Rustic and Elegant Ojai Valley Inn Wedding

"Carolina and Ethan’s wedding took place at the picturesque Ojai Valley Inn, where the couple’s request for an elegant, but not ostentatious wedding came to life. With refined table settings featuring long regal candles and copper accents, their big day paid an honorable nod to the brides Panamanian heritage, and remained personable, adhering to the couples roots and taste." -Michel B. Events

What was your favorite part of wedding planning? What was the most stressful part of wedding planning? We loved the menu tasting, of course, but we wanted to expand our wine offerings beyond what the hotel provided.  We invited our friends and tasted upwards of 20-30 wines in our apartment. So much of wedding planning can so quickly become very stressful if you get bogged down in the detail. And like most couples before us, that’s often what we did. Overthinking aspects and worrying about details definitely added stress to the process.

Tell us about the style/theme/color scheme of your wedding: 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. 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.

Memories and stories about the day you would like to share: 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, and Ethan’s 93-year-old grandmother walked down the aisle with him.

Any words of wisdom you'd like to share for brides currently planning their wedding? Is there anything you would have done differently? My only regret was not taking the day off of work before the big day. I didn’t think the weekend would be so exhausting, but it was. You’re riding on a high, and you know you’ll need the time to recover afterwards, but what they don’t tell you is that having that time before is crucial in order to be at your best- physically, mentally and emotionally.

Tell us about your honeymoon! Where did you go? Would you recommend it to other couples? We went to Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. Every spot provided a totally different experience- beach, urban, jungle and that variety really worked for us. We loved the people, the food, and the amazing culture and we’re already working on plans to return!

How and where did you find your wedding vendors? The more specific, the better! We entrusted most of this work to our fabulous wedding planner, Michel at Michel B Events.

Wedding Vendors:
Photography: Michelle Beller | Wedding Planner: Michel B. Events | Venue & Catering: Ojai Valley Inn | Videographer: LoveSpun Films | Floral Designer: RockRose Floral Design | Tabletop Rentals: Casa de Perrin | Stationery: Nooney Art Design | Calligraphy & Signage: LaHappy Design | Linens: LaTavola | Beauty: Team Hair & Makeup | Wedding Gown: Inbal Dror | Bridal Shoes: YSL | Menswear: Ermenegildo Zegna | Entertainment: West Coast Music BH | Transportation: Executive Limo CoachCocktail Musician: Anthony Ybarra | Ceremony Music: Angelica StringsSilks: Stella & Wolfe Rentals: Elan Event RentalsThe ArkFound RentalsLighting & Drape: Spark CreativeIce Bar: Ice BulbFavors: Staffords ChocolatesAfter Party DJ: RedShoe LA | After Party Rentals & Drape: Rrivre WorksAfter Party Lighting: Images by LightingWelcome Rentals: Lounge Appeal