Coastal View News 2021 Wedding Guide

Page 1

Coastal View News 2021

Wedding Guide


B2  Thursday, March 4, 2021

Coastal View News • Carpinteria, California

Sabine Brooks & Alan King • Tell us about the wedding you dreamed of and then the wedding that you had.

Our original plan was a large, outdoor wedding. We had been planning it for over a year and had everything down to the place cards and seating chart done when the pandemic hit. We had rented a gorgeous private estate in Ojai, just a couple miles away from our home, for four days to host 175 people for our ceremony and reception. We were going to have the rehearsal dinner there as well as some of our closest friends and family staying on location. After postponing the wedding twice, we decided we didn’t want to wait until 2021. There was (and still is) no telling how long Covid will be affecting large gatherings. We had already had our hearts broken multiple times from postponing, significantly downsizing the guest list and losing our deposits. Not to mention the enormous stress we were under knowing that the most important thing was keeping our friends and family healthy during these scary and uncertain times. We ended up having an entirely outdoor wedding on our property in Northern California. Our 38 guests consisted of our immediate family and wedding party.

What modifications did you have to make for it to be Covid safe?

Keeping our closest friends and family safe and healthy was our highest priority. The first thing we did was make sure everything took place outdoors so there was plenty of room for our guests to spread out and fresh air to breathe. We had assigned, socially distanced seating for our ceremony and dinner, as well as socially distanced lounge areas. I made welcome bags with hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, masks, local treats and our favorite snacks. We sent out letters asking everyone to quarantine as much as possible for two weeks before the wedding, had a self-assessment for Covid symptoms prior to arrival and asked everyone to wear a mask when in close proximity to other guests. We forwent the traditional dance floor and had a ‘micro’ one just for our first dance and the father/daughter dance. We had socially distanced games such as corn hole and ping-pong. Each table was excused individually for dinner and we had hand sanitizer at the buffet, bar and dessert table for everyone to use before helping themselves to all the deliciousness. Lastly, we streamed our


ceremony on Zoom, so all of our friends and family that we couldn’t have physically there were still able to be a part of our big day! We couldn’t be happier to report that everyone remained healthy and Covidfree after the big weekend!

Are there any ways that you think your wedding was even better for these modifications?

Yes, the biggest modification, downsizing from 175 guests to 38, ended up being a blessing in disguise. We were devastated each time we had to cut the guest list. We have so many family and friends that we love dearly and wanted to bear witness to our union. However, with our original wedding plans we would have only had eight hours to spend with 175 of our friends and family. That is barely enough time to say hello to everyone. For our actual wedding, everyone brought RVs or tents and camped on our property. So, we ended up having our 38 closest friends and family on our property for four days! We were able to spend quality time with everyone! We all went to the lake, wake boarded, jet skied, paddle boarded, played games on the property, barbequed and the list just goes on. On the big day, everyone came together to set up and help out. True bonds were created that weekend and by the time it was over we were one big family!

Is there a moment from your wedding that stands out from all the others?

One thing I cherish that really stands out to me was when my dad and I had a private moment right before he walked me down the aisle. We downed a shot of tequila, hugged, and relished in what a perfect day it was. It is a moment I will never forget.

Did your wedding include special details that reflected your individual personalities?

I am a very detailed-oriented person and I love the little personal touches. All of our guests were traveling quite a way to be there for us, so I wanted to make sure everyone felt our appreciation, gratitude and love. Everyone got a welcome bag upon arrival with homemade hand sanitizer in a custom bottle, a beautiful cloth mask that my Mom made, personalized drink koozies, some necessities for the property such as sunscreen and bug

spray as well as some of our favorite local treats. The assigned seats for the ceremony had place cards printed on organic linen paper with our personalized wax seal and a quartz crystal from our property. For the dinner tables, I handmade beautiful marble name cards. We had slate blue runners, gold candle sticks, and stunning floral arrangements that my Mom designed. My favorite little touch of all was my wedding present to my husband, a brass tie clip with our initials on the front and our wedding date on the back.

What was the most stressful aspect leading up to the wedding?

The biggest stressor leading up to our wedding was actually the devastating wildfire season we were going through. Our property in Northern California has been threatened every year by large wildfires, and a few weeks before our wedding a lightning storm came

through and started over 30 fires in and around our county; a couple of them directly threatened our property. We were so grateful that the fires immediately threatening us were under control in time for our wedding weekend. To handle this stress, we dove headfirst into preparing our property for the big weekend and created a beautiful, graveled ceremony spot bordered with a rock wall under the trees.

