What’s not to love about this wedding? A vibrant couple with beaming smiles, an Old Hollywood style wedding planned by Brooke Keegan Weddings and Events, and incredible images captured by the incredibly talented photographers of Callaway Gable Photography, make for magical combination. Enjoy!
The Newlyweds: Allison and Rich
The Wedding: 6.20.12 – Montecito Country Club – Santa Barbara, CA
What inspired your personal wedding style, and how did you incorporate your style and personalities into your big day? From the very start, our inspiration was the Golden Age of Hollywood – Fred and Ginger, men in black tie, and lots of champagne! We were fortunate to find the Montecito Country Club, which really reflected the glamour of that period. We wanted a traditional ceremony and a reception that felt like an elegant dinner party. This was done by making every detail count – from lush, luxurious florals, to a neutral color palette with lots of ivories, black, and gold, down to the groom’s choice of classic peak lapels and the bride’s ivory silk gown. We love good food and wine so we made careful choices for the meal, the bar, and dessert, which included a delicious wedding cake of devil’s food cake with salted caramel frosting, plus an ice cream sundae bar and cookies brought in from Los Angeles.
What three adjectives best describe your wedding? Elegant, Traditional, Joyful
Looking back, what are the moments, decisions or memories that you love the most about your wedding? One of the best decisions we made was to hold the wedding in Santa Barbara. We looked at a lot of venues in Los Angeles, but ultimately were drawn to the idea of the semi-destination wedding vibe we could get in Santa Barbara, especially in light of all the guests we had coming in from out of town. Everyone could feel like they were on vacation.
Another decision we made right at the start was that it was very important to us not to see each other before the ceremony. We wanted to save the first look for the aisle, and it was an incredibly special moment.
I let my bridesmaids choose their own gowns, giving them very loose guidelines of “long” and “black” and I was so glad I did! Not only did each girl look unique and stunning, but more practically speaking it allowed each to find something flattering and within her budget. Along these lines, we categorized the reception as “black tie invited” to encourage a certain level of formality that would indicate to our guests the tone of the evening but still give them a degree of flexibility.
Though it was a great deal of work, we did all the print pieces ourselves from the save-the-dates to the invitations to the menus and escort cards. It didn’t hurt that Rich does print graphic design. I also spent time collecting vintage stamps for the invitations, which added to the Old Hollywood feel. Doing all of this ourselves allowed us to get exactly what we wanted and to put more of our budget toward other aspects of the wedding.
The hora was a highlight for everyone, bringing all the guests out onto the dance floor and filling the reception with incredible energy that carried through the whole evening. Plus, seeing my father as he went up in the chair was priceless.
More from the bride, on the planning process: I would just like to say, because I don’t think groom’s get much credit, that Rich is really the reason our wedding came together as beautifully as it did. The majority of our relationship (and all of our engagement) was long distance, with him in Los Angeles and me in New York. I did as much as I could to help, but there wasn’t much I could do from 3,000 miles away. So, he was the one driving all over Southern California scouting venues, meeting with vendors (he met Callaway Gable first, and I didn’t meet them until our engagement session!), and buying supplies. He was not only willing, but happy to do it. Our wedding could not have happened in the same way without his hard work.
What specifically drew you to Callaway Gable Photography and their imagery? The first thing we noticed about Callaway Gable’s photography is that everyone they photographed looked like they were having a really good time, and we knew that was how we would want to remember the day. We wanted a photographer who would capture the joy and energy of the whole celebration and who would make everyone look beautiful and feel comfortable in front of the camera. And Allie and Lauren did just that! Callaway Gable offered the best of both worlds in that they also produce stylized portraits. The combination of journalistic “in the moment” shots with composed editorial shots will make for a killer album. We could not be happier with our photos – they made everyone look their absolute best and captured every moment.
The Photographer: Allie Callaway of Callaway Gable Photography
As you went into the day, did you have a particular approach to photographing Allison and Rich’s wedding? Having not been to their wedding venues, I scouted the locations and surrounding areas beforehand. It was really important for me to find interesting backdrops and environments that aren’t the obvious choices in Santa Barbara, which is mostly known for outdoorsy weddings. My style is all about color, texture and amazing environments – this is what I found, and where I photographed their portraiture. I also planned the spots for the family photos and our signature “Vanity Fair” shot so that their day ran smoothly and seamlessly.
Before the wedding, I worked with Allison and Rich on their timeline to schedule enough time to create their portraiture, which, for me, often takes more time than what is initially planned by the coordinator.
Finally, I made sure to have my super star second shooter, and Callaway Gable associate photographer, Lauren Belknap, be a part of the team. She is so talented, and is so great at making everyone feel comfortable and relaxed. She is just so fun to be around, and it shows in their photos.
Looking back, what were your favorite moments to capture? Portraiture is always a favorite for me, particularly with people like Allison and Rich who are so fun and completely trusting. They took the advice I had given them in their engagement session where they learned to be themselves and just go for it in every photo. They weren’t afraid to be romantic, sexy, fun and just downright silly. It also helps that Allison literally cannot take a bad photo and Rich is so incredibly in love with Allison that he was just beaming the entire day.
I also loved capturing the energy of the reception. Their friends and family were great dancers, best ever, and they weren’t afraid to perform for the camera. The best moment though was a dance they called the Anniversary Dance. All of the married couples started on the dance floor, and every few moments they asked people to leave the dance floor based on how many years they were married, fewest years first. The last couple standing had been married for over 44 years! They were still in love like they were as teenagers. Everyone was crying, including Lauren and myself! We were a wreck!
The Wedding Team:
Photographer: Callaway Gable Photography
Thank you Allison and Rich, and the whole wedding team!!
About This Wedding
We are teachers from New Jersey with a mutual love of travel and adventure. Erica teaches elementary special education while Ray teaches video production to high school students. We both enjoy documenting our travels, Erica by blogging and Ray by filming and editing highlight videos.
Our Love Story
After reluctantly being set up by mutual friends two years ago, we quickly fell in love and realized we were a perfect match!
We got engaged in Santa Barbara while on our cross country trip last year and fell in love with the area. We envisioned an intimate and unforgettable experience for our wedding, which was provided by the beautiful gardens and ocean views of the Biltmore.
Upon returning from our honeymoon in Bora Bora we got a new addition to our family – a King Charles Spaniel puppy we named Jack Bauer! Erica hopes to train Jack to be a therapy dog and Ray is looking forward to renovating and remodeling their dream home in the next few years. We’re looking forward to visiting new and exciting places around the world.
Venue for This Wedding
Vendors for This Wedding
Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara
Bitmore Four Seasons
Judge Loren DiFrank
Wedding Paper Divas