Minimalist Ojai Wedding at Topa Mountain Winery

"We toyed with the idea of having the wedding in Scotland but ultimately realized that our style and design aesthetic would align better with the California landscape and climate. Being that Santa Barbara was the place we met, we started by looking at venues in our beloved beach town and researching other options along the central coast. We added Ojai into the mix because we’d always have weekend getaways there when living in Santa Barbara, and loved the relaxed desert vibes of the Ojai Valley. After just a quick google and Instagram search, we came across Topa Mountain Winery, located on the main drag of Ojai and fell in love with the Topa Mountain backdrop, the gorgeous front and backyard, the wine, and all the perks the venue offered."

How he proposed: "On the morning of, he completely threw me off guard by surprising me with a vintage French bike that he refurbished for me that matched his bike almost perfectly. He knows I’m a bit of a Francophile, so I squealed with excitement when I saw it. Then, he suggested we ride our bikes to Shoreline Park in Santa Barbara, which is where we made a lot of memories during our first few years of living together. It was a beautiful day outside, so I said, ‘let’s go!’. Once we were at the bottom of the hill, I said ‘I don’t want to bike up the hill, let’s just stop here and enjoy the beach.’ He was, of course, adamant in getting up the hill and to the actual park with the perfect view, so we kept pedaling along until we made it to the top. Once there, we walked around a bit until he found the perfect spot. He recited the sweetest speech about being with me forever and how much he loves me and went down on one knee. I said, ‘YES YES YES!’"

Theme/Style: After securing our venue, we knew we wanted to start with a color palette that matched that desert aesthetic without seeming too typical. I didn't really want to go on the cactus route. I had been following this artist I found on Instagram named Codie O’Connor and fell in love with her pieces and color palette. We incorporated dusty rose, mustard yellow/brown tones and added a pop of green, which was incorporated through the eucalyptus we used in the florals as well as the sage green dresses my bridesmaids wore. We also loved Codie's minimalistic approach as an artist, so we took that into account when designing what the tables would look like. Topa Mountain Winery is also known for its 'pink moment' Topa mountain backdrop -- so I knew we had to include a lot of pale pink/dusty rose florals into the design. Plus, everyone was super into the rosé!

Any words of wisdom you'd like to share for brides currently planning their wedding? Is there anything you would have done differently? Beginning with a color palette and overall design aesthetic can help boil down the several decisions you have to make. Making a mood board and constantly referring back to that mood board also helps pair down all of the noise you see on Pinterest/Instagram and keeps you on track so you can stay true to yourself. Don’t let planning take over your life as a couple. I know it can seem overwhelming and all-consuming at the moment, but make sure to take at least a couple days a week away from planning and spend time together talking about things other than the wedding.

Photographer: Cara Robbins Studios | Wedding Planner: White Sage Events | Venue: Topa Mountain Winery | Floral Design: Olivetta Flowers | Catering: Los Agaves Restaurant | Rentals: Ventura Rentals | Invitations: Well and Wed | Cake: Lilac Patisserie | Desserts: McConnell's Ice Cream | Gown: Sarah Seven | Bridal Accessories: Shrimps | Bridal Shoes: Rachel Comey | Entertainment: Dart Collective | Cocktail Hour Charcuterie and Cheese Board: White Sage Catering | Rentals: Otis and Pearl