What is your top piece of advice for couples planning a wedding?

As corny as it is, remind yourself that your wedding is about marrying your best friend. Not the big, lavish event with hundreds of people. I was a bride that wanted a big traditional wedding, and I was heartbroken when we had to change plans. However, it truly couldn’t have been any better! It was an intimate weekend and meant more than I could have ever imagined.

THE DETAILS Cake maker: Upper Crust Bakery Photographer: Invitations: Ceremony & reception venue: Residence Caterer: Our aunt, Anita Katsenis Hair & makeup: Dress: Tux: Calvin Klein Flowers: Sabine’s mom, Annette Reed Music: Spotify playlists Officiant: Jack Lipkin Lighting & décor rental:

Honeymoon: Croatia in 2022 Rehearsal dinner: Taco bar by La Costena De Acapulco on Facebook

Bartender/ Mixologist: Bill Cleary Mask Maker: Annette Reed

Pl atinum Ring with 4.51 Car at Center Diamond

812 State Stree t • Santa Barbar a 805.966.9187

B4  Thursday, March 4, 2021

Coastal View News • Carpinteria, California

Brooke Gilkey & Dray Murray • Tell us about the wedding you dreamed of and then the wedding that you had.

We got engaged and started our planning during the pandemic, so we didn’t have a “Plan A,” so to speak. Our plan

THE DETAILS Planner/Coordinator: Tammy Gilkey Cake maker:

Photographer: Videographer: Peter Fuller Invitations:


Ceremony & reception venue:

Ceremony – Leadbetter Beach, Reception dinner –


David Gilkey

Makeup: Lauren Clubb Dress shop: David’s Bridal Tux: Men’s Wearhouse Flowers: Music:

Officiant: Jessie Hynes Lighting & décor rental: Honeymoon: Florida (Self-planned) Rehearsal dinner: rincon-beach-bar-restaurant

Masks, signage and guestbook: Etsy

became “get married now, party hard later!” Eventually, we would like to have a big, outdoor wedding with all our friends and family with food trucks or something like that. We had a small beach ceremony with an even smaller outdoor dinner. There were roughly 40 people at the beach and 30-35 at dinner. Our ceremony was really intimate and sweet. While it is fun to have all your friends and family gathered together to celebrate big party style, we all really enjoyed ourselves at our little wedding.

What modifications did you have to make for it to be Covid safe?

We heavily spaced-out chairs at the ceremony, and for the dinner we created seating arrangements to avoid interhousehold contamination. We also provided custom masks for everyone and had hand sanitizer at the guest book station.

Is there a moment from your wedding that stands out from all the others?

I have terrible vision, so in order to make sure I could see my groom’s reaction to my walking down the aisle, we blindfolded him until I got to the end of the aisle because I had to walk across the beach first. Walking down the aisle to an amazing song being played live on viola was just magical.

Did your wedding include special details that reflected your individual personalities?

One way we did this was by writing our own vows. We both wrote personal vows that really captured the heart of our love for each other and the journey we’ve been on together.


Tell us about your dress, attire, color concept and theme. How did you decide on that look and feel for the day?

was able to be reserved for privacy and we wanted to get married on the beach. We chose Convivo restaurant for dinner after because they offered good food, great My dress was fabulous! I really strug- service and they were able to host us. gle with knowing what will look good on my body and the ladies at David’s What part of the meal did people enjoy Bridal managed to get me in something that I did not expect to want to try on, a most? Dinner was fabulous! We had a beet mermaid dress. It was lacey and flowery salad starter that even our non-salad eatand just so classy. ers really enjoyed! We had a steak option as well as an Ahi and guests raved about What was the most stressful aspect leading both. Dessert was a delicious chocolate and caramel bar by Convivo and a carrot up to the wedding? “Is there anything else you have to cake from Rincon Beach Club. Mark at do?” I was asked this question almost Rincon Beach Club is a gem and was so daily from someone for probably the last sweet and helpful! three weeks leading up to the wedding and every time it sent my head reeling Weddings can end up feeling like they’re for trying to think of what I forgot. I had like three spreadsheets and so many checklists the guests instead of the bride and groom. to try to stay organized and cope. Once I What did you do to ensure that the day was checked all the boxes, the question didn’t wonderful for you? bother me as much! I ate my dinner! I remember at my sister’s wedding, she had so many guests Did you have to put out fires during the that her and her groom hardly got to eat their food! While we had a significantly event? Conveniently, I was in wedding bliss smaller gathering at dinner, I made sure I all day! I cannot think of a single thing ate my dinner (and dessert) but still made that I personally had to handle. My mom time for some light distanced mingling.

