January 28, 2014
Style Me Pretty: Al Fresco Wedding at El Presidio Chapel
By: Stephanie Weers
I've never met a Santa Barbara wedding I haven't absolutely loved. And this elegant affair from the talented TOAST Event and Design Studio, Ambient Event Design and Shannon Jayne Miller is certainly no different. Rooted in tradition yet peppered with personal details, it's one gallery of goodness you don't want to miss!
From the Bride... "Our main goal was to have a traditional ceremony that was rooted in the time honored traditional vows, and peppered with elements that were deeply personal. This helped us feel connected to the meaning of the commitment into which we were entering, while honoring the traditions from which we come, and initiating the traditions we want to build in our life together."
Caroline was born in Nairobi, Kenya, and grew up in Newcastle, England. Jeffrey, a 4th generation Dutch-American was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and grew up in Iowa, and Los Angeles. Caroline is a well known businesswoman and retailer in Santa Barbara & internationally with the company she founded, DIANI. Jeffrey is an accomplished actor of stage and screen, a veteran member of the International hit production Blue Man Group, and a photographer. The invite list consisted of 96 guests, all of whom have been important in our past, and are vital in our desire to create a community of love in our future.
The main event in this was Caroline’s custom lace gown, by Monique Lhuillier, shoes by Chanel. Jeffrey wore a three-piece suit by John Varvatos, and shoes by Paul Smith. Caroline wore vintage diamond and pearl earrings borrowed from Sylva Ypremian, of SN Queens in Los Angeles. She carried her father’s childhood Common Book of Prayer, wrapped with her mother’s blue, beaded rosary and covered with Lily of the Valley. Jeffrey worked with Sylva Ypremian to create the engagement ring, using a large Ethiopian opal purchased by Jeffrey & Caroline while on a trip to see family in the Kenyan beach town of Watamu.
Because Jeffrey wasn’t allowed to see Caroline’s dress before the big moment, Jeffrey kept the design of the wedding ring secret from Caroline until he put it on her finger. Once again, Jeffrey worked with Sylva Ypremian to create an eternity band, made of reclaimed diamonds, of various cuts and color, ranging in age from 50 to well over 150 years old. Again, paying homage to tradition, history, and lineage. Jeffrey’s band was custom made of forged 18kt gold and Caroline had a personal note inscribed on the inside.
Guests came from as far away as Kenya, and as close as the hedge next door... and all points in between. We wanted our guests to experience the true essence of Santa Barbara, which was one of the reasons we picked the historic El Presidio Chapel in which to get married. And while neither of us are Italian, we both love the old world Italian family style wedding (inspiration came from The Godfather wedding and Dolce and Gabbana's ad campaigns).
After dancing into the wee hours of the morning, Caroline and Jeffrey were driven to El Encanto for two nights in The Wishing Well suite. A perfect place to relax, and continue to commune with guests who were still in town. It was a weekend to remember. Filled with meaning, friendship, and love.
They traveled to Morocco for their honeymoon in October. The exciting trip was planned by their friend at boutique travel company, Smartflyer.com.