Classic Summer California Wedding {with two gowns!}

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Classic Summer California Wedding {with two gowns!}

Catherine and Peter wed in June at the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa in Ojai, Calif. The bride donned different gowns for the ceremony and reception - both stunning and an idea I absolutely love! Wouldn't it be fun to have two dresses? Oh, and there's a Love Actually -inspired 'scene' during the ceremony - too cute for words! / Photos by Christine Chang.

Says Catherine, "The best advice I got as I was planning our wedding was simply 'pick what you like' and 'don’t overthink it,' which seems ridiculously obvious in hindsight. But after you get engaged and you finally choose a date, everyone starts asking you, 'What is your vision?' I wasn’t the kind of girl who grew up fantasizing about every detail of her wedding so I had no idea! And after looking at hundreds of gorgeous photos of other people’s weddings, I couldn't decide what my 'style' was. So, I started by focusing on the feelings I wanted to have present during my wedding weekend: joy, romance, and fun. My fianc√© and I wanted everyone to feel like a huge part of the experience, to connect with each other and to relish in the overflowing love we have for each other and them!

Basically, I realized it wasn’t the details people would remember, but the feeling of the weekend. From there, we decided that our venue would have to be a great location for an easy getaway so our guests would feel like they were on a mini-vacation and be encouraged to hang out for the whole weekend. We decided on the stunning Ojai Valley Inn because the event areas were absolutely beautiful and they offered so much for everyone to enjoy from the pools to hiking, golf, and an adorable downtown area just minutes away. We kept all the weekend’s activities 'on-campus' so everyone could easily attend, mix and mingle, including our Rehearsal Dinner, Welcome Reception, Wedding, and Brunch. It also helped to make planning easier since their stellar catering staff helped to streamline the process.

Once we had decided on the venue, we let the location and time of year of the wedding guide the process. The ceremony was held in an intimate courtyard overlooking the valley, so a simple arch covered in greens and a sprinkling of flowers under the oak tree helped enhance the natural beauty of the setting.

Says Vikki Marsee, the wedding coordinator, "This was one of the BEST moments of the whole wedding. The bride is a huge fan of the movie Love Actually and so the groom planned it that during the ceremony, one of their friends was to say a reading, but in fact, he did it all with signs. It started with the same music that was playing during that part in the movie (thats the "go with it" sign) and he showed the rest of the signs, basically saying a very similar thing to the movie (to me, they are perfect vs to me, you are perfect). She cried like a baby and it was amazing!"

Golf carts waited for the guests after the ceremony for the short ride down the path to the Cocktail Hour at the Herb Garden where they served 'Pink Moment' cocktails and Cucumber Mint Jalapeno Margaritas that made even the drinks colorful and bright and gave a nod to the specialness of the location (Ojai has a daily 'pink moment' during the sunset over the mountain).

The reception was on the Herb Garden lawn, so by selecting seasonal flowers in bright but varied colors, incorporating fresh herbs, and using varied containers and votives provided by our incredible florist, we captured a feeling of a romantic, yet unfussy straight-from-the-garden arrangements. Tables were named after places that were significant to our relationship, including where we met! Since we were outdoors we wanted to protect our guests from the sun, but not block out the beauty of our surroundings. 

Our dinner was served 'Family Style' to encourage interaction among our guests and Peter and I had a few surprises throughout the night to make for an exciting event. I serenaded Peter during my speech, backed up by my bridesmaids and friends with a guitar, tambourines and homemade signs for our guests to sing along. For dessert, we brought in a froyo truck as an unexpected summer treat where guests could add their own topping, which added a whimsical touch.

Together with our rental company, we designed a tent that felt open, festive and romantic using fabric and market lights. We got a great boost from Mother Nature since we were celebrating under a Super Full Moon! 

My husband is Korean, and I’m half, so we had treat bags filled with Korean candies as our 'Thank You' favors that were given out before the end of the night when we had a 'Sparkler Send Off' grand exit.

The most incredible moment of the night came when right after we had made it through the pathway created by our guests with sparklers, our wedding coordinator ran up and told me to look to my left, and BOOM!! My husband surprised us all with an incredible fireworks display to cap off the most romantic and fun day of our life!"

Thanks so much to Vikki Marsee, of All You Need is Love Events, for submitting this beautiful wedding and big congrats to Catherine and Peter! xx.

Credits: Venue: Ojai Valley Inn and Spa, Ojai, Calif. / Coordinator: Vikki Marsee and Shannon Dexter, of All You Need is Love Events / Photographer: Christine Chang / Rentals and Lighting: Town and County / Music: Scratch Weddings / Video: Cinevent Production / Floral: Twig and Twine

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