Chic Weddings/Real Weddings

Classic Brides Must See This Gorgeous Santa Barbara Wedding

Classic Beautiful Four Seasons Biltmore Santa Barbara Wedding – Bridal Musings – Valorie Darling Photography Collective 1

Classic weddings are alive and well at Santa Barbara’s Biltmore Hotel and we are living for it!

While we’re certainly aficionados of all things funky, fresh & new here at Bridal Musings – we still fall head over heels for an elegant & timeless wedding. A clean-lined satin strapless gown paired with formal bridesmaids in black in a posh wedding venue gives us a little twinkle in our wedding-loving eyes.

Especially when that wedding space is a place as iconic & luxe as Santa Barbara’s Four Seasons Biltmore. With old-world style (wait until you see the classic bridal portraits on the Spanish-tiled steps!) and plenty of palms, the Socal venue adds European elegance to this classic wedding day.

Photographed by Valorie Darling, this celebration proves that amongst all the free-spirited, boho affairs (which we love, too!) classic weddings are still thriving in Southern California.

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Our Love Story

We met the “old-fashioned way” through friends. Harry moved from NYC to SF, where I had been living for 11 yrs. I remember instantly liking Harry. He was easy-going, confident, a little goofy, and incredibly kind. Another memory that sticks with me – a moment where I thought, “this guy is the ONE” – is when I was confiding in Harry and telling him about a particularly challenging thing I was dealing with. I remember him listening, truly listening, as I stumbled to find my words and fight back tears. And then the first thing he said was, “Do you want me to just listen or do you want to know what I think?” The emotional intelligence of that question absolutely blew me away; I’d never felt truly listened to, or heard, by a man like that in my life. I loved him from that moment onward.

Our engagement was intimate and perfect. Harry proposed on a Friday night after work, in our first apartment together. I had come in HOT after work that Friday night. I’d had a really bad day at work and was still decompressing, so I didn’t even notice the flowers and the beautiful bottle of Sancerre that he had opened (he’s also just incredibly thoughtful ALL the time, so that might also be why I didn’t think anything of flowers and wine…lucky me, right?). He finally had to take my hand and ask me to sit down next to him. Then we agreed we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together, he got down on one knee, we cried, and the rest is history.

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The Venue

Roughly half of our friends and family traveled from the East Coast, so we wanted to pick a location in California that would feel like a mini-destination…Santa Barbara! The Four Seasons Biltmore was a no-brainer. From beginning to end, planning to execution, we enjoyed every minute of our experience with them.

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The Dress & Attire

We chose to have our wedding party wear black because it looks clean, elegant and classic. We also let everyone choose their own dress & tux; it was really important that everyone felt comfortable and themselves. I told my bridesmaids, “I want you to feel amazing, so pick whatever dress your heart desires!”

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The Photography

I picked my photographer first! I knew I wanted to go with Valorie Darling and team; she came highly recommended and her work speaks for itself.

Our BIGGEST regret is not hiring a videographer. At the time, I was stressed out and overextended and it felt like “one more thing” to worry about. So we decided not to do it…I’ll still lose sleep over that decision. HIRE A VIDEOGRAPHER!

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Favorite Moments

Honestly, the whole day was one big happy blur. I loved every minute of it.

We also got married on a Friday, which meant we got to continue to celebration into the weekend. I highly recommend doing this! We hosted a big brunch on Saturday, and our friends hosted about 50 of us for an afternoon pool party later that day that went well into the evening. And then on Sunday, I got to spend the morning with my immediate family before head back to SF (where we live).

It was the perfect mix of events, and I felt like we maximized the time with everyone who came to celebrate with us.

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The Honeymoon

We left on our honeymoon the Monday after our wedding. We chose Italy, primarily the Amalfi Coast and it was HEAVEN. We spent five days in Capri, five days in Positano, and three days in Rome. I literally dream of that vacation and wish I could go back and relive it over and over again.

We debated delaying the honeymoon vs taking it right away. And we’re so happy we did it right away, right after the wedding. There’s just something about the post-wedding glow. I’ve never felt happier, more relaxed, more in love. It was a dream.

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