A gorgeous black & white wedding at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa awaits your attention. And you won’t be able to take your eyes away. The bride’s stunning black & white ball gown, the awe-worthy chuppah, and the beautiful, outdoor ceremony site are just a few of the breathtaking elements. Let the bride fill you in on all the details while your whisked away by Erich McVey‘s photos and All You Need Is Love Events‘ design.
From the bride…
Up until the day we signed our contract at Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, David and I were seriously considering a small wedding with just our immediate family. Despite coming from big families and having a lot of friends from different phases of life, we are both pretty private and don’t like being the center of attention, so the idea of planning a whole weekend just to celebrate us made us feel out of our element. Ultimately, we decided to have a more traditional wedding so we could gather all of our friends and family and treat them to an amazing weekend to thank them for the ways they’ve invested in us individually and as a couple. We are, and have always been, surrounded by so much love and we wanted to celebrate that!
Once we decided to think about the wedding weekend as a way to say thank you to those closest to us, I stopped feeling the pressure that I know so many brides can relate to, and started having fun. Even though we had a big, black tie wedding, it was very important to us that it also felt intimate, personal and warm. One of the touches that helped bring that feeling to life at our reception was the placement of a handwritten note at each guest’s seat instead of a menu. I love cards and I love writing letters, and my vision was to make sure everyone had a note from either David, myself or one of our parents, thanking them for making the effort to come to our wedding and telling them how much we appreciate having them in our lives. Our guests are still talking about the notes and how special they were to open on that night and then take with them as a reminder of our wedding. There were many other smaller details that we incorporated into the evening so it felt like us – our signature cocktails were named after the streets where we lived in New York (mine – The Stanton, David’s – The Bowery), the only city we lived in together briefly during our three and a half year on-and-off long distance relationship, our cake was a mint chocolate chip ice cream cake, a nod to our favorite dessert and the type of cake my parents had at their wedding almost 35 years ago, and after our incredible band played all night, the DJ played a final hour of curated 90’s hip hop and pop songs that David and I had handpicked together. During the planning process I was able to sneak in a few things for David as well, like the bluegrass band, his favorite, that I surprised him with during Cocktail Hour!
We wanted our reception to be a big party, but David and I also wanted the ceremony to be firmly focused on our faiths, our families and our relationship. My Pastor, who is also a close family friend, officiated, and one of David’s childhood friends helped lead the Jewish traditions throughout the ceremony. We stood underneath a stunning chuppah that was covered with David’s Grandfather’s tallit, and instead of having our bridal party stand during the ceremony, our immediate families stood up with us. David and I also chose to incorporate excerpts from our ketubah into our vows – we loved the idea of saying the same vows our parents did as well as the ones we wrote to each other.
And I can’t forget about my dress! It didn’t take me long to decide what I wanted the wedding to feel like, but I didn’t know what I wanted it to look like until I found my dress. My dress was dramatic but simple, traditional but with an edge, and it inspired the aesthetics of the wedding from our black invitation envelopes with white calligraphy, to the white handkerchief I carried all day with my new monogram in black, to the ivory bridesmaid dresses, to my veil with black lace detail, to the white candles that were on every table during the reception, to our clean and textured florals in shades of white and ivory with lots of greenery. The weekend was even more beautiful and meaningful than we could have imagined, and we’re so grateful to our friends, family and vendors who made it a reality!