Whenever Jose Villa posts a new wedding, I get so excited. His photographs are always so timeless and the weddings are just beautiful, plus most of them are located here in Socal and it is exciting to see how different venues can look from one wedding to the next. This one is no exception. It took place at the Crossroads Estate in Los Olivos and the event was designed by one of the most creative event designers I admire – Rebecca Stone of Duet Weddings. Her weddings are always unique and really show the personalities of the couple. I asked Rebecca if she would share some of her thoughts on the design of the wedding – thanks so much Rebecca!
Behind Chris & Ainjil’s tattooed, rocker exteriors are utter romantics. They of course would never admit this out loud, but a peek into the files of ‘Ainjil’s favorite things’ would reveal a love of the French countryside, dried lavender, antique chandeliers, a home filled with imported scented candles, and loads of overstuffed lacy pillow shams. A simple question of how they met would reveal a soft glint in each of their eyes bringing them back to the moment- a truly romantic tale- she a singer in a band, he recording her album.
I love ceremonies under a big tree! So romantic.
The wedding design was inspired by their love story, and their love of beautiful things. It would be elegant without being fussy, and it would transport guests to another time and place. Vintage touches, a bit of mismatched charm, comforting foods and music dancing on the air- all night long. A single, massive chandelier hung from the Oak under which Ainjil & Chris exchanged vows and tiny muslin sacks containing dried flower buds were used for tossing as they came back up the aisle.
Guests were greeted upon arrival with a “make-your-own” champagne cocktail station, where they could serve themselves with fancy little spoons to create little cocktails of their choice before heading to their seats for the ceremony. Along the way, we displayed vintage umbrellas for guests to help themselves to and use for shade.
Cocktail hour was full of merriment- we created little vignettes using different lawn games- an antique croquet set in one corner, horseshoes in another, vintage badminton set in another. The space was dotted with ruffley vintage pagoda style umbrellas- one under which sat a silhouette artist who created little masterpieces with his hands as guests looked on in awe.
An antique riddling rack stood alone displaying guests’ escort tags, and a framed record of ‘Chris & Ainjil’s song’ placed atop stacks of sheet music was used for signing.
Guests moved inside an old barn for dinner, where more chandeliers twinkled from the rafters. The enormous, open barn presented challenges with Chris & Ainjil’s intimate group, so we sectioned off with fabric and ribbon (we created a 24’ wide wall made entirely of ribbon- in varying shades of antique, muted tones) to create different spaces. The ribbon wall was an incredible labor of love, but the effect was pure whimsy and elegance!! The use of ribbon below is AMAZING. Love love this idea to add a bit of elegance to a rustic environment.
The bride has a serious sweet tooth, so a gorgeous dessert display was in order. (Guests were delighted to nibble throughout the evening, and take home in bags at the end of the night.)
On the table tops, loose creamy blooms filled collected silver pieces, while mismatched china made for unexpected dinner plates. We stamped table numbers on burlap bags which the dinner wine was placed inside of, and wrapped it loosely with antique velvet and lace ribbons.
At the end of the night, the couple danced to their first dance, “performed” by Jim Reeves. (A large screen was placed behind the dance floor, and a black-and-white projection of Jim Reeves singing created the effect of him serenading them at that moment..) It was a truly magical sight!