A Flower-Filled Garden Party in Southern California

Sometimes, the person you’re meant to be with is right beside you—just ask Sarah and Kyle. Back in August of 2006, the couple met as freshmen at Vassar College, where they were next-door neighbors in their dorm. “Kyle quickly became one of my closest friends,” Sarah remembers. They dated for almost a decade, through college and Ph.D. programs on two separate University of California campuses." Then, in February of 2016, Kyle drove from Los Angeles up to Santa Barbara to take me to a surprise dinner,” says Sarah. It was there that, after a magical dinner in wine country, Kyle proposed with Sarah’s grandmother’s 1936 engagement ring.

When looking for a place to tie the knot, the couple turned to both their past and their future. The pair had plans to move to Malibu so they visited the historic Adamson House there—and immediately fell in love, seeing it as a chance to bring their family and friends to the new city they call home. “The property also has an amazing sycamore tree on the property,” Sarah describes. “It reminded us of a tree on the Vassar library lawn that we used to pass by every day.” Erica of Twine Events helped Kyle and Sarah create an al fresco dinner that fit perfectly between the garden and the sea. Photographed by Rebecca Yale, this flower-filled garden party is one you won’t want to miss!

Sarah and her bridesmaids donned floral pajama sets and robes as they got ready for the big day.

The women in Sarah's bridal party carried cream and blush bouquets, which combined garden and tea roses and olive branches. The flowers perfectly coordinated with the bride's Mira Zwillinger gown, which was finished with vines and 3D flowers. “If I could have designed my dream dress, it would have looked exactly like this,” she says.

The couple’s nieces and nephews served as flower girls and ring bearers, with the girls wearing crowns of white roses above their dresses. “Kyle bent down to give each of them a hug as they made it down the aisle,” Sarah recalls. “It shows what a loving uncle he is!”

The bride’s “something blue” was a hand-embroidered handkerchief that her sister bought in Florence and carried at her own wedding.

The couple wed beneath the sycamore tree’s sprawling branches, with guests seated in wooden folding chairs that highlighted the natural garden setting. “Flowerwild created the most amazing floral chuppah for us to stand under,” says Sarah. The structure combined olive branches and eucalyptus, and was dressed with garden and tea roses and full peonies.

“We wrote our own vows, but decided to share them before the wedding instead of at the altar,” says the bride. “I was worried I would cry too much! Working on them together was such a special experience.” One of Kyle’s closest friends played guitar as the bride and groom walked down the aisle. She adds, “I didn’t realize it at the time, but my bridesmaids told me that, once we said, “We do,” I jumped a little—that goes to show how excited and happy I was!”

The bride and groom served their drinks of choice during cocktail hour: Hers was a combination of gin, lavender simple syrup, honey, and fresh lemon juice, while his was whiskey—with or without ice!

“Kyle’s grandmother used to collect sea glass in New Jersey, and we wanted to incorporate that into our wedding," Sarah explains. "Han Writing created beautiful sea glass escort cards in soft blues and greens for each of our guests!”

“We wanted our reception to feel like a casual, classic California dinner party under the stars,” says Sarah. Long tables were draped in ivory linens and decorated with lush collections of roses, dahlias, and delphinium.

Those soft ocean shades were mixed into the table, from the runners and vases to the linen napkins. Peachy blooms enhanced the garden theme. “It felt organic and flowing, but perfectly refined,” says Sarah.

Guests were given garden-themed favors: Sugar cookies topped with edible flowers, plus thank you notes printed on seed paper that they could plant when they got home.

“Dessert was by far my favorite part of the meal,” the bride says. She and the groom served a caramel cake with sweet cream cheese icing, as well as fresh fruit and handmade truffles.

The bride and groom have an extensive record collection, so they sought a DJ who used real records to spin throughout the night. “We did our best to relax and enjoy the day,” says Sarah. “Everyone, from our wedding party to my makeup artist, was so calm and happy, it really helped us stay in the moment!”

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