There is nothing like the texture, depth and creativity of a wedding planned by the team at Kristin Banta Events, and Rachel and Brye’s beautiful Bohemian styled wedding at Ojai Valley Inn and Spa is the perfect example of that! The couple worked with Kristin and their other talented wedding professionals to create an event that was meaningful and authentic in every way. From the rich jewel toned decor to the creative tablescapes and Chuppah design, to the welcoming home-like atmosphere for their guests, it was perfection from beginning to end!
The Couple: Rachel and Brye
The Wedding: 9.2.12 – Ojai Valley Inn and Spa – Ojai, California
What three adjectives best describe your wedding day? Beautiful, fun and sentimental
What was your wedding color palette? I’m not really a color palette person, but I knew I wanted to go for brass, candlelight, jewel tones. We love everything from beige and pale colors to turquoise and blue, blood red and deep purple jewel tones. We were hoping it would look like a colorful amazing garden landed on us rather than any specific colors or themes being put together.
Was there a decor theme that ran through your wedding? What were some of the different ways you used decor elements to create the beautiful, cohesive event you were envisioning? We wanted it to feel warm, worldly and somehow exotic and completely familiar at the same time. We wanted people to feel like they had just stumbled into an incredible party at our home that we were hosting – comfortable, luxurious and beautifully detailed, but totally accessible and fun rather than too formal or theme-like. Basically our wedding looked like our home would look in my perfect world. We incorporated personal objects and touches that we knew people would recognize as “us” – our heirlooms under the chuppah, serving our favorite artichokes and having them in the centerpieces, our favorite cocktail at the bar, and our favorite songs playing between sets and all night.
The lighting was meant to feel more like candlelight, and the flowers, candles and linens on each table were different so that everyone had a unique experience and could enjoy the room as a whole rather than everything matching. Guests were able to go to different tables and see different scapes and unique linens, and that made it somehow more personal and authentic to us. The food was really important too. We tried for a menu that was all about the food we love – delicious, but still rustic and not too complicated. We still hear from people how great it was. The hotel was incredible about the food – it’s one of the many reasons they are great at what they do.
Looking back, do you have a favorite project or successful decor idea from your wedding? Tell us what you loved about it! First I would say that we really looked at the wedding in terms of what it meant to us, not just how it would look. We really took the time to choose the traditional elements that would make it more than just a party for us, but at the same time, we dropped the traditions or norms that didn’t feel important or authentic to us. For example, we felt connected to many traditional elements of a Jewish ceremony, but we totally couldn’t relate to the idea of choosing a color to design the wedding around.
If you are hoping to do things your own way, definitely team up with vendors and planners who will support that. Kristin (our planner) was the first one to give us the green light on anything we wanted to do or didn’t want to do that wasn’t the norm, and that was awesome.
It is all about the little details adding up. I am kind of a freak about paper and stationery, so that started for us with Save the Dates and the Invite which we hoped would evoke the style and tone that our guests would find at the wedding. One detail that was really important to us was the welcome note and snack bag – we wrote personal notes to each of our guests along with a weekend itinerary and a couple bags of almond rocha and trail mix made by close friends. It was a small gesture, but we wanted people to feel personally welcomed even if we didn’t have the chance to do it in person, and we wanted to set the tone for a warm, friendly and welcoming weekend together.
It wouldn’t have been nearly as memorable a day if we hadn’t done things in a way that was special to us – there were many times we had to tweak the norm a bit to make something meaningful. The chuppah is the perfect example of that. The chuppah turned out to be the most beautiful moment for us. We chose not to go with flowers or decor and instead used the talit (pray shawls) from our dads, grandfathers and uncles to create a symbolically and aesthetically amazing canopy. With us inside we had objects that mean a lot to us, such as books and jewelry from family members no longer with us, and of course we were surrounded by our closest friends and family. It was just a completely perfect way to show on the outside what we were feeling on the inside, and it really set the tone for what we wanted to share with our guests.
I also have to say that the music situation was the best thing ever. We had a “real” band play and they know my brother and his wife. I had requested that my brother and his wife surprise the groom and entire crowd by joining them onstage and the crowd went wild. Having an amazing band was like being at a concert all night long – I only wish the pictures could play music so you could hear! Also, we were really intent on putting together specifically ordered playlists for the band and for the dj between the sets. Music is so important to us, and to creating a sense of vibe, memory and nostalgia, and we are still listening to the wedding soundtrack all the time.
Lastly in terms of decor, our decision to play on the beauty of our surroundings rather than to alter it to fit our tastes was huge. The Ojai Valley Inn has this incredible Spanish, California/Mediterranean vibe and while we were totally afraid of the carpets in the ballroom when we first saw them, they ended up looking like they were designed for our party by the time all the linens and lighting were in the room.
What piece of advice would you give to a bride planning her wedding today? I would consider the idea that you can be a guest at your own wedding. Plan now, obsess now, freak out now sure, but set yourself up to be able to checkout on the day of your wedding and attend from the perspective of everyone else joining you there. If you are genuinely present and enjoying yourself, the party will be that much better for everyone and you might actually be able to hold on to it – it goes so quickly!
The Wedding Team:
Photographer: Della Chen Photography
Planning, Design & Production: Kristin Banta Events
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Ojai Valley Inn and Spa
Videographer/Film Maker: IQ Videography
Officiant: Rabbi Arthur Gross-Schaefer
Invitation Designer: Urbanic Paper Boutique and Copper Willow
Catering: Ojai Valley Inn and Spa
Decor & Florals: R. Jack Balthazar
Lighting: The Lighter Side
Cake: The Butter End Cakery
Wedding Dress: Jenny Packham
Bridesmaids’ Apparel & Accessories: Amsale
Groom & Groomsmen Apparel & Accessories: Groom – Astor & Black; Groomsmen – Banana Republic
Hair & Make-up: Team Hair & Makeup
Entertainment: The Right Now
Favors: Made by friends, owners of Black Tie Confectioners
Rentals: Classic Party Rentals
Rings: Singlestone & Claude Morady
Thank you so much Rachel and Brye! Your wedding could not have been more amazing!