A bounty of beauty from Anna of Michael + Anna Costa Photo is a thing to cherish. And if you’re craving lush brights, this next little coral number is just the ticket. A hometown affair brimming with dazzling hues, a hand-built arbor and mountain backdrop, every detail is seriously stunning. From the handwritten vows followed by Matrimonial Margaritas, it’s all waiting for you in the gallery.
From the beautiful Bride… Ryan and I met on the dance floor of a favorite bar in Boulder, Colorado in July 2011. I was impressed by his large, inventive dance moves. We had an immediate connection, which kicked off the best summer of my life. Fast-forward two years. Ryan casually suggested a fall weekend getaway in Aspen, Colorado to see the changing leaves. I was pleasantly surprised that he offered to plan the entire weekend, as I’m typically the planner in our relationship. On Saturday morning (after a sleepless night for Ryan), we decided to go on a hike. As soon as we got on the trail, Ryan couldn’t wait a moment longer, and told me he had a question. His face was pale white, and I knew then what was coming. He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. We excitedly and tearfully finished our hike before calling all our friends and family.
We decided to have a brief 8-month engagement so we could get married between the time I finished graduate school in Colorado and began the final year of my doctoral training on internship in North Carolina. Plus, we couldn’t imagine waiting longer than that! We knew we wanted to get married at my parents’ home in Santa Barbara, California and found a fabulous wedding planner in Donna Romani. It was a destination wedding for most of our 80 guests, and we wanted to treat them to a quintessentially California experience. We had a clear vision of what we wanted – a small, intimate gathering outdoors with bright colors, great food, and a lively band – and Donna implemented this flawlessly. We got married in the rose garden with the mountains serving as our backdrop. We started the ceremony with a mindfulness exercise written by my graduate school advisor, which was a welcome opportunity to pause, take a deep breath, and really enjoy the moment. Ryan is a carpenter and he built the arbor under which we were married using trees from our backyard in the week leading up to the wedding. We wrote our own vows, which was stressful but totally worth it, and sharing them was my favorite moment of the day. The cocktail hour was in our old oak grove and our guests enjoyed “Matrimonial Margaritas” made by Ryan’s brother. We enjoyed dinner at big farm tables, before hitting the dance floor (constructed over the pool!) to an 8-piece band (Area 51). A highlight of the night was when my brother played the drums for a few songs including a pretty fierce drum solo that got everyone dancing.
Our wedding was everything we envisioned and more. We are so grateful to Donna for making our dream a reality, and to Anna Costa for capturing the beauty and joy of the day.
From Taryn Leach Events… It was a perfect match: Molly, a beautiful and talented actress meets Joe, a quirky comic-book-loving television writer/producer on a blind date arranged by a mutual friend. The two fell hard and fast as an inseparable team – like artist and muse, the pair was made for each other.
The setting for this storybook wedding was the villa at the Sunstone Winery in Santa Ynez, California, a breathtaking, Tuscan-inspired estate made from reclaimed stone and beams imported from a lavender factory that once stood in a small village in France.
With Molly and Joe’s literary roots at the heart of their love story, we naturally felt it was a great place to look for inspiration for our design concept. Embracing the romantic words of famous poets and playwrights, we adorned the villa with framed love quotes and sayings. Their table numbers were printed on script sheets pulled from some of Molly’s favorite plays. We used antique typewriter keys to indicate each guest’s meal selection on the escort cards, and concluded at the bottom with a simple “xoxo” in typewriter font. Adding a finishing touch to every place setting, we wrapped each of the napkins with a handmade paper flag, imprinted with the words of wisdom of famous authors.
We kicked off the party by welcoming the guests with gold sugar-rimmed champagne for a pre-ceremony social hour. Guests snacked on delicious, hand-pulled mozzarella off a wine barrel bar before heading to the ceremony where Molly and Joe shared their handwritten vows under a chandelier hanging from a 100-year-old oak tree.
To play off the organically rustic nature of the wine country, Molly and Joe decided to keep dinner simple and light-hearted, making their guests feel more at home in the stunningly elegant villa. They dined under the stars on mac and cheese and gourmet hamburgers with family style toppings as they mingled at natural wood trestle-foot tables lined with beaded lace. A vintage airstream trailer served mini cupcakes on antique cake stands as Molly and Joe cut their cake against a custom L.O.V.E. marquee sign backdrop created from reclaimed wood.
Their love story was not completely without drama, however! A warm summer shower arrived out of the blue, gently sprinkling their guests and reception tables before moving along as suddenly as it had arrived, and leaving behind a stunning, surreal, purple-cast sunset. The evening was so enchanting – the guests danced the night away in the beautiful, misty moonlight.
Their wedding was truly unforgettable… or you might say it was “one for the books!