had coordinated and planned all my sisters’ weddings and now mine, and has What is your top piece of advice for done a knock-out job with all of them. If couples planning a wedding (and especially there were fires, I didn’t know about it! But I do think that we tried to go pretty during this time)? Do what makes you happy. Try to make low-key for the ceremony which made others happy if you can, but if something for a pretty smooth day. makes you happy, or you just want to get however you can, do that! Don’t Why did you choose your ceremony and married worry about the people who “would have reception venues? loved to be there,” they can celebrate with We chose Leadbetter Beach because it you later.

Tempting your

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B6  Thursday, March 4, 2021

Alyse Benevente & Shane Lewis

Coastal View News • Carpinteria, California

• 10/17/2020

Tell us about the wedding you dreamed of Tell us about your dress, attire, color and then the wedding that you had. concept and theme. How did you decide on We both have many siblings and step- that look and feel for the day?

siblings so we were expecting to have 150-175 people attend. We both have close relationships with our immediate and distant family so we had planned to have an outdoor/indoor wedding. Since Shane’s side of the family is in Ohio, we also wanted a wedding that had the option for people to stay close by so the two new families could get to know each other as much as possible while attending the wedding. We were picturing a family reunion for both of our families. In the end, we were able to find a venue that could house people onsite for the weekend. We had to limit our guest count considerably, but we were glad that it provided lodging for our immediate family and bridal party.

My dress was form fitted, with lace all over and an open back. Our theme was Country Chic and our bridesmaids wore denim dresses (of their choice) with cowgirl boots. The groomsmen wore white, long sleeve dress shirts with herringbone vests and denim blue jeans with cowboy boots. I’ve always loved sunflowers with white roses, so bouquets and centerpieces incorporated those flowers along with eucalyptus and greenery. My aunt is a s e a m s t re s s a n d c re a t e d d e n i m runners for the tables made from jeans that we collected from local thrift stores. We also used the pockets from those jeans as a place setting with a red bandana flaring out from the pocket. Shane is from Ohio and I’m from Ojai – we wanted to bring the country element to California.

Did you have to put out fires during What kinds of modifications did you have the event? No fires or issues arose during the to make for it to be Covid safe? What was the most stressful aspect leading event. I know our wedding coordinator We had to keep all interactions outgot stung by a bee. Also, since the kegs doors – we couldn’t use the lounge areas up to the wedding? inside. Guests had to sign a waiver that stated if they contracted Covid-19, they could not hold the venue, bridal party or vendors accountable for any reason of sickness. Guests had to wear a mask if they needed to get a drink from the bar inside as well as when they went inside for food at dinner time. Cocktail hour appetizers were made into individual to-go boxes instead of a grazing table. Cake cutting was moved to outside instead of by the grand fireplace like we had wanted.

Is there a moment from your wedding that stands out from all the others?

We had a sweetheart table that allowed us to overlook the dining area. Everyone had gotten their meals and drinks and we just took a moment to look up from our plates to watch bits of conversations and laughter that were close to us. All our efforts to make sure our families joined in the same spot had happened, and we had gratification that our determination paid off.

Did your wedding include special details that reflected your individual personalities?

I love sunflowers and Shane loves denim with cowboy boots. We had sunflowers throughout while we repurposed denim jeans for decor. The bridal party also wore denim with boots.

The biggest stress was not knowing if the state would allow our wedding to happen in October. We booked our venue in June of 2019 for our Oct. 17, 2020 date. We felt we had plenty of time to plan and give people from out of state enough time to get work off and make travel plans. Twelve months out, I was able to secure the big vendors like photography, videography, DJ, transportation and so on. We did our thrift store shopping early on (thank goodness) to give my aunt plenty of time to make runners. Other than that, when March 2020 happened and things were put to a halt, I was no longer in planning mode. I was in survival mode. As stay-at-home orders were extended, again and again, I had no answers for whether or not there would be a wedding in October. Guests would check in with me, but I had nothing new to say to them. It was a waiting game. It wasn’t until July that I started thinking about executing my visions for decor, as we did not want to pour any more money into something that may not happen. It was either Oct. 17 or nothing as I wanted to get pregnant and grow our family. The only comfort we felt was when we looked to God and reminded ourselves that if it is safe to do so, we will have our wedding with our family. It was up to Him and not anyone else. And that reminded us that whatever His decision was, it would be for the best.

were tapped the day before to allow our overnight guests to enjoy the beer at rehearsal, it was quite a mess and an eye sore. I would have waited to tap the kegs until cocktail hour.

