destination weddingsThe ceremony design was a blend of the natural surroundings and the more modern purple dream of Denelle’s.  The softer pink and white tones of the bouquets added a romantic touch to this breathtaking ceremony.  And while both Aaron and Denelle looked flawless on their big day, their ring bearer did a pretty good job of stealing the show as he hurried down the aisle!carmel wedding venuesFor the reception, the couple opted for a buy-out in order to host dinner in the boutique property’s private member’s lobby.  MB Wedding Design and her team moved out all the furnishings so they could rebuild an atmosphere with a “Z Gallerie meets Anthropology vibe, a favorite of the bride’s while infusing the groom’s laid back style of West Elm and CB2.”  Michelle Barrionuevo-Mazzini of MB Wedding Design and Events card ideas purplePurple, glamour, orchids, and bling were on the design menu and they wove those details through every turn in the evening.  An orchid pattern was created on the wedding invitation and translated right down to gobo on the dance floor and the centerpieces with Manzanita branches where phaleonopsis orchids were hung.  To infuse the local surroundings, Denelle and Aaron opted to include white river rocks at the base of these centerpieces and of course the branches brought the beautiful California forests inside for their event.

To finish the coordinating look, “The escort cards were designed with a tree and a branch filled with orchids and were displayed on wooden boxes in-between succulents against a rock wall and the table numbers were made out of wood and spray painted to match the wedding colors.”  Michelle explained. The perfect combination of indoor and outdoor Carmel.

And as the night progressed, the guests moved locations.  For dancing, the group gathered downstairs on a dance floor with a custom gobo illuminating the area.  Meanwhile, staff hurried to restore the lobby to its original state as the end of this evening of love approached.purple wedding decor

Congratulations Denelle & Aaron!!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Luna Photo

Wedding Vendors: Location & Catering: Hyatt Highlands Inn Carmel, Event Design & Planning: MB Wedding Design and Events, Cinematographer: Studio MSV, Floral Design: Asiel Design, Hair and Makeup: Professional Makeup Artistry – Maria Chang, Cake: Cake Coquette, Linens: Napa Valley Linens, Rentals: Hartmann Studios, DJ: Ruben Palma Jr., Lighting and Drape: Enhanced Lighting and Sound, Stationery: Cards de Luxe, Martini Luge: Clear Memories, Photo Booth: Light Sky Photo Booths