You Can Almost Smell This Couple's Lemon- and Rosemary-Filled Backyard Wedding in Montecito
Gloria expected a walk in the park—with her boyfriend's parents, that is. But the double date Jordan had proposed with his parents (a tour of Gramercy Park) was just a ruse to whisk Gloria to a scenic spot to pop the question, he explains now. And after she happily accepted his proposal, it was her parents—who'd flown in from California for the special occasion—and a dozen friends who met the couple at brunch to celebrate the surprise.
But for their September 18, 2018, wedding, it was the couple's turn to fly to California: Gloria and Jordan threw the big day closer to her home and at his (Jordan's parents hosted the nuptials at their residence in Santa Barbara, a location that the couple describes as "meaningful"). Because the duo was grateful to the 200 guests who joined them for their destination wedding, Gloria and Jordan turned their focus to making sure their guests had a good time—spoiling them with custom welcome tote bags filled with goodies and serving up fresh fare for their three-course meal come the reception.
The aesthetic of the wedding day was inspired by the groom's family's home: "We looked to the grounds and tied in elements [of] lemons, rosemary, and the blue from the Pacific Ocean," says Gloria, acknowledging the important role their wedding planners at Details Event Planning played in making sure the wedding was both beautiful and seamless. "We were lucky to partner with exceptional planners that made the process run so smoothly," Gloria says. She offers this sage advice to newly-engaged couples: "Hold true to your instincts: At the end of the day, it is your mood and the people that will ultimately make the day special."
A Personalized Ring Experience
The Last Look
Jordan and Gloria spent the night before their wedding apart, which made their rehearsal dinner—to which the bride wore an incredible ruffled floral gown—a last look of sorts.
Floral Ensembles, Continued
The bride's colorful rehearsal dinner attire aptly foreshadowed her bridesmaids' dresses, which consisted of a mix of floral-patterned ensembles (they selected them on their own). "It was important to me that my best friends and sisters find dresses that they loved," Gloria says. "When people are happy and feeling confident, they have more fun!"
The Handsome Couple
Gloria chose her Romona Keveza wedding dress for its simple trumpet silhouette; she dressed up the sleek gown with a cathedral veil (also by Romona Keveza) during the ceremony and a metallic belt for the reception "to create a more modern look," she explains.
These Shoes Were Made for Dancing
The bride's silver Manolo Blahnik were fashionable, but also comfortable. "I focused on finding shoes that I could dance in all night long—which, for me, meant open-toe," she says. "This pair by Manolo Blahnik spoke to me as a fun and modern way to elevate my classic dress."
On (Ceremony) Location
Gloria and Jordan's ceremony took place in his parents' backyard, which boasted views of the Pacific Ocean. They worked with florist Mark's Garden to create a stunning focal point for the service: an ivory-and-green arch, under which the couple would exchange vows.
Curved rows of romantic white chairs gave the ceremony site shape; white-and-green floral arrangements (a nod to the central arch) added texture to the aisle.
A second, more greenery-centric arch marked the head of the aisle. The bride would later pass under this arch with her father by her side—as "Wild Horses" by The Rolling Stones played in the background—before being escorted to the second (a salient metaphor for stepping out of her old life and right into her new one).
The couple's watercolor wedding crest ("It was inspired by many of the things we love about Santa Barbara and served as the focal point of our stationery," explains Gloria) emblazoned their Papel Paper and Press ceremony programs, which were tied with blue ribbon.
The motif also made appearance on the couple's invitation suite, favors (crest-printed pullovers!), and menu cards.
Clover String Quartet serenaded guests during and after the service; most memorably, they broke into Børn's "Electric Love" as the duo recessed back up the aisle.
I Now Pronounce You
Jordan's sister officiated their short-and-sweet, non-religious ceremony, featuring two readings by bridesmaids, Gloria says.
The ceremony, however, wasn't the first time Gloria and Jordan had crossed paths that day: They'd opted for a first look, which took place about an hour before the service. "Time sort of seemed to stop," recalls the bride. "In that moment, the rush of the day calmed down and we had a quiet second to be present and enjoy the emotions together."
Infused water and mint lemonade kept guests cool (and hydrated!) during the cocktail hour, which followed the recessional.
The couple hosted their cocktail hour adjacent to the ceremony space (which meant guests could still enjoy views of the ocean as they sipped and socialized!), filling a small stone pavilion with linen-covered tables surrounded by baby-blue crossback chairs.
A Round of Spritzes
Because Gloria and Jordan wanted to be able to enjoy their cocktail hour—including the drinks, like these Aperol spritzes—with their loved ones, they decided to take family portraits before the ceremony, which gave them more time to relax afterward.
Guests enjoyed simple hors d'oeuvres reflective of the California locale, such as shrimp, oysters, and crab claws.
Escort cards were pinned to a patterned blue board, reminiscent of Mediterranean tiles, that also bore the couple's joint logo on top.
A Reception from Scratch
Gloria and Jordan worked with Details Event Planning to build their reception space from scratch; they crafted a draped, wooden structure just for their party. "We wanted to ensure the structure blended into the surrounding nature," Gloria says, and so it was designed with wood beams and natural linens to complement (not compete with) the backyard setting.
The bride cites "entering the reception and seeing all of our friends and family for the first time" as a particular big-day highlight: "The venue was built from the ground up, and it was the first time we saw its complete execution—which was perfect! But seeing all of the people we love in the venue was a truly heartwarming moment."
A Cohesive Tablescape
The couple's long, wooden tables were topped with the same elements found on their custom crest, including lemons placed in decorative bowls; rosemary tucked into guests' napkins; and white-and-pink flowers held in eclectic vases. White menu cards at each setting teased the delicious meal ahead: watermelon and heirloom tomato salad, casareccia pasta with lemon zest and cherry tomatoes; and a choice of fish or beef.
In addition to fragrant bowls of lemons, the couple also incorporated a lot of greenery into their reception décor to help these statement details "blend in with the surrounding landscape," says Gloria.
Gloria and Jordan created lounge areas that surrounded the white dance floor—they consisted of neutral-hued settees and benches placed on top of patterned area rugs and decorated with blue pillows.
A Palette Cleanser
Served in Champagne coupes, scoops of lemon sorbet—a nod to the citrus details seen throughout the event—cleansed guests' palettes between the cocktail hour and dinner.
The Round Bar
A half-moon bar, built right into one of the backyard's tree-filled nooks, offered cocktails all evening long.
A Simple Wedding Cake
The couple's white wedding cake, baked by Whoa Nelly Catering, was made with layers of chocolate—and lemon, too, of course.
Gloria and Jordan also served a dessert bar, which included macarons painted with decorative lemons and rosemary laurels (a final nod to the fragrant symbols utilized throughout virtually every other big-day detail).
Photography, Jose Villa
Event planning and Day-of coordination, Details Event Planning
Catering and Cake, Whoa Nelly Catering
Flowers, Mark's Garden
Videography, Hoo Films
Stationery, Papel Paper and Press
Calligraphy, Anne Jones
Bride's gown, Romona Keveza
Hair, Sheila Raye Stone
Makeup, Stephanie Rhio
Lighting, Images by Lighting
Bartending, The Whaling Club