Why did you choose your ceremony and reception venues?

We only visited one venue and chose it on the spot. We wrote down a few options from the Knot’s website but ultimately chose our ranch because it had everything we wanted in a wedding venue. We wanted a place for guests to stay overnight so that we could celebrate both families together all weekend long. The ranch we chose has classic country esthetics that you don’t see often in today’s time. Food was homemade onsite. Oak trees surrounded the property which reminded me of my roots in Ojai. But you could still smell the beach air which made us feel at home in Carpinteria.

Weddings can end up feeling like they’re for the guests instead of the bride and groom. What did you do to ensure that the day was wonderful for you?

It was important to us that we remained true to ourselves. You always get a lot of opinions on what people expect, and we listened, but ultimately, we said this is a celebration for us and everyone who could come was there to witness

us, and not for themselves. Anyone who knows me knows I love sunflowers, and anyone who knows Shane knows how he loves a good pair of jeans and boots.

What is your top piece of advice for couples planning a wedding?

The biggest advice we can give is don’t be afraid to seek help. Lots of people are willing to contribute to your special day in some way, shape or form. Even strangers on social media, I found, were very helpful with tips and tricks to make our day seamless. I even reached out to previous brides from our venue to ask their advice. It was amazing the responses I got and looking forward, I hope a bride reaches out to me to ask what we did. So, don’t put so much pressure on yourself to make the big day happen – there’s more support than you know that’s waiting for you.



805.755.2205 THE DETAILS Planner: Cake: Photographer: Videographer: Invitations: Ceremony & reception venue: Private ranch Caterer: Hair & makeup:

Dress shop: Posh Bridal for dress/ Alterations at the Dress Shop

Tux: Nordstrom Flowers: Shelby DeWitt Music:, Heirloom Band


Officiant: Zach Schock Lighting & décor rental: Rehearsal dinner: Private ranch

B8  Thursday, March 4, 2021

Caitlin Carty & Patrick Gude Tell us about the wedding you dreamed of and then the wedding that you had.

We got engaged and planned our wedding during Covid so, fortunately, we did not have to adapt our vision and plans. The uncertainty of 2020 helped us to decide that we didn’t want to wait and we wanted to get married quickly for fear of additional shut-downs. We hope to have a more traditional wedding in the not-too-distant future when we can safely celebrate with all of our loved ones. We were married in Caitlin’s parents’ yard with just our immediate family. Nearly 100 guests from all over the country were able to comfortably join us via Zoom. It made for a really intimate and special celebration.

Is there a moment from your wedding that stands out from all the others?

Right after the ceremony, we were able to visit with all of our guests via Zoom. This unforgettable moment made it feel as though everyone we love most was sitting in the front row. We decided to meet the brilliant Michael Kwiecinski from Wonder Tribe Photography at the beach at sunset. This was a really special way to spend the afternoon, and it was so nice to feel present and not in a rush to get back to guests at a cocktail hour. Our family and friends put together a beautiful video with personal messages. Watching this was one of our favorite parts of the day and a gift we will cherish forever.

Coastal View News • Carpinteria, California

• 12/4/2020

the ceremony exceeded expectations of what a digital wedding could be, and as it was the first Zoom wedding our guests ever “attended,” I think it will remain memorable.

Did your wedding include special details that reflected your individual personalities?

We love plants and flowers, so we got married right in the middle of a garden. Because we had our ceremony in Caitlin’s parents’ yard, we were able to plant flowers and add details that felt really personal. It’s so special that it’s a place we visit often and will always remind us of one of our favorite days. Friends sent beautiful flower arrangements as gifts and we made sure to include them in the ceremony. We made our own playlist of songs that have significance in our relationship.

Not having family and best friends there was definitely something we struggled with, but in the end, having them with us digitally felt much more personal than we anticipated.

Tell us about your dress, attire, color concept and theme. How did you decide on that look and feel for the day? Why did you choose your ceremony and We kept everything very simple. As we didn’t have too much time to plan, reception venues? it helped us not to overthink the details. We wanted the day to be comfortable and like a polished-up version of “us.” Without being able to shop and try things on in person, we did alright with some choices that we were able to make online. Caitlin made her own bouquet of her favorite flower, white peonies.

