A Greenhouse Ceremony and Ranch Reception in California
Natasha and Nick
Nick couldn't wait to be married to Natasha—he proposed one morning over breakfast, just eight months after they'd met through a dating app. "She was so perfect—a stunning, brilliant lawyer," Nick, a TV executive, recalls. "When I was first looking at the app, I thought she was spam!" But she was real—and after messaging for a few weeks, the duo met for dinner, and both fell hard and fast. Though Natasha was as eager to marry as he was, doing so in front of dozens of people wasn't a part of her dream. "I wanted a wedding, but felt awkward saying vows in front of this huge crowd," she says.
The solution came from their planner and designer, Tory Smith, who suggested they have a ceremony with just their parents present, then celebrate that night with 200 loved ones. She also posed a place: a lush greenhouse, part of Gallup & Stribling Orchids. It's just down the street from the Klentner Ranch, where they would hold the reception. "My mom used to take my granny, who passed away a few years ago, to that greenhouse to buy orchids!" Natasha says. "When we went to look at it, I teared up. She used to grow orchids in her yard in Bangalore, India, and it felt like she was there." And so, nine months after their engagement, on September 10, 2016, Natasha's parents walked her down the orchid rows to be married. "The greenhouse was so full of new life, I got super-emotional during our vows," says Nick.
For the party, Natasha envisioned an organic, modern aesthetic with whimsical touches honoring the couple's native California—including escort cards that featured their doodles of things like cacti and the state animal, the grizzly bear, in lieu of traditional table numbers. Guests feasted on regionally grown fare, including a soft-taco station with tortillas made on-site, local grilled shrimp, and torched-to-order crème brûlée. After a DJ set, Nick's high school band (he quit before they "made it"), Together Pangea, played nostalgic '90s cover songs into the wee hours. But the best part? "There were five minutes when we were alone, after getting married and before they announced us at cocktail hour, that felt so special," says Natasha. "Just to have that time together, away from the bustle, and realize we were husband and wife."
The Invitation Suite
The Bridal Bouquet
An Intimate Ceremony
Natasha and Nick exchanged vows in the orchid greenhouse, with the bride's younger sister, Nayantara, officiating.
Illustrated Escort Cards
The couple drew illustrations inspired by inside jokes (including pancakes, their engagement breakfast) for each table.
All in the Family
The newlyweds posed with Natasha's family under a leafy olive tree before the reception.
The Reception Setup
Dinner took place on a polo lawn overlooking the Pacific Ocean. On rectangular and round tables, lush centerpieces of lady's-slipper orchids, garden roses, caladium, and moss—no two alike—evoked blooming gardens.
At the reception dinner, floral arrangements of garden roses and maidenhair ferns in antique wood dough troughs were meant to pique curiosity.
Since the night ended up chillier than expected, Natasha's parents trucked in their backyard heaters for the evening. Edison bulb string lights cast a romantic glow on the party.
Let There Be Cakes
Ceremony location, Gallup & Stribling Retail Store & Visitor Center
Reception location, Klentner Ranch
Event planning and design, Smith + James Events
Catering, Pure Joy Catering
Flowers, Heirloom Design House
Photography, Corbin Gurkin
Calligraphy, Anne Robin Calligraphy (invitation envelope)
Cakes, Viktor Benês Bakery
Bride's gown, Bo & Luca
Hair and makeup, Jess Wilcox
Groom's tuxedo, Giorgio Armani
Lighting, draping, and power, Spark Creative Events
Transportation and valet-parking services, BlueStar Parking
Photo booth, Smilebooth
Ribbons, Froufrou Chic
Restrooms, MarBorg Industries