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An Elegant Outdoor Wedding at California’s Villa Montalvo

An Elegant Outdoor Wedding at California’s Villa Montalvo

bride and groom smile as they exit their ceremony

This elegant wedding at California’s Villa Montalvo is like being transported to your favorite old world movie filled with parasols and pretty cocktails. Blue Gardenia planned a gorgeous soiree down to the tiniest detail including monogrammed ice cubes! With every breathtaking photo from Emma Hopp you are destined to fall in love!

groom sweetly kisses his bride's head during golden hour as she carries her white parole
elegant wedding stationery

How did you meet? 
From the bride: We worked together at our last job and I had a huge crush on Samin for a long time. After months of small talk at the water cooler and working up an insane amount of courage, I decided to do something I had never done before and ask him out. This was new territory for me, so I had to cover my tracks. The goal being to get him alone and out of the office, without letting him know that it was a date. As a result, I ended up enticing him with cryotherapy (something he had been wanting to try) and I had been doing. He was completely unaware, and thought it was a friendly outing. However after one too many margaritas at our first stop, we never made it to cryotherapy. The rest as they say, is history.

bride with her bridesmaids in all black floor length dresses
outdoor wedding ceremony in California with floral arrangements lining the aisle at Villa Montalvo
bride and groom smile as they exit their ceremony
couple portrait in California while bride carries a parasol
bride and groom with their wedding party in all black

Tell us about your wedding vision, colors, style, etc.
As a couple, we tend to be drawn more toward classic elegance over a modern aesthetic. In the Bay Area, most weddings are based at wineries and while we can appreciate them, we wanted to go for a completely different feel than what we had seen our friends do. When we found Montalvo, we knew immediately that it would be the perfect venue. For both the wedding and reception we wanted our event have a nostalgic feel, like a party you would attend at Downton Abbey without feeling too theme-y.

outdoor wedding reception in a villa in California
elegant outdoor wedding in California's Villa Montalvo wedding venue
chinoiserie plates line the reception table
bride with her bridesmaids all holding white parasols outside of Villa Montalvo

Was there anything that you chose to splurge on?
I think our biggest splurge was catering as we wanted to create a memorable experience for our guests. In order to do this, we wanted them to feel taken care of the moment they stepped through the grand iron gates of the love temple. As guests made their way down the long aisle, they were greeted by members of the Paula LeDuc team, with vintage silver serving platters offering the choice of either Champagne or homemade mint lemonade to drink in crystal stemware as the ceremony began.

large bar in the center of the reception with floral installation
bride and groom photo during their reception at Villa Montalvo in California
tiered white wedding cake with fresh floral decor

What were your favorite parts of the day?
My favorite part of the day was my husband’s speech about his mother. After living with MS for years, she is wheelchair bound and unable to participate in certain activities, such as the mother son dance. My husband, who had been the one home with her when she began losing her ability to walk, was still determined to make her feel special. So, in lieu of a dance, he wrote a speech about his mother and all of the things he learned from her in life and throughout her battle with MS. To me, it was the most beautiful, heartfelt moment of the wedding and there was not a dry eye in sight.

couple portrait in California
bride and groom walk with their wedding party on the grounds of Villa Montalvo in California

What were some of your favorite personal details? 
Personalized velvet menus for each guest with our invitation details imprinted onto the velvet. Parasols for guests upon arrival, ceremony programs with watercolor painting of Montalvo, monogrammed ice cubes with the monogram from our invitation and monogramming throughout venue (cloth cocktail napkins, table decor, seating tags)

overhead photo of the wedding reception
couple portrait in California

We are all aboard the parasol wedding trend and this elegant wedding at Villa Montalvo just kicked it up a notch. Oh, and just in case you need it, here’s 18 chinoiserie wedding ideas we know you’ll love!

Wedding Vendors:
Venue: Villa Montalvo
Photographer: Emma Hopp
Design + Planning: Blue Gardenia
Welcome Party Venue: Hotel Valencia
Florals: Jennifer Cole Florals
Catering + Bar: Paula LeDuc
Hair + Makeup: The Glamourist
Videographer: Might Fine Videography
Photo Booth: Snap Fiesta
Band: Lucky Devils Band
Furniture: Found Rentals
Plates + Glassware: Theoni Collection
Tables + Iron Chairs: Bright Rentals
Linens: Nuage Design
Transportation: Elegant Journey
Invitations + Paper Goods: Dogwood Blossom Stationery

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