We were in the garden at the home where Caitlin grew up, so it was a very easy decision for us. We had a small intimate dinner at the San Ysidro Ranch, our favorite restaurant and the same place we celebrated our engagement. It was beautiful, cozy and so perfectly in line with our vision. Family from the East Coast sent over a celebratory bottle of champagne, so we were able to celebrate in their honor even though they weren’t physically present.

What was the most stressful aspect leading to the wedding? What did your guests say was their favorite up One of the most stressful elements was the worry and doubt that we were aspect of the event? What is your top piece of advice for Our guests enjoyed how at ease and making the right decision to not have any happy we seemed. Everyone felt that guests outside of our immediate family. couples planning a wedding (and especially

during this time)?

In the end, a wedding is about your marriage, so make sure you make your plans based on what is most important to you and your partner. Don’t overcomplicate your day with too many details, and ensure you are able to feel truly present.

THE DETAILS Photographer: Ceremony & reception venue:

Private home, San Ysidro Ranch,

Hair: Self Makeup: Flowers: Officiant: James Peterson Honeymoon: One day…

The beautiful sanctuary of Carpinteria Community Church, adorned with stained glass windows and intimate lighting, is the perfect place for family and friends to gather on your big day. The rose garden creates a colorful backdrop for wedding photos. Stay & celebrate in the Parish Hall for your reception, with a seating capacity of 105 people (champagne, beer and wine acceptable). High beam ceilings, french doors, hardwood floor, and adjacent patio sets the stage for lasting memories.

B10  Thursday, March 4, 2021

Coastal View News • Carpinteria, California

Season Stenson & James Graziani • 10/10/2020 Tell us about the wedding you dreamed of Tell us about your dress, attire, color Weddings can end up feeling like they’re for What is your top piece of advice for couples concept and theme. How did you decide on the guests instead of the bride and groom. planning a wedding (and especially during and then the wedding that you had. We had planned on 75-80 guests and that look and feel for the day? What did you do to ensure that the day was this time)? having the ceremony at Summerland The bride could not shop due to CoDon’t sweat the small stuff! We chose wonderful for you? Presbyterian Church. Instead, we had vid, so she ordered a dress online. Doug to regard the challenges we knew we’d

a backyard ceremony with approximately 25 people at Doug’s family home above Rincon Point. To make it Covid-safe, people used masks. We provided “boo-boo finder” AKA hand sanitizer, had masks and face shields available to guests and l i v e - s t re a m e d t h e c e re m o n y f o r folks to join us remotely.

bought a suit he could use again and we chose navy blue as our color and casual elegance as a theme.

We reminded each other that this day was for us and to make choices based on what we liked. We also had an outstanding support system to lean on.

What was the most stressful aspect leading up to the wedding?


Having to cut down our guest list. We plan to have a party to celebrate with everyone when it’s safe to do so again.

Is there a moment from your wedding that Did you have to put out fires during the stands out from all the others? We both vividly remember having event? our dog/fur baby as a part of our wedding party – and the groom’s cat decided to join us mid ceremony on the bride’s dress train. Both brought levity to the occasion and were quintessentially “us” as a couple.

We both expected hiccups so we rolled with the punches and with the support of those around us. We decided to have fun with the planning process!

Why did you choose your ceremony and What did your guests say was their favorite reception venues? Since the church was unavailable and aspect of the event? the reception was planned at the groom’s

People who couldn’t attend very much appreciated the live streaming and recorded ceremony. Those who could join us loved the food and wine!

home, we combined them both at the house. This worked out very well! Having everything take place at one location was convenient for us and the guests.

Did your wedding include special details What part of the meal did people enjoy that reflected your individual personalities? most? Because we are both sentimental

people, we set up a table to honor our parents who have passed away. We had the Pacific Ocean as our backdrop because we love our hometown of Carpinteria!

We had taqueria for dinner and it was a hit! Guests had their choice of freshly prepared food. And the wine, made by a friend – Kevin Law of Cotiere Wines – was exceptional!

Planner: Cake maker: The Cake Collection on Facebook

Photographer: Videographer: A family friend Ceremony & reception venue:

Caterer: Hair: Makeup: Flowers: Officiant: Peter Bie, Honeymoon: Roadtrip in an RV Rehearsal dinner: site

Jewelers: Patco and Calla Gold Wine Maker: Décor Rentals: Car rental: 1938 Vintage Rolls Royce,

encounter as unexpected details that would make our day memorable. As the groom likes to say, “It was all exactly as it should have been, perfect.”

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