Maggie and Shaun wed in September in front of a beautiful sprawling Oak tree at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa in Ojai, Calif. amidst an eggplant and rose palette. / Images by Christine Chang Photography.
Says Maggie, “To be completely honest … Wedding planning for me began way before I found my Mr. Wright. Many decisions had been made including (but not limited to) colors, flowers, attire, etc. prior to meeting my husband. As every newly engaged girl does these days, I was on Pinterest 10 times a day waiting for that next bit of inspiration to pop into view. Would I have a formal black tie affair? A more casual weekend retreat? A garden wedding? I mean really the options were endless! Once we finally got engaged I hit the ground running. I couldn’t wait to be knee deep in flowers, dresses, invites and more!
My dress came first. After trying on every style and color imaginable, I locked eyes on a mermaid/trumpet style, all lace, ivory, gown. It was very fitted (which is how my hubby wanted it). I chose this dress because I knew I wanted my ceremony outdoors, and I felt that lace was soft and complementary to an outdoor setting.
Flashing back to walking down the hill with my dad and as we approached the aisle, I had a moment with myself at which I had never been happier or felt more loved in my life. With that said, I feel that if you encounter this feeling on your wedding day, then no matter what happens it was a success!
We wanted [our wedding venue] to be somewhere in between Manhattan Beach (where I am from) and Northern California (where my husband is from). We started looking in Santa Barbara but didn’t feel a connection with any of the venues that we looked at there. We were looking for somewhere that would take our breath away but would also make us feel relaxed and comfortable on our big day! We pulled up the drive to The Ojai Valley Inn and Spa and were immediately greeted by the soft scent of lavender and polite valet attendants … I was already sold! We were then showed into the lobby where Sarah Pugh “the director of anything awesome that happens at the Inn” was going to meet us. She showed us around in her nifty golf cart and we fell in love, first with Sarah, and then with every aspect of the Inn or what some of our guests lovingly refer to as ‘the adult Disneyland.’ Needless to say, we signed paperwork that day and I checked ‘Find your venue’ off my list! Yay!
Like I said before, I had many decisions made before actually being engaged (the ring was just a minor detail missing..hehe). I love eggplant… Not only as a food, but the color to me seems to have such depth. I just knew I had to include it in my wedding somehow. It became the color for the Bridesmaid Dresses! They were Amsale, floor length, chiffon, sweetheart, and strapless…. Perfection!
My coordinators and I met towards the beginning of this journey and to be honest I would have been lost without them. Their constant feedback and straight forward (yet loving) advice was so very much appreciated through this whole process. It was love at first sight for Shannon, Vikki and I. I showed up at Starbucks on that cold night with my wedding binder already almost complete and they just smiled. We all knew this was going to be a great relationship! It only got better from there. They were totally there for me and helped me either via e-mail or over the phone with any and all questions or problems I was having on any given day! As helpful as they were during the time before the wedding, it was the day of that they really showed us what they were made of! They are a DYNAMITE team! One watched over my bridesmaids and I, keeping us on task and on time while the other was making sure my vision for the reception space was coming together exactly how I wanted it. Nothing was a problem, or if it was it was taken care of before I ever knew about it.
[Our florist] was recommended to me by another Ojai Valley Inn bride. Kate Holt from Flowerwild is a genius with flowers. I would go as far as saying she is a Flower Whisperer. Everything I wanted to come across in my flowers did. She took all of my input (and my hundreds of emails) into account and put together center pieces that my guests still talk about today. Not only did she use beautiful flowers, but she also included other elements like fruits to give a whole other aspect to my ceremony and reception décor.
Oh the photographer, this was a big one for me! I searched high and low and read every review.. for the sake of time I will skip to the decision. We chose Christine Chang Photography! What a great choice on our part! To start, we did engagement shoot with her which looked like pages from a Vogue magazine style shoot. I mean… we looked GOOD! She has such an eye for what angle will work with each shot and she is so sweet that she makes you feel like a friend of yours is taking the photos! We also loved that she was willing to take our suggestions and the many suggestions from our families… which can get overwhelming! You know how families are everyone has their own idea of what they think will be the perfect shot. She and her assistant covered every detail of the wedding exactly how we wanted it .They weren’t all over the place in people’s way, they were very stealth and still made sure to capture every special moment. She shot our wedding in the precise way that we wanted to remember it… Like a dream!
All in all, my day was perfect … Were there things that went wrong? Absolutely! Probably a lot more then I even knew about (thanks to my wonderful wedding coordinators). The main thing I tried to keep in my mind all day is the end goal. I was there to become Mrs. Wright, and as long as that was accomplished then the whole year of planning could be counted as a victory!
I look back now I remember the highlights of the day. My favorite being how I honestly felt like I was falling in love with Shaun more and more with every step that I took down the aisle to meet him. We both have never been happier then we were on that day. We were like giddy little kids who had just held hands across the school yard for the first time. We both talk about the shared feeling of new beginnings we felt that day. It is now, even more than before Shaun and Maggie Wright vs. The World.”
Credits: Coordinator: All You Need is Love Events / Venue and Catering: Ojai Valley Innand Spa / Rentals: Ventura Rentals / Lighting: Bella Vista Designs / Music: John Lyle Fleisher / DJ: Vox DJs / Photographer: Christine Chang Photography / Videographer: Twin Palms Media / Photo Booth: Photobox LA / Floral: Flowerwild / Hair and Makeup: Leslie Alejandro at Bello Mag / Officiant: Ken Kraft