An Outdoor Spring Wedding in Ojai, California
Eliza and Peter
Right after college, Eliza moved to San Francisco and in with her sister, who took her under her wing and introduced her to many of her friends. At the time, Eliza's sister's boyfriend (now husband) played soccer with Peter, and Eliza remembers seeing him at gatherings. One day, at a picnic in the park, they first spoke.
The pair hit it off immediately, and five years later Peter planned to propose on the last day of a surprise birthday trip to Banff, Canada. But after a perfect day, a fondue dinner, and a drive to Lake Moraine, the couple found themselves alone on the banks of the lake and Peter decided to forgo his initial plans and go for it early. After asking on bended knee, Peter received a resounding "Yes!" from the surprised Eliza, sealing the deal.
The couple found Thacher House, their wedding location, thanks to Eliza's mom, who knew of this bucolic paradise located just down the road from the bride's family home. The couple fell in love with the vibe of property. It could accommodate a large group, and the couple felt it was special to have their bridal party and Peter's family stay on-site all weekend long. Inspired by the property itself—including the kitchen's indigo blue cabinets, and the native scenery of Ojai—the wedding's style was decidedly fresh and natural, but also vibrant.
On April 15, 2017, Eliza and Peter wed with a view of the Topa Topa mountains behind them and 103 loved ones surrounding them. After exchanging vows in a ceremony officiated by their dear friend, the newlyweds made their exit as a string quartet performed "She's a Rainbow" by the Rolling Stones and guests tossed dried flowers. The party stayed outside, where guests dined family-style on a spring menu—while taking in scenic sunset views. A favorite moment for the couple was instigated by their wedding photographer, who pulled them away from their dinner for a few photos. "It's one of the happiest moments of my life and unlike anything I'd experienced before. The special moment together, when time stood still, is a moment I will always treasure and never forget," says Peter.
The Stationery Suite
Joya Rose designed and calligraphed the Ojai-inspired, seasonal stationery suite and custom wedding crest, which incorporated illustrations of cacti, chickens, and pixie tangerines. Since many guests were visiting the area for the first time, a packing list was included on the back of the details card. All of the pieces were tucked into an envelope fastened with a blue wax seal donning the couple's initials and sent with a collection of California-themed vintage postage.
Linen cocktail napkins embroidered with their wedding crest were used during the cocktail hour and kept as mementos of the celebration.
Each guest received a reusable welcome bag made of French net, stocked with a welcome note, map of Ojai with illustrations of the couple's favorite spots and wedding event locations, a linen pestemal to keep guests warm, chocolate chip cookies from a local bakery, a palo santo bundle, Ojai white sage hydrosol spray, Acqua Panna water, and Ojai pixie tangerines.
Peter wore a Paul Smith suit with a subtle bird's eye design, and a soft blue bow tie. After trying on several dresses and getting stressed she was running out of time—after all, they were tying the knot in just six months—she tried on a few Carolina Herrera gowns, and fell in love with a silk Mikado number, with clean lines and a classic silhouette. The added bonus? It had pockets!
Eliza stayed true to her normal style and had her hairstylist give her a modern, low bun, which she liked because it complemented the simplicity of her dress and accentuated the dramatic lines in the front and back.
The Bridal Bouquet
Inspired by the location, Eliza's Moon Canyon Design bouquet contained a mix of garden roses, poppies, fritillaria, spirea, and ranunculus in shades of mustard, yellow, and white.
The Ceremony Location
The ceremony arch was set near an oak tree, offering views of the Topa Topa mountains in the distance. The aisles were lined with mini gardens of wild foliage and herbs that were arranged to look as if they were popping up out of the ground.
A friend officiated the late-afternoon ceremony, during which Eliza's brother and Peter's sister both read poems, ("Coming Home" by Mary Oliver and "Habitation Poem" by Margaret Atwood). Eliza's favorite part of the service was when her 91-year-old grandfather spoke—sharing his own words about what it means to be a good partner and on finding one's purpose in life.
While the couple recessed, the string quartet played "She's a Rainbow" by the Rolling Stones and guests showered the newlyweds in dried lavender, chamomile, and rose buds from leather bowls.
Eliza's bridal party, in dresses by Reformation, consisted of close friends and her older sister.
The bar menu was printed and mounted on a wood board and outlined the offerings: four signature cocktails, each named after a special place or memory the couple shares. French Concession, (their favorite neighborhood when they lived in Shanghai), The Dolores (the park where they first met in San Francisco), The Wild Good (their nickname for their dog), and The Georgian (a tribute to Peter's home state).
Deckled-edge seating cards, calligraphed by Joya Rose, were tucked into citrus and displayed in front of a cheerful floral arrangement.
Custom bread boards, engraved by Joya Rose, doubled as table numbers. The centerpieces, by Moon Canyon Design, were filled with spirea, tulips, fritillaria, daffodils, garden roses, Japanese ranunculus, and geranium in Campo de' Fiori compotes and terracotta votive holders. Local citrus, stone fruits, and pears were loosely scattered for a farm-to-table feel.
The couple used French bistro chairs and three long rows of farmhouse tables to set the scene for their reception. To get lots of texture and pattern on each table, Eliza and Peter mixed modern Heath dinner plates, vintage china salad plates, delicate gold-rimmed glasses, teak flatware, and copper salt cellars. The mustard-and-poppy striped linen napkins by Heather Taylor Home tied it all together.
At each place setting, a printed menu was tucked inside a solid indigo sleeve that had their "EP" monogram embossed on the front. The menu featured hand illustrations of different ingredients used in the meal, like bunches of radish, herbs, citrus and tiny pink chicken at the bottom.
The meal (prepared by Whoa Nelly Catering) began with Hamachi crudo with blood orange, pickled fresno chili, watermelon radish, and yuzu crème fraiche. A fattoush salad followed, and then entrees and sides were served family-style.
The Thacher House is home to dozens of chickens and sheep, so the newlyweds snuck away for photos during the reception with a few of the animals on property, like this one.
The Wedding Cake
Susie Cakes made the coconut and red velvet cake, adorned with greenery and kumquats.
Photography, Paige Jones
Location, Thacher House
Event planning, Bash Please
Catering, Whoa Nelly Catering
Bar services, Pharmacie
Flowers, Moon Canyon Design
Videography, Wade Koch of Sharkpig
Stationery and Calligraphy, Joya Rose
Cake, Susie Cakes
Bride's gown, Carolina Herrera
Bride's shoes, Stuart Weitzman
Hair, Dax Sarmineto
Makeup, Nyrie Aitken of Symmetry Beauty
Bridesmaids' hair and makeup, BeNYLA
Bridesmaids' dresses, The Reformation
Groom's suit, Paul Smith
Menswear, Generation Tux
Transportation and valet, Signature Parking
Leather tags and wood boards, Sankat
Photo booth, Smilebooth